Episode 56 Harmony Walton: The Bridal Bar and Jet Fete

It takes but a moment to see that Harmony Walton’s path to success had everything to do with how she handled perceived challenges along the way. Her career is marked by her own fearless ability to focus on giving direction to her dreams and focus on doing work that she loved and would succeed at. She credits her work with a well-known Hollywood Celebrity as the best training she could have had, especially when it comes to high touch client service. 

About Harmony:

Harmony Walton is the founder of The Bridal Bar and a luxury destination wedding and honeymoon blog, Jet Fete. She hosts Bridal Bar Radio, powered by Clear Channel, airing weekly and on demand at iHeart Radio.  Since it’s inception, The Bridal Bar has been featured in over 100 media outlets, including The New Yorker, The NY Times, Entertainment Tonight, People magazine, Martha Steward Weddings, US Weekly, and many, many more. She also has over a decade in marketing, consulting, and brand-representation experience in the luxury wedding industry. Some of her celebrity clientele include Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Kendra Wilkinson and Hank Baskett, and Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelly. As a wedding business consultant and wedding expert, she speaks frequently worldwide to both consumers and companies.

Show Highlights:

  • Harmony grew up in San Diego, went to UCLA, and worked for Dustin Hoffman’s family for 3 years 
  • Why she wanted to do something completely different from everyone else in her family
  • How her competitive nature manifested itself brought challenges that led to success
  • At 24, she started her first business, always knowing she would find her way to entrepreneurship
  • How she took a course on how to be a wedding planner, and it made it clear to her that wedding planning wasn’t necessarily for her
  • The biggest lessons she took from her work for the Hoffmans 
  • Truly understanding the service side of what it takes to create parties and luxury events
  • Having a focus on legacy clients: becoming AND remaining the person everyone wants to work with
  • How Harmony maintains relationships with great communication, attending networking events, always remaining organic, authentic, and true to who she really is
  • How little gestures of “thank you” can go a long way
  • When she took a job in a Hollywood PR firm for 9 months and had an “I can’t go back there ever again” moment
  • How she started a gifting business, and discovered something more enjoyable
  • How she traded content for advertising in Inside Weddings
  • How the idea of The Bridal Bar came about, even though Inside Weddings wasn’t interested in her original pitch
  • Being open to pivoting, learning not to give up, changing when you need to, and staying ahead
  • Why you shouldn’t be disappointed with your failures
  • The mission statement for The Bridal Bar: to “educate and inspire couples in order to influence their vendor decisions”
  • How The Bridal Bar works, as a marketing agency for vendors and as a free service to the public: “an interactive concierge experience”
  • Why many creative businesses struggle with the business side
  • The consulting side of The Bridal Bar and how it grew as Harmony tried to help other businesses
  • The ability to successfully market with creativity
  • Working with social media platforms, and how it can be  “a necessary evil
  • Going deeper to create emotional connection
  • Harmony’s biggest Master Class tips to take your biz to the next level
    • It IS who you know
    • It costs more than you think and less than you have
    • The hustle / “bootstrap” mentality is important

 

Resources:

www.bridalbar.com

www.harmonywalton.com

www.jetfeteblog.com

Find Bridal Bar on iHeart Radio

Episode 45 Troy Williams: Fearlessly Paving His Own Path to Celebrity Event Planner Success

Troy Williams is a successful event designer, planner and lifestyle influencer, but his success didn’t happen overnight. It took years of hard work and persistence in following his dream, including cold-calling producers in Hollywood, finding an opportunity to be an intern at Warner Brothers Studios and helping to style celebrities who happened to shop during his shifts at Banana Republic. Above all, Troy credits his career to his passion, talent, and being truly kind to everyone he met.

In this episode, Troy recounts his experience steadily blossoming into an event designer at Warner Brothers, and how he made the leap from a successful career in Hollywood premiere parties to taking on his own business: Simply Troy – where his A-List Celebrity network now recognizes him as a go-to for their own personal celebrations.

About Troy:

Troy Williams is enthusiastically motivated by the sparkle in his client’s eye when they realize their vision has been spectacularly brought to life. He is inspired by any element he can incorporate into their event that has particular personal meaning.

He creates incredibly personalized event +branding experiences for Celebrity, Corporate, Social and Charity clients. His attention to every detail, both big and small, is held to a consistently high standard of perfection.

During his rewarding 14-year tenure, as a Senior Publicist for Premieres and Special Events at Warner Bros. Pictures, he was involved in the planning and implementation of over 450 special events from coast to coast, including Academy Award and Golden Globe parties.

Some of Troy’s most noteworthy clients include Eva Longoria, Seth McFarlane, Julianne Hough, Fergie, Carol Burnett and IMDb. Troy lives in Southern California with his husband, Craig, their toddler son, Finnley and their dogs.

