*Please forgive any spelling or typographical errors.  Episodes listed in the order they were recorded.

Simon Mendiola, Brooks Range Photography

00:09 Hey everybody, welcome to Get to Know Your Wedding Pro. My name is Reid with Best Made Videos®. We are a wedding videography company based out of West Seattle, Washington, and I'm joined today by a guest I'm really excited about. Um, probably, uh, one of my longer time photography friends, both, you know, seeing him at wedding shows and working together and just kind of, I think we ran into each other last week. I'm just kind of out in the blue. It's Simon Mendiola of Brooks Range Photography. And I want to thank you so much for coming on today. Why don't you introduce yourself, tell us who you are and what you do.

00:43 Thank you for having me. I'm excited to be here. Uh, my name is Simon Mendiola and I do wedding photography.

00:50 And uh, how would you say that you kind of describe your style? Kind of describe kind of how you look in, in approach weddings.

00:58 So it's very a documentary in the sense that we want to tell your story, but we want to do it, um, in an interesting way. We want your photos to be unique, then we want them to tell your story. Um, but also kind of add that extra drama.

01:16 Yeah. It's funny cause I was kinda thinking about, um, the, you know, this interview today and kind of questions and stuff I wanted to ask. And you know, I work obviously with a lot of the photographers, but um, you know, generally if I'm seeing somebody do something, um, I, I of know, okay, well that's kind of what's going to look like even if I can't replicate it with video. I'm like, okay, they're going to do this or that. And I remember last year we were at, um, uh, Gosh, uh, Indian summer with Theresa and Ryan and you are doing all sorts of stuff. Like I didn't even really know like what the heck it was going to look like and you know, doing some cool like black and white stuff with the groomsmen. And so how do you get kind of those creative ideas and where does that inspiration come from?

01:57 So there's a lot of the inspiration comes from kind of other photographers. Um, I think there's this, there's always been this kind of drive to see like where we can take it and kind of always exploring a new lighting tricks. Uh, you know, everything from like posing obviously to keep it natural or interesting, but just something that's a little bit more out of the box that you don't see every day. And I think that helps not only to kind of deliver the best final product for my clients, my, my couples. Um, but also to kind of keep me pushing it everything creatively, if that makes sense.

02:41 Honestly. I mean even like just filling up your website tonight, I mean you, you know, like I said, you know, I run into a lot of photographers and you know, even like the wedding shows and like Dorothy and I are always meeting people and like I was looking at your stuff and it's like, man for Simon's really good, like seven really knows. Like, cause I was kind of have to tell Dorothy after we meet like, Oh, who is that? I'm like, oh no Simon. Like he really knows his stuff. Like he is a good, he's a good, I don't want to keep kind of talkative. So it Kinda, how did you get involved in weddings and were you always kind of interested in that? They're kind of walked me back, you know, backtrack here, kind of how did you get involved in photography?

03:15 So wedding photography actually was a complete accident. Um, photography itself was kind of a kind of an accident as well. Um, I took like a black and white film class freshman year because I didn't want to take a math class, but besides that I didn't have too much experience behind the camera. And, uh, I was on vacation in the Philippines and it was back when like the camera phones on cell phones were like, weren't very good and I just couldn't quite capture how beautiful everything was. So I was like, I'm going to get a nice camera. And, uh, so I researched it and I'm like, black Friday came around and like waited outside, best buy for a Canon t three. And, uh, but my, uh, my girlfriend at the time, uh, made me wait until Christmas to open it, so that was kind of a month to torture.

04:06 Um, and I just kinda started off trying to shoot landscapes and things like that. And, uh, and then I started shooting a photographing people when my God daughter was born. And then I had some friends that, um, ended up having a baby. And so it was kind of that kind of transition to that. And then one of my coworkers got married and, uh, I also said I would never, never photograph a wedding when I got my camera. Um, and one of my friends got married and, uh, I brought my camera to their wedding and I wasn't their wedding photographer. I just brought it. I love taking photos at that point. Um, so I just kind of did my thing and they weren't, they weren't great by any by any means, but I fun doing them and they enjoyed them. Um, and then a couple months passed and my other coworker actually, uh, ended up getting engaged and asked me.

04:55 She was like, I really love what you did and mark and Marcus is his wedding. Um, would you photograph mine? And I was like, I'm not a wedding photographer. I want to make that very clear. She's like, well, I'd really like it, like for you to do it. Um, so I think that was probably in like June and their wedding was in like may of next year. And so I took that time because I really, really didn't want to screw up their wedding. Um, I took that time to actually learn like how to photograph weddings because it definitely is, it's its own genre and it poses its own challenges. It's a little bit of everything. Um, but you also have to do all of that stuff is, you know, kind of under a time crunch. Um, so, and I ended up just by, by learning wedding photography.

05:47 I think I've always loved, um, kind of working on a tight schedule. Um, like I like the pace, I like, um, it, it's a challenge and I think that keeps it fun and interesting to be able to deliver, I guess a studio quality images. And like commercial level images, uh, when you have, you know, five to 10 minutes to do a set of photos sometimes. So that really kind of drew me in and, uh, it's just, I always kind of invested in, um, education and kind of learning the gear and then learning lighting. Um, and here we are as great as debate, but a lot of that education was really on your own, right. A lot of it. Um, I do have to give, uh, definitely credit where credit is due. Um, I met my former business partner, uh, Chris with Chinook photography and we met at a wedding show.

06:46 I just saw one of his images and it was just like, hey, that's, that's beautiful. And we kind of hit it off and we ended up starting to shoot together. We worked really well together and so we decided to kind of combine and create what is now Brooks range for photography. Um, so we worked together for many years and uh, he kind of allowed me the space to really try the things. Um, you know, that I had been learning, um, and in kind of a way that you wouldn't, because you never want to experiment necessarily on somebody's wedding day. So by having the two of us there, um, you know, he would get the shots and then it would free me up to kind of try some of the more ambitious lighting things. Um, and then I also, one of my big kind of photography a idols I guess, uh, is Pi Jurors, uh, with Lennon, Jersey photography.

07:40 Um, and I actually had the opportunity to go down and take a kind of intensive, uh, it was the first one they did. It was an intensive, a wedding photography workshop down in The Bahamas. So that was kind of an experience. And, uh, you know, the time I was like, I don't know how I'm going to afford this. This is fiscally irresponsible, but I'm just going to commit to it and I'll figure it out later. And I'm so glad I did because at that time I was kind of creatively in a Rut. I wanted to take my photography to the next level. Um, but I couldn't quite figure out how and just the things that I learned from him, a really kind of, you know, like just that extra 5% attention to detail and you know, don't be afraid to do like move things if you need to move them and put them back. Just very little things like that, very attention to detail and kind of kind of seeing. But also planning beforehand was, was a big one. Um, and so I definitely, between Chris and Pi, um, they definitely helped me quite a bit to get to where I am. So it's crazy cause like we were even talking, uh, I don't know at some point about, you know, even some of the staff were a severe, remaining isn't the right word, but where you're trying new things even out of the wedding and you'll like, you

08:56 know, you'll go out like they'll be eating or you know, the bride and groom or whoever will be easy. And then you'll be like, well, I'm going to go outside of here for like five minutes. Like, get this. Perfect. So then they can come out, give this incredible shot and then go back in. And it was like not, you know, you did all the, you figured it all out, all this stuff ahead of time, uh, even in the moment. And so then the, you know, they get like this once in a lifetime, you know, photo and it was like a minute of their life are so, you know, you go to and talking about,

09:23 yeah. Yeah, I remember. Um, so I, I try to do that, especially because we want to get, I always try to get at least one, what I call like epic shot. And it's usually, you know, when the, when the sun goes down where you can really start to play with lighting and just that drama and that something extra that you don't always see. Um, and that's usually kind of during one of the down moments during the, uh, the reception. But at the same time, um, you don't want to take them away from their guests at that time. So we kind of go out and get everything ready that way. They're only a way for like a very minimal amount of time. And part of that I think is, is planning beforehand. I do, you know, plan kind of like location scout before the wedding day. Uh, kind of figure out everything that I'm gonna need to figure it out, my lighting.

10:17 Um, so that on the wedding day we're not worrying about any of that stuff. I'm focused on them. And the other part of it, aside from the planning is just kind of experience, because you do sometimes get into those scenarios where, you know, you can't plan for something or a schedule. The schedule might, things might happen that order and you have to know. So, so part of it definitely is you plan for as much as you can. Uh, but then the experience kind of kicks in to make sure we're not missing a thing and they're getting a kind of these breathtaking, what we hope are breathtaking images, um, of their wedding day and one of the most important days of their lives.

10:53 No. And I guess I would agree with that. I mean, I look at a lot of, you know, spend a large majority of my life looking at wedding photos and video and it always is something I find enjoyable. Kind of looking at your stuff, whether it's, you know, on Facebook or Instagram or like you're getting ready, you're on the website. So I do, you know, as someone that, um, you know, video isn't as,

11:14 okay

11:14 I think, I think you're, you, you have a lot more tools in your tool belt. I think when it comes to photography and now do you think that you, you are someone that kind of utilizes a lot more of that then, um, you know, did, didn't maybe somebody else or, or whatever. So I do appreciate that. And, and also kind of, you know, me having to maintain kind of like the composure on the day, you know, kind of the bedside manner with the bride and groom or whatnot. And then also kind of trying to figure this out. I mean, do you, do you enjoy kind of, you know, besides this obviously captured beautiful photos, you know, do you enjoy kind of the wedding experience and being a part of that, that talk about your thoughts of being, being, you know, that role in the wedding day?

11:53 Oh, so

11:54 I know earlier I said that like when I first started, I would never shoot a wedding, but it is, it is by far my favorite, absolute favorite genre of photography. Um, there's just, to me it's, there's really like, what's not to love you get to, you get to spend, you get an inside look on, on one of the most important day of two people and essentially their family and friends to of their lives. It's such a big event, you know, people are coming together that don't always get to see each other anymore. So you get to see all these relationships and, and you feel like you get to be a part of that and that's special. And then, um, to be able to tell that story is just amazing. It's a, I feel incredibly grateful. Um, and it's just a good time. It's a great time.

12:43 I love, I love getting to be creative. Um, all of my couples and clients had been fantastic. I couldn't ask for better brides. Grooms a couples. What, what was your planting, you know, if you kind of hadn't gotten the, you know, the, the spark with the travel and everything, you kind of, what was your plan, you know, for, for what you were going to do or did you not, I mean, I didn't, I mean I'm not saying you had to have a plan. I didn't have a plan, but did you kind of know what you were going to do or what you, what you had hoped to do before you got into photography?

13:13 Oh, no, I had like before I got into wedding photography or photography in general, um, photography in general. Now I honestly, when I bought it, I just wanted a nice camera for one. I like traveled and I said I could take pictures of beaches and things like that. And, uh, it turned out at the time, I wasn't a very good landscape photographer, so I moved down to people which ended up working out in my favor. So, but that was actually something that Chris, um, kind of helped me quite a bit with was uh, cause he was coming from a Alaska was, was incredibly talented at kind of a nature photography, landscape, photography and then also incorporating, you know, couples into those photos. And so I learned a lot just kind of from him. Um, so, and we've kind of made that part of our, our brand I guess is to, is to really showcase the environment as well and kind of the landscape and make sure that we're capturing as much of the beauty of, of the venue or the locations that we can.

14:17 Well, and yeah, obviously, you know, in Seattle and kind of the Pacific northwest, I mean, you know, that's kind of, I think one of the things we're known for is, you know, these large, you know, for us in fields and mountains and things. And so, I mean, do you find a lot of inspiration in the area here and where, you know, we're kind of some of your favorite places to check out?

14:36 Oh, so, um, yeah, we've done a lot of, we do get a lot of engagements. Um, you know, obviously being in the Pacific northwest, um, we do enjoy kind of the outdoors and hiking and things like that. Um, one of my favorites I'd have to say is probably probably a rattlesnake lake and the a rattlesnake ledge. I was going to mix it up. The one that you hike up to from the lake, uh, rich rage or ledge, it's what everyone's above the lake. I always get them mixed up, but um, that's probably one of my favorite spots just because you have the, this beautiful lake down below that you can do photos at. And then there's kind of this little off shoot where you have these trees and they're kind of, they're kind of different looking trees and um, well you normally find like a traditional Washington forest, they're a little like thinner and a little more spaced out.

15:28 So it was kind of a cool, like different element. And then of course at the top of a, at the top of the hike, it's just, I mean, the views or if you've ever been up there, you know exactly what I'm talking about, but they've user breathtaking. There's a, I think one of the, there's an engagement shot on the website I think from, from the top there, which, uh, she actually hiked up in that dress amahs flip flops and I was like sweating and I think I had to pretend to tie my shoe just to catch my breath at one point. But, uh, that's, that's probably outdoor is probably one of my favorite locations.

16:03 Um, you know, kind of decided I was trying to kind of type in your website here again in the, in the interim. Um, yeah, besides me, the photographer, do you enjoy the aspects of kind of writing their photography business? Had you ever anticipated, you know, being an entrepreneur kind of doing that? Um, I always ask people, you know, at any family, you know, stuff they had like kind of led you to that or was that kind of a new thing for you to, to branch out and do that?

16:26 I guess? I guess it was kind of a new thing. Um, I know my mom like had a business when I was really young, so, um, you know, she always, I guess she always had that entrepreneur mindset. I think she transferred that to me. Um, but I never, I didn't have any like experience in it prior to, um, so it was definitely a big learning curve. Um, there was kind of learning how to run the business and do the things like, you know, the, the, the things that they don't tell you initially going into it, like, uh, all the SEO and blogging and things like that and uh, so that, that I've kind of had to learn along the way. Um, but yeah, it's, it's been kind of an adventure and it's been a learning process and it's definitely worth it.

17:14 Do you, yeah. Do you enjoy that aspect of it? I mean, I know that it's difficult, you know, how,

17:20 yeah.

17:21 Lee's uh, the little amount in our days and we actually shoot, you know, photos or video versus kind of everything else. You do you enjoy kind of finding that balance or, or how do you think about being the business owner like that?

17:33 Honestly, um, if I could, I would shoot every single day. I would just shoot and edit every single day. But in order to have the business, um, it, you kind of have to do that stuff. So you do. Um, it's definitely, I enjoy the creative side a lot more. Um, I'm not a great writer by any means. So blogging has been, uh, uh, a challenge for me. That whole like picture's worth a thousand words type thing, but then you have to type words out anyway, so

18:06 that's fine. Yeah. I'm just kind of looking through your website now and it is crazy. I mean, cause I've shot a lot of these, I got the address with the uh, the flip flops. You know, cause I've even shot it in a lot of these venues, you know, like oh you guys want to hear it. Salty is, I mean we, you know, we got married that saltiness. I mean I recognize, you know, delay ill and a lot of these different ones. I mean how do you, it seems like you have a really interesting way of, of, you know, finding a different angle or finding somewhere you need to look at that. I mean, how do you keep kind of the inspiration fresh and you know, you talked about taking those classes and stuff like just day to day now. I mean, how do you approach, you know, making sure that you can see something that not everyone else is seeing?

18:44 That's actually, um, one of the first kinds of things when I first got into photography just in general was, uh, I, I don't remember what book it was, but it was one of like the, the kind of most recommended, um, photography books when you first start. And I was just reading that and, um, something in their set kind of t to basically like start looking at your surrounding. So like, whether it's a street lamp or you know, like, uh, some sticker bushes on the side of the road, um, and like look at something that's not interesting and then like try to see how you would make that into an interesting photo. And so like, from the beginning, that's always been kind of in the back of my mind. And I'm, I find myself constantly doing that. Even like when I'm not out photographing anything, when I'm just out walking around, um, I look at something, you know, it's, it's definitely easy when you have, you know, beautiful gardens are trees and things like that or mountains.

19:39 Um, but sometimes you have less interesting kind of surroundings. And I feel like that's kind of our job to make it interesting and make it something cool. And so that just kind of training myself from the beginning to kind of see certain things, um, has helped with that. But it also, I liked that challenge of it too. Like it, it's kind of the added challenge to where like how could I make that look cool? And then, you know, obviously if you can do it, then they know what it looks like when you're standing there and then they see the final product and it's just like that added wow factor. And so that's that kind of, that's always kind of going on in my head. And I think that's what keeps the, uh, inspiration going.

20:26 I guess. I'm probably a terrible interview. I didn't ask. How did, how did that first wedding go with your friend?

20:33 Uh, you know, that by that point it actually, it went, it went better than expected. They were, they were happy with the photos, you know, uh, obviously looking back at your earlier work, it's, uh, you know, I'd hope that everyone who's kind of on a journey looks back and is like, Whoa, I've come a long way. But, um, yeah, they're, they're happy with it. It was a, it was a great learning process. I was fortunate that it was for friends, but it was also like you, I mean, you never want to screw up, but it was also like, I'm going to get to see you the next day at work kind of thing. So, um, yeah, it went, it went better than better than I expected. Um, which is, which is a good thing. So, and kind of just kind of kept building from there.

21:18 Yeah. So then why was he just kind of off to the races at that point that you kind of felt like you kind of had that wedding bug? I definitely had that

21:26 bug. I kind of wanted to shoot as many weddings and as many kind of anything that I possibly could at that point. Um, there was that kind of slump like creatively where I couldn't quite figure, like I had gotten my photography to a level like to where I could get it on my own. And, uh, it was kind of frustrating because I wanted to be at the next level and that's kind of where I actually taking that workshop. Um, really kind of broke through that and it kind of propelled me forward, I guess.

22:05 Where do you think that drive for kind of that perfection, their excellence, kind of that next level? Where do you think that comes from? It's going to sound cheesy, but, um, aside from like, I want to deliver the best possible,

22:18 well, you know, like there's this, that's what's expected me. I want to, I want to deliver the best possible images and really capture the emotion, uh, for my, for my couples. But there's also like, I feel like my photos are kind of an extension of myself because I definitely put myself into them. Um, so it's like when I, when I put a photo out there, it's kind of like I'm putting myself out there. Um, and so that kind of keeps me, I'm always striving to do better and better and better. Um, both from a couples, but also for myself.

22:58 What kinds of couples do you find that you know, are gravitating towards you and what kinds of couples do you find that you like to work with? I've

23:06 very fortunate. I, I'm, I'm, I've always liked interesting characters, you know, um, interesting stories, kind of a unique stories. And, uh, I definitely get, I think, I don't know what it is, uh, about my photography, but I've been pretty fortunate to attract some really interesting and just awesome, outgoing, fun couples. Um, I love to hear their stories. I'm always asking, you know, like one of my first questions is always how they met. And then I also like to learn kind of what they're into and what they like to do together because that will tell you a lot them and um, the relationship and kind of which, which I think you have to know to properly tell their story. So, um, yeah, I don't know if that answers your question.

23:58 No, I think that's a good answer. Um, cause you know, obviously at this point, you know, where you Kinda, you know, fine tuned in in, you know, you have a style that speaks. It's just always curious, you know, kind of who's like, I kind of know like the best made videos client, you know, I just can kind of tell if we meet or, or you know, when you book and you're like, Yep, that's kind of like, that kind of fits in to our just our family of, of clients. And so I'm always just kind of curious, you know, how other people will see that. And if you find like, you, you, like you said you attracted the same kinds of like interesting EOP for what that translates to.

24:31 Yeah, I think, um, I dunno, uh, eccentric might be too strong of a word, but definitely like a lot of my, a lot of my couples appreciate the lighting and the colors and the, and the, and the drama too. Um, I think one of the last weddings we photographed, um, I mean the bride was like, you know, I want everything dramatic, as dramatic as you can make it. We want drama, bring the lighting, you know, do your thing. Um, and so that kind of like basically opened that she just kind of set me loose to, to kind of create, and that was a, that the photos ended up turning out really awesome. So, um, yeah,

25:14 I guess one question I would have for you is, you know, we're someone, they, like you say you, you really liked the drama and you know, kind of like, you know, cool portraits and you know, detailed shots and stuff. How do you approach not, you know, the more mundane moments of the wedding, you know, and not that, you know, it's not all great, but you know, not everything is, is visually stimulating as, you know, setting up but sunset portrait or, or you know, kind of the first kiss or whatever. So how do you kind of bring the style that you have in that, those other, you know, quieter moments of the day?

25:47 That's a great question. Um,

25:49 was there a moment you do, cause you know, cause I, cause I've been alongside you so I know you do. So I'm just kind of curious, kind that that mindset that goes into it.

25:56 Yeah, absolutely. Well, I think, um, again, it's, there's something that always want to push myself creatively and just to make a scene. I almost like, like those moments personally for myself. Um, I kind of like those more mundane moments because it's, it's really a challenge to see kind of like, how can I make this super cool, you know, um, what can I do here to make this scene just, just kind of, I guess more, more interesting or add some drama to it without taking away from, from what's actually happening. And so it's always that, um, kind of pushing myself, I guess. Um, but again, there's a, you know, I'm always constantly, um, I, I think being in a creative field, um, it's really important to kind of connect with other creative people, um, because it, it's only gonna make you better, you know, you're always, so I get a lot of inspiration from all, like a post and, and one of the Facebook communities that I just really like, and I'm like, I'm going to try that next time.

27:06 Or how did they do that and try and figure that out. Um, and then I guess the other part of that is that first and foremost, we're storytellers. And when you look back through the photos, because what people don't realize is, is the wedding day, it happens fast. You know, I hear that so often from my couples that like, it just flew by. Um, so we want to capture all the things that they experienced and, and the emotion of that moment, whether it's laughter or, or like joy. Um, I want, I want to try and capture that in a photo. Um, so that when they look at that, they can feel that again. And you know, even during the kind of slower moments of the day, um, it's kind of like a hunt to, you know, what's, what's grandma doing? Or, you know, dad or, um, there's just things kind of going on at all times that were kind of hunting for. So

28:08 what is your favorite part of the wedding day? You know, is it, is it the, I mean, unfortunately, I guess NBDC answers, so we'll take that one off the board. But what is, what's your favorite part? You know, getting ready or dancing or what do you like to capture the most?

28:22 Oh, um, I mean personally I do, I love the speeches, but like from a photography standpoint, that's definitely where like videography is kind of the, the far superior medium, um, because you actually can capture what's being said and seen. Um, but as far as what I like to photograph or what kind of gets me is, um, the, the first dances, um, I'm a total SAP for the first dances. Uh, the, you know, father, daughter dances, there's just always so much emotion there. Um, and it's just kind of, it's, it's a very, uh, real and kind of raw moment for as much that's planned or isn't planned during the day. Like that, that moment is, is a very, um, it's just, it's just raw and it's just awesome. And, um, yeah, that's, that's probably my second favorite thing to photograph.

29:21 Yeah, this is, is, it gives me that is kind of like this weird like planned thing. Like, okay, we're doing this now. Like it is happening in this very moment, but you do get like so much, um, you know, and it could be the, you know, the bride and groom are, you know, the mother and the father, whatever. But like that is really interesting that you, that up like how this like really planned the thing that like you've known all day is happening and like at eight o'clock that night or whatever, it's still always leads to like so much kind of raw motion.

29:51 Oh yeah. It's, it's, uh, that's one of my favorite things to, uh, definitely the photograph and, um, yeah,

30:00 that's fine. One thing I did want to touch on too, I forgot to bring up when you were talking about, um, you know, photography and in, you know, the weather, it's happening so quick. Yeah. Dorothy and I attended a wedding, ah, for her friend over the weekend and I don't attend that many weddings anymore. And, uh, even as a guest, I was amazed at how fast it went. And I know that, like you said, you know, people, oh, you know, we always say it goes fast, it goes fast. And people, you know, the bridegroom or whatever, always kind of laugh after we, I really did go fast, but you know, I was a guest at attended and I didn't show up. And you know, I, I got there, you know, hour before the ceremony cause Dorothy was in the bridal party, but like it were really fast and I couldn't believe it.

30:40 And I said, I couldn't believe if this was, you know, our wedding day again. And like, I hardly felt like I was there in the hall and I was just kind of talking to people and not even having to do all the other stuff that, you know, if you're actually getting married, you know, that you have to take part in, you know, the man. Yeah, absolutely. That's funny. Um, talk about, um, some of your, kind of your favorite memories, Eh, uh, about weddings in, what was it like it really, especially couple are really unique location or whether someone's, you know, the year is to kind of reach out in your memory that, that helps you kind of remember him.

31:17 Oh

31:20 yeah,

31:20 that is a tough one. Um,

31:24 there had been right when I got into photography, um, there was, uh, we went up to crystal mountain, it was my first time up there. I just got like a new lens for my birthday, so I wanted to go try it out. Um, and I saw there was like a platform and realize it was for weddings and I was like, Oh man, like that would be, that would be so cool to, to photograph a wedding there one day and I actually got to do that this past year. So that, that's kind of one that stands out just as a, as a bucket list kind of venue. Um, the couple they were, they were amazing. They were so good to us, um, on top of that, um, absolutely amazing. Uh, so that, that one definitely stands out. Um, there was another, uh, I had a bride and she decided to do a first look with her dad.

32:14 And uh, so you know, he, she walked up, he turned around and I mean it was just immediately, it was just tears. It just emotion. It was just kind of on both ends. And she had a, I think she had a, a handkerchief that like had something embroidered on it for him. Um, that was like very personalized to them. Um, so that, that definitely stood out to me as well. And then I guess the last one that I would have to say is I did shoot a four day, um, Indian wedding and, uh, that was probably the most trying it was, I mean it was so much fun and it was so colorful and all the events or just a amazing, but it was, I think between day on day two we shot for like seven hours and got done I think at like 1:00 AM got back to the hotel at two charge all the batteries, you know, emptied all the cards. I had to get up at four 30 the next day. Um, so to wake up to shoot the next day. And I think so. I think in total it was something like basically, uh, close to 30 hours, 28 hours of photography on like two hours of sleep. So, you know, anytime I have like a really long wedding or anything like that, I always remind myself of that and I'm like, Oh, you can do this. This is no problem. But uh, that, that one definitely will always stick in my mind.

33:43 Whether looking back, whether, uh, maybe some of the, the biggest, uh, challenge or learning that you kind of, you know, got, you know, from kind of like just picking their camera that kind of like be in the wedding photographer now, like in business, you know, what, what was kind of that hard as hurdle or, or what is something you kind of wish that you, um, you know, new net, you know, and let you know now that you wish you knew, but kind of getting in and one of the biggest kind of learning curves,

34:08 oh, um, from a, from a business side, probably Seo, it's one of those things, you know, you need to do. Um, but it's also one of those things that it takes kind of time to see that, the impact of that. Um, and like, just the keywording and things like that and staying on top of it, because by the time you want to do it, uh, you know, you should have done it a year or two before. So, uh, and then I guess from the artistic side of things, um, it's not about the gear and it's not about, um, you know, you, you could take, uh, I think one thing that I learned was you could take a tack, Sharp, beautiful image, but if there's no emotion there, every single word, you know, versus you capture this, this great moment, but it's kind of blurry. The blurry moment with the, the real moment will always win. And that's, and that's more important than anything else. So, yeah.

35:17 Yeah. I think that's something that, you know, I find myself struggling with it too sometimes. Yeah. He's, you know, it when you want this perfection and sometimes yet. So as other things, you know, and I might even get asked from, you know, a couple like, oh, the, you know, you have a shot at this and you're like, wow, you know, it wasn't really whatever. But I'd, I don't even care just because that they overwork. I think when we sit there and kind of stare out at two inches away from our face on the computer screen for hours and hours inn, you know, we kind of get lost in that, where they don't, do you find that that sometimes the couples are just so, you know, just to kind of overtaken with emotion,

35:51 um, when they see like certain images or,

35:54 well, it's just that they just said they, like you said, they care way more about kind of that just the impact of kind of having those things captured in like, well, if you're, you know, focus ring was, you know, 0.1 millimeter off of whatever it should have been or, you know,

36:07 oh, absolutely. I mean, and especially like kind of doing this, you, you see every little thing and you're like, ah, I need to do this and I need to do that. And, and what they're seeing is really just kind of the main focus of the image and not everything else necessarily. Um, and, and that's definitely one thing I've learned is you can have,

36:31 it's more important to capture that moment than it is to, you know, even if it's just somebody cracking up from a joke or something like that, then to take a a, you know, kind of set up perfectly technical image if you can do both even better. But, um, yeah, that's, that's definitely one thing I kind of learned as I went in there because I think my mind was always hitting these checklists of how I wanted the image to look and kind of feel I wanted. Um, so I had to learn to actually find like the feeling that's already there.

37:09 Yeah, I think that, I think that is tricky, you know, and I think I was guilty for that too when I started and you know, you do a couple and driver, hey, like this is what I, you know, I got to get all these, you know, x, Y, and z every day. And like, you know, you do, you then you do them enough and you realize like, yeah, you need to focus on, you know, the different elements and make their day unique. Right. And even if it's, you know, at the end of the day, you know, as long as they're married and you know, it's, it's, we're all going to get to the same ending at some point, but, you know, it might be a different destination. And kind of like you said, having to kind of capture that stuff just as you can, you know, as it goes along is a super important skill to have.

37:48 Absolutely.

37:50 Um, how do you kind of stay a, I've read online, you know, a lot lately, you know, some photographers kind of, or getting frustrated or, um, you know, just kinda lacking inspiration mean how do you kind of always, you know, stay motivated and constantly kind of strived to keep refining your skill and, and like obviously moving into this season and, you know, talking about, you know, kind of being the optimistic for new couples in stores and stuff like that.

38:17 Um, part of that is, is definitely just like obviously loving, loving what I do. Um, I would, I would never want to be responsible for, for photographing someone's wedding day if I didn't, if like I wasn't 100 in it. Um, and I know, you know, towards the end of the wedding season, it definitely, uh, you're tired, but even, even though you're tired of you, you still love it and, uh, you always want to bring your best to the table. Um, the other part of that as far as is by pushing yourself creatively, I think it keeps a, for me anyway, it keeps it from getting stale. Like, I never want to fall into kind of a formula because there, there definitely are, you know, where we've been doing this long enough where you gonna go, okay, I can do this and then, and I know this is going to work and I know this is going to work, but if you're repeating the same, like any job that I've ever had where I had basically repeat the same thing over and over and over and over again, I get super tired of. So it's kind of a way to keep me creatively invested. Um, and, uh, I guess I forgot.

39:27 No, that was good. That was a good answer. No, no, that was good. Yeah. I mean, it just, I, how would you advise kind of other creative, you know, it could be photographers, video, kind of any, any creative field that, you know, obviously you kind of have that strive for, for, you know, doing new things and thinking outside the box. What would be kind of your final piece of advice, you know, um, a lot of vendors and other creatives listen to these podcasts and well, what would kind of be your advice for them?

39:55 Um, for me, I look at, I actually look at other photographers that are like a or other creative, even like in a totally separate field or genre of photography. Um, Kinda that I admire, uh, different styles or different approaches. Um, because if you're, if you're only looking at people doing the same kind of thing that you're doing, it's not, it's going to be much harder to kind of advance your skill set. Like, um, I think I've always had kind of a, I I've liked the aspect of lighting and adding that extra kind of drama and that wow factor. Um, but my photography in itself is definitely kind of evolved. Um, and, and part of that is, is by looking, my biggest advice is one to network and connect with other people. Um, you know, other, other photographers, other videographers. You know, I've even started studying, um, kind of cinema techniques and how, cause the way you might approach a scene is very different.

41:02 Like the way your mind works in telling a story is not at all the way mine works. And I, and I'm so jealous of videographers and I think the first time it worked together I asked you like probably 30 questions just because I was so interested in and kind of that mindset, you know, of how, how you think about your shots and your cuts and you know, just like I might see an image in my head, you, you kind of see, um, the different scenes of, of how you're going to shoot, you know, this, this panning shot and then like a reveal. And that's something I had, I had no idea about. Um, so learning about that. Even like learning, just learn about things that are, I think I looked up, um, uh, like makeup,

41:43 okay.

41:43 To like on, on how to put makeup on highlights and things like that. Just to learn more about lighting. So, and then like I learned a little bit about like color theory and how like certain colors, complimentary colors, this kind of stuff you learn in like middle school art class, but how that applies to photography. So all of these different things, um, kind of come together, um, for the final product. Uh, try different things, you know, a food photography or um, just just reach out to your community,

42:16 uh, and

42:19 the more different from you, the better. And then you can kind of see what you like about what they do and it'll, and try that and it will, it, it'll change the way you do your things and kind of help it evolve.

42:33 I think that's great advice. Uh, I think that's actually fascinating. It was really a, I enjoy listening to that. That was great. I kind of moving in, you know, now kind of, you know, through this wedding season and beyond, um, what, what's your next goal or where do you kind of see yourself in the next couple of years? Uh, you know, if everything works out.

42:54 So I'd still like to be in business, which is always a gift. But, uh, um, no, I, uh, I hope that, uh, I continue to have amazing clients. I definitely, um, I love to travel. So I always liked doing a over overseas kind of stuff actually. Um, or just, you know, somewhere new. I always like to explore and a destination weddings or an opportunity to kind of see something new and also a shoot somewhere that you, you like photographs somewhere that you don't always get a chance to photograph at. Um, I actually have a, a close friend who was kind of in my wedding photography community here in Seattle who's moving down to Mexico and, uh, we're trying to see about shooting some weddings down there, so that should be exciting. Um, but yeah, I think just kind of, uh, keep, keep pushing it, um, creatively, um, books and more destination weddings and uh, yeah,

44:06 when you're not, when you're not doing weddings and income, the, you know, working on the all year need techniques, what do you do kind of in your free time for fun. That's Kinda Kinda always one of the things like to touch on at the end is, you know, when you're not doing the day to day stuff, what do you do for fun and what are your interests?

44:21 So I really, um, I enjoy obviously hanging out with my friends, but I love live music. Music's always been a huge part of my part of my life growing up. So I really enjoy that. And I tried to go out and see as many live shows as I can, as my schedule allow and I'm trying to get into trying to get into, I watched a documentary on this guy that like free solo rock climbs. And so now I've got this like rock climbing bug, but I've never done it before. So

44:56 got it. The gym the other day and that saw you outside?

44:58 No, no.

45:01 Have your inside the LA fitness like, um,

45:04 uh,

45:05 you know, whether they call it then there that it's not fake rock climbing, but it's fake rock climbing. Oh yeah. No, they,

45:12 that was, that was, uh, trying to work off all the in and out burger and a Roscoe's chicken and waffles from the week before. That's awesome. So, uh,

45:22 perfect. I, yeah, I want to thank you so much for coming on today and it's ice, you know, as someone that I've known for years I am running into, they're really kind of get a, a chance to sit down and kind of chat and, and you know, here here a little bit about your story and kind of what makes your mind tick. Um, if people want to learn more about you and, and your really unique photography sound, like I said, you know, if you want any joy at all, just, you know, go to and browse the images or you know, Instagram or whatever. But if you want people to learn more about you and your website and everything, where would you have them check out?

45:54 Um, so the website and then we also, we're also on Instagram at Brooks Range Photography. And then we have a Facebook, which is I believe, just And then we, I am redoing the blog right now. Um, so that not, not only will that have, um, like all the weddings and things like that that you can read about, but we're also going to kind of expand it with, um, kind of tips for wedding day and even like, uh, the way we light certain things. So whether you're a, another photographer or, um, you know, you're, you're planning your wedding or you're just looking to kind of read about, um, other couples and check out some more of the work on there that the blog, we'll have all that on there. So,

46:42 well, I think that's awesome because like I said, if I haven't emphasized it enough, I do really think that you, you know, you and, and you know, Chris with everybody, you guys have a really, you know, you specifically really unique, you know, approach. I can't kind of emphasize that enough on kind of this, this audio a medium. So I do hope that people kind of check out your side and in your work and, and really kind of see what you guys were working with.

