I live and work in a "small" city. "Small" in the respect that most (many) state capitals are normally larger than what Boise, Idaho rates. Living in a smallish town comes with its benefits- it's amazing how many people know other people. Works well for word of mouth referrals when many of our clients know at least one other person getting married in the near future. However, it also can work against us, because everyone tends to be and act like everyone else....because we're a small town. If one person or company steps outside of the box, everyone knows about it. Let me tell a little story about my background with Soiree.
Soiree via Tana Photography
My business background started with the question, "Why". As cliche as it is, I was a bride in 2005, and Soiree was born in 2006. Having just blown in from a few years in Seattle, I came back to Boise with dreams of my urban loft wedding. But you know what? Most of those wedding dreams weren't realized, mostly due to the resources available and vendors I was working with at the time. I got married on a sunny September day, and I was exhausted that night because I had done most everything myself. So while on my honeymoon, the wheels were already turning. Why couldn't I have what I wanted? What made it so hard to have the type of wedding I wanted in Boise? Fast forward a year later, after an intense event management course, my question turned into Why Not. Why couldn't a Boise bride have what she wanted, even if Boise wasn't on the list for the biggest retailers (or, at the time, the biggest concert tours for that matter)? And so began Soiree. Created for a bride like myself. What began as a small wedding planning company in Boise evolved into a full scale event production boutique with weddings spanning from Boise to McCall and beyond.
From there we continued to hone in on our craft, ideal client, and evolved even further into specializing in Idaho destination weddings; over half of our clients are planning their weddings from out of state. We have continually added unique services and exclusive products to our clients, because it's what they want. From guest concierge services to high end linens and custom furniture, we've created a company like no other in Boise. And we're proud to say we're not your grandma's wedding planner either.
Where am I going with this? I'm telling you this story because it hasn't been easy. At first everyone resisted. Vendors and clients alike. From "it's too expensive" to "it will just never appeal to this market", we've heard it all. And you know what? I succumbed to the negativity out of fear for a few years. I wasn't true to me or the reason I was doing this. And I started losing sight as to why I was even here. I didn't want to be just a wedding planner. I wanted to create real experiences, fulfill my clients emotionally and I wanted the guests at the parties my company hosted to talk. A lot. No one ever made history by being the same. So over the past two years we've ramped it up again and have only marketed to those clients and vendors that want that too. And the response has been lovely. People are still talking, and we've chosen to only listen to our clients. Because it's all about them anyways.
What ways are you changing the game in your city or town?