Show Highlights:

  • How Troy’s college internship experience at Warner Bros. impacted his career
  • The early professional projects he earned from persistence and cold-calling
  • The importance of networking and being kind to your contacts
  • Troy recounts his experience putting on Hollywood premiere events
  • Troy’s favorite premiere parties he’s created– and some of his most stressful moments
  • What motivated Troy to take the leap into his own business from his successful career
  • The biggest differentiator between party planners and event professionals
  • A few tips to organically incorporate branding or personal client elements at an event
  • How Troy currently structures his business, Simply Troy
  • Why Troy started the Simply Smart Book Club

Links Mentioned:

Simply Troy – Lifestyle + Events

Simply Smart Book Club

 

Episode 41 Sean Low: The Business of Being Creative

When innate creativity and business collide, the world benefits from the amazing products and services those businesses provide. Creative businesses aren’t easily defined and many times, don’t fit neatly into established business niches. This episode will provide clarity and direction for any creative business owner. Today, Andy Kushner, the host of The Wedding Biz podcast, sits down for an insightful conversation about the business side of running a creative business with Sean Low, the Founder and President of The Business of Being Creative, LLC. The most obviously amazing thing about Sean is that he can see the big picture and connect the dots for any business and lead them to success – it’s part of a special magic he seems to have. 

Sean Low is an entrepreneur at heart. He has a law degree and even did a stint at a Wall Street investment bank, but he didn’t let any of that stop him from seeing the potential to start a creative business. Sean knows the ups and downs of being a small business owner, as he risked and lost almost everything at the altar of his small business. Eventually, Sean really dialed in his own business acumen and went to work for Preston Bailey Designs. Sean put his skills to work and completely changed the business structure of Preston Bailey Designs, and in doing so, he breathed new life into the business and set it up for considerably higher degrees of success. Since then, Sean has worked with a host of other high profile creative business owners like Vicente Wolf, Style Me Pretty, Marcy Blum, Michelle Rago, Christian Oth and Sylvia Weinstock to name a few.

Show Highlights:

  • Learn why Sean and Preston Bailey worked through some key differences in philosophical ideas concerning some early business decisions.
  • Creative business is not about the money; learn what really drives a creative entrepreneur.
  • Hear his philosophy on pricing your products and services.
  • The emotional side of business can unravel a business; Sean shares why his job sometimes has more aspects of a therapeutic nature than you would imagine.
  •  Sean makes sense of business structures and processes for maximum impact to the bottom line.
  • Knowing your own business identity helps you communicate what you do so that your tribe can find you.

Sean Low worked for Preston Bailey, who was also a fabulous guest on the show, so check out his interview to learn more about his business and how Sean helped it evolve. You can listen here.

Connect with Sean:

Sean’s Website – www.thebusinessofbeingcreative.com and  www.thebbccollective.com.

Sean’s Email – sean@thebusinessofbeingcreative.com

Sean on Twitter – @seanlow

Sean on Facebook

The BBC Collective on Facebook

Episode 38 Wombi Rose: Shark Tank, LovePop & Inspiration

When it comes to luxury weddings and events, every detail can become a work of art. Today, I am talking all about business with Wombi Rose, CEO of Lovepop. Lovepop specializes in 3D greeting cards that are truly works of art. Whether it is a card for someone you love or unique invitations to a wedding, Lovepop communicates your message and affection in a unique and surprising way you just can’t find anywhere else. I am excited to have Wombi on the show today because his business is transforming the greeting card game. It is an unusual story that I know you are going to want to hear.

Lovepop cards are a feat of both artistry and engineering, which makes sense once you know about Wombi’s background. Before turning to business, Wombi’s attended school for Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. Encouraged by friend and future business partner, John Wise, to join him at Harvard Business school, Wombi found a new avenue that combined his love of learning and desire to solve real-world problems. While completing his studies, Wombi experienced firsthand the beautiful paper art of kirigami in Vietnam. He and John were mesmerized by the cards and knew they were something special. Neither of the guys felt inclined towards consumer goods, but the kirigami cards demanded to be brought to the rest of the world! These 3D cards combine artistry and architecture in a beautiful way that is very much like Wombi himself, a juxtaposition of art and science.

“We memorized our entire business and our entire financial model. You have to know your numbers on Shark Tank.” – Wombi Rose

If the name Lovepop sounds familiar, it’s most likely because Wombi’s company is one of the greatest success stories from Shark Tank. I asked Wombi all about the process of applying for and then being on Shark Tank, and he was more than happy to share the experience. What compelled Kevin O’Leary to back Lovepop was their desire to spread some love with beautiful art. These guys are turning out a new magnificent design each week, and it is evident that talent runs deep in the DNA at Lovepop. Wombi and his team have a strong business model and a deep desire to make the world a little more beautiful, and that is the heart of so many of us in the Wedding Business.

Show Highlights:

  • Wombi shares his international history as well as his love of learning.
  • Hear how Wombi fell in love with one unique school, and the art and science he learned about constructing ships.
  • How one internship and the team atmosphere there led him to consulting and starting a business with John.
  • Why designing a ship and designing a 3D card has striking similarities.
  • Wombi and his colleagues took a huge risk, and boy has it paid off!
  • What compelled Wombi to apply to appear on Shark Tank, and what it takes to survive.
  • Discover what happens after the cameras stop rolling.
  • Wombi and John made it to the Billboard Music Awards.
  • Learn all about the Possible Project.
  • An engineering education and an artistic perspective are the motivating forces behind Lovepop’s philanthropy.
  • Why “Customer Happiness” is a core value at Lovepop.
  • Every week, they launch a new design!

Links:

Lovepop Online 

The Possible Project

Lovepop Team Video