47:03 Thank you. I really appreciate it. Thank you for having me.

47:06 Yeah, thank you so much. This has been another episode of Get to Know Your Wedding Pro. Check back next week for another wedding vendor interview. Thank you so much.

Marilee Kimball, 321 FOTO

00:09 Hey everybody, welcome to Get to Know Your Wedding Pro. My name is Reid with Best Made Videos®. We are a wedding videography company based out of West Seattle, Washington. And I am joined today by Marilee Kimball of 321 FOTO. And I am so excited to get on and chat today. We've gone back and forth for a couple of weeks and spring break and I was gone and, and you were gone and sick kids and stuff. So I appreciate you taking the time to come on today and it means a lot. Uh, why don't you introduce yourself, tell us who you are and what you do.

00:38 Hey, well, I'm Marilee, and thanks for having me on and with 321 FOTO, a photo booth company that does photo experiences. We specialize in weddings and we also do corporate activations, but really our specialty and kind of what we focused on over the years has been a wedding photo entertainment.

00:57 Yeah. And what do you think it is? I mean, I, I'm a big proponent of photo booth. I talked in the past about, you know, we did a wedding tour, uh, and afterward he was like the vendor only thing and anybody you can get everybody out of the photo booth who was so popular even just for wedding vendors to do. So. What is it about the photo booth that people like so much?

01:16 Well, I do think that it's this opportunity, it's like the social icebreaker. So I kind of to call ourselves a social bartenders, like we get on site and we're kind of like the pre funk party, the party and the after party. So like were there, like, we're ready to party when we show up. Um, and so I just think that that carries on to people. Like they see that we're having fun, they can see other people having fun. And so it just kind of draws a crowd. But the thing that, um, is really significant for us is the printed element of these events because everything is so digital these days. And we do a lot of digital on the backend. But when people have something that they're walking around the room with that's really getting people's attention and it's, you know, it's like a moth to the flame.

02:01 No, I totally, I go there. I mean my wife, uh, even just as you're talking thinking I'm sure on our fridge, I know we have at least four or five different, you know, strips from weddings and events and maybe it was even when a year guys is just from a event we went to, but I know that she is a big print those out hang them up. We have him on the magnet on our fridge right now. So do you think it's interesting to just kind of nowadays where, um, you know, you guys are able to kind of capture both that the, um, you know, the printed thing, but then also like there's tons of new kind of, uh, not millennial but kind of new 20, 20, kind of I, we were talking about like gifts and like other animated things. I mean, you guys really kind of get both ends of it, right?

02:44 That's right. Yeah. I mean, I kind of approach it in two different ways. Like we have a traditional old school booth where you can get in and sit down and close the curtain. And that's a very intimate process like that. You can get a couple people in there, maybe like six people, uh, nice and close together. And then you've got the open set kind of thing. And so with the open sets, uh, we really like to add a decorative element to the space. So like we're thinking of it in this other layer. Like it's not just we're taking funny pictures of people goofing off. It's like we're looking at the backdrops as being an important element in the room because it's a big space that we take up. It's about eight foot by eight foot, you know, and so you could have something there that's just big green screen monstrosity. And that's something that people do or what we do is more, um, we like to add, like I said, a design element to it. Um, and then further than that, you can go to a completely digital component that we were kind of discussing. But for us, I really lived that kind of keeping it real. I'm trying to add some something real to the space, especially if it's going to be digital. Because if it's, if that's where we're stopping at the night, then there should be something about our setup that adds to the space

03:55 and boost. I mean there aren't really nice, right? I mean I was looking on the site and stuff too and I know I've seen them and um, you know, in person and talk to you about the fuel, but kind of describe kind of the actual, you know, I would see like you guys tried to be like pretty upscale luxury Kinda, you know, refined looking, kind of talking about that.

04:13 Yeah. Thanks for noticing that. I'm, I'm actually the designer of those and uh, I went to Cornish College of the arts in Seattle, so my focus when I went to school with furniture design, so when we were first starting to develop these, we were looking at old school classic, you know, like kiosks booths that were, you know, in movie theaters and a malls across the country way back in the day. And we were thinking we need something to be portable and we need something to show up in these spaces. But like what does that look like at the four seasons? What does that look like at the Fairmont? Like how do those things get there? So we really wanted to speak to the people who knew that quality because you know, the photo booth is just a box at some point. It's just a piece of furniture and anything can be about the quality of imagery paths that, and so we wanted to marry like really high end photography and video experiences. Um, like, and when I say video, I mean like gift bursts and boomerang, that kind of thing. Um, and we wanted those to exist in a space where, again, we're just looking like quality, quality, quality. Um, and I think that that's reflected in the product that we've been able to develop.

05:22 That's fascinating that you say that you weren't some schools for furniture design. Cause I totally see that. You know, when I see kind of the boxes and stuff, that's really, I always think it's so interesting. Um, you know, what people do now with weddings and kind of how they got there. Right. And you can definitely see kind of those influences and how people, you know, went through and different careers in school and, and stuff before that.

05:44 Yeah. Well, I mean, the thing is, is like, it was such a fun project to do just to really look at the history of photo booths and the history of cameras and trying to bring those classic elements and you know, go with something that's monitoring because, you know, we're not printing film and, and there still are photo of this that are doing that, those processes, they're very few and very hard to find, but they do exist. And we wanted it to feel that way though and have that classic bit. But I think that like another thing we talk about is that layer of quality. And we figured that, you know, there's just people that get it and there's people that are going to notice and that level of quality, uh, not everybody sees, but the people who get it are our clients. And, uh, there's the guests who are getting it. And coming up like Whoa, what is this thing? And checking it out and looking at all the details cause we, we thought about all those details, we made those happen intentionally. Yeah.

06:35 Yeah. Cause I definitely you, you definitely seem like error. If you, if you go to enough events you'd definitely seen like there's a difference. Right? And you want to kind of like you said, any kind of inhabit that space and yeah, if you aren't like the Fairmont or whatever or somewhere that you know, you want it to be nice and not kind of be an eyesore. Right. I think it's hard where you know like me, like our video cameras like are kind of a nice who are, where you can kind of design that around something that's like looks awesome and it's kind of almost looks like it's meant to be there and then the guest and kind of interact with it. Right.

07:06 Yeah. And you know, something that's really interesting about photographs, just like when we started, this was 10 years ago, well actually we're going into year 11 and it was very much just the classic school booth that was out there. Um, there was, you know, some inquiry about photo entertainment and a and an open sense, but to us we were like, I don't know about that. Like there's something really nice about being behind the curtain and having that intimacy. But then we started to see what happened when not just one person or two people, but like when the whole room shows up with a smartphone, like everything in our society has changed in 10 years and to see the impact that that's had where it was weird to be in the corner of the room wide open, taking pictures 10 years ago, but let's say in the last six for sure.

07:54 Like it's not a problem because everybody is taking out their phones anywhere they go. They're taking pictures openly. So you have a different interaction with people being totally comfortable in like huge packed events. They have no problem. And I, I kind of look at what we're doing is like putting things on stage. Like we're, we're creating the stage for people to step up too when we're doing our studio this. And it's really cool to see people, like they see the gear, they see the set and then they see themselves. And it's really important to me. I want people to see themselves. Like you come into our booth, you can see yourself live on the monitor, but people see themselves in this environment and their behavior changes just based on what, where, where they're at in the night and what they see. You know what I mean? And if they see their friend behind them just being ridiculous, they're going to go there and they're going to do it collectively. So the photo booth was not my intention to be a social experiment, but it totally is. And I am like, uh, you know, just falling, going, this is what people are doing these days. And it's, it's really fun to see.

08:59 It really does. Yeah. I think it gives people permission to, to do stuff that wouldn't necessarily be like socially acceptable. Sometimes we have it, we have a wedding this summer. And did you know there was like a guy with like one of those horse at things like with the Unicorn and the square. And I'm like this is not like going in the video cause I don't want this to be like an Ra did you know, wedding video experience. But, but then, but then you know the, the thing clicks and then they're like okay we're done. And then they walk off and you're like, that was really weird. And that was that you guys too. I Dunno. It's interesting. And I mean yeah,

09:38 like I would like to speak to props because you know like when we first started doing this week, we curate like what we want to have out for people. And initially there was sort of like an expectation that you're supposed to bring a certain things. And what we've seen over the years has really made us not want to put out a bunch of props. I mean it's, it can get like a little thrift store looking at a wedding. It can be like there's this table in the back room and I, I understand that. Like those are fun and funny things, but when you're taking beautiful pictures and you're taking pictures with this group of people that maybe don't get together very often or ever, you know, it's like two families coming together. Um, I'm a, I'm a fan of very intentional curated props, but like the table on the back corner with all this stuff, like we, we just did away with that a long time ago and we don't really participate in that from our point of view.

10:32 And if people want to bring that, that's fine. But for us it's like there's so much expression that people have an, and a lot of my employees that worked for me, um, are also from Cornish and artists and dancers and theater majors. And so like, we're expressive, you know, and I mean put a dancer and the photo booth and I mean for days you've just got post after post after post. And I love to see that. Um, so you know, the horse had the, the funny stuff, you know, like feather boas or like a definite no for us. Like I'd never want to see a feather boa in my life ever again. Um, fair to say. But I enjoy the weird aspect of it. But I also think that there's something else that can be doing that's maybe like people are letting loose in a totally different way. Like you don't have to hide behind it. Crop like be who you are. And I think that that goes back to like that keeping it real and trying to like get in touch with the people. Like even as an abbreviated as people can be at a reception, like these personality traits come out and it's fun to capture.

11:34 Yeah. And then talking about too, cause you said like you are a lot of like your booth attendance or whatever, you know, our, our, this and things like that. Do you find that having people like that kind of helps? Like, I know if you go to like a photo booth and there's just like some kid that's sitting there like, okay, go, okay go like maybe, but if you have somebody that's working the booth, it is a lot more kind of creative and, and, and outgoing and personality driven that that kind of helps people too.

12:01 Absolutely. I mean this is an experience, you know, and if you put a dud in the corner of the room, it's a weird thing. It's a weird thing to interface with. I mean not necessarily performance art, but we are performing, I mean this is a thing where we are there to engage the guests. We want to have, you know, high energy and um, you know, quick turnaround. Like this is like quick, short conversations with people trying to get them comfortable. And at some point I like, it doesn't matter what happened before you hit the door. When you come in, you're onstage, you're performing, this is your people and you're trying to provide this experience. And um, interactive. That is a connection. And so I think that again, it's like we're not acting, but it is a performance. And interesting that you bring that up because kind of the root of my business was that my sister got married, uh, this was 11 years ago and she wanted, she's a photographer and she wanted to have like an old school, classic boots come to her wedding.

13:01 And the company that she had hired totally stood her up and said like two weeks before the wedding, we cannot be there. So sorry. So she was devastated and she goes on the hunt for this like photo booth to find in the Pacific northwest, there weren't very many options. And the one that she found, they sent this like really tacky box that had been painted with this like, you know, shower curtain that went around it and this dude and he shows up and he sits next to this load with the whole night and reading a book and like we're up there and go crazy. And he's just like sitting there reading this book and like not saying anything to us and we're a very fun bunch. And so it was weird to have this dude, like not be able to have fun with us. And also it just made it so awkward.

13:45 So we sort of looked at that and we were like, we have to do better than this for people's weddings. Like this shouldn't even be an option. Like it's not, it's never an option that we would have picked. Uh, but now that there are so many, like people jumping into the photo booth industry, you really see this scale of quality to where people are charging a hefty fee, calling themselves professionals, calling themselves, voted with businesses and they're bringing garbage and they're setting up garbage. And we've experienced that personally. We've paid for it. And, uh, I can go back and look at her guest book and it's very obvious that that wasn't our company.

14:21 Oh yeah. No, I mean, I've seen them to where, you know, you get it and it's like die, you know, it's like a step above an iPad or whatever and you're going in, you're, or, or even in. And I know that there's a lot of them nowadays to, it'll be like a photographer that does it, which like I guess it's a photo booth. It's not really a further book cause it's not really the same thing. Right. You know what I mean? Do you either know or is that, am I wrong in thinking that that is not the same as a phone?

14:47 I think that at this point photo booths really aren't photo. I mean their photo experiences, we have real photos and they're on our website and you can see, we will bring you a photo booth and you sit in it cause it's a booth and you sit down and you close the curtain. That in my mind is the definition of photo booth. But the photo experience has changed and it's become the category that everybody has just fallen under. So people aren't going to be googling for photo experiences. Bride and groom's, they're looking for photo booths were just kind of all lumped in there together. Um, and I resisted the whole like, you know, low end version completely. We just, we don't do it. I see it. And I'm like, Hey, no, you could, you could save so many there, uh, in buying equipment, but it's not fair to our clients.

15:38 So, you know, we're just that, that's not our market. And I do say like, there's a market for everyone because everybody has a budget and everybody does deserve to have fun at their events. So I'm not trying to be like, so Bougie, Bougie. Then I'm like, oh, nobody else counts. Only you know, the people at the Fairmont get the best, but it's like, um, they have a budget and so we're bringing it to their budget and to the let you know, the level that they're having, their events that, and some of my favorite weddings have been, you know, in the basement of a church with people that care by Costco. And, you know, I mean, I, I'll show it to whatever, you know, we just want to have a good time, but we want the people who are at least contracting our services to get the best quality they can.

16:20 Oh, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. Um, so I want to kind of get in it kind of the origin story here a little bit. So you said you went to school in Seattle, did you, did you grow up here? Are you, are you a native?

16:30 Yeah, I am from the Pacific northwest.

16:33 And so you said you went to school for furniture design initially. Kind of. How did I, you know, I know you talked a little bit about your sister's wedding, but uh, how did you, how did a a furniture designer study or go to kind of running the photo booth company?

16:48 It's been sort of an interesting history because I, I got done with furniture design at Cornish and uh, everything had been moved overseas, like all of the jobs for designers. Like you could be a designer, but you had to be a senior design position. And then all of those jobs were being sourced out to China. And I'm like, well, what am I going to do for work? So I got a job working for, at the time, uh, Mo Mocpoc was called experience music project and I got to help open the museum and I was on their exhibit team, so we were building out, um, exhibits and that kind of thing for them. And, um, at that time I also got involved in doing graphic production and it sort of brought more graphic designers. So I like to think that I'm, you know, a person of many hats and, and layers here.

17:33 So I've got the furniture design degree and then I'm working in exhibits and we're trying to like make these experiences for people where they're coming up. And, you know, I mean, we were, uh, doing full buildouts there, um, down in the Soto district. And so by the time, uh, let's see, where did we go from there? So like I was working for them and then I ended up getting pregnant with my son. And, uh, there was just a whole bunch of layoffs were happening and I ended up getting laid off with, you know, uh, our entire team was dispatched. And so I was just trying to figure out what to do, you know, and I was working from home and freelancing and building websites and just trying to like do some graphic design stuff. And so when my sister had her wedding, it was kind of like an Aha moment where all of this stuff came together and all the spokes aligned and then we just got rolling.

18:30 Cause yeah, that was definitely, you know, do you figure 10, 11 years ago, like you said, there just wasn't as many options in terms of, you know, people that choose. Right. So yeah. And, and obviously you see, you know, you guys use saw kind of what you didn't want. And so then how did this come about kind of building this, you know, for a better word, like kind of luxury photo booth company brand?

18:49 Well, I hang out with a really interesting guy and this guy was my, um, his name is a tiller of archer and he was my, uh, upholstery instructor when I went to Cornell. She, he is, we're like a philosopher. He's, he's really a cool guy. He just had his 70th birthday. And so like I like to hang out with this old dude and we just have a lot of conversations and we talk about things. Um, and so there was a lot of conversation where we're sitting at like literally at the table having talks and talking and talking and talking about what this could be the potential for this could be. And so we were just daydream in it and we, we did daydream that for awhile and the first photo booth we mean and we prototyped was the photo booth that we ended up sticking with because we have thought about all these details over a period of time and we've drawn it and mocked it up and then it just works.

19:42 Had you had, you know, it's kind of doing this, you know, entrepreneurial, I eat any like family members anything, was that like, yeah, obviously you were trying to figure out something to do, you know, after getting laid off. Like I'm always curious when people spa I'm like, okay, well I decided to start a business. Like, did you have any, like, you know, other family members or anybody or any kind of experience of kind of doing that?

20:05 Yeah, yeah. My Dad is a, an entrepreneur and he definitely is a guy who comes from like the hard knocks and was able to be a very successful person and has had, you know, a lot of things that are in his experience. It showed me, I was like, oh well it's, I guess if my dad can do it with his backstory, um, that seems like potential. And, and really he was somebody who I leaned into an athletic questions. Um, some things I chose to do my own way regrettably cause he was right in hindsight. But, um, yeah, I did have that. And then I also had a sense about myself that I know, and this is just true for me. Like I, I love this business, but I love my family. I'm a mom and I chose to be a mom. And so I did not want to get my business so big that I couldn't be at home with my kids.

20:55 Uh, that was really important to me. So I had a lot of people that we're reaching out and they wanted to franchise my business early on and they wanted me to go nationwide and get big. And I really said no to that because I could see the writing on the wall and that was me being a workaholic and never home. And what would be required to make a business grow like that really requires so much attention. And I mean, even with staff, you know, you're dedicated to that. So I have intentionally chosen to keep my business small and like at a, I call it a boutique scale where we're just serving our local market. We're, you know, we're going to pick and choose what we do. I don't take all my inquiries, you know, I, I definitely want it to be mutually beneficial. So if it's not going to work with my kids having a hockey tournament where we're traveling out of town, I'm not going to take it. Um, even though I have staff and they could work it, um, I'm very involved with all of my events and, um, I really, I liked that about my business.

21:52 What were some things kind of starting off, like you said, you know, you have like asked you dab or supervisor, we never bill. What were some things that like really surprise you about how hard it was kind of getting, getting the business going and now obviously 10 plus years later?

22:06 Well, when we first started there was a recession and so people are like, you're crazy. Um, but I didn't feel the effects of that. Like we just kind of showed up, uh, online and started doing, you know, open houses and, and jumping into wedding shows and showcases and we just got immediate response and I was going, there was a recession going on, like, what is, that's not applicable here to this because it seems like weddings were still happening when corporate went down. Uh, and so people were still getting married and uh, and then when things got better, then we started to see our corporate members come up. And so there's just been a nice balance where things ebb and flow and we've been able to keep busy on both sides of it.

22:52 Yeah. Is it talking about the difference in value between doing weddings and then obviously the more corporate events and maybe where it's obviously upscale weddings too, but you know, there's, it's a day, you know, it's different kind of doing that, doing a corporate event. Right.

23:05 It's way different. I mean, I love the, I love the love of the weddings. Like I love that people are showing up and they love their friends and they love their family members. And so that's like something that's great. And I would say that the behavior is mostly better. Mostly not all of them, but I mean the idea that like people, a lot of times at the corporate events, you know, they just get there and they get, just get so hammered so fast and they're just looking to like, and the party right as they arrive, you know, and, and people can get really, um, I think with our corporate events, I see a lot of people just being moved into more like the taking experience where, um, one of the things that I love about what we do is, uh, for weddings as our guest book. And so we're encouraging people to like right in the guestbook and we're putting pictures in there all night. And so there's this engagement that we have with people where they're thing, um, you know, something come together for their friends and they're excited and they're sort of like working towards that. Whereas, you know, at a corporate event it's just me time and then people are on their way. So it's a, it's different that way.

24:14 Yeah. But yeah, with, and especially with like the guest book where you get, Eh, it's kind of neat for wedding cause obviously it's, it's an activity for the gasping. And it's also usually I take home for like the bride and groom to, you know, the man.

24:24 Yeah. Yeah. And so like with the guests look like those are interesting because I mean, it's like mad scrapbooking. Like you're just at this event and it's just like, okay, I'm going to get this stuff in there and try to make it look as good as I can. Super fast turnaround. Um, and we actually ended up having our books custom made here in town by a paper hammer in Seattle. And so they make our books for us because we were looking at it like I don't really want those plastic sleeves. I don't want to see that night. I'm not going to just like go buy some $10 book and charge somebody, you know, 100 bucks for a book that they could go buy at Walmart or my goals. So, um, we've been kind of working on revisiting the next edition of our book and I think paper Hammer's going to put those together, but we're doing some larger formats now so that's going to kind of change but love the guestbook. It's, it's the best part of our surface for weddings.

25:18 What were some of the skills, obviously you talked about kind of doing the IOS and graphic design and websites and freelance and stuff when you were kind of figuring that out, but like what were some skills that you were thankful the you had kind of transitioning into doing your own business and running things yourself?

25:33 Well, definitely the graphic design helps because I know that that can be quite expensive. And again, it's so nice to see where things have come because if you wanted to do a website as a person who doesn't have graphic design, I'm talking about like, there's so many options now, but at the time there weren't options. So I was able to really carve out our look and our niche based on like putting something out that people were like, oh, that looks cool. Uh, when websites didn't look as cool. So that was really helpful in getting a scene. And then I think further, uh, more like all of our prints are Brandon, so we'll take like the invitations from the bride and groom or the, you know, the, the wedding folks, whoever's getting married and we'll put those onto the print so that there are some harmony in their events. So we want to see that, you know, invitation. And then when they take that print home and they put it up on their fridge, they've got that going. So, yeah, being able to do that design in house has been really helpful.

26:29 Um, do you, obviously it's been, you know, years now. Do you still remember kind of some of those early weddings and kind of how that, how that went or was that, was that exhilarating? Was that scary? Was that what, what was that like?

26:42 Yeah, I think that like

26:44 I still get scared. I mean, I like, it's still scary because you're like, you don't want anything to fail. Like it's, uh, there's, there's not one time but it's gonna be okay for it to fail. Um, and I just feel like if you're not nervous showing up, you're, you probably don't care as much as you should. Uh, so initially, yeah, I mean just trying to find out like where's the loading dock? Like where do, where are we going to end up if we like show up at the loading dock and how do we deliver this thing and get everything in on time. Like that was a challenging in the beginning, but, uh, we pretty much know all the doors now and we know where we're going and we've worked through that. And then I, I just think like everybody's event is largely the same because you've got like the things that will always happen in a wedding, but then it is different because whoever is showing up at the event, and there's a lot of times that there's family dynamics that you don't know about. I mean, and they start to surface later on in the night and uh, you know, we've seen our fair share of drama and that's been, I don't want to say entertaining, but it was, it's definitely been entertaining to see some things go down. Yeah. Have you, I was going to say, how do you keep, you know, the, on the, on the questionnaire you say, you know, over 1500 events that you guys had done, um, how'd you kind of keep things fresh now and keep things exciting for you and the rest of your team?

28:01 I think that like you got to love people to do what we do and I do and I'm really social that way. So, um, for me, like it's just exciting if I'm going to be the attendance at a wedding and showing up and engaging with people. Um, I did have some time where there was a time in this business history where there was just life that happened. People got sick, people died. Um, it wasn't, I wasn't in a place where I want it to be at a wedding, you know, and I didn't really have that energy working for me and that was, that was tough. I mean, I really had to like rely on my staff to get me through it and I just kind of was like, here's the stuff, you know, and like really pushing to be authentic on the backend when I was interfacing with people.

28:45 Um, but that really pushed me to make a decision. You know, I was like, am I going to stay in this business or not? And making that choice, I make it annually, I review and I just go, where am I at? Where do I want to be? Does this feel good to me? Am I do have the energy to do this? And, uh, with kind of building out new elements that our business, it's really reinvigorated me cause I'm always looking for this like creative outlet. That's like a really fun part of what I do. So there's just been a whole bunch more creative options. And so now there's like all these different challenges that I didn't have before. And I would say that the graphic design and the furniture design and the sets because we go back to working at emp and like on the exhibits team like that stuff is more important now than ever. So that's, and kind of interesting.

29:34 Yeah. We were talking a little bit off, you know, kind of off Mike before about kind of some new equipment and new, you know, boosts and things you guys are working. Do you want to kind of talk about that?

29:43 Yeah, I mean we just picked up a couple of photos. Like I said, I've designed mine and so I was hesitant to bring in something that I didn't have a hand in, but I met some friends, um, going to different expos and um, like professional learning, uh, functions where I've met some people. And I'm like, oh, they've got really great gear and they're selling it and it's the quality that we're looking at. And uh, this new booth that we have, that's our agency booth that really is allowing us to do these creative outputs. And I'm talking about like a CMY K if we're like the whole image splits apart and you've got like all of these things happening that are motion graphics or like the background changes and there's digital overlays that are moving and the graphics are moving. And so this is all stuff that's happening right now because there's been such a shift.

30:35 I mean, people can go to their phones, right? And they can design something that's really cool and there's all these assets and elements that people are making available. Some also seeing like so much stuff about like, like I said, it was graphic design lets you don't have to be a graphic designer anymore because there's so much that's just people are creating and they're making open source. So you can kind of grab that and bring it into the mix. Um, and those are all in relationship to new technology. So if you're kind of relying on, I'm just going to tether this, you know, camera to this laptop and I think that that's the output. I'm going to get a, which is what, you know was the original inception of this. It's like you're kind of ancient history within like six months. I mean it's just moving so fast and I think we can all see it when we pick up our devices and like how, um, the resolution has changed and, and that's, that's been pretty interesting. So we've got like a lot of stuff happening with gifts and boomerangs that they weren't even really happening in this way a year ago. They're v they're very different right now.

31:40 Yeah, I was going to say, I mean has it been hard because I know, you know, there's like lots of other, um,

31:46 okay,

31:46 let's just say other different types of wedding vendors and say like, okay, well I'm going to add the photo booth on and that could be a DJ or photographer or whatever. And you know, obviously like they're not going to be as prudent about keeping on top of everything. Maybe in terms of like the, the trends and everything. So like how hard is it to, like you said a year ago, like what, what's a boomerang or you know, when you guys started, like none of this was, how hard is that to be kind of been keeping on top of year after year for all that stuff and figuring it out? Like how to incorporate it into your business?

32:17 Right. I mean I think that like having training in graphics and motion graphics is very helpful for this. And I think that there's a lot of other elements that go into just being tech savvy. So, um, it's funny because we are very tight with a lot of photographers and a lot of photographers branched out when they saw that there was this market include a photo booth or maybe a Dj who wanted to include a photo booth. But as those photographers, especially the high end photographers starting to see their photo booths having issues during the event or something that needed attention, they could not facilitate that. And a lot of them either sold or their photo booths or just stopped offering. And they just would refer things directly to us. And they just call us and say it like, I have a photo booth. I don't want to do it.

33:03 I want can you please do it because you know what you're doing. So, um, there's a lot to keep up on. I mean I'm constantly in education mode and you know, that's, that's the one thing. It's like I'm trying to predict the future, but nobody really knows. I mean you're just kinda like seeing what's next. And it's fun. Cause I, I do have kids and so I'm starting to ask them, I'm like, what are the kids liking kids? Cause they know, I mean, and they have a language that is, is new. So that's, that is also happening.

33:31 No, absolutely. Yeah, I know that. I mean I've seen that firsthand, you know, numerous times with, you know, photographers or other people that, you know, they're like, they're trying to do the reception details and also get the photo booth going and then the papers out and they don't have anybody to run it. Cause it's supposed to be automated, but it's not. But you know what? I mean, but that's the same thing. Like I'm feeling like, you know nowadays with like photographers and everybody wants to add like a highlight video did the package, but obviously like I would hope that people aren't going to be, as you know up on the trends is I would be just focusing on video or like you would be running the photo booth company versus you know, I'm a forest that wants to add a photo booth more without, you know, I'm just making up stuff now. But you know what I mean? Totally.

34:13 I think that there's like, I mean there's companies that try to do at all and like I said, I mean good on like let them do it, you know what I mean? Like what, whatever it is like market for everybody. But if you want something that's specialized, then you want to find somebody who is making that third thing. And that is where we see that rise of professionalism where we're looking at people who participate in things that make real businesses, real businesses. Like we were kind of talking about, you know, during the wedding show, doing open houses, like showing up, being part of the community, um, like what you're doing with this podcast and like bringing a community together where there's a lot of new vendors that are showing up. And I mean in incredible talent that's coming out of nowhere. I mean, I came out of nowhere, you know, so it's like fun to have a space where we can meet those people and form partnerships.

34:57 Uh, because I'm not going to be a florist, I'm not going to do the floral for the backdrop. I'm not going to be our videographer. I'm not going to be your photographer. I'm going to specifically and only do photo booths. And that's just the nature of my business. And I think that that's what makes me such a rad part of a good team because I see all these other people who are very specialized and you're like, okay, we're all blending together and making this special moment. And these teams oftentimes are indicated by the couple, but it could also be just that there's a planner who knows what's going on. And then sometimes it's just a random blessing. It was just like, wow, this is so where did this come from? But, um, it, it is fun to be a team of people where you're not trying to beat the system, spread yourself too thin. So

35:47 yeah. I want to talk about too, just kind of your, how you guys feel like you fit into like that. What are you planning experience, because you know, I'm sure there's, um, you know, some, some couples in their booking and same with video where they're like, okay, like photo booth. Okay, check. We're done with that. Where I think you are, you guys are a little more, you know, uh, upscale but also just more personalized to the couple and kind of that brand. And you know, where people are kind of making the decision like, yes, you want to choose you guys, we, you know, we want you to be a part of our day, you know, or it's a planner saying, you know, we want you to be on this team. So how do you guys kind of fit into that in view? Kind of helping the couple figure out what they want in terms of your, you know, what you're offering for their day.

36:30 Well, it's interesting, it just depends on when people find us. Like often, like in the past we were like the very last thing people were adding in. They would see if they had a budget for the photo booth. And now I have people who are looking at us before they even have their venue. And I think that's crazy. I'm just like, you don't know where you're getting married. Okay, well we'll be there. But I mean those are the things that I'd hope that they would have figured out. Um, I do say yes to them, but uh, you know, and also like we do get asked and more often now than in the past about, you know, who are other vendors that we would recommend or maybe they've like narrowed it down and then they want to ask a trusted team member like, oh, we have like two videos are first on the line. Like who, who would you pick kind of thing. And so we based that just off of our experience with people and um, and that's Kinda fun cause then you get to end up working with friends and stuff that, you know, that it makes us like we're all at the party, this is great, but we're working but we're, we're enjoying it.

37:31 Well I always working. Oh it's right there. Yeah. I know. Sometimes I'm like, I'll be like with a photographer and I'm like, I think we need to like cut it out. We need to like get back to work. You know, it's like it's Tammy that much fun. Too much fun. Totally. That's funny. But, but you guys, you do feel like you, you know, a lot of your couples are like making the conscious decision, like to, you know, to book you guys and then like you're kind of working with them to figure out like, okay, what does this look like at your wedding reception? Kind of.

38:00 Yeah. I mean I think that like there's a, I have a couple of couples this year who want to do something that's more custom and so we're having work dialogue and conversation on what that looks like because those elements are important to them. And I always feel like, you know, like when you go to the wedding show and you see like that there was 5,000 people in a day or whatever come to that. There's like, I always think that there's 5% of all of that or the people who I really want to talk to and there's just really like one or 2% that I'm going to make that real connection with. It's really strong. And so, um, yeah, I mean we definitely get to have, I wouldn't say like it's an influence but it's, it's like it kind of is. I mean we're, we're just kind of like opening up what we have done in the past and making suggestions on what worked and being able to stay very definitely like, oh no, please don't put us outside. You know, like without a cover because you're going to have these terrible photos even though you think it's going to be a great idea. Like you, you don't want to do it that way. So those are the things that we can kind of advise on and make sure that people, cause there's just a lot that they don't think about.

39:08 Yeah. What are, and that's how it was kind of one of the questions I go to. What are some common misconceptions that you wish people knew in terms of like further boosts in, in booking in there? It could be anything from booking into, like you said, putting somebody outside when you're like nobody is ever going to go in the other room to go take photos.

39:25 Yeah, right. Like location is really important. I mean I just, I don't want to be the thing that's in the side of the room that's not getting used. Like we're there to be part of the party. So if it's a matter of they're going to have cocktail hour in one space and then you're going to go have dinner and another and they're going to come back to that space, then it makes sense to be there. But if I'm going to be in one spot and nobody's gonna know about that for the rest of the night, if we're in a spot for an hour and then everybody else's far away, I don't, I don't want us to be in that spot. Um, I think that there is a big misconception about outdoor stuff. I mean, people don't understand light and lighting. You probably understand that quite a bit. You just that people, and it's like you're going to look right into the sun and you're a, you're, everybody's going to be squinting and the pictures are going to be overexposed. And like there's things that I think of in regards to that. And then being from the Pacific northwest, like you never know what to expect being outside, uh, there better be a plan B, c, d and e that exists so that nobody is disappointed.

40:27 Um, yeah, I just, I haven't been, this is a cup, I will say the venue, but we, they were, it was you, you had the park and then they had the shovel you in and it was like, almost like it was gonna rain and then all the chair sat outside and they said, oh, what do you guys, what do you do here if it rains? And they were like, oh, we don't, there's just what it is. And I was like, wow, dude. Like Babs, you know, and we, we missed it by 15 minutes. But I wanted to ask you too, you were talking a little bit about, you know, lighting and stuff, so like the photography aspect of this. Did you eel like have knowledge of that before the bride in and you kind of learned or how did you, you know, obviously you have the branding and the, and the graphic design and the building. So where did the photography aspect comes in?

41:10 Well, I mean, I've been interested in photography since I was a kid and so I've had cameras in the past and I've taken, you know, so classes in college, but it was never a focus of mine. And then my sister being a professional photographer, that was something that, uh, I got, you know, interested in. And then when I had a kid, you know, I was taking a lot of pictures of this child and I didn't want to take crappy pictures and we didn't have an iPhone at the time that could take this beautiful shot. So I was, you know, kind of exploring photography around that time because of my children and then, uh, trying to get great family photos and then that transferred that interest into all of the above. Gotcha.

41:53 Um, a couple other things I wanted to touch on before we go. I, you know, obviously being the part of the Seattle Way and community for, you know, a decade plus now, uh, obviously, you know, Seattle's wildly different now than it was when you started. I me what a better worst, wait, what did you kind of seen besides just obviously a confluence of a lot more different types of photo booths and photographers and videographers and everything else? But,

42:18 well, I mean, I, I don't want to spend time totally complaining about the traffic, but I mean like getting around town is interesting, you know, when you have to be in different places through the day. So, I mean, I think that the, the aspect that I've seen from my businesses, because we have more than one photo booths, so like when we have to go out, it's like very strategic in our planning and it's become much more difficult to get around in Seattle. So I don't do as many events in the same way as we used to. And so there's some shifts that we have to take into consideration and it's like, you just don't know what's going to happen getting someplace. Um, and as far as the city goes, I mean, there's a lot of interesting architecture. There's some really cool spaces that are popping up. And I mean, I just think that there's a lot of naysayers, they're just like, oh, we want old Seattle back. But it's like, it's not coming back. And you know, I'm just trying to rise with it all and just kind of take a look around and just keep getting a footing and seeing like, okay, this landscape was changing. I just got to remember that this street corner, it does not look the same. I don't know where I'm at. But hello to Seattle. I mean, I love our city.

