We recently connected with Tahnie Nollenberger and have shared our conversation below.
Alright, Tahnie thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. It’s always helpful to hear about times when someone’s had to take a risk – how did they think through the decision, why did they take the risk, and what ended up happening. We’d love to hear about a risk you’ve taken.
The sheer definition of an entrepreneur is a business person who takes financial risks. That’s the pure thrill of it all, isn’t it? Well I took that big risk in 2020. While we all know what happened in March of 2020, let’s rewind to the very beginning of the year, January. Where everything was new and possible. We all set goals every January with promises to ourselves to ‘be healthier’, strive harder, and plan that destination travel trip to a tropical paradise. Well mine was to quit my full time job and pour my heart into my side hustle, my wedding planning business. Take the leap as we say. The unique thing about me ‘jumping’ is that I decided to do it while bringing a newborn baby into the world. In January of 2020, I became a mother for the first time. Talk about not knowing what you are doing, right? But determined as I was, I knew for the next 12 weeks while on paid maternity leave, I was going to work harder than I ever did to book as many new wedding clients as possible, so that when my maternity leave was over, I was able to move my business from side hustle to full time. Well we all know what happened 12 weeks later. A global pandemic was declared. So my 12 week maternity leave turned into a year of unemployment leave, and the event industry completely shut down. Our heads were spinning. Many companies shifted, sold or went out of business. But I quietly sat and continued to build my empire. I continued to take on new clients and work with the ones I had, most people even postponed their events. The social media platforms were changing and video was becoming bigger than ever before because everyone was stuck at home. So I started a YouTube channel. I joined TikTok. I knew I wanted to be a modern wedding planner sharing information on video platforms and use them to my advantage to share wedding education to the world. I became the loudest person in the quietest time. We, as wedding planners couldn’t really do that before. Social media platforms were photo driven only and as a wedding planner, often the content we showed had to wait until the wedding day was over. Now we have been given the opportunity to show what we do before, during and after the wedding planning process. Fast forward to 2022, I have never looked back at the choice I made and the sacrifices I took. Many sleepless nights, working between naps just to make my small business float. I can proudly say, we just brought baby #2 onboard, I am booking my ideal clients and I have been able to quit my full time job during a pandemic, while starting a family and tripling my business profits.
Tahnie, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
Ivy Weddings and Events is a modern, boutique event planning company based in San Diego. Our main services are focused on design and full service planning, helping people with their events from start to finish. We only take on a handful of events every year to ensure each client has a very personal planning experience. We also service other areas in California such as Palm Springs and Santa Barbara. My background and expertise comes from the hospitality industry. I knew very early on when I started wedding planning, that I needed to know how every aspect of the event works from the back of house to the front to guest experience. This wasn’t something that started as a ‘hobby’ and I planned my best friends wedding. Yes, it can be fun, but wedding planning is 80% logistical planning and problem solving. I needed to know how to solve problems. So I worked my way through luxury hotels managing events, fine catering companies, managing restaurants and I assisted a few wedding planners until I launched my business in 2016. Coming from luxury properties, I felt that the overall ‘mood’ did not fit my personality. SO much the of wedding world and planners when I first came into the picture were- for lack of a better word, so stiff. Robotic, perfect and BORING. That wasn’t me. I wanted to be a planner with a personality. Have fun. There’s enough pressure when it comes to planning that I wanted to strip that from the start and be funny, show couples we can have a ridiculously good time in the planning process. So if that sounds more like you, we are here for it!
Have any books or other resources had a big impact on you?
I randomly picked up the book ‘What I Know For Sure’, by Oprah Winfrey in 2016. I needed an easy book to read while tanning on the beach of Encinitas between my bartending shifts. Little did I know this book would change my life forever. At the time I was thinking of starting my wedding planning business. It wasn’t until I read this excerpt that I knew what my path truly was.
“I know it’s not easy, but I also know for sure that having the courage to stand up and pursue your wildest dreams will give you life’s richest reward and life’s greatest adventure. And what’s really wild? Right now, no matter where you are, you are a single choice away from a new beginning.”
So I chose a name, bought a domain, built a website and launched Ivy Weddings and Events on 7/11/2016 (yes of course of free slushy day at 7/11).
What do you find most rewarding about being creative?
I am a Pisces to a ‘T’. One of the most creative signs you will ever meet. The beauty about owning a wedding planning business is I can mix my creativity with hospitality. The hardest lesson when starting a creative service based business such as wedding planning is setting boundaries. In the beginning, you want every piece of business that comes your way because you need to build your portfolio. Now, I don’t have to do that. I can actually choose who I want to work with. I vet my clients just as much as they vet for me, because I need to make sure who we are working with, also benefits our brand. So to reach a point in my business as a creative to be able to work with your ideal client and make a profit is the most rewarding thing I’ve worked towards.
- Website: www.ivyweddingsandevents.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ivy_weddingsandevents/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ivyweddingsandevents
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCan-X-gqz1rVJMTDljfQCGg
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/ivy-weddings-and-events-san-diego-2
Camila Margotta Photo Madeleine Collins Photo Natalie Bray Photography The Voegtlins Photo I am Latreuo photo