Her Story with Elaine Huckleberry: A Passion She's Keeping a Passion
In her book, Book Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, Elizabeth Gilbert says this about putting pressure on our passions to make a living: “But to yell at your creativity, saying, “You must earn money for me!” is sort of like yelling at a cat; it has no idea what you’re talking about, and all you’re doing is scaring it away, because you’re making really loud noises and your face looks weird when you do that.”
I know there’s pressure sometimes to make our passion the thing we do to support our lives, but if you have a creative outlet or passion and it’s not what you do full-time, you’re going to love this week’s Her Story Spotlight below.
Here, Elaine Huckleberry, owner of Timeless Memories, an event wedding planning company, shares why she may never turn it into a full-time gig along with her tips for running a business on the side and some of her favorite business and parenting books!
Meet Elaine - 5 Fun Facts:
1) I have an almost 13 year old daughter The most rewarding factor is watching her succeed. We have to work so hard these days, so each and every goal reached is a big deal in our house. From making a good grade on an exam to making a new friend…We seriously get excited and I love watching her light up when she feels accomplished.
2) My dream vacation is Greece and Ireland.
3) My favorite food is authentic Mexican.
4) I am a huge U of L Basketball fan!
5) My favorite concert of all time is Randy Travis,
Tell us a little about your business, Timeless Memory Events!
In 2008, I came up with a dream to help brides focus on what was most important on their big day…the love they felt for their soon to be spouse. I love planning weddings. Keeping everything organized and making sure all the boxes on the list are checked is beyond satisfying.
On the day of though….That is where the magic is. I thoroughly enjoy putting all their dreams together and letting them see it unfold without a worry about what they have to do. Their focus can remain true to stay on the important factor. Their soon coming marriage. Often that is the best compliment we receive. They were able to be carefree and were able to enjoy their day becoming husband and wife.
What is it like running your own business? Any time management tips you have to get it all done?
Running a business is challenging. I run the whole business. Accounting, Marketing/Advertising, Scheduling…all of it. Trying to stay ahead of the competition can be trying. Especially in the big city market.
Set time aside each day for each task you have in front of you. Don’t push things off until you’re on a deadline. That way you can devote the proper amount of time needed to each client.
What inspired you to take this path/how did your business get it’s start?
Have you ever seen the beginning 27 Dresses with Katherine Heigl? Remember the part where she just loved helping her cousin? Well. That is kind of where I fell too. I never got to help my cousin totally redesign her dress just minutes before she walked down the aisle, but I can remember loving weddings from the point I was old enough to understand what a wedding was. By the time high school was over I had notebooks filled with ideas for every type of wedding you can imagine! Slowly I began to dream of having my own business helping brides have the day they thought they could only dream about. I worked with venues and such before going out on my own, but it really all started way back when I was just a little girl who loved everything there was to love about weddings!
What challenges have you had to overcome to get where you are now with your business? How were you able to overcome them?
One of the hardest struggles I still fight with is not letting this become “work.” I have a full time job and I plan weddings on the side. I do not want weddings to become what pays our bills because at that point I fear it will no longer have the same feel to me. I do not want to feel pressured to book 2 events every week. Reserving my weekends to only book so many events each year allows me to be more relaxed, more involved, more personable. A lot of planners loose that touch when stress becomes a part of their business.
What do you do to relax (aka stay sane)?
I always revert to music! I listen to music daily. It is my outlet from the negativity I struggle with daily.
What are 2 or 3 of the main keys to your success?
#1. Remember what I am doing this for.
#2. Always listen to your client’s wants
#3. Never get too overconfident.
What advice would you give to other women looking to start their own business?
My suggestion to anyone considering to start a business is simply to scout out your competition. See what makes them the go to company. Find out what makes them standout and build up from there. Don’t go into anything blindly. That will set you up for failure!
What is a business resource that makes your life easier/better?
I personally keep track of everything in an old school fashion through Microsoft Office. Excel has never let me down!
What is a book(s) and/or podcast you would recommendation for others looking to start or grow their business or personal development in general?
For business I LOVE Girl Boss by Sophia Amoruso! It is truly an inspirational book on becoming a women entrepreneur from the ground up.
Thrive by Arianna Huffington is also another great read! Both are available on Amazon!
As a parent to a teen girl I have two books that currently get me through a lot. Those are Enough: 10 Things We Should Be Telling Teenage Girls - Slightly Imperfect by Kate Conner and Bringing Up Girls: Shaping the Next Generation of Women by Dr. James Dobson. They truly give me comfort in knowing I am not the only parent facing a difficult path in parenting. Parenting isn’t for the faint at heart. You have to be a true warrior to succeed!
Is there anything else you want the group to know about being an entrepreneur or what to look for in a wedding/event planner?
If you find yourself ever looking for a planner, treat it like you would a first date. Ask questions. Get to know them. See if their personality is a good fit. A lot of times clients are looking at the money amount, and they end up with a planner who just doesn’t get them. They struggle through their event even more stressed than before. Personality is everything with a planner. You need honesty and dependability!
How can people find out more about you and your businesses and how you might be able to help them?