43:23 Do you think, um, and obviously, yeah, it's a, it's, it's still a thriving wedding community, right? I mean, even just compare it to like all talk to vendors down in Portland and that, you know, even just the difference of pricing and stuff in between. You know, Portland and Seattle are like, we have a, we're gone. I said, our friends, you get married in Spokane next weekend, you know, talking about just kind of the health and he know competitiveness of kind of the Seattle, why the market?

43:46 Well, yeah, there's a lot of weddings happening. They're just happening in different ways. I mean they're not necessarily, um, all looking at a magazine anymore. Like there was a lot of online influencing. People are checking out, you know, your Instagram accounts and they're really like wanting to see what is your body at work look like? Can I see a portfolio? Um, and I, yeah, I mean, I don't see an indication on my end that things have gone down in the love factor, like people loving on each other, but you know, like, can we speak about this real quick? Like, we were, we were part of the community that was really fighting for rights for our gay friends and loved ones. And so to see that culture be embedded in what we're doing, and I think I kind of felt earlier and I was like the bride and groom, but I, I try not to say that because I, I really feel like the couple is what I mean.

44:37 Um, and I need to make sure that that's the language that we use because there are so many different ways that people show up and love each other. And that's something that's really exciting about right now where it's, we are a bubble, you know, we are a place where there's so much inclusion and there's, people are seeing each other and they're not, they're at least wincing and nobody's, you know, like making it weird. I mean, they shouldn't be at that wedding if that's the case. And I don't see that anymore. Like I'm not seeing that at all. And there was a time where I didn't know what society was going to do. You know, I just didn't know if like people are going to be able to make that shift. And so we're so excited and delighted, but I think Seattle above other places, I'm going to include Portland, I'll just wrap the, the west of the Pacific northwest. Like let's just stay over there for that. But I mean, so much inclusion. So, and it's so cool. And so I love a gay wedding, like nobody's business and I love to show up for those.

45:37 That's funny. Yeah. I was still at Q 13, ah, covering when a gay marriage and, and marijuana passed all at the same, you know, we covered kind of all that stuff in the midnight that night. And that was, uh, that was a wild night of news TV coverage kind of leading into that sub should no, we just got back from San Antonio and like, you know, my wife doesn't travel a lot to like, you know, other places outside of Seattle like that, but you know, and it's just kind of interesting. You're like, oh, you know, yeah. But it's, it's always fun. He, she's like, I don't want to get too far into it, but was it, was there, it's funny kind of getting her reaction walking around. So

46:13 yeah. I mean there's the conservative nature of the larger part of the United States exists. And I mean, I don't even really want to talk about that as much as I want to talk about the fact that like what we do up here, if we really love each other and we see each other and we allow people to be unique and I'm about uniqueness and I'm about like, you know, letting people be exactly who they are and being real about that. I mean, just the idea that somebody would have to suppress their love for another person is, it's heartbreaking and we don't have to do that anymore. And we, I dunno, we get to educate people who are family members who might show up at the dinner table and you're like, I don't think so. Oh, I thought you were saying about that, but, um, maybe you just have never been exposed. So allow me, and, uh, that's something that I'm prideful and that plan is intentional. That was good.

47:08 What would you, I, you run this for 10 years, what would you, what would be, um, you know, a word or two advice for, for younger, you know, business owners, entrepreneurs, obviously female business owners too. You know, as someone that's kind ran email, obviously successful business for 10 plus years now in terms of kind of, um, you know, and that you could take that with everywhere you want.

47:31 Yeah. I, I would say there is room for you. You know, there is room for you to do your thing and explore kind of like the uh, personality and aspect that you want to provide to this community and, and step into, I just think that there was a lot of room, there's a lot of people who are doing things different ways. Um, I still really, really believe in quality and I know I've said that you could probably go back and use status, a shot glass word. Um, but I just want there, I want people to show up professionally. And so Phil, you're new to the business. Bring your a game. Like these are, this is a once in a lifetime experience. Even if there's four on your books for that weekend, um, and each one of them should be treated that way. So I'm kind of looking at the highest level of quality for imagery.

48:19 Um, and there's also a new thing that's happened within the photo booth community where there's just more open dialogue about it. Like when we first started, we had to like develop our whole set up ourselves. So everything was proprietary. And I'd look around and I'd see like a photographer in the back corner with a long lens trying to like capture what we were doing in the space. And I'm like, it's not cool. Don't do that. But now you can go to a photo booth show and it's like a car show with all the hoods up and so everybody can see what's inside. It's not a mystery. I got nothing to hide. You know what this is, you know, it's like going into a cake place. Does it have flour and sugar? Yeah, it does. So you gotta bring your own, you know, you to bring your own perception to this. There's just a lot of different style choices. And I just think that people will be drawn to a person's business if they are authentic and bringing themselves into their business and not just, you know, making masks and trying to like put out what they think needs to exist, but really like look at different things that are happening. Um, design wise and, and see what's, what's consistent for your brand.

49:27 No, and I think that that's great. It's nice. I think email that could be whether a videographer, photographer for it, you know, anything is, you know, you know, don't put on a mask, you know, kind of be authentic I think all about is, is good. And I also, I kind of echo the, um, yeah, the professionalism and like, even if you are kind of trying to figure out if it's your first year you're trying to do this, like, um, you know, there it is their wedding day, you know, at this someone's day and, and um, you know, it needs to have that importance to it. You know, even if you're new and not charging a lot or whatever, it's still their day, you know? And, and I always tell people, if, you know, if you want to experiment, you can go, you know, take some video on the park if you're trying to figure out something and then try to, you know, trying to learn on the fly. Yeah. Even like when we started weddings, like, you know, I had shot news for a long time, you know, I knew how to, you know, work on video camera before I ever walked into a locked into a wedding. So,

50:19 yeah. And that's helpful. I mean, I, I feel like if somebody is buying a turnkey solution and they just feel like they've got it figured out, something will go wrong. Can I just also say that it's, something's gonna go wrong and you really need to have some experience so that you can not make those mistakes at somebody else's expense. Um, I'm not going to say that I don't ever make mistakes, but they're very infrequent. And when I do, I own them. And I tried to find a process to avoid them instantaneously. Um, and I think that that's something that's really important. I, we have never had a photo booth fail at an event. Um, and, and that is because after all of these events we've been, because we take that great care to make sure that we're prepared.

51:04 No, I've had deals with a lot of equipment and things. I, yes, I would definitely echo the processes. Uh, finally, uh, before I let you go, when you're not, you know, running this and you know, you've talked about your kids and stuff. What do you guys do for free time? Whether you guys just got back from a trip, I mean, give us a little, a personal, kind of just a background about you, uh, for anybody listening and he wants to know more about, you know, the woman kind of behind the brand.

51:33 Oh yeah. Cool. Um, well my kids both play ice hockey and so my daughter plays on my son plays rep and so we do a lot of travel for hockey. So actually we're just starting to Spokane and like we'd go up to BC and that kind of stuff for hockey. Um, and that's been a lot of fun. And my husband, it's funny because like I'm just a social butterfly. My husband's a complete and total introvert, like he wants nothing to do with any of this. So no offense to the community who's just like not hanging. Um, and he does beekeeping. Um, so that's kind of something that he gets into. And as a family, I got my parents to live kind of close by and I am, my sister lives down in Portland with my nieces and so we do a lot of like family gatherings.

52:13 And right now it's on the list for the summers. My Dad just came back from California. He's been down there building a hot rod that's 57 nomad. That is incredible. And so he just brought that back. So, um, for all my high end stuff, I still can go sit at a car show. I've planned to do a lot of that this summer, you know, when I can fit that in. Um, so I've got a lot of different interests as far as like craft and that kind of thing goes. But like I like to keep it a little down home and really about the fam.

52:43 Did you say beekeeping?

52:45 Yeah, totally. How's that? Um, well he's got seven hives and a garden and that's like, this is like my other side of my life. I feel like it's so different than what I do. Um, but I don't have anything to do with the bees. I actually was the one who was supposed to be the beekeeper. Like I was interested and then he just took it over and I was like, you know what David, this is all you. You got this. Just handle all those, these, yeah. Uh,

53:13 well I want to thank you so much for coming on. I, it's been so nice and I know we've kind of interacted and been around each other, but to kind of sit down and chat and it's been great. If people want to learn more about you and your, you a, what would you have them check out?

53:26 Oh, I would love for them to go on and check out our Instagram feed, which is @321fotobooth. Uh, also our website has some great information about our service, but I think that we're pretty much wrapping most of what we're doing on Instagram these days.

53:42 Perfect. Well thanks again and for hopping on and taking the time and uh, I really appreciate it.

53:47 This has been fun.

53:49 Yeah, this has been another episode of Get to Know Your Wedding Pro. Um, one other thing, um, I've been kind of posting a little bit, uh, if you want, if you are interested in, they'd be in the guest on an upcoming episode. You can go to and if you want to subscribe or leave us a review, you can go to So I'm, we don't, you know, doing this for profit or whatever. So it's just trying to get, uh, get some more reviews and things like that would be really appreciated. Uh, thanks again and check back next week for another wedding vendor interview. Thanks so much.

Mark Schaefer, Mark Schaefer Magic

00:09 Hey everybody, welcome to Get to Know Your Wedding Pro. My name is Reid with Best Made Videos®. We are a wedding videography company based out of West Seattle, Washington. And today I'm really excited. I'm joined by a kind of pseudo past client friend, uh, and now a podcast guest. I think this one's gonna be really fun. I'm Mark Schaefer. He is a magician. He does tons of weddings, corporate events, live events. Uh, we met, uh, shooting one of his shows here in Seattle a couple of months ago. Mark, thank you so much for coming on today, why don't you introduce yourself and tell us who you are and what you do.

00:42 Yeah, that's great. Thanks for letting me be here. Yeah, Mark Schaefer, uh, here in the Seattle area. Like you mentioned. I mean, I'm, I'm a magician and a wanting to kind of share the story of, uh, you know, who I am and how I got into magic and a to answer any questions you have about me as well.

00:58 Yeah. I'm, I'm a, I'm really excited. I, I've always been a huge fan of magicians. Um, we, I famously a drug my wife down to a Las Vegas last year to see Criss Angel at the Luxor before. Yeah. I didn't even know he was leaving. I guess he's not at the Luxor anymore. I just found out. So I'm a huge fan. I, you know, I've worked with magicians in the past and I think it's, you know, it's an awesome addition to, you know, weddings and events and everything like that. Uh, so how did this all start? I mean, there's kind of a, not your typical career path. I mean, not that any wedding vendor is a typical career, but I, how did you get inspired and you know, take me back as far as you want to go.

01:33 Yeah, sure. Uh, I get asked that question a lot. Uh, I was actually adopted and, uh, I was on a family vacation to Pennsylvania and I was a visiting who I thought was my aunt and some cousins and I walk in the door and I meet a lot of new family members. But what I did not know as, as meeting my biological father that day and my grandfather and I had known about them since I was a child because my name was changed when I was five years old and I had a lot of questions. So, but not knowing who he was really, he walked in and showed me a magic trick and broke the ice with me. Right. That's how he introduced himself. And then he turned around and walked away and I said, where did you go? And, uh, he came back and I, you know, that was kind of the start of my relationship with him, but that what got me into magic was experiencing that belief in magic, if you will, experiencing a magic trick in front of my eyes.

02:24 So then like many other children, I stayed a part of it for a while and, you know, got a little magic set, got some tricks. Uh, I worked on presentation a lot and uh, kind of started doing things for friends and family and school. And as I gradually got a little bit older, more towards grade school and high school, I got asked to do private shows once in a while, birthdays. Uh, but really kind of that's what got me started. And then as I got into high school, a little bit more, entered some competitions. I was part of a very large high school and we had an annual talent competition. I did not want to do it right. I just want to keep this as a, as a hobby. Some small parties. I got kind of got suckered into it. At that time I was, I had a big stage production show with doves and illusions and fire and they got coerced into it, entered it, and I won.

03:13 And so that's kind of what really made me start believing I could really do, do this on a much bigger level. Uh, was this something that uh, you know, you had support from like family members and friends. Are you kind of out on an island kind of working on this? Yeah, it was, uh, I had support family and friends that, you know, they got tired of you. Hey, hey, let me show you this, or let me try this. Or did you see that so much? So you'd walk in the room and we were like, oh no, you're not going to show me another magic trick, are you? Um, so I got yeah, but got a lot of support, uh, where it was became kind of interesting. I hear it. I think you hear a lot of artists when you had that conversation with your parents and say, you know, I really think that a major in biology and a minor in chemistry for doctor sounds great, but I think I really liked this magic thing.

03:55 Uh, so there was a bit of a turn there and maybe the support level, but it was never on encouraged to do it. Um, and so that's what really pursued, you know, my interest in saying at what level can I take this? And so, uh, yeah, I would say I had support but some nervousness during the college time. Yeah. Cause especially like in high school, I mean I, it's tough to be out there like that. Right. And really put yourself out there. I mean, did you just kind of, uh, adapt to that or is that something that's still hard or, yeah, it's a magic for me was something that helped me break the ice much like I learned from my dad, my parents and I, we moved a lot. And then when my parents were divorced, uh, my mom and my, my other two brothers, we moved a tremendous amount of time.

04:37 And what I found is a lot of people struggle even in adults in life today, struggle with moving to a new area. How do I introduce myself and acclimate myself with magic? It's, it's, it's fun. It's interesting and it's unique. So it, I had the ability to take something that would, I felt even if I was maybe insecure, we're talking to new people are shy, believe it or not read. I used to be very shy. Um, I would use that as a tool to introduce her to break in something, break the ice with somebody. They, hey, he's kind of cool. He's kind of fun. That's unique. And so I use that a lot to create friends and relationships even though I moved, you know, 10 plus times as a child. No, that makes a lot of sense. I mean, and how did you figure it out, you know, even when you were a kid, kind of like, were there certain like tricks and illusions that you like to do or like certain things you gravitated towards and why?

05:24 And Yeah, I, you know, this I like magic that happens to you and in front of you and uh, the spectator can participate in, but I was always fascinated with Doug Henning and with David Copperfield, Lance Burton. And so I kind of had that decision within between the stage and the closeup magic. So those are the two areas I started more in the kind of this closeup, magic, coin's cards, things that happen. Then it got more into the stage business cause I thought, hey, that's what I really had to do to take it to the next level. Um, and then I remember watching a couple of episodes of David Copperfield specials on TV. I mean, you'd go from everything from making the statue of liberty disappear too, you know, for asis changing in front of you in a, in a closeup manner. And that's what made me really kind of shift my main focus to closeup magic.

06:13 Yeah. I mean, I remember growing up like seeing a lot of those specials, like the Sunday night, I don't know if it was like the NBC with David Copperfield. I mean like what do you think it is about like the art form of magic and that kind of live in your team and they really like draws, you know, everyone from kids to adults and everything in between.

06:31 I think it's hard for us to put ourselves back when we were between zero and eight years old. But that magic of believing in Santa Claus, if you will, or the kind of the art of the possible or the suspension of belief. What, what made me interested in magic is what I hope to impart in those when I, you know, do magic for others. And I think that when you saw the family's gathering around and everyone was talking about it's that impossible. It's that how, how can you trick very smart brains, how can you get, you know, bring me back to that childhood. And what I tell people today, adults I interact with is we all have tough days. We all go through Tufts lot weeks, days, hours. But that brief time that we're experiencing magic, it brings us back to when we were a child and back to when everything we believed in everything. And you know, Magic's truly seems real at that point.

07:19 Yeah. That was like when we did the show that we just did an in Fremont and one of the ladies that I was there, like a lot of things. And you had there never been, I mean she was like four. I mean it really was forward, uh, you know, during the show and then afterwards, you know, even doing the testimonials and stuff from mean like she was still like shaken. It was just funny, you know, and you just say, man, this is like a, this women's, you know, older. And just seeing a lot of stuff in her life and still like she was told,

07:45 yeah, it's a, that we get that reaction a lot. And in some of the, I was just doing a show not too long ago and uh, it was, uh, you know, part of the routine is kind of a mind reading routine from a mentalism perspective asks you to think about someone that meant something to you. And uh, we were going through the routine when you revealed the name, she actually stood there and just cried. And it was so, it was so powerful for her in that, you know, even for that split moment, she believed that somehow I was able to read her mind and figure it out. But it was less around that. It was more about the experience that she had with us at that time. That brought up a memory of someone who had just recently passed. And so through magic and bringing her back afterwards, I spoke to her and she was talking about how that moment, that one moment on stage, sure, you've got the disbelief, you know, how did you figure that out?

08:33 But more is she said it was like a fast forward movie running through her mind if all the memories of that person. So to me that's powerful, right? And in magic we want to invoke many emotions, whether it's a happiness may know mysterious or whether it's just per perplexed. But you know, there's tears, there's laughter, there's a frustration and a lot as long as it was. So I see your, to kind of get back to your stores who we're doing the magic in high school and then it Kinda did that transition to college thing you kind of talked about kind of not, so how did your path go after that? Yeah, so, uh, well during college I was still doing magic cause doing magic a lot in Las Vegas at the time, commuting back and forth from Arizona. Um, at that point I met a person who works in Las Vegas and in Phoenix and kind of was my mentor to take, take it to the next level.

09:23 So again, you know, I'm, I was faced with, all right, I'm going to school, I know what I want to be. I was a premed student. Um, uh, but at that time a lot of my friends were doctors and surgeons like, I'm not sure you really, really want to do this. And I kind of grew up in the tech world as well. So customer mixing technology with magic and ultimately, uh, went through and you know, and finish, obviously I'm not a doctor today. Um, but uh, during college I started really getting promoted. Some agents pick me up, started doing some corporate shows. I'll never forget my first, a big company show, if I say the name 24 hour fitness, they hired a, hired me and brought me around to their national sales meetings and I really thought, you know what? I feel I've accomplished something here.

10:03 And it further validated that that's what I want to do. How old were you when that was going on? I was, uh, to about 21 years old fad. There had been pretty exciting. Yeah. I was like, oh, was exciting. I read what happened is they booked me and I was so excited. I had the great, great and this, and we have such a big pizza party, there's a couple of thousand people will be in and out. I need you to bring three magicians, three of you. And I'm like, great, no problem. Land the deal. Right. And then I realize, wow, who are the other two magicians I'm going to bring? So one of my best friends, John, is as is at one of the most, you know, a wonderful performers today. We got in a room real quick, found a third person and uh, we've all been doing it ever since.

10:41 That's awesome. Uh, so, so, so that was going well then you were touring and stuff. So then did you end up, uh, do you were, you weren't ended up being a premed student? No, no. Premed biology minor in chemistry. Okay. I still love it, but, uh, now I just, uh, I'm a patient instead of the doctor. Uh, so after college and where did you find yourself? So yeah, so after college I had traveled around doing magic all over the world. I've been fortunate to travel a lot and there was a period of time that I always said to myself, then I stayed to myself. Now if you're not doing what you love, it's time to stop doing that or take a break. So I actually took a break from fulltime magic and went back and pursued my passion around technology. Uh, so I worked for a large technology firm at the time.

11:26 And what I found though is almost an every interaction or meeting with a customer, with a coworker. I was still showing magic, but I got to embrace the love of the hobby rather than a, you know, eight to five job where I was traveling all around the world, have lost luggage. Uh, but it's always tech, you know, brought me right back. Right. And, uh, for me again, I use magic in, in business and presentations. Uh, it's a unique kind of way to communicate a message. So yeah, I went to, took a bit of time off, uh, from full time, but I've never stopped being a performer. I do. People find it interesting cause you know, you're like a successful businessman. I mean, you look like a businessman. I do. They find out like, oh, you do, you know, magic and stuff. I'm like, what is that kind of reaction?

12:11 Yes, it happens a lot, right? So, yes, I, a lot of my magician friends jokingly say, hey, you look like a corporate guy. He just came out of the, the, uh, the CEO's office. Um, it's, it's a powerful tool. I joke it's a competitive advantage for me, uh, when meeting with large customers because I don't have a problem getting a meeting. Right. Uh, I can tell you honestly that many of my large corporate customers, uh, if we're going to have a meeting with them, they ask every meeting and had the last 10 minutes to be magic. So they'd bring in their, their, their administrative assistants or coworkers. Um, but yes, I was just in a large, a meeting here in Seattle with a large tech firm with the top executives and someone stopped in the middle of the room right in the middle of a very interesting heated conversation.

12:54 Said, is it true you're a magician? And this is the president of the u s of a large technology firm and said, we have to talk more about that. And subs has followed up with me ever since because not only does she love magic, her son is like, could you please help? So yeah, it's, it's great. It comes up every day and was awesome. And then you have kids. I do a, what do they think about having a dad? It's like a magic man. Oh, they love it. Uh, uh, they, uh, even everything from my license plate that they asked me to get to their friends, uh, my, one of my children loves magic and, uh, tries to learn a little bit, gets frustrated sometimes, doesn't have the same perseverance I guess, or, or lack of social life that I've had when I was learning as they joke, but they really, really like it.

13:37 Um, it helps one of my, one of my children, or with a similar challenges that I had when, how do I, I feel different. I feel quiet. I move around a lot. So he uses some things. They're not quite as passionate to be honest. They've, they've more around my other passion of playing golf. Um, but they, uh, they like it because a lot of their friends have either seen me on television or see me perform. And so they're like, hey, that's, that's a Mark Schaefer magic. He's a magician. And so my kids feel a bit, you know, kind of proud of that. So. Yeah. And I want to talk, we were talking a little off my cause even when I think, uh, when you had booked me and I was looking at whatever in the prep and I saw kind of the America's got talent, you know, photos from the auditions and stuff.

14:17 Uh, can you just talk a little bit about that? And I think that probably a lot of people watch him or you know, AJT America's got talent. Yes. So we, yeah, it was, we, I was on the, America's got talent, not the, the America's got talent champions, which was the last one, but the season before. And uh, even though we did great, got a standing ovation, the way reality TV works a lot is it was cut. Unfortunate never placed on television, but the experience that I had there was just phenomenal. Uh, and you know, we have some opportunity here in the near future to possibly be back on that show and a couple of other television specials. Um, but it was, it was great and I can tell you that it was not a passion for me to do that. Uh, I feel good in, in magic.

14:59 But what I was trying to do this with was with my children to make sure that they understand that it's okay to try something big, to put yourself out there. Rejection is part of life. And if I made it, I was happy. If I didn't, I was just as happy. I think it was a good life lesson for them. I think it was more powerful for me to see it through their eyes. Uh, there are great and they're happy with all the photos are coming out of the media day and I was there. And, uh, but yeah, it was, it was a great experience. I hope to, you know, maybe see my face on that, uh, in an upcoming a season. But you know, nothing to complain about it. Outstanding.

15:32 Yeah. Well I think if anything else it uh, you know, shows like that kind of help keep, you know, magic acts and other variety accident he's alive where I think it would bear very easy and you know, 2019 that kind of not do a lot of that stuff anymore. So,

15:46 yeah, I think if you look now, magic is as popular now, if not more than ever. Uh, if Shin Lynn listens to this, he'd love it. A good friend of mine, he won America's got talent and champions. If you look in the last five years, three of the magicians of one, um, there's magic specials popping up everywhere. There's magic theater sold out for months at a time and large cities or either the in or try to do one here in Seattle, right. To be honest. Um, and so there's just a lot more interest in one of the things that we're trying to do is change the perception of what magic used to be. Right. A lot of people come to me and they say, okay, I want to see your video or I want to meet you. And I always ask, great, let's do that. But maybe, maybe help me understand what you're looking for and honestly is, well I just wanted to make sure that you're, you're not here with a top hat and a rabbit and a magic wand. So if you look at the magicians of today, we're trying to change it, kind of more modernized. What, uh, what it means to be a magician or performing a mentalist or what, so these television shows are really helping bring out that new wave of magicians.

16:44 Yeah. Cause even like I was saying that like I'm a big, we went and sat criss Angel Mike, he just built some whole new theater at planet Hollywood. Amazing. It, they'd dropped, I don't know, $100 million in to doing this thing. So I mean, like you said, it is really kind of like changing, you know, like you said, it's not really a top hat.

17:00 Yeah. And it's nothing to take away the traditional way. You got to go see his show, by the way, it's amazing. And the new theater, uh, but yeah, it's nothing to take away from traditional magic if there's magicians at listened to this, you know, but, you know, cutting a rope and linking rains, uh, fascinating, traditional magic. Uh, however, a lot of people feel they've seen that. So, uh, with technology and with the Internet and with Youtube, it's really required. Much like technology firms have to be innovative. Magicians, we have to be innovative, we have to be creative and you know, new presentations and new content. So I, that's what I'm excited about. You know, the Internet is not necessarily a great thing for magic because a lot of people just go to expose the secrets and they feel satisfied there. Okay. If that's them, that's fine. But I really think that it, it pushes a us to try and be more creative.

17:50 Yeah. So talk now kind of about, uh, and we'll kind of segway into, you know, weddings and events now, cause you know, this is a wedding podcast, but like, uh, I could just talk forever about this kind of stuff. I'm talking about Kinda the, the church CD now, kind of your act now, what you, you know, like to be known for what you are known for and then we can kind of segway into it,

18:08 you know, doing other stuff. Sure. Yeah. So the sh I have a touring show that I'm doing now. Again, it's the one you helped with and we're, we're, we're going to a next will be California, then Arizona. Uh, and my show is called mind hack. So it's a, it's a mix of two passions of mine actually. It's a mix of multiple passions. Uh, it's, uh, a little bit of bringing in the mentalism side. And if for those of you that don't know what that is, is more of the tricks that the mind, if you think about that, uh, then a mix of closeup magic, whether it's, uh, you know, items appearing or disappearing, um, uh, right before your eyes. And then there's also a little bit of technology, uh, and, and golf, right. I'm an avid golfer and you didn't see this part cause we had to change it for the theater. But I, I'm mixing all of my passions because then I believe that I'm showing who I am. So, uh, what I would say I'm probably more known for today is closeup magic. Um, a lot of that came probably from doing so many big shows with live animals and birds that traveling around in a, in a semi truck essentially. Uh, it's a lot harder than showing up with my suit and my pockets like am now and saying let's go perform for two or three hours.

19:17 That's funny. Yeah. And it's great too. I think it's so unique like a eno filming your thing. I'm like, I'm not one of those that like tries to, um, you know, really if I figure out kind of stuff. I mean, sometimes it's like, well, you know, maybe, maybe not, but I'm not like sitting there like analyzing the tape and stuff and my, the, but it's funny cause like, and I've filmed other magicians in the past, like even watching, uh, going back through, you know, the stuff when I was editing and I was like, yeah, I don't know how we do all that. And that's kind of been, you know, and even for me to sit sitting there studying now, I mean, it's gotta be really hard to kind of like be up on that. Right? I don't write, I don't know. I didn't magic for five minutes when I was a kid. I mean, it's gotta be really hard to kind of keep on,

19:54 do that. Yeah. I think the hardest part of magic is, is a lot of people are become technically good, right? They can do the slides, they can, they can do the moves. But how to become a performer is the hard part. People come to see you, not just what you can do. And if you can bring people through that story with you, uh, they're less likely to sit in your audience and say, I'm just trying to figure it out now. Don't get me wrong. There are those people still. Uh, and that usually what I tell them is you can either sit here and enjoy a 60 minutes and let you know, bring you back to a place that maybe you believe that magic for the split time or you can just try to figure everything out. But at the end, what are you really have? You have just, hey, I figured it out versus a story. Um, but yeah, I would agree.

20:35 I would agree with you there. Yeah. Cause my wife is one of those like, cause I'm taking, you know, we want GGT and I've taken her to like criss angel and say, she's like, uh, oh I don't, I don't like any of this. But then it will be something. And she's like, oh wow. Like how did, how'd they do that? Like, so she's

20:48 like a closet fam. Like she doesn't want to admit it, but she, she gets impressed, you know? Good. Yeah. And I think that's why as entertainers into my show, if you think I, I in the opening of my show as an interactive video, so it's getting you, you know, kind of telling you who I am, what I do, why you should care. But it's kind of that quick trying to blow your mind. And I think that if you, even if you heard in the recording that you did in the show, most people in the crowd like, whoa. So you catch their attention there. And then I do a little bit of a traditional closeup trick, but onstage, and then I'd go into some mentalism and back and forth. And then again, one of the things you didn't get to see because of the facility was I kind of have an illusion at the end.

21:26 And I try to bring people through almost like a movie. There's a middle, there's a beginning and there's an end. And I tried to tap it, a type of magic that I know might relate to at least more than one person in the room because some people don't like men's limits if scares them. Uh, and some people, you take out a deck of cards and the first thing that says, oh, I've seen that trick. Even then there's millions of things that you could do. You know what I mean? In tons of, you know, crowd interaction, you know, both onstage, offstage, people yelling. But you know, obviously you feed off the audience to like almost like a comedian or a musician. Right? I mean, imagine if you're out there playing and you'd get no interaction and uh, yes, and that, that makes for a tough night. Uh, and so, yeah, so kind of signaling the weddings.

22:07 Um, you know, I was, we were singing off Mike, uh, one of the first weddings, you know, I ever did. Uh, you know, how the big magic component to it for the couple, I'm talking about kinds of, some of the different ways that you see magic, I guess introduced kind of in the weddings, right? I would say the most common is what we're asked to do. Strolling magic, a closeup, magic interactive magic. At the beginning, uh, it was, people are coming to the reception, right? You typically in a, not all weddings are the same. You, you've probably done a lot more than me, but the, a lot of times they'll come in and they're the bride and groom and family aren't getting photos and there are some remote location and now they need to have a commute time and then other guests are showing up.

22:49 Some people know each other, some don't. And then there was a cocktail hour or some type of a, you know, a, an hors d'oeuvres and a lot of people stand around and he kind of being a fly on the wall, it looks awkward to some people. Uh, so I think with magic, what it does is it helps keep that, that excitement level up. It gets people engaged. It's almost like a warm up band is for a musician, uh, keeps their energy level high, their engagement high. And also one of the best things it does is I bring people together. So if I'm walking and I see a group of six people and I can tell they don't really know each other, I bring them together, I bring into magic, get them involved, blow their minds, and then they start talking to each other. And now I've served kind of as a networking between them.

23:32 Um, and then lastly, it's, I guess you, some restaurant magicians will say it's the same thing. It reduces the perceived time of waiting around. If I'm busy, if my mind is occupied, I'm interacting with a magician. Next thing you know, I feel like I just got there and now they're announcing the bride and groom coming in and we sit down and we have dinner. Uh, that's the majority of the bookings. The second would be many offer, uh, asked for a kind of a full stage. You were talking off mic with you and I is about, hey, there's a dinner and a show and we've done this multiple times. Uh, actually many times over the last many years is, uh, our focus though is to make sure that the bride and groom are part of that. Of course, right? It's their special day. It's not my time to be on stage. So we will do that at the request of the customer, but we want to make sure that, you know, we catered the show. So it's never your stock corporate show. It's all about continuing to put the focus on them. But then yes, sometimes you, you, you do the entry, you build up some excitement, then the DJ announces, Hey, we're having a minimum magicians coming back at the end of the night you've already created. So the awareness and then you close off the end of their evening, right before they danced the night away.

24:42 Yeah. And we did one of those and it was great. I mean, it worked out great that they had, like you said, kind of a

24:48 mmm,

24:48 right before the grand entrance, you know, a little bit of banter with the audience. Never, you know, they come in.

24:54 MMM.

24:55 Yeah. The Magician does something with the groom. He looks like a rock star, you know, impressing this, the life, you know, it ends up and it is where, you know, you're there as a magician of the act. Like you're able to entertain me,

25:06 but then also like really kind of draw that focus back to them. It's almost like an MC, right? You're an MC that's has a fun skill and doing it without a doubt. That's, that's the only way to truly be successful in and continuing to make their night. Cause you want at the end of the night, do you want the guests walking away and remembering the wonderful wedding and that couple and magic just becomes another, a vehicle to make that happen. And it's, I've been part of a couples from the very first PR proposal, you know, the, the guy's proposing to the, his soon to be wife. She has no clue. They take their, hey, there's just happens to be a magician here and make a ring up here and then follow that all the way back to the final time where you're writing. The last wedding I did, we actually had the, uh, the groom be part of it and he was not aware that the bride was also part of it. So we had a great time doing that. Yeah.

25:58 Talking about the difference of, um, you know, obviously being like onstage and then being that in, in the, you know, it's still a big audience, but a little more intimate. Um,

26:06 obviously a lot more personal with it'd be in the way. Talking about just kind of the difference of that, the difference of closeup being onstage or just like how it is for you and in performing like, okay, yeah. So in performing I'm a people person and you, even Jojo eight, where like, Hey, don't you talk with your hands, don't and don't hit the table. I like to interact with people because I've traveled all around the world and everyone has amazing story. So I feel that when I'm doing closeup magic with them, I'm much closer. We're interacting, there's ad live, there's ad hoc, a conversation in jokes. It just come about, right. And you get to make a lot of people, you know, believe in magic, but also the star when you're on stage, you're still trying your best to do that. But you almost feel as though you would say it, you know, acting.

26:48 It's like that fourth wall or so I'm, I'm speaking to a crowd. Uh, it's a very scripted show with some ad hoc capabilities, but I'm interacting with one or two people and they become the eyes and ears of the audience. So you kind of have to approach it differently. But to me it's equally as fun. Uh, you can do certain things that you can't do in closeup magic. Um, and you get to entertain a lot of people at all at once because you know, so many times a client will book you and they say, hey, we need you for an hour and a half and you're walking around and so many people didn't get to see you. Right. Some of the, some of the best testimonials emails I get afterwards, this is my gosh, half the people are still talking to you six months later and some people are bummed they didn't get to see you. At least with a show, you're kind of closing that, that loop there where you're performing for everyone at once and you, uh, you get to make, some people have star, right? Some people love to get on stage, some people are very nervous.

27:42 Um, do you like being a part of like weddings, like down, I mean, you get kinda caught up in the emotions of that and the love and kind of all that, or is it just another way to kind of interact with people for you?

27:53 Oh, I definitely do. My wife and people will tell you I'm a SAP. Uh, I can't remember like the last wedding, I probably didn't have a few tears about. Uh, but no, I think that it's a special day. I remember my special day. Um, and I love being a, you know, they, it's a cliche term. It's like the magic of love, right? Is it is magical. And being able to take something that I love and mix it with, you know, someone's special day, uh, and make their memory in even the slightest most memorable again, is, it's absolutely something that led to do.

28:24 Uh, what'd you guys do for your wedding?

28:26 Uh, well, we, uh, our wedding was small. Um, we had both been married before, so we took and the opportunity to get married at our bosses, our old boss's house. That's how we got introduced. And it was right on Lake Sammamish and without the, you know, it wouldn't be a wedding without or interception without magic. So I hired one of my best friends, uh, in the world. Uh, Eric Samuels out of Canada. Came down. He was part of it, but he did his show, uh, for us. And it was a hit. Right. I, I joke that, you know, hey, do you remember I was there too. I would joke with my friends. They're like, Eric was great, but I was there too. Right. All joking aside. But yeah, I mean, it wouldn't be the same. It's kind of a brand that I have, right. As far as entertainment. And I just think it makes any event that much more memorable.

