The Road to Full Time

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Ashton Kelley Photography

It’s official, y’all – Stephanie Scholl Events is my full-time job! I just wrapped up my last day of working and balancing two jobs at once, and I’m stepping into a new role as an entrepreneur (say what?!), CEO, boss lady, and proud owner behind this wedding planning and design business of mine!

I haven’t shared much about the process of being on the road to full time, and today I want to share a lot more about the behind-the-scenes steps and action it took to get where I am now, as well as the evolution of everything! I am so happy (and relieved) that I don’t have to keep any secrets any longer & can share so much more. It hasn’t been the easiest balancing two jobs, but it is so, so worth it!

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Ashton Kelley Photography

The beginning

For the last six years or so, really since I graduated from college and started working DC, I have developed a deeper and deeper love of weddings. I started following Southern Weddings way, way back in the day, and I was introduced to the world that I now love and am a part of. I also had a stretch of going to something like 35 weddings in 4 years! I must admit, I never once got tired of these weddings, and I seriously loved every moment of it all. In the midst of that, I planned a plethora of engagement parties, bridal showers, and bachelorette parties, though I never thought of helping a friend plan her wedding. It wasn’t until my sister got married in 2013, and I got to see even more behind the scenes of the wedding planning process, that I really got interested. My family and friends also were instrumental in encouraging me and pushing me to seriously consider wedding planning. If it wasn’t for their firm insistence, since it was so clear how much I love weddings and that I have a certain knack for it, I don’t think I really would have done much about it. But when your entire network of family members and friends are essentially begging you to try wedding planning… well, I figured it would be fun to try!

The launch

I started wedding planning and design a little over 1.5 years ago, and I officially launched Stephanie Scholl Events in February 2014. I really wanted to sharpen my skills as a planner and a designer, as well as get really connected and involved in the wedding industry in the South. My blog also became a little more wedding-oriented than it had been before, and I focused my sights on weddings. I am oh-so-thankful for several wonderful, generous friends who were so excited for me and who wanted to pay me to plan their weddings. I’ll always remember the first weddings that I was a wedding planner (and a guest, simultaneously!), and I am grateful to those ladies who put so much trust in me. I fell even more in love with everything about weddings (it’s not just about the beautiful details!), and I realized that I really thrive in this environment and love bringing so much joy, calm, ease, and reassurance to a perfectly-executed and special day!

What I thought would happen + wanted to happen

When I launched Stephanie Scholl Events 1.5 years ago, I honestly never thought it would take to where I am today. It’s a funny thing: trying to plan out our life and ultimately seeing what the Lord will do with it instead! His plans are always better than my own. In my head, this would get me more experience, insight, and knowledge into the wedding planning and wedding world, and I’d have garnered some much-needed hands-on work. I anticipated that I would graciously fold my own business under and begin working for an already-established wedding planning business in North Carolina, where I am from. It would show that I had experience and had drive, but I wanted to join a company that already had been around and provided those full-time job comforts like a benefits package and a salary.

I’ve long, long, long wanted to work at a particular company in the wedding industry (not in wedding planning!), and my sights and my actions had always been focused on how I could get to work there, what I could do to position myself to be the best candidate, to make as many of the best and truest connections as possible, and to make myself known to them. It’s a company that I’ve admired since almost its beginning, and, quite truthfully, my blog and my wedding planning business were very much founded in order to position myself to work there. And, if it didn’t work out to work there, I would work in a wedding planning company!

What did happen

I continued to plan my own weddings for Stephanie Scholl Events throughout the last year while steadily trying to connect with and work for another wedding planning company. I interviewed for a couple jobs, was offered some, and ultimately decided that none of them were a great fit for me, at least at that point in time. The longer I kept planning weddings under my own company, the more I realized just how much I love the ownership, the control, the flexibility, the accountability, and the fun I had operating on my own. None of the wedding planning companies I talked with had any job openings (so many employ only one or maybe something like five women!), and the company I wanted to work for had no openings for the foreseeable future (you can bet I asked!). For quite some time (close to a year!), I continued to steadily grow my own business, inquire when it seemed like a good time, and continue to try to get the word out. All of this was happening while I worked full-time at my job in downtown Washington, DC at a non-profit serving elementary school students in the literacy and mentoring field. All of my wedding planning and business growth took place at night or on the weekend, and it gradually began to really fill up my time and drastically push back my bedtime – while keeping me very, very happy!

Coming later this week: part two of my “on the road to full time” journey!

It’s really fun thinking back through exactly what’s led me to this point. It definitely hasn’t happened overnight, and I love looking back to see how everything fell into place in God’s perfect timing!

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13 thoughts on “The Road to Full Time

  1. Pingback: Why Raleigh? |

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