February 2013 Archive

The Threat of Theft

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Oh my GOSH. Last week guys? Oy!

If you follow me over on Instagram you’ll know it was brought to my attention last week that I fell victim to a terrible instance of brand theft and logo infringement. A woman in Cape Town, South Africa stole my logo claiming to have designed it herself (she did remove the hummingbird and word ‘Events’) and decided the Hey Gorgeous brand name was awesome enough to become her business name too. She launched her business exactly one month after the new Hey Gorgeous Events went live in December and the worst of all, has been using my logo on her labels and packaging. I was absolutely devastated to see everything in front of my own eyes and a bit shocked that people like this even exist.

“The threat of theft is the cost of business.” I read this on Unfettered Ink last year and immediately saved it to my desktop. I’m very honest, transparent, giving and kind both in business and life, and owe a lot of my success to that. But then there’s days like last Thursday where I feel like it’s easier to have your identity, photos, work, ideas, logo and even your business name stolen from you when you put your heart out into the open. So maybe I should scale back on my blog posts to prevent more instances like this. Design less editorials. Talk less about going after my dreams. Or get rid of the authentic and beautiful brand I’ve worked so hard to build. It’s easy to settle when we feel defeated right?

Here’s what I think though. Now that I’ve had a bit of time to calm my heart and think clearly.

Instances like mine from last week fuel you up and motivate you to be that much better. They drive you to protect yourself and your ideas more intently. They bring to light how incredible friends, family, clients and acquaintances are when they do the right thing to support you and stand together in a fight for what’s right and what’s fair. And best of all days like last Thursday teach you about grace and holding your head high when you feel like you’ve been punched in the gut. I’ve also learned that you can be the nicest, sweetest, hardest-working, most talented, quirkiest, funniest or established individual the wedding industry, or any industry for that matter, has ever seen and someone is still always going to have a problem with you, find someway to bring you down, and take what yours. Don’t let them.

My dear friend and colleague, Courtney Dellafiora, recommended an amazing book to me last week in the midst of all this craziness. As someone who has experienced her own share of copy cats and thieves, she told me that the best way to make it impossible for people to copy you is to implement so much of YOURSELF into your brand that there’s no logical way anyone could get away with stealing. And I’ve always believed so fully that my brand is what it is because it’s so personal. So I’m going to keep sharing, and keep being me because I sure don’t know any other way. I hope all of YOU will tweet this post and facebook it and pin it and email it and share these words so that artists, creative types, business owners and authentic, good, true and honest people can thrive and succeed just like they are meant to.

So whose with me?

Photo above by Leah Mullet. Complete with MY logo on MY tote bags for clients :) Isn’t it pretty?

Crazy Awesome Michigan Wedding Design!

There’s a certain something I love about social media free weekends (some of you know what I mean here). Namely the extra time on my hands to brainstorm, think and just dream without any influences from anyone else and their doings around me. Since 2013 kicked off I’ve only had one weekend that involved any involvement with my social media accounts and I have to say I noticed a difference in how I felt come Monday morning, versus how I feel when I take a break for 48 hours. This past weekend was no exception as I spent a ton of time doing more necessary soul searching.

With that being said, I’m working on shifting my focus a little bit for the 2014 season. And here’s a big part of why. Last fall, in the midst of my big rebrand, I got a call from a sweet bride to be who needed wedding planning help. She was (and still is very closely with me) planning a summer 2013 wedding in Michigan from Chicago and although she had booked a venue already she was clueless as to what should come next. A few phone calls, many emails and a signed contract later, I found myself reviewing her client questionnaire only to be staring at my screen in disbelief. Next to the part that on the questionnaire where I ask clients what their designs inspirations are read the following list:

‘Shabby chic, fantastical, unicorn, rainbow, fairytale, hard contrast, soft transition.’ Uhm?

Without going into too much detail because I’d love to share that in a future post with photos from this fete, I can tell you this much. This bride and groom have done more for my love and appreciation of what I do then I could have ever imagined. I’ve fallen in love with my job all over again. Within 48 hours after reading that questionnaire, my complete shock for an out of the box design inspiration turned to absolute delight as I began to plan a wedding that will no doubt be an incredibly unique and one of a kind celebration. My clients have trusted me, welcomed my ideas and given me creative freedom to infuse their big day with the most remarkable details that represent all of the above design inspirations. My heart is on fire. And I’m just itching to bring fifteen pages of quirky, crazy ideas to life for two deserving people (check out #shabbychicglitterunicornrainbowwedding on Instagram for previews before June 2nd!)

I started my business in 2010 to do a few things. The first was to help brides and grooms plan remarkable weddings, the second was to help brides and grooms have gorgeous weddings, and the third above all else was to give brides and grooms an unforgettable client experience. It’s always been about giving an experience for me. It’s not so much about giving a tangible product but instead handing over something that has to be felt. And how can I do that? In telling my client’s stories from start to finish with killer details, organized and streamlined planning strategies, awesome and like minded vendors on board and colors, textures, florals and decor that are stupid good. Like so stupid good you could oh my GOD out loud. With a whole slew of amazing 2013 and 2014 weddings ahead of me, I’m setting out to do just that.

While nothing much is changing here and I’ll still be offering full service planning (and highly recommending this to any future clients interested in HGE’s design, decor or floral services) I want to start marketing myself as more of an event designer. Planning an event for my sweet Taiwanese and Southern bride and groom I described above has been like planning and designing a massive inspiration shoot; that’s the real deal with vows, and guests, and heart and soul. Bring me more events just like this please. Where couples have stories, and interests, and visions and a passion for something a little out of the box. I’m going to continue to create, and build, and do the unexpected. Come along would you?