29:14 Yeah, I agree. We did that last summer we did a, it was like a joint 50th birthday was a husband, wife. Uh, it was like a $70,000 birthday. Wow. That's quite the birth. Yes. But they had a, I don't remember who, what bid they had, you know, they brought in the magician and you know, they had a juggler and like, um, I ribbon the answers, but that was like a huge focal point. Uh, you know, and these are all like really rich. I mean this is right guy. They shut down the restaurant, they have this thing, but I couldn't, I said, Gosh, you

29:42 know, everything else they have. And they had a magician that just like you said, kind of going around and although those people really knew everybody, and I'm sure there was some awkwardness, you know, you're mixing, um, kind of social circles of a husband, wife and kind of throwing this joint party. Right, right. Yeah. It's, every party has downtime or every party has, you know, ebbs and flows. And I could, we could talk for hours about the various times I've been hired and, and why. But yeah, I think that, you know, every single event that we have, whether it's a small house party in California, uh, and so many people that hired me for private events when I lived there, um, as well as here, but I had two particular people that for five straight years, uh, put me in the Limo, paid me very well to come to their house on Christmas Day because it was, it was such a powerful thing to them.

30:32 Magic and they loved magic, but their guests, they were also a very wealthy family and in Laguna up on the beach. Um, but it was, it was interesting. I'm like really of all the things you just keep doing its magic and they just said, it's one of the number one things people talk about. You ain't no time and time again. So constantly have to find new things to show the same people over and over. But it was a, it was still to this day I get contacted by them. That's great. So where they have like a big Christmas party, a Christmas party. Yes. Have you come up? Oh yeah, I'd come up every single time. And even when I moved away, it was interesting is because I'd done this same thing over and over that you become almost part of the family. Right? So you would find, hey, I'm there, let's say they pay me and they'd be there for a couple hours.

31:10 I would swear that, you know, after the hugs and kisses and that welcomes and how have you been? I haven't seen you in a while. You know, 40 minutes passes and they're just part of it. So yeah. To them you much like, some people have rituals for the holidays. They're ritual was to have magic be presented for everyone young and old. And it wasn't just, hey, entertain the kids. It was more engaging with the adults. So that would be a must be an ICBA cats in that, in that family, right? Oh yeah. How do you kind of figure out new, uh, new tricks and ideas and kind of keep, keep it fresh even for you, Emily, you said now you're, you know, you work and do this, but how do you kind of keep it fresh and keep calling? You know, I in magic a lot of routines or ideas can build off of one another.

31:52 Um, obviously in today's technology world we're inundated if we would like to be with find ed looking at other magicians and you know, you can sort of going into brick and mortar shops, which is a total, you know, a heartbreaker for me that they're going away. For the most part, everything's online because I remember I worked in a magic shop and being able to sit there and read books and jam with other magicians, uh, was something that really, really set apart the, the lack of their personal experience that we buy online. But I digress. The, I'm just talking to other magicians that has some friends share some ideas. Sometimes you come up with things by complete accident. Right. One of the, or one of the routines I did in the show that you saw w came out of complete accident of another routine not going well.

32:35 And so you're like, wow, this part of this routine, a works great with this part of routine. Be Put them together. Let's see if I have something. Uh, if you remember the whole goldfish routine, um, that was two separate things that came together, which was awesome. Yeah. I was going to ask you over the years or how you have been like, things that maybe didn't go right to plans and I don't know if you have any funny stories that you know off the top of your Heather. Oh, I, I have a lot. I mean, in magic we have something that's called the, we have to be ready for something that's called an out if something doesn't go wrong. So you would probably, if you were a magician of watching a lot, you would realize, oh, he messed up. But you might not know as a, as a non magician, but you know, funny things, uh, that have gone wrong.

33:19 Let's see. Yes. So I was doing the gold fish routine that you saw once and right when I went to make the big reveal, I don't want to say it here if in case you haven't seen my show, um, the person decides to drop the glass. So it was very anticlimactic there. Cause now we have clean up on aisle six and the best part of the routine I was waiting for all night is there. Um, I, when I was a dove magician, uh, I had a couple of routines where I, you produce a dove and multiple ways. I usually like six or eight of them in my show and they were trained to fly back. I spent countless hours in my house training these birds to fly back and I was in one of my largest, uh, venues and I produced the bird that I need to fly back to me.

34:00 And then that bird, I was going to finish that bird. Well, the bird proceeded to fly around the audience a bunch of times and land on four or five people. And it was so funny because I'm on stage feeling like, oh my gosh, but the audience is in stitches. Just laughing. And then lastly, uh, talking about where something didn't go right, but it turned into a miracle for me. Uh, I was opening for a movie called Lord of illusions in La at the Mann's Chinese theater and I was the hired magician, one of a couple to do the celebrity, a movie opening. So there's the, all the a list celebs are there and I'm doing magic and uh, it's just going great. I'm meeting David Hasselhoff, so the world when the Baywatch crew and the nine and two one oh crew, I mean for kind of dating herself back then.

34:45 Um, but this is, it's part of my signature in my email today is Penn Jillette from Penn and teller was just heckling the heck out of me and I didn't understand why. And what happened is the audience turned on him. They're like, no, because we're having a great time. I was working on some really strong material and he stood up. And if you haven't met him or seen him, he's a big tall guy, like six, four or tolerance, your height or taller. And he says, if you're so good, magic boy, stick my card on the ceiling. Well, Carter on the ceilings, a traditional magic trick. Well, I looked up in the ceilings, a good 80 feet in the air. So making lemons from lemonade. I'm like, if I can do that, you, you, you'll stop heckling him, you'll be quiet. Let me enjoy is. Absolutely. So I gave it all, I got through it up there. Not only did it stick on the ceiling, it's stuck on the one beam that was there and the entire Mann's Chinese theater with absolute in nutty. So again, I kind of took the of the heckling side of what comes with us and you know, and turn it into a memorable line, which I got aligned from him now that I use as a quote. This is, I have no idea how you did that.

35:50 That's awesome. I, yeah, we, uh, I saw him and Penn and teller. Yeah. Down in Vegas and that was quite the show. I mean they're uh, yeah, like kind of local, you know, I the the newer wave of still restate. Yeah.

36:03 Yes. There it shows great if you know anyone at listened that hasn't seen it, the hell at the Rio. They do a great job. They're constantly innovating and trying new things as well.

36:10 Yeah. I wanted to talk about um, you were talking about the bird and everything and, and a lot the humor and the, is that obviously a conscious choice to inject kind of a lot more humor in your show. Is that, how do you look at kind of ease, I know you said kind of like building it like a movie set or like a move, but like talking about kind of having that humor and making, making it fun and kind of, right, right. Yeah.

36:30 I think that how I started building my show is I believe in, in being really critical of yourself and accepting feedback and growing. I did a character survey, so I sent a character survey out to a good hundred plus people. Some are friends, some are family, some are people that just see me in the past acquaintances. And I asked people to describe in a, and there was a question, I went through a kind of a consulting on this and it was very interesting. The show that I was building was, was more against the character, what people thought I was when they interact with people on stage and in person. Uh, I'm kind of a goofball. I like to laugh. I think you know, something great's about to happen all the time. Uh, and, and you know, kind of funny, quick-witted. So I like to take that expression of f humor, laughing and incorporate in this show.

37:20 Um, cause I think that it's, it's a, I would equate it to, if you take a, you know, like a Denzel Washington actor and now he's a, an Adam Sandler role or Adam Sandler is going to be a serious, uh, you know, a role in a movie, it doesn't quite fit. It's just against that person's kind of natural character. So I love to laugh. I think Lao laughter heals a lot. Laughter creates excitement in the show. So, yeah, I try to ebb and flow different comedic bits. But I'm not a comic either though. So I have to be careful that I can't deliver certain tricks with certain jokes that don't fit my character.

37:54 Yeah, I mean I think it's a fine line between kind of, um, be like you said, kind of the mentalism with also then, you know, like injecting humor, you know, cause people want to have fun when they go out. I mean, you want to be, you know, kind of have your mind blown, but you also kind of, yeah,

38:09 yeah. Mentalism is a, a lot of people, it gets a bad rap because it can be what we call procedural. It can take a long time to get to the end. And if they're in that journey and today's world, particularly with cell phones and, and kind of where I'll have a little bit of add a is if you're not making people laugh and being quick witted and being interactive, you risk losing them. And as a performer on stage, if you start losing people, it's an uncomfortable experience. But then also you want them to believe and want to refer and see you again and come to another show. So yeah, I think that, you know, building and the, the, the laughing and building and suspense and also building in the wonder at the same time is kind of the kind of the secrets to success I would say.

38:51 Sorry about you email in magicians or kind of anything else, uh, you know, kind of out of the norm, kind of injecting that into weddings and events. You know, we talk a lot on this podcast with a different planners and vendors and stuff about like, it seems like people nowadays really want to kind of make their wedding stand, stand out or kind of have their unique flair or kind of what they're interested in talking about how, you know, like hiring the magician or hiring a juggler or a string quartet or kind of kind of allowing, you know, you helped me to allow couples and other people to kind of make their events really unique and different.

39:27 Yeah. So I think at first starts off with w you know, everything from your first conversation with the client is, you know, what are you trying to achieve? What's, what is the, I mean it's almost like a company value. What's your, what's your mission, what's your definition of success? And then we started asking lots of questions around the environment, the area. And then I typically will ask a lot of questions or are there certain who's going to be there, um, you know, how they had passed entertainment in the past, how does that worked, what hasn't worked, what worked well? Um, and then, you know, gate kind of gauging their appetite for being part of the show. And then what I will do is I'll outline you typically how the flow would go and I would, hey, does this work or does that work? But also bring a point of view, right?

40:13 Cause you know, sometimes it's their, their first and hopefully they're only wedding and you and I have worked a lot of them. So bringing ideas that might challenge their norm or their comfort a little bit so that we can bring a different experience that we know kind of works. Um, but I think that making sure that you have, particularly a magician or juggler, anyone making sure that you really insert them in the right timeline of your event. For instance, we're doing magic while people are eating is, is not a recipe for success. Right? Hey, we all know where that waiter comes by. Hi Sir. How was your first bite? Mm, real good. Whether, you know, magic is interactive, so if all of a sudden I'm trying to interact with you now, bringing that suspense is, is now a inconvenience to you. Same with when you're on stage. Uh, uh, just a bunch of everyone's down eating and clinking their, their forks and knives. You want full interaction with the audience. So we help, we help customers walk through the kind of, the pitfalls of when to do and when not to.

41:14 Um, what is the, you, you talked to me about the really cool show that the opening for the moving there. What was, what was your favorite performance you've ever had? Favorite? Uh, and it could be just because of the venue, because of the audience could be cause of something else.

41:29 Uh, you know, I have a lot of favorites, but I would have say probably one that's still in the top of my mind as a very first time. I actually, as a true entertainer, got to perform for my dad. The, he's, you know, he wasn't a big part of my life. I did, like I said, I didn't meet him and I got to show giving back. Right? I got to show something. You know, he, he always, I think, struggled with not being part of my life and not being able to show up, teach me how to be a young man and all of that. But he always questioned did he ever really impart anything to me. So being able to do that performance where he got to experience that, uh, was, was great. Uh, maybe next to that from a, from a memorable, memorable perspective is a lot of the public shows that I do now.

42:16 Uh, I donate a 100% of it to charity. So I love doing a show where I give back to something. And so, you know, one of my recent shows I was able to do and raise money for a particular topic that I'm fond of and working for a technology firm, they match that for me. So giving back to community. But yeah, probably probably the first time you ever got to perform for my, uh, for my dad. So he saw that he did in part something that I love in into me. And then, um, uh, probably second to that was performing for my best friend's wedding. Uh, unfortunately passed away shortly thereafter. But the time that we spent together working on building his night to make it a powerful, memorable evening was the most creative magic show I had ever done for anyone that's very different than what I have I do today.

43:10 But that creative process with him was a, it was something that I'll never forget. Yeah. Is Your, is your act something where, I mean obviously you know, there's kind of a lot of tricks and things, but like you know, if a bride or groom or a corporate client, you'll kind of wanted to, hey, can I come up and do some things or do the, you know, are you able to kind of talking about kind of being able to customize a little bit for, for the client? Absolutely. So it's, it's like Lego's almost, right? We have a, we have a certain flow on my show as a, I have a script that I've got blocking and everything, however we realize that one size does not fit all. And the best thing that I found in doing magic, whether it's closeup magic with you sitting at this table right now, read or a big large corporate show or a wedding is making it personal, right?

43:56 So whether it's the bride and groom and I'm doing a trick where we reveal a serial number, that serial number is the exact date and time they met when he proposed to her in this city that someone picked as a city that they got engaged in is bringing things back. A recent corporate show was all around the client, right? So everything from customizing the story, uh, customizing the props that are out there, that's the only real way that I want people to want to hire mark, not just a magician. And I think the way you do that is, is taking the time to say I'm a vehicle to your success. No matter what the event is, work with you to make it the most memorable it can be.

44:37 Where do you see, and I know we talked a little bit about, you know, uh, more modernizing the top hat and things, but where do you kind of see magic going in the next two, five years? I mean, where do you kind of see that trend going? Yeah, I think we're going to come

44:51 continue to see more a technology type magic right? A, this is the, the age of Youtube, right? Uh, again, it's not necessarily something that has to magicians love if people consume that media with the intentive experiencing magic and, and loving it. But unfortunate a lot of people are you using technology to expose secrets. Uh, so it's creating a lot more requirement for us to be innovative. Uh, so it's interesting, it's an interesting dichotomy because we want to film a, I used to have a lot more media online and then people were taking my ideas. Um, but I think that we're going to see a magic if as current trajectory we're going to see a lot more modern shows that are highly interactive, the coming to large cities around you as well as mixing that with technology. Um, and the last on that, the whole technology piece read is some of what we do is so powerful.

45:46 People nowadays believe it has to be some cheating kind of technology. So how do we take that and balance of traditional kind of in a theater or you saw remove the walls of potential technology but still leverage things like magic with iPhones, right? Or magic with, you know, taking off your, your airpods in severing the, the cord and putting it back together. It's stuff that they're passionate about because people are attached to their phone. So if you start doing things with their phone, they're fascinated or, or nervous or in, in, in watches and things. But I think that we will, whether we like or not continue to see more and more what we call television magic or youtube magic.

46:25 I talk about kind of what you have coming up next and know you have some shows coming up and, and other things. And how do you, you know, how are you kind of building out the rest of your year and keep going?

46:34 Yeah. So my, my next show is next public shows in, in Roseville, California, a foundation I'm very fond of as well as the Roseville police athletic league. I was a reserve police officer myself for a few years and my family lives in Roseville and my nephew works as an explorer there and what they do for bringing youth, uh, an underprivileged youth into safe environments to do their homework, to study, to have mentors. But also build a healthy relationship between the police and, and, and the children. Uh, and it's sponsored a hundred percent [inaudible] run by police and their families off hours. So it's a great charity. I have a big theater out there, about 550 seats, uh, and, uh, you know, it, we're looking really forward, debuting a couple large effects there. And then, and then I take that and I'm coming back to Seattle, uh, to do a, uh, another show with a large golf organization out here.

47:30 And then, um, you know, you asked me earlier around interacting with other people. I was a consultant for a Seattle band here that's pretty, uh, releasing a new music video and song. So a, on the, I think the 27th, the 28th, there's a public show here, uh, that I'll be doing as well. And then a few remote sites likes, um, Arizona, uh, bosc brewery is a local company here that we're partnering to do a charity event, hopefully for a local charity for supporting, um, battered women and the children to come back into their feet, get jobs. So it really just, I'm kind of chasing the, the areas that I believe in, in, in, in, and can support.

48:09 Well, yeah. And I mean, and I it just having you on it because cool A, just to kind of pick your brain about magic and, and events and things. But I think like we were talking, you know, if, if having someone like you on that's more of a unique vendor can like, you know, how people think about that, whether it's, you know, couples or planners and thinking like, well, you know, whether some like kind of out of the norm, cause I'll tell you is, you know, as a videographer, you know, photographer, you know, even as a guest at the wedding, like, you know, having different things is always great. Yeah.

48:36 You know, I would say I would agree. Obviously I'm biased. I'm a magician, so, but, uh, most of the feedback I get, I mean, I'm, you know, over 40 now, I've been doing this for a long time and I've only ever had one person in my life that I've interacted with and didn't like magic. And it was because it was so strong. They thought I was like, uh, which, uh, I'll never forget that day, uh, that I could go on the top of one of your funniest moments because I was, I was floored. But yes, you're, you're riding and you know, most weddings not all have videographers. They have djs. They, you know, so people go in there and think, I'm going to, I'm going to dance. There's going to be a DJ, there's going to be food, there's going to be drink. But if I think about taking magic as a way to, to even elevate it even more, create a unique experience that people will talk about. Because, um, you know, you can have a face painters I see a lot as well, uh, that leave a memory when you leave, you know, but magic is, people will still come and talk about it years later. I mean, uh, the, the last show I did, the last private show I did, someone just contacted me and said, oh my God, I still can't figure out how you got that card in my shoe. And so it just creates additional memories on top of the event.

49:43 I will say, and just to kind of reiterate what you've said about bringing magicians on, but I think sometimes there might be a perception of like, oh, like, oh magician in the wedding. Like I don't know about that. Or like how is that going to go? Is that going to be hokey? It's like about, I'll tell you all the weddings that I've done and I've had magicians, you know, a Sorento hotel, you know, Bell Harbor, um, that we, the, like I said, the restaurant, we should, you know, and Ethan Stowell Restaurant, they paid $70,000 to shut down. I mean, there's not, these were not light affairs, you know, I mean, obviously you can have light, but I'm saying that like, you know, you can bring in a magician to really help elevate without it feeling like it's a, you know, like necessarily as like your, your uncle Bob in the house.

50:28 Yeah. I mean, what I would say today, I hundred percent agree. A lot of times people will call me and you know, hey, I've been calling around and you, I've spoken to a few people and you know, you're not the, you're not the cheapest person. Uh, what I would say is no matter what your artist is that you're looking at is interview them and talk to them and, and get references if you need to because you're right, there are some people that are early in career in any job. Um, and so if, if you have someone that's not experienced in hundred percent making that day special, they've, they've cut their teeth on, make, you know, making mistakes and learning the hard way, you can end up with that situation every once in a while. Um, I will approach be approach or approach an organization or maybe an event planner.

51:11 There's an event planner I work with in southern California that had an experience like you just mentioned, and they will not refer a magician again because of that. So again, it's, it's, it's ensuring you've got the right person lined up that meets what your expectations are for the event. Otherwise. Yeah, it's a tough, it's a tough sale. Perfect. I, if people want to learn more about you and your unique, you know, brand of magic and more about you and your personality, where would you have them go and check out a, I'm on all the platforms. You know, Mark Schaefer magic. It's Schaefer. There's a lot of ways to spell that. Ah, so Instagram, Facebook, my website, a soon to be a YouTube. We'll be releasing some more video content and starting as early as this weekend. So I'd love to have people come out to any, any public shows.

51:56 I post them on my website. Again, all in all public show support a charity. So if there's something near and dear to your heart that you want to come out, come out, have fun. Talk to me after the show. Uh, for those of you that might be interested in magic and the last show you were there, uh, I had a student there, but I get asked all the time, hey, can you teach something? Because I think everyone that can learn a magic trick, it's relative to either you're the life of the party or it's a way to break the ice or something even in a business meeting.

52:23 Perfect. Well, thank you again, so much entertaining all my questions and, uh, my, my random inquiries about the world of magic. Uh, thanks again for listening to, this has been another episode of Get to Know Your Wedding Pro. Check back next week for another wedding vendor interview, thanks so much.

52:37 Thank you.

Aly and Krishna, Glitch Films

00:00:09 Hey everybody, welcome to Get to Know Your Wedding Pro. My name is Reid with Best Made Videos®. We are a wedding videography company based out of West Seattle, Washington. And today I'm joined by a couple of long time friends that we've been talking about this and trying to work on getting this scheduled for a long time. And I'm so glad that we're finally getting to do this as my friends over at Glitch Films out of the Portland, Oregon. And uh, I want to thank you guys so much for coming on. It's late on a Sunday having to deal with, you know, kids going to bat and things like that. And I, you guys have really worked hard to get this together, so thank you so much. Uh, why don't you introduce yourselves, tell us who you are and what you guys do.

00:00:49 All right. We're, well, we're Glitch Films and we're based out of Portland. We are Krishna and Aly, husband and wife team.

00:00:57 And uh, we also want to thank you, Reid for what you're doing for the community and this awesome podcast. It's like the only resource for wedding vendors here. And, or for wedding guests to get to know other wedding vendors here in the Pacific northwest. So we, we've been listening since episode one and we really appreciate it. Um, we are, yeah, so we're a small husband, wife, team. We've been in business for five years and, um, we have a kind of a unique take on wedding video. We, yeah, we wanted to create something that was something you couldn't get anywhere else.

00:01:30 Yeah. And I'm so excited just A to have you guys on just to have another, you know, videography team on, B, cause you know, I do think we're kind of a similar timeline in terms of, you know, that's kind of how long I've been doing this. Uh, and also, yeah, I do think, uh, you know, they take the, you guys have is so unique. You know, I see videos all the time and here and it could be, you know, around the country, around the world and I do always a really appreciate kind of be unique take. And, um, you know, I was even looking at your site today and, uh, I think the tagline was like, you know, wedding videos you'll actually want to watch. Right. So why don't you guys Kinda, you know, walk me through just kind of like what your style is and how you approach it and why you, how you tried to stand apart from everybody else.

00:02:13 Right on. Yeah. So we kind of describe our style as we focus on the party. We focus on the dancing, we love to have couples do their first dance outside at sunset so we can fast cut it in to their actual first dance. Um, we like to use a lot of like upbeat music, um, sometimes electronic music if we want to go there. Um, but mostly just super fun, more fast paced.

00:02:41 Yeah. When we first got into doing this, we kind of looked at what was out there and we, we liked, we love the cinematic quality of, of what was happening at the time, but it felt the majority of wedding films to us felt very, uh, a little bit forced and a little bit overly romantic. And at the time, especially, it was, you know, th this was a new thing where we were using DSLRs to create this cinematic look. And so I think people, you know, really took it to an extreme and we wanted to kind of flip the table on that and do something totally different. So

00:03:16 I like inspires us and we love to dance. We love to have a good time. And that's really what inspires us about video and about filmmaking.

00:03:25 Yeah. And when we sat down, you know, when we sit down with couples, we always say like, we don't necessarily aren't going to, you know, you're not gonna see every moment of your wedding, but you are going to have all of those emotions you're going to feel in your heart. That excitement of being there and seeing all of these people, um, looking excited, moving around, like having a great time.

00:03:45 Yeah, no, I totally agree with that. I mean, like I said, you know, I'm here, I see so much just like, um, you know, slow Mo, like same songs like, you know, over and over and over again. And like, even on my side, it's like, you know, tired of the boring wedding films. Like I think, you know, we have a similar, you know, different words in different states, but they're very similar kinds of mindsets. And I mean like, so when you guys got into that, like had you ever, I mean, I guess we'll kind of get into how you got into videography, but I mean, had you guys ever thought like, we're going to be like doing wedding videos full time, or at least you know, most of the time, man, that you guys do like lots of other events and stuff too, but

00:04:25 with, yeah, I mean, I think, why don't I, I'll, I'll just sort of quickly tell the story about how we got into it. I feel like we need to tell the story a whole thing. Yeah. So when we, so we actually met each other, um, coming out of Rehab. So I, I was, uh, uh, a drug addict and she was an alcoholic. And so we kind of came together in this time of life where we were re kind of rebirthing ourselves and coming out. But that's cool. That's good. It is. Yeah. It informs what we do. So when we met we, we bought an RV together and we traveled around the u s it was kind of like make life exciting so that we, you know, so that we can make better choices and kind of start afresh. And we started doing this, we started basically like doing travel logs, like a youtube travel log of our, of our travels. I won't say the name on here cause it's just, I can't, they can't get out. But it was, we started off with some really bad videos and over time we started to kind of improve the production quality. You get really nerdy with it and our followers sort of started saying to us, you guys are like really good. And, and that started coat, that sort of coincided with us running out of money.

00:05:34 Yeah, it definitely, we were broke when we got back from traveling and we also had this new found skill of telling stories. We got into documentary work and we really didn't see us going into wedding film making full time. But we started and we just really loved it. Like we get to work together. We get to be with people who are like happy and positive and we just love to like add to that energy. Um, and when we first started, we did start, you know, going with going through the motions and doing more like slow romantic stuff and it's just not really what inspired us. Um, so we definitely developed our style over time into something that works for us and something that inspired us every day.

00:06:17 Yeah. And I think, you know, um, talking with the theme of addiction, it's, it's funny, like love and being this part of peoples in a part of people's lives when they're in their most happiest, most, you know, um, purest form of themselves. It's an addictive thing. It's like, I mean, I'm, I've heard you talk about this on the podcast read, you know what I'm talking about? It's like, it's such a honor to be a part of people's lives. So I think when we got into it, we were, it was really fun. Yeah. We didn't know that we would keep doing this, but it's, we can't stop.

00:06:48 It's so funny cause I, yeah, I can't remember, I was just talking to her on the podcast, but um, I had done a, a wedding film, um, like in August and I had met someone else at the wedding reception was like, Hey, I'm getting married in a couple of weeks and we ended up having the data open and so I ended up booking him and then, uh, John, the other group was at obviously that wedding because you know, they were friends and I was like, oh my God, it's so exciting to see you again. Yeah. Like he knew me cause like we filmed it. I mean like we eat, I mean like he knew me but not nowhere near as excited as I was to see him as he was to see me. And then like you said, it's totally that, you know, you just get caught up in like the moment and it's so kind of, you enjoy that a riot. Is that kind of what you think?

00:07:32 Oh yeah, totally. We, we also get to meet and work with a lot of different people at every single wedding. And so it like grows our community and it grows our like skills for dealing with different personalities. And I know it's helped me in my personal life. Um, keeping like a positive attitude and always being a, a good addition.

00:07:56 Yeah. Cause in the end, you know, a wedding is, is you can, you get, you can get your ego in it, but a wedding is for the writing room and trying to, you know, yeah. Trying to just keep a positive face and, and even a positive heart around it is like really important to us because it's such an honor to be there on the day.

00:08:14 So when you saw about, you know, doing like these travel logs and stuff, like, did you guys have any like videography experience beforehand or was it a lot of like kind of self taught, figuring it out?

00:08:25 Um, so for me, I didn't have any experience at all. I had never even owned a computer. I just really like when we met, I didn't even have a cell phone. So I was very like anti, uh, so for me it was like Krishna taught me how to edit. Um, and I just like took it and ran with it and was like, this is what I want to do. I love to edit. Um, and Christina has a different story.

00:08:47 Um, yeah. So I actually, I, I dropped out of high school when I was a kid and I got a job at a TV station and you know, similar to, I mean, not, not quite the same as your story read, but when I heard when I was listening to your background, a lot of similarities in our experience and um, so it didn't do as as much shooting as you, but definitely was around the production side and, um, was able to kind of see that workflow. And so I was there for, Gosh, three years, four years, and that was when we were using mini DV and shoulder cameras and you know, a PDX tens and all of that. And, um, so now is when we, when we, so I basically, I stopped all production work, didn't even own a DSLR. And then when we got back into it, it was like, oh my gosh, look at all you can do with this minimal gear. Yeah.

00:09:34 You just got like right back into it. And I was like, well, what is the side of this person? Like I had no idea. Um, and then when you got back into it, it was just like full speed ahead and, and it's just really, it was really awesome that we could be creative together at an early stage of our relationship. I guess.

00:09:52 She put me to shame so quickly though, and it was so, she got so good so fast. I was like, aw man, I got, I had a headstart. I'm not gonna, I'm not going to negate that.

00:10:03 Yeah. Cause I didn't know, you know, I were, and that's why sudden so interested in talking to you guys or work with, you know, there's tons of like husband, wife, uh, photo teams, you know, everywhere in the world. But I don't, I don't know of his many kinds of husband, wife, video teams. And I don't know if that's just because, you know, videos is harder or like, you know, and it takes more of a skill set to do it. But I mean, do you guys, when it comes to like running the business, are you guys like, you know, who is a creative, who's doing the business, who's kind of managing or is it kind of 50 50 or am I opening up a whole can of worms of the one that, okay.

00:10:37 Oh No, we know, we know our roles, but our rules now, you know, it's funny because I always liked to tell couples that, you know, we'll know a lot of husband, wife teams that you do meet with. Usually there's a primary and a secondary and that is so not the case with us. We, we both have our own unique styles of shooting and we both have different aspects that we take on. I do the more wide sweeping shots, um, like a, you know, gimbal work and sliders and stuff like that. And Aly specializes in those like sniper. Um, you know, 7,200, uh, like really close, not close in shots. She gets all the stuff that really matters.

00:11:15 Yeah. But for as far as shooting goes, we're pretty 50, 50. Um, and editing, editing, I think we're like 80, 20. Yeah, I do most of the editing. Um, but Krishna is a super fantastic editor that I get, I am inspired by. So I just try to emulate his style. I'm just a little bit quicker. And then I'm Krishna deals with like, um, most of the business side, a meeting with clients for the first time, uh, dealing with bookings and stuff like that.

00:11:48 Yeah. I handle sales and kind of the glad handing and the, the getting to know people and then she'll do the second meeting, which is more like detailed schedule, get down to business. Um, and it works really well that way.

00:12:01 Well I also seeing you, you handle kind of a lot of like the social media and stuff. I mean I see kind of the alley in the background a lot and you, you know, not in the back, but you know, like your, Hey, I'm here. I'm looking at Ali's working really hard. They're sitting here, you know, kind of doing whatever. But I guess you, I guess, you know, maybe kind of like, I don't know if we really pinned down like kind of your guys' style. I mean there's someone you I shot knew this for a long time. I'm a lot more kind of tripod based. I mean that's my world. I'm kind of getting into the Ronan kind of stuff now and I kinda, you know, have some drone guys I use, but like, you know, when I see your guys' style, like it's, it's really cool, right? Like it feels really like fresh to me. So I guess, can you describe kind of, let's, let's boil this down before we move on. Like how do you guys look at that and, and how do you make that kind of stand apart?

00:12:53 Yeah, so I think what we, um, it's funny, we, when we named ourselves, we just picked a name out of the blue. I mean, Aly Kinda came up with this name just randomly Glitch Films and we didn't think a whole lot of it. Other than that it was a really bad name. It's not what you want on your wedding day. Still a bad name, it's fine, we're just running with it. But over time we started to try out things like a actual glitches in the video at specific moments to kind of just bring the edginess up. We um, we've used, you know, a lot of handheld footage, a lot of fast moving footage. Um, we will,

00:13:32 yeah, so do a lot of speed ramping. Um, and we use a lot of Krishna's awesome steady cam work, which I totally love. And you use those ion crane for that. That's something I can do. Um, and we like to speed ramp those shots. Um, we love to get a lot of awesome like dancing footage and first dance footage. So we really do focus on like the couple's first dance if specially if they have choreographed or just like all over it. And we're going to try to film it like the best we can. Um, me on like a tighter Lens and Krishna on the Zion crane kind of orbiting looking like a crazy person but getting awesome shots.

00:14:12 Yeah. It was a actually a ballet dancer when I grew up and also did some other forms of dance. So for me, being on the dance floor and holding a camera is just like the most natural thing in the world. Interacting with people on the dance floor, you, you'll never see a wider smile then when I'm able to do that. So, um, that kind of informs what we do and we love to cut that in with portrait, a portrait dancing as well. So I'll, I'll, I'll also like carry a little speaker along with us everywhere we go on the wedding day so that we can all, and we have a special playlist so that we can always get couples to dance.

00:14:45 Yeah. Like if you hire us, we will make you dance.

00:14:49 I think that about sums it up.

00:14:52 And then in terms of kind of like putting it all together, like you said, you kind of focus on the lot of, you know, uh, a little more edgy. I would say, I mean it was like what kind of couples do you find are attracted to you and the work that you do and the kind of guys you like to work with.

00:15:07 Okay.

00:15:08 Yeah.

00:15:10 So um, it's been an interesting journey there. I feel like when we first started doing the kind of edgy or stuff that people would hire us and we would be a little concerned about it because they would send us over some example films and it was definitely not the style that we do. And so we kind of had to just cross our fingers every time and bank on the idea that what what we were doing was cool enough that they would fall in love with it. And that's what we built on.

00:15:39 And we don't necessarily get just like younger clients in their twenties it's, we really have like all age ranges of mostly just super fun people who really just want to have an awesome time of their wedding. That's kind of been like a constant for us is like every couple we meet with is just like we saw your videos and like it looks so fun and that's what's important to us. So I mean, people focus on what they want to focus on on their wedding day, but a lot of the clients that we attract are focused on just everybody. They love having a fun time. Uh, we also get a lot of people who are like in the Edm music and electronic music of all kinds. Um, which also seems to be a factor in hiring us too.

00:16:26 Yeah, I like to describe the music that we use as not necessarily electronic but synthesized. So we, we do tend to shy away from like Floki or natural sounds and we, we, we tend to use synthesize songs. We just find that it's for the style that we use and for the, the flow that we like to use and the way that we like to mix songs together. It just works really well.

00:16:48 Yeah, I mean that and that's kind of the hardest thing, you know, I think for a lot of, I at least for me and like I know other videographers is either when people were trying to book you and I know like, you know when I was getting started there then like you know maybe rates are a little lower and people go like, well you know I really like your pricing but I really like like how this person does it or how that person does or like you said, they kind of like our sandy knew these examples and like I've always tried to run, you know, my video more as like a business and like an art. I mean obviously like I want to do, you know what I like, but ultimately like you've said, you know it's all about kind of the bride and groom and, and, and their day.

00:17:24 But at a certain point like you're only able to do stuff like your mind only works one way, right? Like people would send me like for example, like if they send me your videos and I would be like, I don't like, my mind doesn't even like work and that way to either do that or whatever. And so I get what you're saying where, you know, you guys obviously had this vision and the people are sending you stuff and so obviously it worked, but I mean, what, what kinds of reactions and we're like, did you gather to kind of help you kind of sway in the way that you guys are going now?

00:17:56 Um, so one of the first like really risk taking videos we did was kind of our second season. Our first season was pretty slow or just getting a new, at our second season when we were really trying to like start finding our feet, we just had a feeling about a couple. We were like, we think we know that we can do what we want. And we put some like hardcore hip hop and electronic music in it. And we were so scared. We were like sweating when we send over their video and we got the best reaction we've ever had. And that's because we did what we love. So that showed, um, and that, that was kind of like full speed ahead. After that, we're like, okay, let's, let's keep doing what we love and not second guess ourselves.

00:18:39 Just to fill in the story a little bit on that. I, I actually played this song for Aly and I was like, Oh man, wouldn't it be awesome if we could just use this? Like we can't, like obviously we can't, but wouldn't that be cool? And she's like, let's just do it. And I'm like, why not? Oh, we're going to get no way. We're going to get sued or something, you know, or they're going to hate it, you know? And, and she encouraged us to do it and I remember sending that off and we were like going camping or something that weekend and I was so frightened. And then, you know, to get back that email of like, this is the most amazing thing you've ever seen. Like, we hadn't, we didn't know you guys were capable of this. Like we thought, we frankly didn't know what we were, that it was going to be this good,

00:19:19 still super proud of that video. And that was four years ago with, you know, worst camera's worse, tripods, all different gear. And we're still proud of that.

