We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Mackenzie Smith-Wuest. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Mackenzie below.
Mackenzie, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today What do you think it takes to be successful?
Being successful is a relative term. If I’m a chef, not burning the soufflé is a success. If I’m a firefighter, saving a historic building from being completely ruined is a success. If I’m a rancher, turning out a bountiful crop is a success. Society has raised us to perceive “being successful” as only one thing, profitable. And in part yes, this has to do with your success as a business owner, but there’s so much more that gets overlooked. You could be the most profitable business but if there’s not an ounce of morale or authenticity behind you or your brand, I don’t see that as successful at all. My professional success comes when I see a couple experience their wedding day and it’s everything they wanted it to be and more. That they feel they had a helping hand throughout the planning process to make their day a success.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
Growing up I always knew that a typical 9 am-5 pm desk job wasn’t for me. Corporate America has never met me expectations and I’ve always held jobs that allow me to express my creativity and follow my passions. Throughout my childhood, teenage years and early adult life, I had always been involved in event planning to some degree. The aspects of planning, style and design and just being able to create a special space for friends and family to gather, has been a consistent hobby of mine and brought tremendous joy to my life. So much so, that I knew after graduating college, I wanted to do it full time and on my own terms.
Fable Style+Design was born out of the desire to hold space for all walks of life and to embrace those couples coming to me for support on their big day. Our main focus is on elopements and destination weddings, as well as local weddings and gatherings.
Any stories or insights that might help us understand how you’ve built such a strong reputation?
I think building your reputation within your market is quite important. Consistency, responsiveness and posting what you’re most interested in attracting, are all ways of building your reputation and ultimately booking your goal clientele. However it cannot be a farce. It truly needs to be who you are authentically. I see a lot of people in my industry, as well as in society, who use social media as a means to “show the world who they are.” Which is great, until you meet them in real life and they’re nothing like what they portray online. It’s the ultimate coo.
I tell my couples all the time that if they can get on the phone and chat with a perspective vendor, they can usually figure out pretty quickly if they’re going to be the right fit for what they’re looking for. Instagram life is pretty, but it’s reality that will build your character and brand reputation.
Any advice for managing a team?
Taking care of your partners, employees, contractors or interns is a high priority for me. I believe two things to be true when it comes to reaching and maintaining morale, fair compensation and recognition. Paying well, or at the very least not under paying will always get your foot in the door; but treating your team well will increase self confidence, productivity and ultimately boost the appearance of your business/brand.
Many jobs within the wedding industry requires working weekends and long hours. Providing my team with decent accommodations (if traveling,) food and compensation is a must. I’m also not one that will micromanage. I know my team can pull off what I’m asking of them and it does no good to sit over their shoulder watching every move they make. I entrust them with a task, and they perform to the highest of their ability.
I was recently at a shoot where one of the director’s was completely unreachable and felt everyone, including her co-director were “beneath her.” It spoke so much to her character that many vendors don’t want to work with her again or have their names/brands associated with her. This is what I try and avoid at all costs.
- Website: www.fablestyleanddesign.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fablestyleanddesign/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fablestyleanddesign/
Dylan Fox/Foxtog Photography Felicia Renae Photography Ashley Taylor Photography Renee Isabel Photo