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Visit here to inquire about HGE’s 2014 creative event design, floral and full service planning offerings. I’m excited!

Photo by the amazing Kelly Braman Photography from this editorial seen here xoxo

Instalove Friday

Hello Friday. You look nice.

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Guys this week was long. And when I say long I mean one of those I-deserve-a-glass-or-two-of-wine-tonight long. With one incredible design, decor and floral proposal out the door and approved by my clients and another amazing one in the works for Monday, I’ll be linen-picking, floral-selecting, and color-swatching like a mad woman well into next week. Fall wedding Save the Dates (pictured above with just gorg calligraphy by Molly Jacques) are out in circulation and contracts are being signed left, right and center! Phew! February is flying by and before we know it wedding season in the Midwest will be here. In the meantime, I’m going social media free again this weekend and I just can’t wait to soak up some quality time with my better half. Hopefully you all have some rest and relaxation on your calendars for the weekend too. I’ll see you back here next week! Enjoy xoxo

Valentine’s Day Soiree {HGE Shoot with Kelly Braman Photography}

Happy Valentines, Day blogettes!

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Back in January I got together with my sweet friend, Kelly Braman to make this little project come to life. And I’m so thrilled to share it with you today finally! I was thinking late last year how much my friends mean to me and just how rare it is to find truly meaningful relationships in life that fill your heart with joy. My close friends are very special to me and the relationships we have together are definitely worth holding on to. So the concept behind this shoot was born! Why not have a yearly Friendship Fete with your girlfriends around Valentines Day, single or not, to celebrate how much you love having them in your life? Because, you know us girls love a little confetti more than the typical dude out there. Enjoy the images and the cuteness overload thanks to our real life friends who served as models for the day!

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The amount of drink options that come in pink and red hues is impressive. We used regular old pink lemonade here!

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I love this shot. It reminds me of the remains of a successful girlfriend’s night in. The party invitation, the ‘I’m so glad we’re friends’ Valentine Day cards and the favor tags were lovingly created by Val Marie Paper. Molly Jacques did the calligraphy on the invitation envelopes. The macarons we used as favors and the delicious and super sweet cake were made by Kelly at A Piece o Cake. And all of that pretty confetti and the tassel garland were via The Flair Exchange.

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And how adorable are these girls? Kelly actually shot the beauty in the red dress at her wedding last summer (her name is Kelly too) and knew her and her friends would be the perfect models for this project. I loved that the girls were able to use things from their own closet, do their own hair and make up and look like a million bucks. Aren’t they so sweet?

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Cheers my lovelies!

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And just to hopefully give you a little chuckle for the day, here’s a photo of me utilizing a little of my gymnastics background to get that perfect Instagram shot. Most of my close friends and colleagues like to make fun of me for my OCD tendencies with my IG feed and how I’m known to drag out bizarre items onto my front porch or make Zoe sit patiently for minutes while I get the shot I want. Hey, a girl’s gotta get that perfect angle sometimes doesn’t she?

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Enjoy your day full of love, friends! And check out our feature over here! xoxo

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Photography: Kelly Braman Photography / Concept, design and florals: Hey Gorgeous Events / Paper products: Val Marie Paper / Envelope calligraphy: Molly Jacques / Cake and macarons: A Piece o’ Cake / Garland and confetti: The Flair Exchange / Linens, chairs and ties: Cascade Rentals / Ruffled plates: Anthropologie / Red heart straws: Etsy

Pep Talk Tuesday {Do It}

When’s the last time you did something or rather didn’t do something because you were fearful of what others thought? I up until very recently used to live most of my life this way, trying to cater to a reality that I assumed others would be appreciative and accepting of. I had little to no boundaries with my work and even with new relationships with others, and slowly but surely I started to let other’s opinions and thoughts of me, affect the things I wanted and dreamed of doing. Looking back to just a few months ago leading up to my rebrand, I’m so grateful, I learned just in the nick of time how to just do it and forget what anyone has to say about any of the decisions I ultimately choose to make.

I’ve said it a few times here on the blog already, but 2013 has been such a wonderful year so far. I’ve been working so hard to implement positive changes in my life after a super rocky 2012 and I owe so much of it to the incredible people who have supported, loved and cheered me on. But it’s sometimes still so hard for me to just do things even when I know they are best for me but maybe not what everyone else wants to hear. Maybe you feel your parents aren’t supportive of your ideas and dreams, maybe you think your significant other will deem your business venture a waste of time or maybe you’re holding back on expanding your business or adding a new skill set to it because you’re sure your colleagues will have less than stellar reactions. Think of all the times you’ve felt this way. Eye opening, right?

When I attended Making Things Happen last fall we had to go around the room and let everyone know what fires us up. I think I may have gone first here but the first thing that came out of my mouth before I could even stop myself was ‘Flowers!’ Flowers fire me up! I remember a few people laughed a little and sweet Lara you made me repeat what I said because I too was giggling a little. But how simple is that? That flowers can bring someone like me so much joy. And with that love for blooms, I knew then pretty well and absolutely know very well now, I have an ability and a passion to make my business more inclusive, to incorporate something I love into my work and to make my clients so truly happy. Here I was up until then, for about a year, feeling shy and scared of what others would think if I did just that.

Today I urge you to do something that you know is right for you even if you’re fearful of what others think. Cool?

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Cool. Happy Tuesday, bloggies! Get out there and live your life xoxo Photo via the incredible Leah Mullett.