00:19:27 I think if I were to advise somebody who was just getting into the industry, you know, across the board, it's, if you kind of do, you know, you're yourself on all every level you can be. Even when we meet with clients, we tell them the same story about how we met and how we got into it. People respond to authentic authenticity and true, you know, emotional resonance. So, um, I think, yeah, we just kind of took a leap of faith and we keep taking that leap of faith every time. And if we can, that's, that's how we know we're doing it. Right.

00:19:58 No, I agree with that. And I think that people, especially like photo and video, I made it, it's such an intimate thing on the wedding day. Like you're so with, you know, the people on. And I do think like, people know, like, you know who I am and like, you know who like Dorothea is my dog and like who we are and like you guys and like, you know, I want you to know as much about me as I do about it. You know, you have, I'm going to be with you on your wedding day. I'm like, I totally agree with that. And I'm like, you know, all the way down to, you know, the video and it is so funny. Like, um, I totally know that same feeling, um, you know, sending the, like those first couple of years like you would, you would send off if thing, I'm like, I remember now, like I get like notifications on like my email, you know, if someone like clicked the link or whatever.

00:20:40 But I think I used to just like go on like Vimeo and just like refresh, like the play count to see that, to see if like they played it yet and we're like, oh wow, okay. We wash it. Okay, okay. I guess we'll see you that. Yeah. Talk about, I, I, that's actually a great segue, kind of talk about that. You know, that fear of like, obviously you've put your people know, like everyone always says, oh, you know, I know like video takes a lot of the time. Like there's always Andean, but talking about like putting like your heart and soul kind of behind that and sending it off. What do you think about that?

00:21:11 Wow. Yeah, it's a, it is, it's so funny. You're right. People do say that they understand how long it takes and sort of how much effort you're putting into it. But I think for the most part they have no idea. Even if they say that, um, it, it's for us, you know, if we were doing this for the money, we would've been out of, out of this business a long time ago because the amount of hours that we put in, in the amount of thought that we put in, you know, waking up, thinking about a video, going to bed, listening to music for videos tirelessly cause he can't find the right thing. Um, we do really put our heart and soul into it and it becomes kind of our life. Um, so it, it's, when we send it off, no matter what it, and even if it's, even if we know the couple's going to love it, we feel totally safe with what we've done. That it's terrifying.

00:22:00 I think I'm a little less terrified than you because I'm a little bit more detached about it because I would, I would just, I dunno worry myself silly if I was like, oh, I love it so much. What if they don't love it? But it's kind of like a kid you got to send off to college. Like you did your best, you did what she could and now they're going off into the world and you just got to see how they see how the world takes it.

00:22:26 Yeah. That's probably been the hardest learning lesson for me. And it might sound like callous how I say it. Like, yeah, like I try not to get like super emotional about it until I send it off because yeah, totally used to be, you know, you'd spend all this time and like, you know, like my highlight videos are longer, but you know, if it's like eight minutes or whatever and like, you know, you've looked at like every single second of that and all this, and then somebody is like, oh, we really don't like, and you'd be like, ah, no. Like they don't even understand. But yeah, so like I'm like, I totally tried to like, and then once they come back and they love it and I'm like, okay, I like now I can now that it's accepted, I can, I can be happy with that. But otherwise, you know, you, you kind of worry yourself silly where you're, you know, you get so attached and I, you know, I see people post all the time online like, oh no, I'd spent all this time and people, and it's like, you Kinda, you know, it's still, it's still a client based business at the end of the day. Right?

00:23:18 Yeah. And not everybody is going to see like the tiny little transitions that you just like melt over. But it's really nice to work with your partner because you're like, look at this transition knelt over it. So I think we show each other appreciation and those like little more like technical things that we want each other to know. Right.

00:23:36 And the flip side is that they don't notice the little things that we might not feel 100% great about. That's, and I mean, I know, you know what I'm talking about, that that's the other great thing is that there, you know, is their wedding day. So, so, you know, we might obsess over these tiny details and they don't even, they don't even see it, you know? So, um, yeah, it's, it's uh,

00:23:56 no one else to say about that. No, that's on the flip side, if you have somebody, you know, I, Dorothy as a teacher and where she is not connected, I can bring her and then show her until they get that. And she's like, I don't even know what you're talking about. So, although it is nice to have a party, he didn't know is exactly where you doing. Sometimes kind of, you know, it's nice to have a blind vote there and they're like, I don't even though you're talking about here. And then say, Oh okay, I'm good. Okay. I don't have to worry about that. Um, so getting back kind of the end of the story here, so you guys are, are, you know, trying to figure out how they kind of make it go at this and, and you know, you come up with the name and then like how did, how did it go kind of like starting the business? Like was there, you know, obviously like everybody has growing pains and stop, like how is, how did that work for you guys and kind of figuring out to make it a go for reals?

00:24:48 I don't, I mean there was a lot of like start and stop and we worked on a lot of projects just to make money just to get by just so we can stay afloat so we could do the projects that we love to do. And now we're doing like every single project is amazing. So if you're a first year videographer just like hang in there because we did some terrible projects, like terrible documentary works who works for some, you know, companies and stuff. Um, but we, we just like kept going and sometimes it was a lot of like trial and error. Also working with your partner, you have to like really work on your communication and respecting each other's opinions all the time. Being 50, 50 partners is not always easy. Um, super rewarding. Definitely. In the beginning we were eating a lot of bean burritos and you know, we just, we're not there yet. And it's, it's nice to remember those times because we're like, wow, it's awesome now.

00:25:48 Yeah. And I, I will say one of the biggest factors for us when we first got going in terms of starting it starts and stops is we actually changed locations. Like the four times we had these like sort of, you know, um, we would start a wedding season and start to build up some momentum and then we would move. And, uh, because of, uh, yes,

00:26:06 so don't do that. We started in the bay area where I'm from and we moved up to Portland and our business really took off. And when I got pregnant we decided to move back to the bay area IG mistake. Um, and it is really difficult. Like are our clients still are like, where, where do you live? You know, where are you even, so that was, I think that was our biggest hurdle was just changing locations so many times.

00:26:32 Yeah. I, and you know, we're still, we still do a ha a bunch of weddings down in California, just referrals that come in and you know, I can remember a number of seasons we were driving up either either down to the bay area or up to Portland, like I would say two or three times a month just because we had these weddings that we had booked, you know, in the previous season. Lack of foresight. Exactly. So that's been a big challenge to as far as you know, getting going. Now, thankfully we're, we're firmly entrenched in the wedding community here and I have to say the wedding community here in Portland is like fantastic. Yes.

00:27:08 The best that I've been to. And we've traveled a lot to do weddings, we've done weddings and all sorts of places and Portland is super welcoming. It's like a really big wedding community family up here.

00:27:20 We do love to come up to Seattle to theirs. There have been some incredible vendors we worked with up there as well. And couples. Yeah. What up Seattle?

00:27:27 Yeah, talking about Tyra Porn, I was just down there for a hot second on, was it Friday I went down, I had to do an interview really quick at the u s bank ability and I think I was in Portland for like 45 minutes and then he had to beat traffic. But um, yeah, uh, talk about Portland, you know, what's, you know, I know Seattle is, is I find maybe a little more higher budget than Portland, at least kind of clients I talked to you. But what, what do you guys find in, in terms of like both video and kind of just weddings in general in Portland?

00:28:00 Well, I will say you are a wedding photographer. Friends tell us that the, it's Portland is, there's a higher per capita amount of wedding photographers than anywhere else in the u s and I really believe that's true and it's starting to be the same way with video to a much lesser, lesser degree. So the, the, the competition is definitely, you know, there's definitely competition in the media and the wedding media world. But the weddings

00:28:26 like friendly competition though, like we just had our first wedding videographer meetup. The photographers get together all the time, but for some reason videographers just haven't gotten together. And Craig flood of Watertown, Watertown films shout out, um, he got a bunch of awesome videographers in the Portland area together. And that was, it just felt super comfortable and nice to be around peers, people who have similar lives as us. Um, and it just feels super welcoming.

00:28:55 Yeah. We even have like a, uh, you know, almost everybody who's in town. There's like a group where we all pass around referrals at this point and we know each other's style. So it's like, you know, it's, it does feel like a very, you know, community over competition sort of a thing. As far as the weddings down here, uh, I will say they tend to be, they don't tend to always match our style in the sense that I would say the majority are, you know, Boho styled in a field. I'm very natural, very uh, sort of whispery that's kind of how people describe their wedding.

00:29:29 Also films and works with our style. As long as it's the right client and they want that type of video. Um, I would say yeah, as far as price point goes, Seattle is a little bit higher budget, which is nice to go up there sometimes a for a change of pace. But we're, Linda's pretty, like, I, I feel like it's pretty middle, middle level budget and um, yeah,

00:29:54 so there are, there is an influx of people as well to this town and people complain about that. But for us it's, it's almost a feeling like a blessing because we're kind of, we've established our style, we've established ourselves in the community and as there's an influx of people, there are more people who want our very specific, you know, very niche sort of a thing that we do. So for us it's feeling very expansive and like every year things are moving forward in a really nice way.

00:30:21 No, I, yeah, and I knew what you mean in terms of like style and stuff. I mean, you know, you guys seem a little bit more like industrial, maybe a little then didn't like that whiskey. But like, you know, in Seattle like, you know, we have, you know, it's like barn venue Barbara and you Barbara and you sit there and you know, you can go do like we have some awesome like brick buildings are really cool stuff in downtown Seattle. So yeah, being just the, you have a style doesn't mean like sometimes having the different style and applying it to something that you're not normally shoot the man. So I get that. We're like, just because it's not what you know necessarily what you guys like, how you would have your wedding to be like, that doesn't mean that you can't add your own flair to kind of whatever that is it's talking about. Yeah. A husband, wife, team. Talking about your guyses wedding. Uh, how did that go?

00:31:06 Our wedding was pretty awesome. We were very young. We were 23 and it was when we were just starting wedding video. Um, thank God because we hadn't been to a million weddings and didn't have a million ideas. We had limited ideas, limited budget. Um, it was in California in my mom's backyard and she completely re landscaped everything and we're super big on lighting. Um, so the biggest focus of our wedding was creating an awesome, like Sherry lighting kind of situation in the backyard. Um,

00:31:44 we didn't have the money to buy that lighting though. So we, I remember, I think it was two nights or three nights before our wedding, we were like hand soldering and like electrical taping together. These ghetto lights from home depot that we, yeah. That we have,

00:31:57 yeah. That we like soldered it all together. Um, but the, I mean as far as like the results, everyone was like, this is a very, very magical, because we are in video and we know how much lighting is so important to the feel of a space and have a party. Um, we also had all of our guests were the color of our wedding, which was blue. So what I heard from guests was they felt like they were like a decoration and everybody was like a part of it and was like on the same team. I also heard some people be like, oh, now I got to buy a blue dress. But it was, it was really like special for us. And um, we had like 70 people there. It was pretty small and intimate. It was nice.

00:32:41 Yeah. We, we, our, our wedding photography was donated by a vendor that we had met and uh, they that, which was very, very kind and they did a wonderful job. And our friend Brian, who we had just started, he was, it was his first wedding he ever shot and he shot it. Yeah.

00:32:57 Great job. He did a great job on our wedding film and we edited it ourselves, which is very fitting

00:33:04 all shot on a five d mark three w like, you know, handheld. But it's so cool how it is cause it's, it's so different than what we would do, but it feels so authentic.

00:33:13 Okay,

00:33:14 well that's good. I mean at least you guys have the video. I feel like we, we don't do them anymore, but we used to do a lot of video meetups up here and that was a topic of conversation when I was, there were so many like, and even husband wife teams that were like, Oh, you know, we just can't believe that not everybody gets a video. I said, Oh, who did that? How'd you got? Oh we have video. We didn't have video. And I'm like, well how as a, how are you supposed to eat sound out for someone? I mean, I guess just the regret, you know. But um, I talk about kind of, and this was a salon I was going to get to later. We can talk about like, um, you know, not every couple in Seattle, you know, has a video, right? As I'm sure not every couple of in Portland has a video. Um, so kind of talking about your thoughts behind that. I don't want to lead the question too much.

00:34:03 Um, I don't think that every couple absolutely means a wedding video. I don't think that every couple of wants that for their wedding. I am very, very biased because I think that, uh, especially after our own wedding, I just know how many moments we forgot. And also we were so young and beautiful and it's really nice to see yourself in video before you have kids. It's lovely. And there were so many moments that that you miss. Like, cause you only have two eyes. Like we're two videographers running around all day capturing those moments that you miss on one of the most important days of your life. And I always tell clients in meetings that, you know, sometimes they're like, oh you guys are a little out of our budget and we totally understand that. And we say, if you don't go with us, go with somebody because just those shots are just, they become super special for the rest of your lives.

00:35:02 Absolutely. And photographers, you know, I always say I wish I was as talented as they are at capturing the moment, the an entire scene in one frame. That's so cool. We can't do that. But what we can do is use the motion and the audio to pull you in to that experience again. And um, I think that is something that video and offer that's so unique and you know, I would actually disagree. I think, I think every wedding needs a videographer, even if it's just a, a single shooter and, and alive Mike on the groom. Just something to, to make sure that that's captured because um, I have, I have just had so many conversations with people who regret not, you know, not having it done. Also, as far as

00:35:44 like photographer, I mean with photography, you get those amazing still images, but you don't get any of the amazing, beautiful words spoken. And that's what's so incredibly important and what you forget, you forget what you say in your vows and then you watch him over on your anniversary and you're like, oh man. Like

00:36:03 I haven't been doing any of that. No. You're just like wow.

00:36:08 Poetic and beautiful and like you relive and you feel, you feel the feeling that you felt on that day and in that moment. And that's what we tried to capture every single time.

00:36:20 Well, yeah. Well that and, and I agree that you have the much more difficult given them of cancer started in Austin. I would have had, but you know, it's just interesting to me because even before we came on, I was looking at, we had a, a pretty well known photographer just get marriage here yesterday. I'm like she was posting um, you photos in taking out her vendor isn't, it was a co one juror who she had to do her video and like no video. Right. And like, yeah, you know, really nice, super nice like cl venue, high end photographer, high and Dj high end photo booth, high end planning or hand, like all these things. And like even, you know, there's four I, a couple of photos posted like one of the photos is like damn with a microphone, like giving their vows. And I'm like, wow, I wonder if we'll know what they sat or not.

00:37:03 You know, I don't, it's just frustrating because like even, you know, we say it and it's like now we have a friend that's getting married and she's, you know, they're kind of on the fence and it's, you know, it's, it is like kind of this world of, of regret where either people, you know, can't afford it or don't want an ad and then feel bad later or whatever and like be here is someone that, you know, she's been in the wedding industry for years in shows like not to do it. And so it's always is curious to me and kind of where other videographer is kind of feel about that.

00:37:29 That is a little weird that she is in the business and two didn't get a a wedding video. I wonder what, which videographer she worked with that turned her off that much too. Huh? So video. I mean it is funny how many people too I talked to who haven't eaten, who still don't even realize that it's a thing who genuinely think that if they hire a videographer, somebody will show up with a shoulder camera with a light on it and we'll be two inches from their face. And so I think just kind of the awareness thing, I mean it's changing really quick with Instagram and stuff, but um, it's uh, yeah, it's, it's astounding how many people still don't know that it's a, it's a possibility.

00:38:09 Yeah. Talking about how do you guys use, you know, obviously a lot of social media and I see you guys doing a lot of like silos sheets and stop talking about how do you guys try to like change that perception to kind of market and kind of show your stuff off?

00:38:23 Well, I will say like we talked about, we use stories quite a bit. Like, um, you know, with social media when we discovered stories, it was such a liberating thing because suddenly we were able to put something out that wasn't perfectly polished product that still allowed people to get to know us, see behind the scenes and it, it felt okay to do that. And so we've used that to, to a great, uh, to a great degree to just help couples get to know who we are. And that has changed the game for weddings.

00:38:54 Um, also what you said about the styled shoots. So most weddings are from April to October pretty much, right. That's like our wedding season. So we really have a lot of downtime in the off season to do and we still want to do cool stuff and we still want to put out cool videos. So we started doing styled shoots two years ago. I think I'm up here in Portland and it's been a great way to like to showcase other vendors and it's been a great way to meet other vendors and to also be creative in a different way. Um, because I, I don't really recall any like any video people who are doing styled shoots at that time. And we've, we just thought it would be like a fun, cool thing to do and now we're seeing it everywhere, which is awesome. Um, because not only did they get photos of the shoe, but they get like, you know, a fast paced in our case film, um, to showcase other vendors work.

00:39:50 And it allows us to be even riskier with what we're doing because there isn't it, there's not a bride and groom that are, you know, that this is this thing that they're going to watch for, you know, eight years or whatever. It's something where we can really truly push the envelope and take risks. And if we see clients responding well to it, we can start integrating that.

00:40:09 Well, classic me, it gets, it gets your guys, like you said, networking in the kind of getting your face and name out there. And, and I do think, you know, a lot of the times there is a perception of like, you know, if if you hire, like you said, the videographer were where the shoulder camera be like, oh yeah, we hired this videographer. Like he showed that half hour for a ceremony, it filmed and then he laughed. Right. I've been talking with other photographers and they're like, how's it go? Who, what was, I didn't even get his name. I didn't even get, I don't know who that was either. The WHO and we're like, I, you know, tried to like put, you know, our name and face and like you guys and like, yeah, this is who we are. We're going to be there. This is what we do. This is how we like to work. And like, I think that's so important to me. Do you, I don't know, have you heard stories like that or what do you, I see you nodding your heads just about kind of

00:40:53 those thoughts. Yeah, I think it's super important that the clients know exactly who we are and who is going to show up on their wedding day. Um, sometimes we go to meetings and they're like, well, like, do you hire people out? Like who are your shooters? And we're like, no, like you're looking at it. This is, this is us. Like, we're getting to know you now so that you can be really comfortable on your wedding day and it's not just like some,

00:41:21 well, and, and to, to even add to that, um, as far as like, even in the editing process, I always tell clients we're going to be, you know, starting from the first meeting, we're getting to know their personalities and we're, we're, um, we're seeing what they like and they don't like, and, and we're, we're going to know their micro expressions on the day. So as we're shooting their toes and the uncle was getting a little too tipsy and he's saying stuff that they're not into, we can like, see that that's happening and then trim it out or, or, you know, or minimize it as part of the final film. And that is not to be underestimated as a, as a service and as a, uh, what, you know, something that we can offer as a smaller company. Um,

00:41:59 right. And just getting to know the couples like on a very like person will basis. Like we still keep in touch with people we met at weddings five years ago because they know who we are and they, they keep up with us and we keep up with them because it's kind of a, a close experience and you kind of want to know who's going to be there on your wedding day.

00:42:23 Absolutely. And I will say in our reviews, like the, the thing that we find most heartwarming, you know, most rewarding for us is the, when they say, Oh, you know, these, these people were like, not only were they, did they make a great film, have they added to our wedding day? They, and it's something that I see you on the reviews for you as well. Read, um, is like, you know, the same thing. Like Reed was awesome. He like, you know, he, he not only made a great film, but like he was a genuine part of our day. So that, that, you know, uh, that's something that is so cool to see and we feel like is really important.

00:43:00 Yeah. And that's always a big thing for me. And I think kind of going back to like, you know, people hiring videographers or not is like the thing I always try to express the couples is yeah, I always want our service to be like a, a zero subtraction, like only only adding to your day that at least you know how my style and that's, you know, everybody's like, I don't, you know, I don't have people do a lot of other stuff that, you know, maybe the photographer would have them do where they're like, I just always want people to know, like having us there is only going to like aid in, in your memory and kind of like, you know, the memories and capturing things and like, I just don't want to be like the pain in the butt about it. And I, it seems like you're a symbol way, similar way where you really want to just help to kind of enhance that. Right?

00:43:42 Yeah. And that's, that's one of the things when we first got into this that we felt like we could do, we were like, wow, we have, we have a unique energy and we aren't going to be flies on the wall. Like we are, we are people that are there that are going to bring our energy and it can be a good experience or not. And we just, every single time we do it, it's an, it's a practice and an exercise to make it the best, most positive experience that we can.

00:44:09 Um, talk to me a little bit about Kinda your process. You, you've mentioned a couple of times about kind of, you know, meeting and then you know, or meetings with clients or kind of getting to know them, talking about how do you guys approach that if, if somebody, you know, wants to book you guys and, and kind of walk me through kind of your process because you know, I think video is, is going to be different than in terms of like how people interact and how we book and company to company is to kind of walk me through that.

00:44:36 Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think one thing that we always emphasize is that we always do a face to face meeting and that might mean facetime if it has to be that, um, we find usually, you know, a couple, even if they're coming from out of town is going to come and meet their vendors at some point before the wedding. So we try to, even if it's just for a short little meet and greet, we try to always make that happen. We find it makes such a huge difference with the final product and we've definitely had success. Um, you know, not meeting a couple before the day, but it's, it's, uh, it's something that we try to minimize. So, um, we have, the meetings are so important to us. They're structured in a way where we start off by, you know, really talking to the couple and asking them about them.

00:45:17 And I think that's something that a couple, you know, isn't always expecting there. They're kind of expecting a sales pitch. And for us, you know, it truly, I mean, I don't mean to make it sound like we're like trying to be exclusive or anything, but we do, you know, sometimes dear couples away if it seems like it's not going to be a good fit or if it seems like they're prioritizing something different than what we're going to offer them. So we do ask them, you know, how did you meet, what, what, what drew you to our videos? And, and then we kind of do go into like, emphasizing, you know, what we, what we offer and what's unique about us. Um, yeah. And, and how we work exactly. Like, especially, you know, I would say we tend to be of the people here in Portland, we tend to be a little bit more lit in terms of how we, how we, you know, light receptions and toasts and even bride prep and groom prep.

00:46:09 We'll, you know, we'll bring an led panel or we'll bounce something off the ceiling if we have to because for us, you know, if it's a minor, a minor change on the wedding day, we would rather do that and have, you know, this lasting thing that, you know, that people, where they feel like they look the best in there and they feel really good about it. Um, you know, we at receptions, we tend to, like, we try to fade up the lights and fake them down and stuff like that, but I always make sure that I tell couples during that meeting process so that they know that if they're, you know, if that's not something that they want to hurt her ties, they can go with somebody else. Um, you know, I talked to them about audio, about where tripods might be placed and how other vendors might feel about that.

00:46:49 I tell, I tell them to talk to their photographer about it and make sure that it's going to work well with them. You know, for us, we would so rather preload all of that, all of those logistics and, and make sure that a couple is 100% go with it so that on that day we can say to another vendor, hey look, you know, this is what the couple wants. We want to work with you as best as we can, but this is what, you know, this is what they hired us to do. So, um, hopefully that answered the question.

00:47:15 That was a good answer. Uh, what do you wish more people knew about videography or, or you know, a couple of planning and things are or asked, or what do you find, you know, I always say like, you know, what are some common pitfalls or whatever, what do you wish that more people in? And this is usually a stumper, so if it takes you a second, that's okay.

00:47:35 Um, yeah, I think there's a lot, there's a lot of, um, uh, I think please list all of them. No problem. I'm the main one just at the very beginning of the day is really focusing on choosing your locations wisely. Like where the bride gets ready really affects the photo in the video, but especially the video because we don't really have as much leeway as far as color goes and stuff like that. So finding like really clean, right, open, nice rooms with a lot of natural lighting. We really like, sometimes we'll go into a bride prep space and the makeup artists, we'll be doing the bride's makeup in the bathroom with like orange lights and then we die inside and we, you know, help them move their stuff over to a nice bright window so that the bride just gets there, her video back and is like, wow, I look freaking gorgeous because you placed me in front of this window. Um, I also think, what are some other things

00:48:35 you mean? Uh, you mean the basement of like a airbnb that have no windows and you're like, why are we, why are we here right now? Sorry, I cut you off. And I was just remembering one of our most fantastic, and you read these from last year and I was like, I can't even stand in this room.

00:48:54 How can you even see each other? And we do have a lot of daylight beauty lighting for that reason because we first started off and we started our company very, uh, light focused. Um, and not a lot of video companies do that. They tend to kind of add their lighting kit as they go. We started off right off the bat just we want beautiful lighting. We mixed lighting creates, you know, strange skin tones and it just, it is a pet peeve of mine. It drives me crazy. So we started off very lighting heavy so we can fix those basements situations, but it's still isn't going to be as great as like a beautiful window with some natural lighting.

00:49:35 Yeah. And does speak to that. We had really, really bad cameras when we started. So it was kind of a necessity to learn to light. Well the sensors were not great. Um, so that's kind of how that evolved. I will say another huge pitfall is not focusing on the DJ or hiring and, and I've heard, you know, some amazing interviews with that you've done with Djs that really care about their craft and, and truly like create a, an event, an almost a script or a script or like a, a way that the things are going to flow and they spend a lot of time thinking about it. You know, that's not always the case. And um, if there, you know, if a Dj isn't thinking about where they're placing their microphone receivers, they're wireless micro Seavers, even though we have backups and we're using solid state recorders on the, the groom and the officiant that can still, you know, as you know, like the PA system cutting in and out still be audible and that'll greatly affect the way your, your wedding vows sounds. So that's such a huge thing.

00:50:33 And just to clarify, I mean the DJ is very important for the reception to you, but where it matters for us when you're hiring a DJ is more for your ceremony. So a lot of, a lot of clients, they won't even think about the DJ's set up, but it's going to be during their ceremony. Are you going to hold a handheld mic during your vows? Who's going to hold it? Um, you know, where do you put your receiver or a lake? It's, it's all very important to a video. And we do have many, many backups that we use just in case that doesn't go according to plan. But obviously it's always great to have multiple excellent

00:51:07 sources of audio. Another big pitfall that's coming to mind when people are hiring a videographer is, is not looking at complete, just looking at kind of like a highlight, like little montage has and not looking at complete, um, films or not looking at enough of a variety of films. It's the same thing with photographers. You know how it is in the industry right now where there are these workshops and these, you know, quote unquote style shoots where a bunch of people show up. The work's already done for them. They're in beautiful light, they snap the shutter and they can upload something. It looks gorgeous, but you look at a, at a full album and they're not able to handle the light. You know, they're not able to respond quickly to the changes in the variables on the day. And that's the same thing for video. So it's always kind of looking at that wide variety of, of jobs and making sure that, that they're able to handle those different conditions.

00:51:56 Um, I have one as far as hiring a planner. So a lot of people don't think it's super important to hire a planner. Um, if you're, if you're going to hire a planner, that's awesome. They're amazing. They make your day runs smoother. Um, also it's super helpful to just have a timeline for the reception. Um, if we go into a, a, a wedding reception and we don't know when things are going to happen, it's a lot harder for your photographer and your videographer to be prepared. So I think a lot of times it's, it's really good to know when your toes are going to start, where they're going to give the toast so that your media team can be prepared.

00:52:37 Yeah. And just to kind of echo back on that, the getting ready locations for video at least kind of the way we do video, you know, it's more kind of that like full picture of you kind of start to finish where you know, I think a lot of photographers can, can kind of focus on kind of some of the prettier stuff and like we have the wedding and a couple of years ago and you know, they got ready at their house and that was great and it was like an apartment in Tacoma and he got ready, I think it their apartment and she was at the moms or whatever. But then like, you know, their, their reception was awesome. I mean, it was, you know, doc to the nines and they brought in custom lighting and foggy and whatever. And like my video has start, you know, at the beginning and like when we got the photographer, got it published in whatever, and like the only photos that were in that, you know, submission were, you know, nice portraits in the light and then, um, kind of reception details.

00:53:31 And so it's just, yeah, like you said, just kind of thinking about those getting ready locations. I mean, even if I tell people that, you know, even if it's just like an airbnb or for like a couple hundred bucks you don't like, I mean I get like, I wouldn't want to do further on video my house, you know, here. But I mean, just, just making those thoughts. I think that's a great point. And even for photo too, I think that's a great point that people don't think about enough is a, where they want to get ready. So thanks for bringing that up.

00:53:56 Yeah, it's definitely something that gets overlooked for sure.

00:54:00 Yeah. I think, I think thankfully I am, see, I think we're seeing that it's changing in the industry. I mean w w or maybe work, I don't know whether to tell our clients that that's true. Yeah. Maybe that's what it is. But it does seem like there's more thought put to that as this cycle of, of, you know, people seeing other wedding. I was on Instagram and having sort of these examples are as coming through. So

00:54:21 I did want to ask one kind of foggy, you were talking about, you know, making sure that people are looking at enough, um, you know, examples and things and seeing that. And I do think, you know, for photo or a video, I do think that that's really true. Um, you know, I feel like even now I had, you know, a couple's last summer where, um, you know, we booked an I, we have hundreds of it, you know, there's plenty that chooses to look at. And I, you know, we still do get that from time to time. Like, Oh, you know, I didn't know it was going to be that long, or I didn't know it was going to be this or that. So, I mean, talk about just like you said, making sure that couples, you know, really look, you know, whether it's you guys or whoever, like really look and kind of do their research and make sure they know Kinda what they're gonna get. Talk about that.

00:55:04 So, I mean, it's really important for us when we find clients that we know at our first meeting that we are their people and they found the right people because we, we do know a lot of videographers in town are a lot of photographers in town who are amazing and you just have different styles. So I think it's really important to do your research, um, who's around, who's in town and really like try to focus on those creative details that maybe you're not used to looking for in your everyday life. Um, because video and photo, it's, it's a little bit different than, you know, it's a, it's a creative form. So just making sure that you like the music that you're, the videographer chooses, making sure you really, uh, like their, the way that they film portraits. Um, the, the audio clips that they choose to use and how they weave together that story of, of your love story. Um, it's really important to, to notice that I think music is a really big one. Um, Cook, clean and crisp audio when you're looking for a videographer is very, very important. Um, sometimes it's, it's really hard to, to hear audio with is if it's not perfect and clear when you're also trying to overlay that audio over music.

00:56:30 And I will say, you know, we live in the Pacific northwest, same in Seattle and Portland. You know, the, the chances that it's going to rain on your wedding day or a lot higher here. And so looking in and making sure that should, you need to use the backup, the backup option where you're indoors, it's a little bit darker if you know, let's say you planned a beauty, you know, this wedding out in a beautiful place outside seat, making sure that they're able to adapt. I always tell couples when they're choosing photographers, especially look at how they're handling dark spaces. That's, that's the thing that I always emphasize because that's what's going to show the skill and what's going to show the, the ability to adapt. And um, same with videographers, just, you know, it's fine if, if you're 100% sure that you're going to be outside and then beautiful, some beautiful light all the time, that's been great. You know, hire somebody that just based on their framing and their style, if you're, if there's a chance that it might change, they've got to be able to handle that darkness.

00:57:20 And that's a really good point. Um, making sure that your media team,

00:57:24 uh,

00:57:26 it lines up with your venue. So if you're going with a venue, like an old hotel and it's going to have orange chandelier lighting and no natural light at all, um, making sure that you go with a videographer and photographer where you've seen their work in those dimmer spaces and you have confidence that they can adapt to that

00:57:48 space. Yeah,

00:57:49 no. And that, I mean, honestly it's something that I get asked a lot too. It's like, well how do you guys see the little lie or how do you handle this? And like I always say, you know, I just buy the equipment and you got, you know, you guys would lie to, you know, you just, I buy it some of the work and you know, when you do it enough, you know, like we do, you're going to spend the money, you know, same with a good DJ or same with the gift photographer. Uh, one other question I had and I think we were along in that thing of this podcast. We're only interested if people are here. Um, do you guys, there's a thing in Seattle now we get a lot of the photographers I'm offering kind of like highlight video packages kind of as like Alan's. Do you guys see that a lot in Portland or is that kind of a Seattle thing right now?

00:58:26 It's starting to come into the market for sure. And you know, I don't think it's, I have mixed feelings around it. I think it's great if, if you know, if, if they're able to do that well and handle both things. Um, the thing that I've always noticed when it comes to photographers and move into the video space is that they don't have that emphasis on audio. They don't have that background on audio. And it can take a little bit of time to get that to, to understand how to adapt to those different conditions. And so what we'll often end up happening is that you'll receive a film back and it'll look like a moving slideshow where, you know, it's, it's great, it's, it's just like the photos but, and, and it's moving and that's fantastic. But you're, you're either hearing on camera sound that sounds really distant or nothing at all. And so that's my, my concern when it comes to photographers offering video. Um, that's the one limitation that I see.

00:59:17 Yeah. And I think, I think it's great. I think a moving video music video, great. But what we do is we really craft a story based on what was said on their wedding day and we really create a narrative. And that's something that I don't see a lot from that

00:59:32 also, we've, we once tried to do video and photo at the same time when we were young and dumb and boy is that hard. Like even now we can even approach trying to do that. This is such a different way of thinking,

00:59:45 uh, vague you for a answer that farmer at diplomatically than I would a again, uh, I just know there is an asset. We just have that couple, I was talking to a gal and she, they have the photo and they were going to do it but they can only offer them a ceremony, audio or reception audio. They couldn't offer both. And I didn't and no one I've ever talked to you cause I understand that. But that was when I was told and I didn't understand that if they were like ranting legs for two hours and they couldn't get them. But I just, I wanted to ask that because I do think that's a common trend now. And so I was just kind of curious, your thoughts is as video people what you thought about that.

01:00:22 Yeah. I'd love to know why, why I dumped him, know the reason behind that.

01:00:26 They didn't book me or I'll sign where I would know that answer. So, um, well thank you guys so much for coming on and, and like I said, I really appreciate kind of getting to know you guys and, uh, you know, seeing your work from afar and getting the chat even through this kind of Skype window, uh, has been awesome and I know a lot of work with, you know, scheduling and putting the kids to bed and, and everything. Um, why don't you, uh, well first off, tell us a, just two seconds about your family life, um, before I did want to ask you about that, about your wonderful baby. Uh, before we go, uh, before I segue off.

01:00:59 Um, so our family life is awesome because we're always together. It can be a challenge to balance work and family life. Sometimes we have to switch off editing or, you know, get a babysitter for the day. Um, but it's definitely like a balance.

01:01:17 Yeah. We have a two year old son. His name is Phoenix. Um, he's, he's kind of this amazing little bundle of joy that's rising from the ashes of, you know, it just kind of coming from this in this core relationship that we've created and that's why we call them Phoenix

01:01:33 as a man bun. And he looks exactly like both of us at the same time. It's crazy.

01:01:39 Yeah. I will say, you know, the way we shoot weddings has changed just slightly because it's being a parent. You start to understand the importance of, of children and even as it relates to like the father daughter dance and the mother is Sundance. The, the importance of that and how much, you know, when we first started doing this I was like, okay, we don't like kind of not,

01:02:00 no, we just cry the whole time. We just cry and film.

01:02:04 Absolutely. So that's really, it changed the way that we do things. But um, yeah, we don't have daycare services. We just keep our kid at home here. So, uh, it's, it is a challenge to try to keep him engaged and, and be there with him while we're both sitting on laptops, just trying to crank out work all day. And we also take a lot of adventures. One of the reasons we moved to Portland was because of the gorge. Um, so we put them in a backpack and we go on hikes and we tried to get out every other day at least I will say also vendors around town, you know, kind of know us as these people who will show up to styled shoots with the baby in the backpack. And I'll, you know, I'll shoot full on, you know, gimbal just like doing the steady, you know, the Gimbal, walk with the backpack on. It's a whole thing. So, um, yeah, it's, it's been really cool for him. They start to get an understanding of, of media even at such a young age.

01:02:54 Is this a funny a seminar? I'm, I'm very much a homebound and so I see these high, see you go on. And once I got us, that's good for them. It's good. It's good. I'm not going to do that. But that's, that's cool. That's neat. So I just, just, no, I watch it and just know. I see that. So that's awesome. We'll do, we'll take a hike for you read. Yes you can. Please do. Ah, well thank you guys again, so much for hopping on today. I just wanted to get that last kind of thing. And before I forgot because I did, I did have that joke about the hike and I wanted to use, um, if people want to learn more about you guys in the, in your awesome films and your story and, and find more of your work, where would you have them check out and what would you have them do?

01:03:30 So we are, you can also follow us on Instagram. Our handle is at @GlitchFilms. You can watch our crazy stories. We are totally ourselves, so have fun with that. Yeah, absolutely. The website is the main place and um, you know, we are on The Knot and Weddingwire and all that, but if you, the the best thing to do is to submit an inquiry through the website. Even if you're just trying to get in touch with us and just make up a wedding date and will or you can email us if you have questions. Even if we just get questions and we don't have inquiries, we love to answer questions. Um, yeah. If anybody wants to get in touch. Yeah, you can email us at us u s at [inaudible] dot com it goes to both of us. Um, and we do love to work with younger videographers and meet younger videographers and mentor them. It's like, you know, we get so much more out of it and then they ever could. So it's uh, yeah, please get, do, get in touch with you if you're just new to the industry and you have questions.

01:04:28 That's good. I'll crush all their souls and send them to you guys. That sounds like him. No I'm teasing. I, that sounds great. Well. Thank you guys so much. This has been another episode of Get to Know Your Wedding Pro. Check back next week for another wedding or any of you. Thanks so much.

01:04:43 Thank you. Thanks so much.

Phebe Rossi, Nuflours

00:09 Hey everybody, welcome to Get to Know Your Wedding Pro. My name is Reid with Best Made Videos® We are a wedding videography company based out of West Seattle, Washington. And today I'm joined by Phebe Rossi of Nuflours, a a awesome bakery and the Capitol Hill. And I want to thank you so much. It's a beautiful day for coming and spending some time inside. I appreciate it. And making the drive here. Why don't you introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about who you are, what you guys do.

00:34 Yeah. Well thank you for having me. It's great to be here. I'm Phebe. I own Nuflours. It's a certified gluten free bakery here in Seattle and we're a full service bakery, which is a little unusual for gluten free. So we have a full pastry line. We do brownies, cookies, we do a and Tiramisu, we do breads, and then we do custom wedding cakes. And we do so many wedding cakes. It's a lot of fun.

00:58 Yeah. And uh, we were just kind of talking off mic that, you know, I, it's gotta be a huge demand nowadays, especially in Seattle and everything. And be talking about, have you seen like come to a big spike or if you guys just always been busy

01:09 w uh, there's definitely been a spike. So I started the business in 2011 and I started it right on the front end of that gluten free Serge and I, I kinda saw it coming and I went, you know, now is the best time to start a gluten free bakery. There's going to be a huge demand for it. And a couple of years, um, there was already a community that, you know, if you have celiac or you haven't tolerance, you have to eat that way. But there was not a huge, um, social awareness about it. And so having the gluten free trend come and happen really educated a lot of what I call normal eaters, um, into the, the necessities of it. And it actually opened up a lot of opportunity for people to eat a more diverse diet too.

01:50 Yeah. I mean was it just kind of that there was just a more awareness? Cause I mean obviously people had difficulties before. Was it just like people finally figuring out like what was going on? I mean, I'm pretty not educated when it comes to that sort of thing. So I guess it would be good to just kind of educated as well.

02:05 I think the movement started for a lot of reasons. A like food trends come and go and there's, um, in like the Paleo trend has come and gone. You know, there's, there's always alternative diets that kind of come in waves and it was kind of gluten frees turn. I don't know how else to describe it. Um, you know, and there were definitely a lot of people that started the gluten free diet because they saw it as an opportunity to lose weight or to cut their carbs or to reduce the sugar intake. And it's not any of those things. It is literally alternative grains that, um, digest very differently if you have an intolerance or Celiac. And if you don't, you're simply eating a different diet. Um, the challenge that happens with a lot of gluten free products is they're higher in sugar, they're higher in starch and they're nutritionally devoid of anything that's worth eating. And what I did with Nuflours, so when I developed her recipes, we have a whole grain based flour blend, which is over 50% whole grain, which is unusual for gluten free. And um, I reduced the sugar and I just use really good quality ingredients. So like our banana bread has loads of banana in it. Our pumpkin is organic pumpkin. We use locally sourced ingredients and just really natural, um, good quality ingredients.

03:26 And so what, what was your background before starting the bakery? Had you had any, uh, entrepreneurial goals before that or how did that come about?

03:34 I actually have a fine arts degree. That's awesome. Yeah. So I got to find years degree in ceramics. Several years before I started this and I was working in the finance industry and I just loved baking. I was baking as my evening and wintertime therapy basically. And I went gluten free for health reasons. It totally changed the way I felt. I just felt amazing physically, but mentally, um, emotionally I was just depressed. There wasn't any good gluten free available. And then I woke up one morning and went, wait a minute, I know how to bake, I know how to cook. So I started developing my own recipes and playing around in the kitchen and it was challenging, but I started creating some really amazing food. And then I thought, you know, there are a lot of other people out there that have to eat this way, don't choose to eat this way and want just really good food. And so I spent my evenings putting together a business plan and then quit my job and started

04:34 bakery. Anybody, I always ask like, anybody in your family and been an entrepreneur, you're like, was that scary for you? Or

04:44 it wasn't really scary. Um, I was nervous about it for sure, but I'm also a very determined person and I'm very data driven. And so I looked at the market opportunity and I looked at what was really out there and I just went, you know, this is, this is a great opportunity and it would be tragic if I didn't do it. Someone else will step in and fill the gap. And the funny thing is since I opened in 2011, um, at that point there were two gluten for other to other gluten free bakeries. And since then, you know, fast forward eight years, there's still Nuflours and two other gluten free bakeries. Those gluten free bakeries have changed, but there's still just three of us in the Seattle area, which is just bizarre to me because it's such a huge market and there's such a huge customer base.

05:34 Yeah, that's crazy. I would think that that would definitely, yeah, that there would be a lot. So we'll go for you guys talk about this fine arts degree and then what kind of, how'd you kind of get your education and kind of Meld to where we got right?

05:46 Yeah, so I was a little bit of a late bloomer. I took it a few years off in between college years and worked my way through school, came out debt free. Um, but I, I got a fine arts degree in ceramics from a tiny little arts college in Portland, Oregon, College of art and craft. And they focus on the technique of it a lot. So very, um, born out of the American craft culture. And I just love creating, I love creating beautiful objects, but I also enjoy creating beautiful objects that have a moment of permanence and then you consume them and they're gone. So you're touching people's lives in a very immediate way, but you're not filling space with, you know, chotchkies things that are just going to sit around and collect dust.

06:40 Why ceramics where, what was the draw for that?

06:44 I just love, I love creating three d form. The funny thing is like baking is very similar to ceramics. It's seen sculpting things out of, you know, sugar, sugar paste instead of clay. And you bake it a much lower temperature. But it's, it's very similar in terms of a tactile satisfaction. Exactly. Uh, so you said, so you, you Kinda, you, you knew how the bay

07:06 can you kind of saw this, you know, market gap I guess, or would you say,

07:12 uh, how did you self taught baking or how did, how did that just kind of fiddling around? Very much self taught. So I grew up on a farm in the eighties and nineties in eastern Washington and I really appreciate it. My parents raised me on real food and when I moved away I didn't realize like, wait a minute, I didn't have my first pop tart until I was 19. I ate at Mcdonald's once in high school, you know, and just like not missing it when I was a kid cause it was a little bit weird, you know, not ever going to Taco Bell, but at the same time just having my body really appreciating really real good food. My favorite chore as a kid was baking the school, um, the cookies for a school, lunches for me and my sisters. And it turns out it was just, I like to being endorsed but,

08:02 and this, we just got back from Spokane. Where did you grow up? Well, at Wala. Oh, awesome. Was there though? It must've been quite the transition to go from Walla Walla, the Portland, and then now the Seattle and Capitol Hill. How did you kind of handle that? I was very much done with eastern Washington. Yeah. Yeah. Just because of, uh, the, the size or the rural? No Sir.

08:23 It's, it's a little too rural for me. I really enjoy going back and visiting. I still have a lot of family that lives there and it's beautiful. And then I come back to Seattle and I am just so happy to be back in the city.

08:36 It was funny, I, uh, I went to Gonzaga, but I toured Whitman, which is in La, and I remember, uh, we tour the, the downtown, which was like four blocks and I was like, Oh, I think I'm good here. Yeah, no, it is, you know, is Spokane was like, you know, at least had, had a little bit more city, uh, size to it. Uh, so you went to college, our baking. I had you, uh, did you kind of immediately get into doing weddings when you started or how did that kind of transitioned into doing events and stuff?

09:07 Actually, I did that. The funny thing is I, I moved up here to start my business February, 2011 and I had initially planned on just starting with farmer's markets, but, um, my now brother-in-law was running Ed, uh, chef business at the time and he had, you know, industry contacts and a friend of his was supposed to be doing some gluten free wedding cakes, ended up having to back out and he went, wait a minute, I have somebody that can take on your orders. So the very first product I did was like two wedding cakes, like right out of the gate because the farmer's markets hadn't started. I had no wholesale accounts and I already had clients. So it was very, it was a very lucky break.

09:48 And, uh, so obviously, you know, always a huge demand there. I do you, do you enjoy kind of that aspect of it and, and, and you know, dealing with brides and grooms and doing events. Do you like the idea of weddings and talking about come of that?

10:02 I say weddings honestly are the most fun. Um, we, we have several different aspects of business that, that areas of business that we cover. You know, we have our retail shop, we do, you know, wholesale throughout the Puget sound region. But weddings are where we really get to play. Um, it's every wedding is customized to every wedding is very personal. And to get to meet with the bridal couple and say, hey, what do you want? And either they come with, you know, an inspiration board, they often come up with a Pinterest that has, you know, 20 pins. And we're like, all right, that's great. You know exactly what you want. And other times we have couples that come in and they're like, well, I don't know. I've never shopped for wedding cake. And we're like, all right, so then we pull out our portfolio and we're like, well, what's, what are your colors? What do you think? Is there anything in particular that you really like? And it's very rare that we have a couple that has absolutely nothing that they were thinking of. They just don't even know how to begin. And so it's, it's a lot of fun. It's where we really get to play and be creative.

11:02 Yeah. Do you think it has to be a cake shopping has to be one of the more pleasant parts of wedding planning, you know, if you want to give you right down to it. Um, how does, how does it work just from a procedural, if couples, you know, interested in like talking to you guys about doing wedding cakes and I assume right, you can do other desserts and things as well.

11:22 Absolutely. Yeah. So if you want a cake, we highly recommend that you schedule a tasting with us. Um, it's where we get to know each other, where you get to taste our cakes and figure out what you like, why you like, what combinations do you like. And for us to really good to get a good idea of what you're looking for and if we're going to be a good client fit for you. Um, and beyond that, you know, sky's the limit. We've done so many dessert tables, you know, like little mini tartlets, little tiny pies. Um, Moose, uh, uh, petty petty for forays, Tiramisu, shots tonight. You, you name it basically if you want it, we will make it for you.

12:02 Yeah. Cause it seems like that isn't, at least when we go to the weddings now the trend is, you know, you might have a cake or a little or cake and then kind of more, I guess trying to like give diversity of the client or that the guests so they can have more substance use or have you kind of know the salary. Why have you come to know this? Cause you know, I think like back in like the eighties, it was like, you know, big white cake and that was kind of what people thought. And nowadays it could be anything. Right? So talking about kind of that trend as you've seen it. Okay.

12:28 What we've noticed is when things are definitely trending smaller and, uh, more comfortable, more relaxed. So, definitely not that, you know, seven tiered big white wedding with the crazy a Cinderella dress. Um, it's much more relaxed. And so we do a lot of, you know, one or two or three tiered wedding cakes or we'll do, you know, a cutting cake with, you know, five other dessert options where guests can kind of mix and match. Um, when we're doing the full dessert ourselves, which honestly were gluten free. So often we do the cutting cake for the bride and you know, for other guests. And then another bakery will step in and do the rest of them, the rest of the dessert table. But when we do, we try and have something for everyone. So, you know, it's first and foremost gluten free. But then we also have a couple of dairy free options because a lot of adults are dairy intolerant. They just don't know it. We'll have a few options that are maybe Paleo or we'll have a couple of vegan options. So we really try and provide variety that's going to be delicious and beautiful.

13:28 Yeah, no, my, uh, growing up my brother had and still has severe food allergies for nuts and eggs and fish and I mean, it's like runs the gamut. So, yeah, I mean I think it is challenging. Yeah. If you're a guest at the wedding and then going and like my wife's a vegetarian or if you're gluten free, you're kind of, you know, making sure you feel like you have a place and that you're kind of being accommodated for. Right?

13:49 Yeah. Yeah. Well you went to enjoy and celebrate, but you also want to feel safe.

13:54 Um, do you, do you, uh, do you talk about kind of just, you know, weddings and, and, and love? Do you kind of get caught up in that and kind of baking this cake is kind of part of that? Or do you look at it more like, you know, kind of just make it something for the client and it could be a graduation or a birthday or a wedding or talking about that.

14:13 I get really excited about weddings because people are just so happy. It's, it's just, it's like this huge, huge day. And how can you not want to be a part of that, you know? And so just from the beginning of the process where the cup of comes in and often word like the last chore that they have to do their last appointment and they're just so relieved to be getting to sit down and like taste cake and have fun. And we just say, what do you want? It's your day. Oh, well we think are are, you know, everybody will want vanilla. Everybody likes vanilla. And I'm like, honey, what do you want? You want carrot cake? Awesome. Let's make a four tiered wedding cake. This all carrot cake with cream cheese because it's about you, what you want. Um, but just encouraging them to really own their day and just get excited about it and getting to participate in that is just, it's so exciting and so fun too to be a part of that.

15:05 Um, yeah. When you were starting now, like you said, you what you were doing, the farmer's markets and events and stuff and then you have like a retail space. It was that, was that always a goal or did you anticipate that or is that something, how did that come about?

15:18 Uh, I very much intended to have a retail space. Yeah. I have historically bootstrapped the business financially and I didn't have a lot to start with. So I wanted to just test the market if it was really what I thought it was, um, by doing farmer's markets. And I was also working out of a shared commissary at that point in Lower Queen Anne. And so, um, it was a great way to meet other people in the food community, but it was also a very financially, um, low risk way to start the business. And so I just worked crazy, crazy hard. And then, uh, we opened retail in 2014.

15:53 That was a, I'm trying to think is the, I guess it was a good time, right? Cause the crash was coming before that. I always tried to place, we'll kind of where everybody was and Jackson and then kind of open now a capella. I mean, Seattle must've changed even from 2014 to now at capitol kind of radically. Right. How do you, do you guys still feel, do you still enjoy being on Capitol Hill and all that and how do you enjoy kind of having that physical space to kind of interact with customers? Right,

16:19 absolutely. So we're on 15th and Mercer, so it's up towards volunteer park. It's the quieter side of Capitol Hill, less than I life. And we got that location because it's a little bit more of a destination because we knew a lot of our customer base was going to be coming in from the suburbs or from out of Seattle. And so being able to have a little bit more parking and to be able to have a little bit of seating so they could come in, you know, have a sandwich, pick up their birthday cake, pick up a loaf of bread and a box full of pastries. Um, and to have it be a little bit more walkable, um, was exactly what we wanted. And since we opened in 2014, that particular section of 15th has been seeing a little bit of a revival to, uh, so it's really exciting to see the neighborhood kind of grew up around us.

17:06 How do you kind of, that balance between you, the events and the bakery and the retail? I mean, how do you kind of manage that and the, do you have a team that you kind of work with or how do you kind of handle all that? Right.

17:18 I have an amazing crew. Amazing. So I have a general manager and she oversees a lot of the personnel side of it. And then I have, you know, retail staff that's specifically all they manages, the retail counter. And, um, and then in the back we have a couple of different types of bakers. We have production bakers, we have a few staff that all they do is finishing product and packaging for our wholesale. And then I have, um, production support for my Ba, uh, my cake specialist. And then I have a cake specialists where all does is cake. And I still do cakes once in a while a little bit, but mostly I'm just taking care of my people. And then, you know, sometimes meeting with wedding clients and you know, running the business.

18:00 Yeah. Do you ever miss kind of getting your hands further in the day? Talking about that?

18:04 I very much mister creativity and um, I also acknowledged that what I really wanted to do was create an amazing business. And at the end of the day, I just want to feed people really amazing, gluten free. I say like happy bellies, make happy minds and happy hearts. And so if I want to do that, it means that I need to enable my team rather than having my hands in, they kick myself. Because if I'm in the cake, it means I'm not running the business. So an I now thrive with watching my cake specialist create beautiful wedding cakes or having another of my staff person does it. My staff, um, developing new recipes, like we're working on a dairy free cinnamon roll. It's so good.

18:49 Uh, how do you as someone that also not nearly as is many employees, if it just said fine, you having to find people that were a few, like how do you kind of as a business owner, you know, in part your vision on other people but also kind of let them have the creativity and like find people that you really trust and can drive. What is that? You know, it's shiny to me. I assume it's challenging.

19:10 It is challenging. Um, it, a lot of it has to do with their interview process and then our training process. So, um, my general manager, um, it takes on the bulk of the hiring and we're looking for a little bit of, you know, can you do the job? Are you capable of doing the job? But a lot of it that we're looking for is just culture fit. Are you going to be a good part of Nuflours culture? Are you willing to be supportive of your fellow staff, of your fellow team members? And Are you willing to learn? Because once you hire on with us, you're always going to be learning. And then our training process, I'm dependent on what position we hire you for. It's training that's upwards of six months. Um, it's, it's a pretty meticulous program.

19:57 Wait, what is the hardest part that you find in terms of running the business at the scale that you have at?

20:03 Ooh, that's a tough, honestly for me, it's trying to make sure that I'm giving my team the information that they need to do their job and the training that they need to do to do their job and then getting out of their way and letting them do their job.

20:22 I assume in, in doing as many weddings and events and as long as you guys have been in business, you must have some funny stories. Talk about kind of, uh, any, the standoff.

20:32 Well, it's funny cause when I started, um, there's this website called what is the cake feels or that comment is still just like really terrible cakes with just like terrible spellings or all of that. And I'm just like, Oh God, I hope I never have a cake. The ends up here and I haven't yet. But I always was just really very conscious of cake fails. And one of the tricky things about delivering your wedding cakes during wedding season here in Seattle, which is you know, weeks long is I'm getting your cakes onsite when sometimes you have to take a ferry and have them arrive in one piece. And the, I've only ever had one cake fail and it was in July, it was a three tiered vegan wedding cake. So if you can imagine like cake is already like fairly tender. It has a really nice delicate crumb.

21:21 Vegan cake is even more so. So you like you look at it and it just like wants to turn into a pile of crowns. So we've like preach a this cake. And I was like traveling with it and with, you know like ice bags. I had to get on the ferry, it was a two and a half hour drive to the, to the site to location. And I'm just like, I hope I get there. I hope I get there and it's fine. So we pull into the location and I, I pop open the back and literally a third of the top layer had just cascaded down the side of the cake. And I'm like, there's nothing I can do. Like I have my emergency kit, I have some spare frosting, but I can't piece together like a third of a layer of a cake. What am I going to do? So I go inside and thankfully I knew the catering team and they're like, oh my God, honey, how can we help? How can we help him? Like, do you guys have some flowers? Unfortunately the bride had wanted flowers on the cake, but we found some just enormous leaves that are about as big as my face. And I just like Kinda did some patchwork. And by the time I was done, it was just gorgeous. But half of the family was sitting around waiting for family photos to happen. So I had an audience trying to patch this cake together. It was so nerve wracking.

22:39 Uh, we had had one of those this summer where yeah. Like it came and it slid to like one side of the van or something. So they definitely had to be careful about how they kind of positioned it for the room because if you look from one side, it was kinda crooked. Uh, what, what do you think? Uh, yeah. What, what do you think are some common pitfalls that you see that people kind of dealer with big, you know, could be cakes or other kinds of baked goods for their weddings and things. Like, I always kind of asked that, like, what do you, what do you wish more people knew were asked about? Kind of in terms of the process of working with you guys?

23:15 I wish that people were much more comfortable to be okay. Wanting what they want or just being open to the possibilities. You know, he's like, you know, some people they love Tiramisu, but they're like, oh, half of my guests wouldn't like that. It's your wedding. Be Okay with it. Like my wedding, when we got married, I was like, you know, well, I own a bakery. I don't want cake. And my guests were like, you mean you don't want cake? And I'm like, no. We had pistachio pudding. It's like this very, very like savory dessert and everybody had like this individual like potted pudding and it was beautiful and it was delightful. And I just encourage people just like own what you want. It's your big day. Don't worry about disappointing your guests. Just be excited. Cause me more about that. And that decision not to have cake at your wedding. That's fascinating. Well I like cake but I eat a lot of cake.

24:07 I'm a huge fan of cake for breakfast. My favorite breakfast is like a slice of, of cold, like carrot cake or co or cheesecake and a cup of black coffee. And so you know, like when it comes to my wedding and you're like, we're taste testing things all the time, just like, you know, I don't really want that. What, what do I want? Well we're you getting married in June and I kind of like pistachios, so let's do something a little different. And my husband is like works for me. I talked to you about your wedding. Yeah. Where'd you guys get married? We got married at the course and building, so it's in Georgetown and um, it's a historic building, just kind of tucked under the overpass there on airport way. Um, it's a beautiful location, is seats, I think 30, 32 and so, uh, we had a very limited guests lists, which was really nice.

24:54 I'm, I come from a large family and my husband comes from the east coast and so I didn't want to end up having, you know, like 200 people. So we added an a venue that could have 30. And it was really, like I say about what we wanted, you know, we cared about food. We're both very into food. And, um, I didn't worry too much about photography or any of that. I just said, you know, I just want it to be about the food. So we had a friend of ours performed the ceremony in the ceremony was basically a swapping stories about each other.

25:29 And then at some point we, you know, exchange some vows and then we went inside and you know, my father in law had put together, um, it's huge, long classic jazz playlist because he's extremely into music and we ate dinner for three hours and it was wonderful. And when was this, 2012 so you were kind of transitioning, kind of starting off and doing this right. Had you, had you done a lot of ways at that point or were you still, we've done several. Did you ever feel, and you never felt the need, like you just want to do your own thing? Right? Pretty much. That was awesome. How is your husband in terms of the wedding planner? He was fairly engaged, uh, in terms of, we would just like sit down and say, what when we, we, when we initially started the process, we went, okay, like videographer, photographer, you know, like, you know, what's the venue?

26:21 And we, we actually looked at a fair number of venues and then we were just getting more and more and more stressed because we're like, we want to throw this amazing party. We want it to be about what we want, but we're getting wickedly stressed and like we didn't really worry about having a budget, but we just sat and we looked at each other and we're like, what are we doing? What do we really want? Okay, what do we care about? And so we came up with a list of just a couple of things that we cared about, which was, you know, having our parents there and then, you know, other family food and then it being outside I'm like, okay, we've got this.

26:56 Um, well yeah. So it seemed to me, like I said, some of that's surefooted like that you could really help couples also kind of find their and their on voice. Right. Were you very much have what you wanted to do and how you want to do it? I do you find that you ever, like you said you wish were a couple of side of the boys, so you find like you have to help them get that boy sometimes. Yeah.

27:16 And that, that's actually a really fun part of the process too. Like if they're really unsure, then we just pull out our portfolio and say, okay, you know, we do, you know, fondant cakes, we do butter cream cakes we can do and like the full range of flavors. And so there's that side of it. But then also what do you want it to look like? What's your theme? Oh, you don't have a theme or like, sometimes they'll be like, it's actually caused play and we're like, awesome. That's amazing. Well let me show you my three d dragon cake. Let me show you our red vs blue Lego cake. You know, and like Geek culture is very strong here in Seattle. And so encouraging people to just like not be shy about it and like, oh no, let's do it.

27:55 Well, I would have to imagine what the, as many years as you've been doing it as many weddings and other things, like you had to have seen kind of your fair shake. Right. I mean, has there been anything that's really kind of throwing you off or I guess what would be the most interesting kind of thing that you've worked on?

28:09 Honestly, still my, my favorite cake today that I made was a to scale elder Red Dragon d and d cake. So the, the couple, and this was back in 2012 or 2013, um, the couple had wanted a three tiered cake with the dragon painted on it. And I was like, okay, great, I can do that. And then about two weeks before the wedding, I was just like, I was working on diagrams and doing some sketches and I went, you know what, this is going to look great from one angle, but the space that they're in, you need to view the cake from, um, almost all sides and it's not going to look good. So I emailed them and I said, hi, do you mind if I'm not going to charge you any extra? But I would rather sculpt a d dragon? And they were like, yes, please. Because they cake toppers were, um, mini figs that they had painted, um, mainly figurines, uh, the, the bride, the groom, and then their dog in the middle. So I sculpted a to scale older red dragon that was climbing up the side of the cake. That's awesome.

29:12 I'm sure they were over the moon. Yeah. So that you would say that that was the most unique case you've worked on as there ever been any that you thought like that was going to be a bigger challenge than maybe it was and it ended up being good for you. Like when they came to you and you're like, our other live, we're going to be able to do that.

29:29 Hmm.

29:29 Are you just confident than you can deliver on anything? Really confident.

29:35 Okay.

29:35 It helps you. Like my cake specialist is incredibly talented and she's very clear her skills too and she's also willing to challenge yourself in play. So

29:45 yeah, I guess, I mean, do you find that you kind of go through those themes of like, I don't know, is there a lot of like game of Thrones desserts and stuff now? I Dunno. I mean, do you guys find that it's kind of, I would think that that would be one way that couples could kind of like be on trend. I guess with whatever's going on is that

30:00 yeah, we don't see that so much with weddings. We do see it more with birthday cakes. Like we did a lot of Pokemon birthday cakes.

30:08 Okay.

30:08 That's awesome. Um, I'm, I'm just kind of

30:13 find it so interesting that you kind of have grown this so far off of just kind of this knowing where the market is going. Right. I mean, where do you think that that drive came from and where do you think that, like how have you been able to find success where like, I'm sure there's lots of other bakers and people that have not had as much success?

30:32 I think just clarity, resilience and passion. Um, really understanding what I'm trying to accomplish and why. Um, I just want to feed people and they always say that a lot and people are like, oh, that's so sweet. Congratulations. I'm like, no, like feeding people and doing it well with really good food is hard. Having the resilience, like I just started, I just hit my eighth anniversary with, um, Nuflours and there's been some really challenging years in there. But saying this is really what I should be doing and I see where this business is headed and I know what to I, what I want to accomplish. And having that longer vision, seeing that big picture really helps you get through those really tough times.

31:21 Yeah. Cause I bet there's, you know, cause a large, either a large portion of our audiences, you know, brides and grooms, but then also other wedding vendors and people that are looking, uh, what, what advice would you give for people like that that are starting the other are struggling or you know, one or two years in,

31:38 remember why you started it, what's your passion? I just love giving people ground. Yeah.

31:47 Which of course she came with today. Uh, some, uh, dairy free brownies, which uh, I'm sure Dorothy and I will be excited to enjoy it later. Is it, is that like a, a maternal instinct to feed and where do you think that that comes from? Just the desire to like give people food and make people happy like that.

32:06 It came from the way I grew up. I grew up in a very large family in eastern Washington. I have several dozen first cousins. I'm one of seven myself. And we just grew up in a culture of food. Like we'd get together for family picnics all the time. It would have family over and barbecue and there was just this sense of, um, it's how you tell people you love them, how you care about them is by, you know, bringing them food. You know, like somebody has a baby, you call them and you're like, okay, let's, let's have the list of, you know, who's bringing you wet when so that you don't have to cook for the first, you know, three, four months that you're a new parent and it's, you're overwhelmed and just sleep deprived, you know, or Xena somebody passes. So you have a, you have a potluck. Everybody comes together over food. And I just, I see like there's such a social connection point where, where food is concerned and I don't ever want to let that go.

33:06 I guess in, and yeah, as much as you know, times in Seattle and everywhere kinda changes that that's still always kind of be a constant. Right? I mean, you can't, Amazon delivered.

33:16 Okay.

33:17 You know, like a wedding food and events and, right. I mean it's, it's, uh, talking about Kinda the future, like, do you continue? Like, where do you see the next kind of the path going for you guys in the bakery?

33:30 Well, I just want to keep growing, so I really see the bakery. I'm, this year I'm really focusing on growing our cakes more. Um, a lot of people still don't even realize that we're here in Seattle. Um, but for those that need to eat gluten free food and like we're a certified bakery, and so being able to provide everything and have it be safe, you know, dairy free options, all of that. Um, I just really want to see our co cakes just explode on the other side of the business. We actually sell cake by the slice to some of our, um, local groceries like PCC. And I really want to see that I'm getting out more into the Puget sound region.

34:10 I'm talking about the process of being in the being gluten free certified and does that obviously challenging, you know, talking about kind of going through that process, the process. Yes. So Wrigley and three s free certified through

34:26 the gluten intolerance group and it's a fairly intense process. You have to go through a vendor verification process where you vet all your vendors and if they're not already on the approved list for the GFC, oh. Um, you have to get them approved. You have to have them send in their paperwork saying that they're gluten free facility and how often they test and all of their cleanliness practices. Um, and then you have to verify all of your ingredients individually and then you have to continually verify all of your ingredients. So we do gluten particulate testing every week, even though we don't ever change ingredients and all of our vendors have been verified. So we still have to maintain, uh, uh, checks log and we get audited annually.

35:11 That's crazy. It's, it's a lot. I bet you most people that shop and like, you know, like don't even really come to realize all the work and stuff that goes into that. And obviously that's like pivotally important for you, right. To kind of maintain that standing. I mean he's talking about that and it just kind of making sure that like people know like exactly what they're getting and when they come to you guys.

35:32 Yeah. So for me it's very much about having that nationally known seal of um, a lot of people do know our story, but as we grow, there are people that obviously haven't met me or haven't heard of us and you know, by word of mouth sometimes they, you know, first discover us by seeing, you know, a Brownie sitting at a coffee shop and they're like, oh, who is Nuflours? And then they see that little GF logo, that certification symbol and they know that it's safe to eat, not just that it says Nuflours, a gluten free bakery. What does that mean? It doesn't mean anything unless you have that little seal of approval

36:05 dark. But the diversification of all this and kind of like you said, getting into the store is getting into, you know, cafes and things like that. I mean, do you have that up? Do you have someone that heads that up? I mean, how does that work to kind of continually find it? Just that's like a whole nother level then a lot of the people that are on here like operate that

36:25 it really is, I talk a lot, I sample a lot. So we have what we call it, a vendor hugs program. So we go and we try and visit, um, a lot of our, you know, B to B customers pretty regularly. So you can just like dropping by saying hi, you know, what can I do for you? How's it going? Um, and then looking at who else is out there that we consider it to be, you know, like good customer fits, um, taking samples to them, introducing ourselves, seeing if they're interested in initiating a gluten free program if they don't have one already. Um, and you know, sometimes just offering them free product and seeing if they want to kind of do a customer test and see if there actually is a need for it. Um, we do still get a lot of people reaching out to us because we are a fairly well known local brand at this point. So people saying, oh hey I like, I hear you the best gluten free in the city. And I'm like, yes, yes we are.

37:18 Enjoy kind of being that face and having to put yourself out there like that to, to sell that. I mean do you, I know like some business and creative types like to be behind the scenes, what word you kind of like to be in and why do you like that?

37:32 Historically I was hiding in the back. I had a business partner. She joined me about a year and a half after I started the business and then she moved on to other opportunities last year. And so I'm transitioning into being more the face of the business and I'm discovering I'm really enjoying it. You know, I get to share my story. I get to talk about our products and I get to talk about our team and we just have such an incredible business and an incredible product and an incredible team. Like I just get so excited about it.

38:05 Yeah. What is normal? I ask you then what keeps somebody excited coming to work everyday? I mean you obviously seem like super thrilled. So what, what is that, that, what is it that excites you about, you know, continuing this journey and could kind of continue with that growth pattern?

38:19 Knowing that I'm affecting positive change in people's lives? Oh, what we make is a femoral. It's meant to be consumed, but there's going to be pictures and like you're going to be working looking three or wedding album, you know, 10 years, 20 years, 30 years from now. And you may not remember like, oh, that was a Nuflours cake, but the cake is going to be there. Like we touched your life, we touched your kid's birthdays, we touched evidence. And to me, just knowing that we are supporting people in a healthy and positive way is what really keeps me going.

38:58 Uh, talk about what your life looks like outside of work, whether you do, you know, talking about your family, what do you do when you're not running this kind of large scale

39:08 got going on? Well,

39:11 I'm sure there's so much time in the, in the fraction of time that there is. What do you like to do? I actually really enjoy cooking.

39:20 It's not making accounts. I really enjoy cooking.

39:25 My husband. Uh, we have a lot of fun doing that. And then, um, uh, what do I do with it than that? I read a fair amount. Um, I'm really into a classic Saifai so like Cj Cherry, um, Philip k Dick. Um, that's what I do with my winters. Oh yeah.

39:45 Are you guys able to uh, be a little less seasonal or do you still kind of have the same cause like Seattle, the wedding season, the cell where like where you guys have other things or do you still find you kind of have that seasonal?

39:57 We are definitely seasonal. Um, the retail quiets down in the summer, but that's really when weddings pickup and write about when weddings starve. Now I'm slowing down a little bit. Um, we get into the fourth quarter and that's when the holiday's pickup and school picks up. Um, and where our auctions season picks up a little bit too. Like we do a lot of donations. Um, and so like c or Q two weaves nicely into Q three weaves nicely into Q four and then in Q one in January, um, it gets a lot quieter and it's actually kind of a busted relief cause that's when we, um, you know, reassess, you know, internal systems, what do we need to update? Who needs training, how can we make things better for the coming year? And so we just kinda like sit back a little bit and reassess and it's a really great time to do that. And it's nice that we have a little bit of a breather to do that. Okay.

40:52 Yeah. I, I always agree with that. This, yeah, if you're going a thousand miles per hour all the time, you know, it is good to kind of be able to have a little bit of self reflection even if you kind of have all these different things. Uh, what do you wish more people knew about you guys or your products are gluten free baking and there, what do you, what do you wish, you know, if we're in here, they to educate and get your story out, you know, what do you wish more people knew or asked about or were aware about?

41:16 I think just gluten free in general. Um, gluten-free historically has a bad rap. People like, oh, it's, I don't need to eat gluten free, so it's not going to, I don't want to eat it. It's not going to taste good. It's like sandy or it's too sweet or it's just try it. It's just a Brownie or just try it. It's slice the cake. Like, just because you can eat meat at every meal if you, if you do eat meat doesn't mean you do. So just because you can't eat gluten it at every meal doesn't mean you shouldn't try other things. So, you know, just eat a diverse diet, you know?

41:46 And uh, definitely. Yeah. Enjoy some of these, uh, awesome. Uh, brownies and other treats, I guess. Do we get the final rundown of all the different products? And things you guys offer. I know we've talked about cakes and desserts and things like that, but maybe kind of as a final wrap, you know, what all different options you guys have. I'm sure there's more

42:07 so 20 minutes later. Yeah. So, well when it comes to

42:13 weddings, we do, you know, of course multi-tiered custom cakes. We do dessert tables. Um, so many desserts, you know, cupcakes, um, individual like petit fours pies, mini cookies, that kind of thing. Um, we also work with, caters quite a bit doing breads, so when they have bread baskets or bread for it, um, appetizers, we do that. Um, and we do have, you know, wholesale prices available. Um, and then in the retail we also have a full pastry case. So we do Tiramisu, we do a is we have savory, so we do like quiche and sandwiches and soup, that kind of thing. What's your, uh, what's your favorite dessert? Oh my goodness.

42:55 Pistachio pudding. Oh, that is so to my grandma and two, to be honest, we don't sell that at the shop. That's something that I make at home for myself at the shop. It really depends on the day,

43:09 but like this time of year where it's like still a little bit cold and crisp in the morning, but it's warm. I love a slice of Tiramisu.

43:16 That's awesome. Well this has been so nice for you coming into today. I appreciate you making the drive from Capitol Hill and it's, it's such a beautiful day outside and I appreciate you taking some time to stay inside a, if people want to learn more about you and your bakery and just all the, I mean countless different kinds of ways that they can see and get it. Uh, where would you have them check out and what would you direct them to?

43:37 Yeah, take a look at our website. It's or you can always give us a call (206) 395-4623 and find out what we're about or pop by the retail shop and say hi.

43:50 Perfect. Well thank you so much. And again, thank you so much for the brownies. I appreciate that. And taking the time to stop by and chat. This has been another episode of Get to Know Your Wedding Pro. Check back next week for another wedding vendor interview. Thanks so much. Thank you.

Melodi Ramquist, 1000 Stories Events

[00:09] Hey everybody, welcome to Get to Know Your Wedding Pro. My name is Reid with Best Made Videos®. We are a wedding videography company based out of West Seattle, Washington. And today I'm joined by a Melodi Ramquist of 1000 Stories Events out of Vancouver, Washington. And Melodi, I want to thank you so much for coming on today and take it some time. It's a beautiful day here in Seattle. I don't know how it looks down in Vancouver but certainly it's nice to get to catch up with you. And why don't you introduce yourself, tell us who you are and a little bit about what you do.

[00:39] Awesome. Thanks Reid. Thanks for the opportunity. I'm really excited and I went outside to go get some coffee. Um, and it's sunny and bright and really cold and windy. So I'm back in my office and happy to have this conversation. So, 1000 Stories Events wedding planning and coordination. Basically I started this business November of 2016 with a kind of a go live November 1st. So it was a from scratch grassroots, like what am I going to do? How am I going to do this? Um, you know, what's the name? Who is my target audience? What's the business plan? Where is my office? What am I going to do? So I started from, um, you know, we moved up here in June of 2016 from southern California without a plan, just an opportunity arose to leave la. We jumped at the chance to get out and we moved to Pacific northwest. So, um, came up in June and spent a couple of months kind of figure out what to do next.

[01:45] What were you, what were you doing down in LA before that?

[01:49] So I spent about 20 years in LA in retail, so it was a retail buyer and then I sold jewelry and accessories to other retailers. But you know, the retail industry is pretty broken. Um, and so that industry does change so much. So it was no more fun to it. It was just hard work. And at that point now the CEOs are over looking what you're buying. I don't know why. So, um, the last job I had was wonderful. I got to work from home and travel to visit my customers up in Seattle and San Francisco. And I went to New York, a Taryn and I got to work from home and I loved it. But they went out of business. And so I lost my job. So then I'm like, well, do I get another job in downtown La and make those five hour commute or do we get out of dodge? And so we left.

[02:48] And so when you say we, who all moved up to Vancouver

[02:51] as my partner, ray and I, so he's a wedding photographer and he's like, well I can just take my business up there and we'll just figure out what you're going to do. And I got up here and I kind of looked into the retail industries and you know who's up here? We got with keen and you'd have the dean does. Then you have Nike and Under Armour, Fred Meyer. And I kind of look lightly at the jobs that were available with like, why did I move all the way up here just to do the same thing? So I'm like, that's really not in the wheelhouse. Let's not do that again.

[03:27] And so, you know, weddings and wedding planning and then, I mean that's quite a, that's quite a leap. So how did, what kind of inspired that process?

[03:36] So ray had been shooting weddings for about 12 years and although I am not a tog refer, um, I love kind of a second shooter. I can handle detail shots, I can handle those second angles. Um, and so really he has me as a client care specialists kind of along the way sales you post post event sales and just, um, from my retail background to doing that and I am a customer service smile. Um, I kind of demand high customer service from all the people that I buy from and vendors that I work with. Um, and in turn I'd give that back to my customers. I want them to have the best experience. So, um, my last year in la I also did a relay for life events. I had six big city events that I ran for the American cancer society. So that was kind of, there was like, you know, weddings and that pretty and lovely and great personal moments to these very emotional 24 hour events on a truck, sleeping in a tent where you don't really look all lovely and pretty. So both of those experiences and like I am like the logistical person, put people in touch with other people, make a comprehensive plan. But I want every one of my clients have, they're very, very, very personal moments.

[05:08] That's fascinating. Yeah. Similar. Uh, I lost my father to cancer years ago. We did media really for life at our local high school. Uh, talk to us about that kind of, how are you involved? You said you kind of ran that and maybe for people you're ran logistics belts for people that don't maybe know why, would you give a little bit about what, how much work that was for you to kind of help

[05:29] coordinating? So the relay for life where people have, don't know, it's a 24 hour kind of a lock on it. There's no, it's kind of a team thing. You're just trying to keep people on the track to raise awareness. And each of those team members is out there kind of trying to raise funds for the American cancer society. And it started, I had five events that have been running a long time in one that I was starting from scratch. They're like, hey, come on in temple city, go. Um, and so you do a lot of community outreach. You're trying to meet the movers and shakers and trying to get to know as many people to try to connect with everyone that you can find that either is battling cancer and survived cancer may be lost someone to cancer. And trying to find those connections because we're there to kind of support and help them through those moments.

[06:22] So the event itself, again, it's a 24 hour event, so you're starting with this lab that like celebrate survivors and they get to have that first lap and then through the day as a lot of fun and bands and food and teams and often just fund raising events. I'm always during the nighttime and then ending it the next day. But logistically you're bringing in, you know, lights and sound systems and you have to make sure there's an ambulance on site. You have to make sure the local police know that it's going on. You're counting thousands of dollars, tens, hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash during those events. It's a big fundraiser. So you know, between trying to get the community involved in city council involved and all the know survivors and their families involved, that you can find, it's takes about 11 months to plan a single event. So you're doing six of those and you are just in different times like trying to get your event going and through the day and then you have a month off and then you start it all over again.

[07:34] Yeah. So I mean a lot of sort of, should I be that really got you kind of ready to go for what you're doing now. I mean, cause I know like kind of the, this overwhelming amount of work that goes into that and, and uh, you know, that definitely would transition kind of into doing weddings and stuff like that as well. And so then you said you kind of the second shot as well and we're involved about, I mean, did you enjoy that aspect of it? Did you enjoy kind of being that, not that what he planted, he wasn't hands on with weddings, but like Yo, with photography, I mean did your like placing the rings and doing details and stuff like that, did you enjoy that?

[08:06] I love all of that. Is there is just so beautiful, like everything's set up really when you get there and start shooting that day. Um, the dress, the bride, um, I think that a lot of female wedding photography's have an edge over males because you get to get in that room when she's not dressed yet. And so I'm always the one in there where she'd be comfortable with me until she was, you know, so I still want to get those shots, like we don't want to miss those. So I'm in there taking those shots and then as soon as she was clothed but up, then I'm like, okay, right outside the door, just waiting. So she was like, okay, I'm ready to have a guy in the room. Um, and so those were really fun moments, like laughing and giggling. Like are we doing a little like Sean had like Polaroid, sometimes we take a fun little like needy Polaroid, which we can hand off to the groom right before he walks down the aisle. So kind of for his eyes only for seat. Um, so all those kinds of Glen moments, you know, that happened in a wedding. I have last doing those.

[09:12] That's awesome. Did you, uh, you said you spent quite a bit of time down in La. Did you like that? Uh, it's a lot different, right? They may,

[09:21] yeah, I didn't like La. The one thing about events though, as they happen 12 months out of the year, and so although there are events happening here 12 months out of the year, they're really truly a wedding season so that you're all human to, you've been trying to like jam as many events as you can handle, um, into a small, short, three months worth of work. And I'm just a, a single entrepreneur, so I can only really do one or two weddings a weekend. And I prefer just do one, so I can do a good job with that one and not be tired for the next one.

[10:02] Uh, so the, so you come up to Vancouver and you said you kind of looked at the retail scene and said, well, maybe you know, let's, let's figure out some of the here. So how did the idea to come about kind of LP, the wedding planning business? Uh, it's obviously you had, he had been entrepreneurial kind of in the past, but like what was it about kind of starting the business now and say, you know, this is what I'm going to do,

[10:23] you know, a little bit of research up here, show that there weren't a lot of wedding planners. And so, you know, when you're coming up with a business plan, you're like, well, what's the competition out there? So it's like, okay, well it's not inundated like Portland would be, or la or probably even Seattle. So there's room, um, and with what I've learned and done events in the past, like I'm very good at it. You know, like I have the tools and the organizational skills and the people skills to kind of make it work for people.

[10:59] Yeah. What is it about kind of like taking him out lead and kind of doing those logistics? What is it about that that excites you?

[11:06] I don't love my couples have this great vision of what their day is and sometimes that's like, and I'm going to walk down the aisle to the song and then my first dance is going to be did this song and then we're get um, I don't know, do this dance. And I'm like, okay, but what time is the caterer we're going to be there? Like I didn't know. I'm like, who's picking up the cake? Cause they're was like, oh, we're just getting a cake from Alberta. And it's like, okay, well someone has to get that cake and when are they going to get it and how are they going to transport it? The one that just kind of keeps coming up and up and up. I want, I'm not a florist and to a lot of bakers, so I'm cutting a wedding cake terrifies me. I'm like, I'm not experienced in that. So if people are like, oh, I'm getting a three or four tier cake baked for me, I'm like, well, who is going to cut that for you if you're just picking it up at Albert sentence? Um, so making those plans, it's sometimes you're like, oh, I don't know. I haven't, you know, been a banker. I'm like, let's find out if your aunt can do it. So making sure that there's a plan for all those details so that it just works smoothly.

[12:23] Yeah, it is. Like you said, it always fun to kind of, what people are focusing on are like, oh, we're going to get married at this time of day because that's what we want, but they don't know. We'll do the log in to be able to get there by that time. Right. The lights could be bad or I was just finding what people are. I remember a weather, my favorite couples from last year we met and it was like an hour and a half consult, which was actually a really long console, but my consults are that normally an hour and a half and they were so excited that they were basically doing Micah room for that, which is not an uncommon thing. You know where you get married, the one space and then you moved people outside and then you flipped to space and they thought that that was like the most amazing thing that they had ever heard and they were so excited to tell me about how they were going to do this room flap and how people were going to leave and then come back in. And I just kept thinking like, yeah, like basically nine out of 10 black needs is, that's usually kind of what we do. But you don't want to like burst her bubble and you're just like, yeah man, that sounds awesome. I'm really excited to see it.

[13:24] Yeah, you're right. You want to make sure that their event, a special to them and their thoughts on it are unique and different, but you want to make sure that they know that you can also handle those roles. So it's like, um, you know, up here at the Brickstone Ballroom where it's a single room. And so trying to flip that from a ceremony to a reception is sometimes the most worrisome part for brides are just like, I don't think we could look at how are we going to do that. I'm like, I can flip that around for 150 people in 15 minutes. You're like, don't let that hold you back. Like we can make that work and you're not even going to know you're going to go out and take pictures and come back and it's a whole new space.

[14:09] Yeah. And uh, just to, uh, I guess give contacts yet. You see, you also, um, manage the Brickstone Ballroom, which is an awesome venue we were talking about down in Vancouver, kind of right. I guess downtown Vancouver. I don't spend a lot of time in Vancouver, but it seemed downtown dish to me when I was there. And I actually would probably want to, like you said, have you back on because I think we could do a whole nother hour about kind of managing the venue and seven, needless to say, you kind of know, especially with like do with the photography to me in a lot, there's a lot of different aspects of the wedding that you've kind of had definite hands on experience, right?

[14:46] Yeah. I mean as a photographer you're there for a whole six, eight, 10 12 depending on the packet so that people behind. So um, yeah, I've spent a long, long hours at weddings. The other thing that gives me a head like an advantage I think to now as the coordinator is the photographer doesn't have to worry, they will never miss a shot. So I know the importance of the photography and so we're working through the plans for the photographer gets to have their say in the final timeline. They made sure they know where everything's happening and then, you know, before a grand entrance happens or a cake cut her first dance, I'm first going to make sure that the photographer has their spot that we miss those parts.

[15:32] Well no to, I remember what we were planning our wedding and my player Rebecca was talking about how would we had our, she was going to make sure that like the dress and shoes and stuff was ready for when, you know, our photo and video teams got there so that they could get shots of it. And I remember thinking like, wow, I don't even care about my, you're like, I wished that that was ready for me when I came into more wedding and Z it out. Because you do like definitely I definitely was like, no, when I work a wedding where the planner that's going to like take care of that stuff, handled a lot of those logistics. Obviously a lot of the, the um, do you mean vacation? And then when I'm working with ones where it's not and it's like you can definitely tell the difference, right?

[16:10] Yeah. So, I mean the one that are sometimes there's a brides and grooms at the alter getting married and that those men realize what the photographer and never gave the ring back. That was kind of like run back to the hotel room and get a ring so that he can continue on. So like wow, these guys really did a wedding party

[16:35] near here with them. Yeah. Right. Cause you probably deal with ones, add the Brickstone that you're recording it and then obviously once a year managing and yeah, I've done lot. I'm sure you can definitely kind of tell the difference.

[16:45] Yeah. So I mean many of them go off without a hitch, without a coordinator. Um, as long as they have dedicated people that help them. Um, but I've done it before, but it's the ones that really are just like, oh my sister is going to do it or my mom's going to do it or my bridesmaids were going to do. Um, they don't go. That's what it was like. And even if they can kind of get through the ceremony and the reception, if Paul's apartment the end of the night when the, who's going to clean all this up, when you're like, hey, you have less than 90 minutes to clear out and how this place clean and put back together. And then the people that were like, well that was the contact person at the beginning of the day and they're like, oh no, I'm not doing that. I'm not cleaning up. I'm not saying I'm like, who's who's in charge of that?

[17:35] All the way to the end. So as a wedding planner, that's really one of the most important things I bring to people. Like yes, your, your mom, your aunt, your grandma, your bridesmaid, your sisters, your friends want to help you set up and help you through the day. And I'm all for that. I worked great, great with them, but I wouldn't say it's something that you have to go get dressed for pictures and be in the wedding and be in the moment. So if all the tables, all the decor isn't completely set, Lisa, but that way that's okay. I got it. You go do that. And then through the reception I'm, they're just kind of cleaning up, tidying up, keeping everything moving along. And at the end of the night, mom's aunts, bridesmaid's shoes are off, they're exhausted. And they're still a lot of packing up today when they're always like, how are you still on your feet running around? Like that's kind of my job. I'm the last one out. Like it will all get done. So that's one of the things that I always try to really explain to people when they're like, well what do you do? Like I'm going to be there till the bitter end for you.

[18:42] Well I will say to kind of echo that sentiment that, um, cause I see a lot of people you post or I'm talking with people to say, oh well we have a venue cord. The other like, so we don't necessarily know if we need to have like a day of coordinator or wedding planning or, or the of that. And they'd be even in our wedding, either we got married that salty is and salty. Is it here in West Seattle? You know, we had Mindy that was like our um, they a person, but once like dinner was served and stuff like she was gone. I mean it was up to like, you know, you are, you know, our wedding planner to kind of like you said, kind of wrap that night up. You know, that she was there getting through, you know, getting the bar service and getting the food out of the and making sure everything's going to, they're like, she's not staying there until one in the morning. You'd like you are, I mean most of the time I don't want to speak for all venues, but like you're like you said, you're that one that's the last one out to kind of make sure it all gets picked.

[19:37] Right, right. I mean there's different venues with different levels. I started going to fight. You have Hiltons and golf club resorts and they do have an event coordinator, but that person is really in charge of catering and making sure that food gets out on time. They're out there to make sure that Brian gets down the aisle on time or that the flowers arrive or that the therapies as are set, they have nothing to do with that. So whenever I get to get me those venues, I'm like, please, I will work well with you, but I'm going to make sure that the couples event goes off without a hitch. And so I spend a lot of my time networking and meeting the new owners. There's other venue owners and it is like you just get this phase and then you clean it all up. Well part of it, it's, it's a, it's a lot for the couples, you know, um, I'm there to give them the best customer service and help them have a wonderful event and it's a little bit about, I want to make sure that then you won't or wants to work with me again and my reputation's and path that here's a real professional who's going to leave it intact.

[20:48] Everything's put away where it supposed to be put away. It's cleaned at the level we wanted. Um, and then I told a couple of like, look, when you work with me, you're for sure going to get that damage deposit back cause it's, I'm having that walked through with them. Then vendor, then you owner at the end and they're, the ones are like, it's perfect. It did a great job. So, um, there's a few full service venues that might have then a day of coordinator. But like you said, oftentimes they don't stay till the end of the event. Uh, so why would you kind of run down some of the professional services that you offer and just to kind of talk through kind of the different things that you offer to clients? So I do full service planning and that's typically, you know, 13 months long, a little bit longer if they need help, if that's helping them find venues.

[21:42] Really kind of comes down to the budget. I try to get couples to sit down and let's talk about that during the word money. No one ever wants to like really worked with a budget. Like you don't want to do any planning until, you know, like how much are you willing to spend, how much do you have saved? Is Anybody in the family helping you? Let's talk this out first because you know you have people that want to do a $12,000 wedding but they learn by 300 guests like Ah, this is it. You're going to be serving pizza. So, um, I want to full service, like let's talk the budget, let's talk through the guests, let's figure out where it's going to be. And then I knew a lot of that that work. Like what kind of food do you want? What kind of flowers do you on?

[22:26] I researched a bunch of then vendors then that are available within their price point. I feel it's a good fit because you can just, you know, Google for us then your area and there's 500 so I'm kind of doing that work, bringing my clients, professionals that are good to work with and I let them ultimately decide between the two or three that I bring to them. Like who do you like to work with? Who did you get warm fuzzies about? Um, and so the full service includes a lot of that. I get partial planning if they also have figured out a bunch of that on their own, if they have four or five vendors already picked out and just need help finding a venue or vice versa. But really I feel like what I typically book down here is my day of coordination and my day of coordination packages includes 30 days of a planning review first.

[23:22] So I want to go through their wedding plans, make sure we didn't miss anything, and then start working on that timeline. I help facilitate the rehearsal and then I'm with them 10 to 12 hours a day of the wedding and that's kind of what people like the most. But I feel like, um, a lot of times up 30 days they've missed big. So that's why I need, other day of coordinators are just starting off and they're like, I don't know why it's so expensive or that I'm so mad. I'm like, well, I'm not just there for six hours or eight hours or 10 hours that day. It's a longer process and I would never just walk into a wedding the day of and say, oh, hand me your timeline. I'm going to like manage this timeline and would all reflect on me if the caterer doesn't show up or you know, something falls way apart. I want to make sure that we've planned for everything that we possibly can plan for well in advance while we have time to fix it.

[24:20] Yeah. Cause I do see that a lot. People looking for like, Oh, you know, we have everything planned. Like everything's ready to go. I just need somebody to come in and just for the eight hours. And like you said, like that's not possible because you have to have all that. There's so much footwork you have to have before the morning starts. Right? Yeah,

[24:37] yeah, yeah. That would be, um, walking into a disaster. Even if someone like me, you've got everything planned, I'm like, hi, I don't know about that or nothing.

[24:47] Why not? It might not be played to your standards. Right. You know, people might think, oh I have, like you said, I have a cake baked, but you don't, they don't know how it's Kitty Mirror where it's getting to or from or how it's getting delivered it right.

[24:58] There's so many venues are going to do it yourself like outdoor bar and they start talking to people 30 days. I don't like, what are you doing for trash dumpsters? Do you need a dumpster for these 200 people that are coming? Um, porta-potty is, do you need bathrooms out there? Like oh yeah. Or were they rented like one like port-a-potty Saul wake up 180 people coming. You might think that it helps to have a plan that they've never really planned a wedding so they don't necessarily know those.

[25:31] No, I need that was like, well like you said too, I mean it's kind of that real talk stuff. Like even the money thing where I think like you said, I think maybe like a lot of people now are the email just society like, oh we don't want to talk about like muddy and what things cost and like as a wedding vendor, like [inaudible] dog about money for days. Like what does this cost and what does that cost and what should you spend and how much, and I'd be right there. You think that kind of doing the wedding thing to it, you just get used to that. Right? And like you said, the pore of your body, things like real talk, real things like real logistical things that we need to figure out.

[26:03] I think so many people think someone in my business like, oh, that's a luxury, that's not in the budget. Um, but if they were to work with me and it initially they would probably end up saving a ton of money in the long run when it's all said and done between relationships and not overbuying my health, these brides at show Hubbard, you know, we started working 30 days out and they show me everything they bought for the core and they can change their mind midway through to buy this stuff. Why don't you just borrow this stuff or, well you ask if someone else has this morning you asked me, you know, I have a really portable table calm rentals that I can get you see you under the dollars. Um, so yeah, I feel like I'm trying to always make sure my clients on the resource for all of this, like rely on me.

[26:56] Trust me. I know people. I can help you out. Um, it is the best view language. [inaudible] uh, like I have a current bride who call me, I was in the middle of the Portland bridal show and this girl was found me on the Internet. Like how, I don't know if you can help me, but my then you fell through, um, it was at a private golf club and they just decided, you know, uh, uh, marijuana date. And so they bumped me. It's in six weeks. So I'm like, well a bridal show, but as soon as I can get away from my booth, I am going to go talk to these two venues. I know and I'm going to get you, well one of the venues are right next to me and is another golf club resort and they're available and they're running a great show special.

[27:43] And then then the other one was also available. I'm like, if you can come here tomorrow and introduce you to two people. So without even looking my services, I got her an appointment to find a new venue and her and her mom were like, can you get us through the rest of the, and so they signed up with me right on the spot. And since then it's been like, I don't have a dress yet. Like we'll go here for her address, go here, I got you covered. You know, and it's, sometimes they call and leave a message and don't get called back and it's, you know, Ben, there's just get busy and they didn't mean to neglect. It was just, they've been busy with the shows. And so, you know, the alterations ladies like didn't get back to her. And I'm like, let me call him first. It's who you're going to want to go to. I know they can get it done for you. And so, you know, they finally got ahold of her and she's like, I couldn't do this without you. So those are, those are the perfect clients. Um, that kind of fall into meeting mean, but then appreciate every tiny little thing that I can do for them and it's going to be great and fun and beautiful at the end. We'd been in like six weeks.

[28:56] So yeah. You were talking about doing the wedding show. Do you like doing those as a way to attract clients or kind of how do you target clients and find you knew a couple super quick.

[29:05] Yeah. Well right now, you know, I'm still pretty new. So I started, you know, my first bridal show was February of 2017 and trying to get booked for that first year when people have been planning in. So they were definitely a necessity. Um, the last two years I then lingerie did two shows this year, three shows. And I'd like to not have to do them. We're kind of figure out what's the right one where I can get the most clients, but Trump, I'm tracking where they're from now. So I know I'm like, oh, I got two from this and for from that one, from this. But then the following year I'm like, oh no, I got one from that one and three from this one. So the best part is it puts you in front of the most possible clients that you can talk to, especially ones that are seeking out wedding coordinators. These shows are full of photographers and caterers and there's like one or two wedding coordinators. So, um, that's already, uh, a boost for my business, but I'm there for them. So, um, they're, they're constantly them.

[30:21] Uh, so w what kinds of are the target clients are couples have you look to work with?

[30:26] So you know, that first year it's kind of anyone that will book you and you're like, okay, then let's try to make a deal and make this work. Um, but now you're in, had a really pretty successful first full year. And so I'm now kind of looking through the clients that are seeking out wedding coordination, like kind of seek out my services and I'm not trying to sell myself so hard. Um, millennials, you know, that's the age group that's getting married and they want it to be very personal and that's perfect because that's what I liked to do. I will try to put their vision in place, but they're busy at work. Like they don't necessarily have the time or the knowhow to plan this party that they really want. Um, also moms, I worked great with the moms and the aunts of, a lot of times it's moms that hire me because of others.

[31:20] Like, I know it's been following me or it's not my house or I'm worried I'm not going to enjoy the day. And so they hire me for their daughters and sons ways and I'm fine with that as well. And then, um, I have not done a lot of the LGBT appear, but I'm super open to it. I think weddings are so new to that whole group of people, um, that they're typically still small personal. They're not spending a lot of money on it. Um, and then trying to figure out where did these like traditions fall and I'm all about, I love to explain traditions, what they mean and how to do them and then figure out a way to bless them and just either do it your own way or not do it. Um, kind of retell that story differently than how it's been told for ages. A lot of these come from weird place. Yeah,

[32:19] because I was going to ask you about that, cause you were talking about millennials and kind of play a need and wanting to put their own stamp. I mean, do you find like I've talked with other people where they say like, Yo, that's a new big trend, like personalization and everything that goes anywhere from decor to even like you were saying like taking certain traditions and switch them around your, so how do you like to, you know, facilitate that and the way either, what do you find you do enjoy that and kind of put your on helping people put their own spin on it?

[32:45] Yeah, I, I, I mean just within like wedding community here, whether it's the vendors are the venues or other networking. I like to be the conductor, you know, I'm like, let me introduce you to people. Let me find someone for you. Um, so kind of the same thing in planning this, when you sit down, you're going through the timeline. Like are you going to do a bouquet toss? And a lot of, I'll let you know, I don't want to do it. You talk because we're in allows to one of our friends to get married. So there aren't any single women coming. Um, but otherwise I like to do it like, well then let's tie in Nordstrom's gift card to that bouquet and do it for all women. You know, it doesn't have to be the same. Like the next person that kept this k is going to get married. Like let's make it a fun thing. It's a photo off isn't it? Um, so just talking through once we get to know what the couple of like, you know, do they want their dog in it? Do they have kids? A lot of my couples have multiple kids together or they're blending families together. So it's, you know, along those traditions don't always make sense, but let's make new family traditions or find a way to give a nod to those traditions and the ways,

[33:59] that's a funny, our wedding on Saturday had um, he had a four and the five year old and then they have a half months old together and that eight month old was bound and determined to walk down the aisle. And so like, literally like for the two hours and we were all like dealer, her hair makeup and stuff. They walked that kid down the aisle probably 25 times getting him like almost like a dye. We gotta get them trained to do it and then I'll tell you during the ceremony, he walked down and it was fricking awesome. This eight year old, a little bay or A's, I mean, sorry, eight month old little baby and like a toxin the diaper and just both arms up walking down. But you know, I worked and that was like, he's, he's like you said, you know, blending these families and kind of giving everybody, you know, a place sit in and letting them kind of, you know, have their own special kind of symbols in it. Right.

[34:49] Yeah. My wedding that I did, um, last month earlier in February and nine snowstorm, they were planning to get married in the fall. May Have, uh, I think, I think Sydney is like 15, 16 months old and they have a little girl and so they were going to do it in the fall when she can be the flower girl. Um, and then try though she's pregnant again. So now that like now I want to do it as, as the game, so you know, eight weeks, 10 weeks into it, like just like, let's play on this for right away. And so, you know, the baby wasn't quite able to walk down the aisle all by herself and they still got it down there. And I'm like, if it takes her longer, if she sits down or if she turns around, let's just be, patient does give her all the time in the world to get down there. People are going to love to see her. Um, and so that was a celebration. Again, plan very short, but you know, they have all the details that they wanted and it was a beautiful day with some snow. There's not chuck walks first.

[35:51] Oh, no way. That's awesome. Did you guys, did you guys get hit down there like we did up here?

[35:57] Not, no, you guys got way more snow than me did, but you know, just not prepared for it here.

[36:03] Oh absolutely. Yeah. I talk about kind of social media in terms of a, you know, a kind of marketing and it would be, you know, kind of reaching out for new clients and things like that. How do you approach that?

[36:18] Yeah, I don't have like a super professional social media team behind me. I'm very active on Facebook and Instagram and I tried me on Pinterest. Really that's more just ideas setting and helping my clients show me what they envision that usually not super realistic, but at least I can understand what they're looking for. Um, the line social media is just me on the go with my mobile devices. Um, it's just real genuine. There are moments I don't really post the bride walking down the aisle. I might be that the next day or you know, a week later, but I'm not coming back and editing those posts and, you know, making them all professional. So I have a new website and I have galleries on there from each of my weddings that I do. And those are the professional at the time. So, um, I, I love this part of my website and the gallery links back to the photographers page so they can see my favorite parts of the day. Um, but it goes, any clients are looking at it and they're like, oh, I really like the way these pictures look. They can click right through and get the photographer that shot them. So yeah, like social media is a fun way to reach out to people, but it's not necessarily driving where I'm finding clients. Oh yeah.

[37:42] Do you like, uh, the running the business aspect of running the business or do you, uh, is that something that, you know, and believe me, I talk all the time with, you know, people can take photos and not be able to do taxes and like, I can shoot video and I don't know how to balance a spreadsheet at all. So I don't believe me, I'm not one to judge, but do, do you enjoy that?

[38:04] Yeah, that's about right. That's part of like the logistical background. Like it's everything from the budget and the starting off all the way through the taxes and paying my bills. You know, I don't do my own taxes. I helped people that do that. But um, definitely like receipts are in order and you know, thank you card. I don't even have a very good CRM. It's just me keeping track of it on my calendar. Like this is when they booked me. This is when I start, this is what I send the car. This is when we get started. I'm all the way through to here's, you know, after the event, here's my thank you cards and here's my Christmas card or New Year's card, here's their first anniversary card and all this gets put into my calendar and I just kind of all live by the calendar.

[38:50] Yeah. So when you talking about a CRM, do you want me to give a little more a background? The, do you, do you use one, do you enjoy that? Do you, like you said you kind of have, I have like the most complex, a series of Google documents and she'd say you've ever seen, so what, how do you manage all that?

[39:06] I am not on Google docs and I'm trying to figure out 17 hats for the Brickstone Ballroom so I don't have to follow up consistently young when payments are due and all of that. I'm on planning for my event planning organization. So it's really each event gets planned in. The invoices are all there. So I can, I do my bookkeeping on one place, which is nice. And my calendars are all shared. I mean beyond the and ballroom. I also started the Vancouver wedding showcase, so I'm doing those monthly, it's a little boutique wedding show. And then I'm working with a couple um, venues as well and doing their open house events. Now that they've seen the Vancouver winning show chase, they're just like, can you do one of those friends down here? So I'm doing a lot of those too. So I run four Instagram accounts and Fluor look a general sense.

[40:07] So you're really kind of all into this now. This is going in front of the La retail buying. See now it's it. I mean they're like a hundred thousand percent weddings, right.

[40:16] It is a full time job. I mean, between my business 1000 Stories as my full time job, we come to this office, I do my business out of here, the Breakstone Balrow I run all the events and the accounts out of here. Um, and then, yeah, so started the Vancouver wedding showcase. Uh, what else? Oh, I'm part of the car county wedding professionals group. I have a lot of networking in the Oh, the wedding industry here to just get to know the other vendors and then trying to go meet clients through these like open house events at venues.

[40:52] Yeah. Talking about that networking and reaching out and about, and then if you want to, I mean that's just crazy even doing this wedding showcase and all about to be any part of that you want to touch on. But, uh, talking about the networking and the kind of building those, yeah, I guess connections are expanding. That web

[41:11] really for wife taught me how to create an event from scratch. Like they're like go to temple city and figure out how to start an event. So, you know, I stopped in the Chamber of Commerce, I'm all who's who, who's Jane? Like who's on the city council? How do I need these people? Um, where is it, this place? Is there any, you know, great unreasoning events already here in this town? What can we do? So when we moved up here, trying to figure out how I wrote this, I went to the Chamber of Commerce first and I met a black Gowling Erica laws who knows everybody in town and she's since left the chamber and now she has an impactful women impactful people down here. So I do a lot with that. I owe her a 10 she introduced me to one of the top photographers down here who's been introduced me to the other wedding pros to business networking international. And I probably will have me do networking events. Bli is weak queen and the rest are like monthly. So at least eight times I'm doing networking events.

[42:24] Do you like, do you I do in the BNI groups.

[42:28] Yeah. You know, it's not, I got a lot of immediate business being an event coordinator out of it. It takes time. Um, but again, coming new in town, I'm starting my own business. It gave me a chance to go, I know an insurance person who does events insurance and you're going to need, not only are you getting married, you should relocate your insurance on your house and your cars. You're aren't going to need a vet insurance for your event or just, I mean, the venues are all going to require it, but I always think that you should cover your event in case for some kind of cancellation or the presence gets stolen or whatever your typical day of venue insurance isn't gonna cover that. But kind of back to be, and I kind of put me in touch with people outside the industry, but within my community. So that's been, um, a great place for me to meet people. And then that's also just in addition to, although wedding networking. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

[43:30] Uh, do you want to talk about some of the favorite venues and things that you work on? A down in Vancouver? I mean I assume in the inmate they, when I see Vancouver you have a greater kind of Vancouver area kind of how far you like to spread your wigs.

[43:40] Yeah. I love Vancouver. I haven't worked a whole lot in Portland but I've gone beyond Oh to the coast and done a few out there, which is fantastic. But um, in this area like of course the Brixton home, cause I'm partial to that. And then right down the street as the historic trust that have a bunch more kind of older historic buildings. Um, but there's so many great outdoor venues which are huge in the summertime and they definitely need wedding coordination whenever they can get it. A venue owners really appreciate when couples bring in a professional to help them. Um, Lucy's gardens has parade, Windy hills wiring. I love, um, oh, what's it called? Well, Anderson Lodge up in like, Amway is great. You can stay all weekend up there in their cabins. It's a wonderful, beautiful space. And then one of my favorite places is probably out at maple leaf event, Tom Stevenson, indoor outdoor space.

[44:43] There's a lot of versatility of those. So really those outdoor venues that have indoor space, can I help in case of rain or wind or cold or even eat? Um, but I had a lot of fun in the last year and I have a few more this year as private homes. So, um, you know, having an, an aunt's house or my parents' house and I love doing that because I think the parents want to enjoy the day and now you'd have to be this host as well. And I liked to help them set the rules. Like we'll, do you want people in the house, are they going to be using the restrooms and the house? Are they coming in and out or are we keeping people out of our house and you know, building tents in restrooms outside and they really appreciate, um, someone from outside kind of taking that on. So they don't have to be the main homeowner. I can be the person that directs people where they need to go and where they can and can't go. So I love working with private homes.

[45:43] Yeah, I was going to say then, yeah, you kind of get to be the big enforcer and then they'd all, they get to look better and then they get to say, Hey, well, you know, we just see we got the professional here at Dell. Doesn't want to do,

[45:54] oh, you're the boss, you're the boss. I'm like, no, no. The brides, the boss or the off the boss. I'm the muscle. Yeah.

[46:00] Yeah. This is going to say it's like the heavy, you know, I'll take care of this. I'll make sure I, there's like some common pitfalls and things that you see, you know, uh, the couples you work with kind of constantly go through either, it could be a, you know, buying too much stuff and not renting decor. It could be not making sure they have enough budget for catering. Man. There's some columns kind of pitfalls that you see that you wish that more people do about.

[46:25] Um, that's a hard one because there's very simple things and one of it's like, Hey, read lists, whether it's my list or the not with of things not to forget. Why is everyone forget to take a cake cutting money. They're trying to cut it with plastic knives and forks at the end. They have this beautiful cake and no one brought that. Um, and just double, triple check the list that you brought. Everything that you needed to in the brain. You forget. I'm a mental is like pictures of loved ones that can't make it, that you made a plan for. Then someone forgot to bring it. Um, catering, you know, if you want to cut back on the cost of a wedding, it's how many people you're going to be. So it's either the quality or quantity or what you're going to feed them or how many you have it you're going to feed. Um, so you know, if your venues already said the biggest way to cut your budget is to figure out, do you have to invite all those people or do you have to serve all that food?

[47:31] I don't know. It's, it's trying to find out from the couples what's important to them. Some people want great photography, some people want great flowers, some people want to spend all the money on the dress. Um, some people want the venue to be stand out and I like to tell people like, you can have anything you want. You probably just can't have everything. So you have to like, you know, let's wait it out. Let's allocate the budget. That makes sense. You can look at kind of basic wedding allocation that you don't have to stick with us, like figure out where the money's being spent and you might have to cut back on some things. Again. It kind of just depends what they envisioned their day, what's important to them.

[48:16] Yeah. I think just one thing, and I was thinking about this, who you're talking about kind of venues and staff is I think people, uh, making sure I didn't, especially in Seattle, like it's, it's so hard to find a venue on a day and I think like people kind of rush in and like want to put that deposit down and they don't necessarily know like what comes with that venue or not. And then they'll be like, oh crap, I, you know, I see a $10,000 or whatever. And then now I also have to bring in my own linens or if I want to use their linens, it's extra. So I guess just to add on to that, just because I was getting to kind of think he was just making sure that you know, what all comes with, and it could be anything, it could be your four, it could be your plan, it could be video venue, but like making sure you know it's coming with that because then it could end up costing you more. Do you get other things if, if you assumed maybe that they

[49:09] true. And I had to give like, okay, I'm not a lawyer, but give me your, all your contracts when you hire me, let me rip them over because I can at least promise you, like you only booked a Dj or four hours that you think they're going to be your ceremony and reception DJ or um, you booked. You're like, oh, we're going to have these specialty cocktails and you've lived through and you're like, they only allow beer and wine. You can't even have that. So, um, you know, read the contracts or let a professional read the contract and then simply how a contracts have you were like, Ooh, contracts are scary. I'm like, the day protect you as well as me. They pretend me, but they're going to ensure that I'm bringing you everything I said. So you don't have a contract with the vendor, then you don't really know what they're including or not including. So contracts are super important for the couples or the families for whoever's, you know, hiring new people, they should require one.

[50:10] Yeah. And that's my favorite. This way. They're like, well we need a Dj w just just for the ceremony and am a part of the reception, but our ceremonies it too. And then the receptions at six and the venues out four hours out of town. So it's like, well actually you're booking them for you know, 12 hours, whether or not you really thinking about that

[50:28] coffee time and all. Yeah.

[50:31] I, before we go here, I wanted to come here. Uh, you had, you mentioned you wanted to talk about some best stories or favorite stories. Do you have anything? I'm sure you see it a lot, even coming in from La and, and you know, d transitioning here and, and having this kind of wealth of different things you're working on.

[50:48] I mean, that's where the name of my company name from is 1000 Stories cause they're all so different. And I have a favorite of all of them. So whether they got married at the Frank Sinatra House or at a private home on Nassco in beach in Oregon or you know how the little 18 month old walking down the aisle, um, or a destination wedding from Manila to La with um, a bridal party of like 18 bridal party and 18 sponsors that you have like 36 people in the wedding party. She just very sweet, small like same sex, um, gatherings of like meaning 35 people, um, that were just like the biggest joyous celebration because the people who waited so long to get married. I every has the best story I think. Really I live on my own.

[51:51] Yeah. Cause you were talked to I I'm the pre law pre-questionnaire Kinda I shouldn't out to about a year old bit. That micro [inaudible] you planning to, do you, do you find that, is a good niche to kind of be a part of it too? Is that a little bit planning? Do you, do you enjoy that?

[52:06] Cause again you can still plan for it. I have a whole blog on my website about it because I think it can still be beautiful. The one I did last year, same thing, she was pregnant. So they decided, you know what, we're going to do a big party next year after the baby comes. But photography was super important to them and she's like, I want the dress, I want photographer, but the rest is just going to be the two of us. Cause it's either invite both of our families, which would have been 75 people or just leave it for the two. And so I planned that. Like it was a fabulous, a fishy in that did a great job. And then the photographer and I were both the witnesses. It was just those two and us will and then in the baby and then they rented this great house.

[52:55] We had hair and makeup. Then I think that flowers along the, you know, on my way out there, I haven't, I did it like whole service for her. Um, and then they hired a private chef that night. So when we were done and leaving the shop came up and he was going to cook them a romantic dinner at this beautiful house on the Pacific Ocean. So there's great value that it costs them all that much money and they still had money then to buy a house and you know, um, how their big coming up this summer. So I love planning for them and it can be the two of them or it can be like 20,000 people.

[53:33] That's awesome. Uh, kind of looking forward to 2020 and beyond to me I, in terms of like, no the only bookie, but in terms of like goals for you business wise, uh, how, how are you looking forward to the next couple of years?

[53:46] So 2020 is going to be huge. It's gonna be huge. Everyone loves the numbers. I have bookings for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day and one 20 2020 and four 20 2020 and 10 10 20 times. Like everyone wants those special dates. So I know next year is going to be crazy. That's said is I still have a lot of openings for 2019 it's kind of booking slower, but then at the last minute, like it's kind of filling in. So I'd like to be booked out further than I am. Um, advise to people getting married in 2020 is at least get your venue booked now because those prices are going to go up and those dates are going to be gone. So I'm the venue and save that date for yourself and then you can do the rest of the wedding planning. Um, and then beyond, it's, you know, just kind of continuing to do what I'm doing. There's, you know, every wedding is different so it's always going to be a challenge and there everyone's going to be different.

[54:52] Yeah. I was going to echo the A, I was talking with, I figured it was a photographer after one of our weather. You'd shows about, you know, you talk with these like 20, 20, a couple said, oh, we have all this toy. It's like, yeah, we'll, we'll talk to you in awhile. And as someone that works for himself and likes to book dates, you know, it w it is helpful to, to book ahead and if you know you want the 2020 and to be done, I very much would like to not have to worry about booking that day, whether it's today or a year from now. And so yes, like you said, if you know that those are the dates that you want and like you said, locking your venue and it's okay that it's okay to talk to some other vendors too. Cause I guarantee you the people that have uh, neither were for themselves to want to know that.

[55:33] Oh yeah, we're good for that day that were uh, like uh, 18, 18, 18 last year, which was like crazy popular appear like I leave the book in like both of those like way later than it never should it because we did two weddings a day and it was like way later than it ever should have been. Like, man, I probably talked to like 45 different people that were all getting married and it ended up being one of our friends got married that day and then someone that got married to the private residence so they could, you know, get married that day. But like it is okay if you're getting married on the popular day just to go ahead and get that stuff locked down

[56:06] at least a year in advance. So those popular dates I think for next year, I definitely feel like a lot of the prices are going to go up from venues. It's going to be more expensive next year. It's kind of like people maybe haven't raised their price in a few years, so they're going to do it, it's going to be next year or something. Well how could even while you're getting the 2019 pricing, so you know, a lot of them, they don't require a lot of deposits. Some, some places require a lot of caring doesn't require a deposit. So book one, get one that you like. And then if you, you know, keep looking in two months from now when I, you know, cancel it if we did something else, go ahead. Like don't cancel it on the week or month before, but you know, if you're afraid of losing that date, get it booked and then, you know, Tylenol end sooner than later.

[56:55] Well a Melodi is, it's been so nice and that we've been emailing for a couple of weeks now to kind of get this set up. I want to thank you so much for coming on and taking time and like I said, I definitely want to have you back on to talk about the Brickstone Ballroom, which is a phenomenal, uh, you know, a venue in Vancouver and I've shot there and like I said, it's right downtown, but if people want to learn more about you and your wedding planning and then kind of, it sounds like a lot of really exciting stuff in terms of like the, the Vancouver Wedding Showcase all sorts of things. Uh, what would you have people check out? Where would you direct?

[57:25] Yeah, they should probably go to my website. I, it's brand new. I had a website for a long time, but I just spent the money to get a nice one put together and I am really enjoying it. So you can see my work. See what I do. You can sign up for our newsletter and a kind of get tips on wedding planning. Um, if you know people that are getting married in the theater of the home page, there's a share this page so you can just send an email to somebody that would link right back to my website and see the additional shows I'm doing. But I've been through a wedding showcase will be on there. The Laurelhurst Club Event will be on our shortly and then again like galleries of, um, of uh, events that I've done. That's a great place. You can contact me right there.

[58:16] Urban, did you say you're also active on social media and all sorts of things like that, right?

[58:21] Yup. @1000storiesevents

[58:23] Perfect law. I want to thank you so much for taking the time today. This has been a a good, I think, insightful conversation. And, uh, this has been another episode. Uh, Get to Know Your Wedding Pro. Check back next week for another, whether you bed your injury or, thank you so much, Melodi.

[58:37] Thank you. Please come down to Vancouver and we'll do another one in person at the Brickstone or, uh, around Vancouver. I would love to bake you. Yeah, thank you. All right, bye.

Rosalynn and Ernestine, My Perfect Wedding Assistant

[00:09] Hey everybody, welcome to Get to Know Your Wedding Pro. My name is Reid with Best Made Videos®. We are a wedding videography company based out of West Seattle, Washington. And I'm joined today by two new friends of mine, Rosalynn and Ernestine with My Perfect Wedding Assistant aka Bride's Bitch and a why don't you guys introduce yourselves and uh, thank you so much for coming in. Who are you guys?

[00:31] Thank you. My name is Rosalynn and I started the business

[00:36] I am Mama Ernestine Rosalynn's mother. And we decided to put our expertise together in business after going dealing with it ourselves with their own wedding. So we're excited. Yes.

[00:48] Awesome. So this all kind of came about because of your wedding?

[00:51] Yes. So, um, when I had my wedding, I never even heard of day of coordination. I only heard of wedding planners and that just wasn't in our budget. So when I had a friend come to me asking if I can be like her wedding assistant and I was like, wait a minute, what we're doing there has to be some type of business for it. And I found out about day of coordination and I was like, oh my gosh, this is so brilliant. I wish we would have had that. And then the brights bitch was born. So a good, how'd your mom get involved in math? So what happened was, is she's my mom, she's my best friend. So I tell her everything. So she was so excited and was like, oh, I want to start helping out. And then people fall in love with her. She's known as Mama Ernestine to everybody. So then I was like, okay, you just have to be like a lead coordinator. And so she quit her job of 14 years. 14 years in Cameron world. Yeah. Wow. Yeah.

[01:43] Or were you doing

[01:44] before? I was a logistics. I was a trainer and um, worked for DHL and was training. I did that for 14 years and we really wanted to kick this off. The goal was I would work full time and then do this, but it was so new to us. We really, I was like, you know what, if I'm going to go for it, I gotta go for it. And they offered a severance package. Took it. That was my way out. And here we are today. Best decision I've ever made. And how long ago was that? And that was four years. Three years ago. Three years ago.

[02:19] Was that, that was a scary decision for you guys to do that?

[02:23] Yes, very scary. Very scary. For me it was hard because I just, if the business didn't take off like I wanted, I didn't want that in the back of her head. Like, man, I wish I would've just stayed with my job. So, and of course as her daughter, I know she believes in me and everything, but still it was just a huge amount of pressure on my shoulders too. Cause I'm like, I have to make sure this takes off so we can make sure we have, you know, money to pay for living expenses. So luckily it did, but still, and that's awesome. And so just one,

[02:53] you guys give me a little rundown first off about what exactly you guys do, what your focus is in terms of weddings and, and planning and coordination and that kind of thing. Yeah.

[03:01] Yes. So we specialize in day of coordination. So we start working with the bride about six to eight weeks before her wedding. We basically become kind of like the project management manager of their wedding. Um, we're the point of contact for their vendors. We go through all their contracts, create their timeline, their layout. Um, we also do full setup and cleanup on the day of their wedding as well. So they don't have to worry about that. That's kind of our huge selling point. Um, most day of coordinators, the setup and cleanup is kind of iffy kind. There's some strict stipulations to that, but we do bring in a team and take care of the full setup and cleanup of the wedding.

[03:37] Yeah. Our number one focus and goal or mission shall I say, is let family and guest be guest and you can, anyone can try to sell me know I've got family that will help and know my mom, my aunt. It's not realistic. And the one thing that we know and what I get, I go back and think about my daughter and son in law's wedding. Ryan, we don't remember half of it because technically mama was acting as a day of coordinator and had no idea. And it's so imperative because the goal is at that it's a onetime shot and you know, I'd give anything to go back. That would have been the one vendor I would have paid the most money for is to have someone come in and run that at the end of the night. Our family said, well hell they were out the door. I just remember us packing everything up. I was exhausted. You know, just, it's one thing that the best investment anyone can do. Get someone to help with that.

[04:49] Yeah. And I would echo that. We had a wedding on Saturday and they had a coordinator and it was the same thing. You know, she's running and packing up stuff and doing all that work. And meanwhile then you know, you can see all the, you know, mom, dad, friends, family, everybody. They're not having to deal with all that. She's dealing with the caterer, she's packing up stuff. Even just the packer nap and kind of getting everything situated. I mean, I remember we got married too. It was like, what do you do with these gifts? And whether you deal with, right, I mean it's all this kind of the set, people don't think about it,

[05:16] right? The bride and groom shouldn't be bombarded with that. And then poor mom, where does it go? Enjoy the party. They should be drinking, eating and having a good time. Yes.

[05:25] Uh, so this all kind of, it came about because of your wedding. Uh, why don't you tell me about that? How did that go?

[05:33] Well, I was a bride Zilla I think

[05:36] I can say yes, he work,

[05:40] you know, it's so interesting with weddings because you know, you can go online, you can Google things, you can go on the knot or wedding wire, but you still have no clue what to do. And that's where I do wish that I had a day of coordinator because there was just so many things I didn't know and I wasn't confident in. So for me it was frustrating. So who do I take that frustration out? My mother, my bridesmaids. But I mean, it was a beautiful day. Don't get me wrong, beautiful day, but there's just things now as a coordinator that I look at that I wish I would've done differently. Like our venue, we didn't have a long access time to her venue, so our reception was really short. We were rushing to clean things up in time and then again we didn't have a cleanup crew, so it's like my mom packing stuff up, but I wanted my mom with me and it was just all chaotic. So

[06:31] how do you think it went? Well, you know, it was beautiful. I mean at the end of the day it was executed. The one thing that I look at is she had a vision of what she wanted her wedding to be like. And this is the other part why having a third party, a coordinator come into play. Normally they have a vision, but as a mother we want to put our input and we want to put our spin on it. And sometimes you bring in all those family members and you're trying to get them to help the bride and the groom's vision gets lost because family thinks they know what is better and you spend all that money and you put all that time and effort and it's, it can be disappointing. And so it went great. But I do look back at what she wanted.

[07:21] We, we've, we kind of failed her on that part because again, us being family, wellcare what she want, put them, put the, put that centerpiece stair and deal with it, you know, and it's just how it is. So, you know, the real, the reality of it is, is they can have their vision, but having a coordinator or a third party come in, we, we don't have any investment in it. And that's what's nice about it. When that bride and is telling us what they want, we're there to give that to them. There's no other type of emotions or investment and we really are there to make the best decision for them. Um, you know, like Rosalind said, if they have a short access and you're telling me that hey, we like to party, we're going to be able to bring that to you and say, okay, you got to think about cleanup, you got to think about now we need to think about where we can adjust and make sure we're executing your vision.

[08:17] And that's, that's what we missed and we just didn't have that. So, but it was beautiful. We had a great time, but if we would do it all over again, number one thing, have one. Yeah. And I agree with that too, that even just having that moderator, like if you want something and you have a family and like, you know, with our planet or like we can just kinda throw her under the bus, then it'd be like, Hey, this what we got to do it. It's just nice to kind of have that where it's not these budding head butting heads where you, you just played them or you say, well they had Oscar Lids, Arrow, let's ask him and see what they want to do. You know, where'd you guys get married? That thornwood castle in liquid.

[08:56] That's awesome.

[08:57] Was that back in? So for

[09:00] 2012 yeah. 2012 march. March, 2012. Yeah. Yeah. I love it. That's awesome. So you guys had swine. We had a lot of fun. We had a lot of fun, but the day just went by so fast. And that's what one thing I always tell our couples as the day goes by so fast, so fast. So I wish that we would have kind of just took a moment and breathe it all in rather than just going, going, going. But overall it was a beautiful, beautiful wedding. So,

[09:31] so then, you know, kind of a, so you go through this process and you figure out, okay, well this is something that we needed, you know, we could have done better with diversity. And how did they kind of, the seeds start at the end for first starting your own business? Like, did you have a history of that? What were you doing before? Did you have any experience?

[09:46] Yeah. So what I did is in 2016, um, I started my perfect assistant, which is like a virtual assistant, pat personal assistant business and one of my friends, coworkers, she was like, Hey, do you do like personal assistance for weddings? And I was like, no, but I can like need and make some money. So she hired me like a week before her wedding and like basically just had me come in and figure everything out. Like on the day of they didn't know what the core was going to be set up. They didn't know what side the Brit bride was supposed to stand on. They didn't know how their timeline should go. So I was just like thrown into it and was just trying to make it all work. Um, it did. And then I was like, oh my gosh, this is a whole nother business that I can start. This is that day of coordination. So that's how it came about is kind of that coworker that kind of opened my eyes. And then when I was thinking about her wedding, I started thinking about my wedding and I was like, man, if I would've had someone like me to come in on the day of no ties to family, no drama, like that would've been so ideal. So yeah.

[10:52] Was that, but I mean the idea of kind of starting the business, I mean that, where did that come from? I mean even doing the, my perfect assistant, all that would be what kind of spawned all that. I mean they just,

[11:05] mom, I asked the laugh, you got our own businesses. Tell the story how you started your own business

[11:13] with my perfect assistant housing something. So, so

[11:18] how she started her own business, she worked for other employees and she was not the type of person to, um, great at it. But she would have those, she's an entrepreneur. Rosalynn, it's an overachiever. She's an entrepreneur. And when she would work, she would get these great jobs. But for her it was like, I need to do it my way. So she would leave. She, you know, she never left any one called, but it would just be okay. We're going through another copy up applying for another one and her last one, she finally took the plunge and said, I need to be my own boss and I need them.

[11:59] Make it happen. Yes. That's what you're getting at. I was like, wait, what? Yeah, I, I love being my own boss. I mean, don't get me wrong. Having your own business definitely has its struggles and challenges, but I could never go back and work in corporate or work for somebody. Again, just the idea of just being able to build my own brand, my own company. That was something that I never really thought about, but once the idea was brought to my head, I was like, wait a minute. I have to go for this. So you're right. Yeah.

[12:28] Robbery. Your mom here, given this would have been that you, the podcasts where they've been over it. Yeah.

[12:35] That's so funny because I was, again, as we're best friends, I'd get that phone call me at work, mom, I'm going to quit. I can't do, they're fun. I need to move on. And we finally said, let's, let's really sit back and think about what it is you want to do again. She went to school, got her degree, just, you know, it's like she's an entrepreneur. So it's great to see her really take those ideas and expand them and take them where I know she could take them. And here we are today. Um, you know, again, I, what was it when we got the, when we decided to do the, the wedding coordination business and we're thinking about the name, I literally, it's, she calls me in the middle of the night and she says, mom, I've got our name, what? My perfect wedding assistant. A brides bitch and I screen because me coming from the corporate world, literally, I'm like, there's no way we can add that name. And I slept on it and I woke up the next morning and I said, she said, mom, think about our personalities. That's who we are. And we didn't want to come into a business being fake. You know, we are as real as it comes, we're more professional, we have all that. But we want to keep it real. And I slept on it and I said, you know what, we'll go with it, but we have to own it 100%. And that's one thing we have done. We tell people, we don't sugarcoat it.

[14:11] No, I love it. I, uh, as someone to the Er had difficulties, uh, applying for jobs and, and just finding something that I thought would fit, you know me, I totally understand that. Where I, you know, I just got to look at it in the plane when I was here back, I used to work in California and it's like finally I just made my own thing because it's, you know, sometimes it is easier just to, even though it's not easier to run your own business, but it's the trying to fit the mold and might be easier just to make her own mold, uh, talking about kinds, uh, the clients that you attract people, you know, I tried to be pretty authentic to, I, I respect that and appreciate that. So what kinds of clients and in do you find like you attract,

[14:52] I think with the name? Um, it does kind of filter out our clients cause don't get me wrong, when we do wedding shows, we do have a few people that kind of raise their eyebrow at our posters and signage. But the brides that we have been blessed to work with have been absolutely amazing to the point where it's not just us leaving with them as our client, it's us leaving with them as family. We're able to build those bonds and it's not just we're working with a couple couple, we work with mom and dad and uncle and brothers and sisters. So it really becomes like us adding more to our family and that's what we absolutely love about it. So I think we like to kind of attract the, the fun bunch of people that like to party and have a good time, which we don't mind.

[15:36] So exactly. We're going to whoever you are, we're, we're going to give you what you want. But there is definitely, I think you're right. It filters out and those that give us that look, we know that that's probably not going to be the, the match or the relationship that, you know, that's going to be 100%. And that's what we love about it. It definitely filters out and knowing, oh, I love that. Oh, we love it. You know, and that's the vibe we want.

[16:11] That's funny. I, um, back couple of years ago, I used to have one of the top videos on our site was, um, you know, it starts off and it's all pretty whatever and then it cuts, you know, shows a dress, whatever and the bride's getting ready and she's like opening up this card and it like cuts and the photographer Jessica, it's like, oh, Elizabeth, like your retainer is still went. And she's like, Oh, you know, and this is funny moment that she takes it out and she's last and she's like that, you know, that definitely needs to be in the video. And I left that in for a long time for a similar idea to you guys where it is to kind of that, not a hard filter but that soft kind of the filter where like if you watch it and laugh at them, we're probably going to be on the same page. Whereas if you watched that and thought, oh my gosh, how could you ever do, then maybe we're not going to be the right fit. Right. Talk about, um, you know, where there are lots of different, um, you know, planning options or coordination, talking about the importance of finding that right fit with the people that are going to be kind of helping with the day.

[17:11] Oh, it's definitely important. That's, that's a huge factor because like we said, our biggest thing is it's not our vision. It's our couples divisions. So if someone's coming to us and

[17:24] they have no

[17:24] idea like what their vision is, well, we're probably gonna want to take a little bit more time to spend with them to help them figure out that vision and not make it our vision. It's really important that it is about the couple and their day. So we, we do, I think that's one thing we actually really strive that is with are the couples that we attract. It's usually those ones that do have that vision. They know what they want. They just need someone to implement it on day of. But with that also becomes a personalities. So like Mama, she's very, very fun, loud, charismatic. Um, so if you're looking for someone that's a little more, I don't know, I don't want to say fine and constrained, but I mean she's not going to come in a suit with a clipboard. Um, you know, our thing is you want to go out for a beer or you want to go out for a glass of wine. Like that's how we usually like to do our consultations. Um, so we do try to keep it a lot more like low key. We're not uptight. We want, we want our couples to be comfortable talking to us about whatever it is. We hear a lot of family drama stories because people feel so open to talk with us about it. But that's what we want. We want people to feel comfortable talking with us and build that trust. I think that's huge. Absolutely.

[18:38] Um, yeah,

[18:40] it's funny. I can't imagine, I would have to think of a lot of parents that have helped you know, a deal already in your pay for a wedding and kind of go through all that. I that would never want to do this ever again. And here you, you know, went through all that and now they either you've created this, you know, it's your life now. Uh, was that, um, obviously, you know, supporting your, your kids or whatever, but was that a, were you nervous to kind of jump back into that world after having kind of gone through it and moving?

[19:09] That's a good question. That's a good one. You know, I didn't, I've always been, um, I'm always that type of person. People come to me for things and to fix things and it makes sense. And even as we've done as many weddings as we have, I get a lot of moms that, you know, the bride's being bribed Zilla and I've got the mom crying on the phone and I'm like, you know what? We know the kids are going through their thing, but mama got you. Guess what? Not only did the bride get a bitch, Momma gets a bitch too. She get Mama, bitch and mama takes care of her. So I sell that and it's a good relationship. I have built some great relationships with parents because I get it. They're spending all this money, they are just as stressed and trying to make their sure that their children are getting the dream and the vision that they want.

[20:04] And sometimes the kids kind of forget about that and not realizing that the parents fit the bill. So the nice thing I've been able, that's what I love about us. We're able to really draw that line and filter. She can cater to the kids because they understand that. Um, and then I can also bring that filter in with, well, let's, let's look at, you know, we've had it where the mom wants to, you know, walk to sundown but the or I want to give a toast and, or they want to be a special role. And of course the kids are like, no, I don't want the map. Well now hold on, let's find a spot that we can give Mama and daddy to do that doesn't steal the spotlight, but we're not also pushing them. So I love that and that's what I feel I do bring to the table that balance and making sure everyone gets the best of the both worlds and enjoy the day. And I love that.

[20:58] I think that is a great dynamic. Or he said where you can kind of deal with the brides and grooms and you can deal with it to kind of have that, um, you know, different ages is obviously, but just different mindsets where, you know, you lived through it the one way and you look through it the other way. Yeah. Uh, yeah, I totally know what you mean with like the family. We add a, I don't know if I've ever said the cert four, but we had uh, my wife's parents were like terrified to give a test. Uh, you know, and they were obviously helping to pay for the wedding and so they wanted to do it um, way earlier then, you know, would probably be, I don't know, like traditional just because they wanted to kind of get done with it and then not snowball to. Then my wife's sister wanted to get firs early and then, then my brother wanted to give it, you know, so they ended, it ended up being like, we had these six toes. Like, well, you know, it is like about trying to, like you said, accommodate where they're spending that money. Kind of getting where they're coming from. Trying to respect those wishes because it is hard. And when you're planning, you know, when it's a bride and groom and then you're like, well no, there is actually, you know, the pocket,

[21:58] there's that book and they're just as important. And I get it because trust me, we went there are, was the money was like, oh my God, who's pant for this? Oh my God, it was bad for this. And so absolutely to make sure that that balance is there, that everybody is still in good about the night and their roles and what they do. That mom and dad is not just a pocket book, but there are a part of their special moment and make that is so important. It makes the night even more spectacular.

[22:27] Um, so I want to talk a little bit about, uh, finishing up about a pre kind of wedding stuff, our pre company stuff with you guys. Uh, what kind of work were you doing before? Anything that Kinda got you used to what you're doing now? Or do you feel like you took anything from your past life into what you're working on?

[22:43] No, I was in the medical administrative field for like six or seven years and I loved it. Um, but my hobby was party planning. I love to throw parties. Like anytime I can put a theme to a party, I would do it. Like if grandma was like, oh, let's have the family over dinner, I'm like, let's do a western theme. Like everything just had to have a theme to it. So finding out about wedding coordination and design and everything, I was like, oh man, that's kind of like, I didn't know it at the time, but it's kind of a passion. So that's how it kind of worked out. But I think to the Admin side is huge because that's what a lot of people miss when starting a business is it's not just going out and doing whatever service or product you're offering, but there's all the backend work. So that's what it has really, really helped me kind of give us that balance and help us grow because I do have the administrative experience. Yeah. So what, and what did you go to school for? Um, I went to school for it and business management.

[23:40] That's awesome. Why that, what kind of, what was your original player just do in the medical administration staff?

[23:46] I was all over the place cause like I was in the medical field, but I wanted to be a teacher. That's like, that was my ultimate goal. I always said I'm going to be a teacher, I'm going to be a teacher.

[23:54] And then I found out with just

[23:59] admins what I loved about the Admin side, it was the customer service part of it, kind of, and feeling that feeling of being needed. I love that. Like, oh, we can't operate today without Roz. So like I love that feeling, but I'm like, well, I can just take that and do my own business because then the business won't be able to operate without me for a while until I get it all set up. Um, yeah, no, but going back to it now, I just think that, um,

[24:25] I, I'm happy with like my past jobs because I feel like I learned so much from every job, even though it was like a lot of jobs. Like, she's not over exaggerating,

[24:37] but each job I learned something, whether I was there for two years or two days, everything was a learning experience. So I'm grateful for those.

[24:46] It's interesting too because as she started the business, I had, my experience was the operations and that's what I did a lot when I worked for the company training. And as she's admitted, you know, running a business, it's really hard and you get all these ideals in place, but you have to get these processes in the admin and get it set up. And that's where as well we kind of came in, I started coming in helping with her employees. Let's look at your processes, what can we do? And it's amazing how we've fine tuned it and we're really getting it to where this is how we want it to be. Um, and then it was even better when I was able to come on full time and leave, you know, my day job and be a part of that. Um, we've done several different ideas. We did a handy assistant job. I'm, we've got to give Ryan her husband props because her husband has been there 100% whatever you want, honey. So we've, we took, we tried that.

[25:54] He's our man bitch on the Arbor building now he's into the decor thing. So every wedding we're always like, no, I want it this way. No, it looks better this way. He thinks he has like the magic touch now these are going to coordinating his own wedding, coordinating you.

[26:10] It's on weddings. But um, you know, bringing all of those skills in what we all have and the family, it's really us helped it to mold it and bring that together because the admin part is the difficult part of it. It's trying to make sure those processes and how you're wanting that vision to go was being executed in that way. Just like we do for a wedding. We have to have that down.

[26:36] No, it's, it's hard. I mean, and even like the info that I have to have going into a wedding is a small fraction

[26:44] compared to, you know, with the coordinator would, but you know, I do like, I feel like I've gotten, you know, the last couple of years, you know, the processes really down and like I'll go back and look at like old, you know, weddings and stuff like to post something again and take, I'm like I don't even have a vendor list for well like who is the, like I didn't have any him. I'm like dude I just have a start time. Like how do I compare it to like what I have now? It's like where was the sweating? Like what is it, you know, I just, I just have a lot more info on that. But I know you mean where it's like trying to fine tune those processes and that's like one of the things I tried to sell for people to like, you know, it's we're going to like, I'm sure you guys are like know we have these things in place now. We've done this a lot and we can kind of get you guys to, um, talk about, uh, we were doing like operations and stuff before. Uh, was that

[27:34] okay

[27:34] in the big company? Was that more or less stressful than

[27:38] now? Less stressful. Um, you know, it was less stressful because the, the things that I find here is before someone told me what to do and I executed it and now it's more of I've really, we really have to impress that client. There's a lot more, I'm going to be realistic. You working for a company, I don't do it right. It's really not my bad. I'm still gonna get paid whether or not I may get the hand, you know, you, you know that bad review, you know, you should've done this, you should've done that. I'm doing this though. I got a sale because we want that good review. You know, we need that review. That's what's going to help sell the business and keep it. So it's definitely more stressful because I've got to get the details right. Got To make sure that the communication is going well. So absolutely. This is hands down, definitely work with me. Come in, I got to work with this one.

[28:52] No, that kind of segways me into my next question where they always say, you know, like don't work with your spouse or don't work with your family and you've kind of failed on both those fronts, right? When you're talking about having your husband help out and then obviously working with the mom, talking about kind of bad dynamic. Um, do you guys ever get sick of each other and maybe wait until the end of the podcast if you guys are going to get in a fight? You answered

[29:17] no, we, when we first started we, we did good, but there was definitely that, um, it was that nervousness and intimidation. How do I tell you what I'm feeling without hurting your feelings? Or if we did speak up, you knew that you would take the person off because then you would hear was click, click, click, click, click. But we're not talking. Um, and over the years, you know, with any business and we had to, again, you know, you hear that model don't mix work and family work. And family, it can be done. But it's that open communication and trust me, we've had those conversations where, okay, we need to have a meeting, we need to talk about this. And, and really respect is what it came down to. And us being able to really sit down and say, well, this is how I felt when we, you know, didn't want to go.

[30:16] And that's, I think what has really helped us is there were times at the beginning we were missing the respect value, and then we realize that and it was able to come back and say, let's hold on. We need to reevaluate this. And I think that's what's made us so successful now and we're now, we can have, you know, we're doing the process this way. Yeah. And we can literally have the conversation where it doesn't become an argument that you just want to do it your way and you just want to, you know, so we've, we've definitely overcome that. And so Ken family work together. Yes. But it really boils down to that respect.

[31:00] Well in the beginning it was on this we, there's going to be honest right there. Cause it was a hot mess. It was just because we all didn't know what we were doing. We were all new to this. So frustration and temper was there. Um, you know, Ryan thought one thing she thought another, sometimes I was in the middle some, it kind of was like a monkey in the middle, but the positions would change. It can be any, any one of us in the middle.

[31:24] Ryan would go, I'd be, well wait a minute, looking at this, you know.

[31:28] Yeah. So I think our first year it was really hard. But I think what helped is after our first year experiencing the weddings that we had and all of us finally realizing, hey, we have a business out of this and we can actually make something out of this. So we're like, okay, let's sit down and figure out our roles, figure out the boundaries, figure out that respect. And that's what really kind of brought us all together because we finally realized this isn't just a hobby. This isn't just a side job. This can be what pays for our bills. So that kind of made us kind of buckle down and, and get things straightened out. But I'm, I can honestly say it is the best thing being able to work with my mom and my husband because they are my best friends and they tell me when I'm wrong and they praise me when I'm right. So it's nice to have that balance. I do appreciate that. When do the, you know, when did that kind of realization go from wig? Like, okay, this is something that's, you know, somewhat viable too. Like this is something that we could actually roll with. How did that, do you kinda remember that? Was there like a light bulb? That's probably the, the tooth out. The two ticks, 2016. I mean, the first year we did, yeah,

[32:34] weddings. We work for peanuts. We work harder. Literally when I said we work for peanuts and at that point I didn't have no income coming in or we were like, oh my God, how's this going to really even happen? So we worked for peanuts and we really realized, so, um, we needed the competent and just like you said, I mean I can go back and look at a bride's folder from two years ago and there was like, how come there's nothing in one timeline where I'm like, Whoa, where's all their information at? Who was there cater or you know, we're now we have a book and we know where we've grown. So definitely that first year, um, I think because we all, again, it was so new to a solid and then we were able to really sit down and say, like Rosalynn said, where are we going with this?

[33:27] Is this going to be true income and can we make, and we realized we could. And um, that was really the opening that first it was that first, the first year was rough sledding season wedding with Susan was rough. Yeah. Yeah. Cause I think, um, it is tough. We're crossing kind of that, you know, even doing it, you know, largely full time, but still kind of having an alternate and clubs and stuff and kind of trying to get finally over that. I mean, did you just figure like a, we're just going for this going for this is as hard as we can or was there any trepidation at all?

[34:01] I think we kind of just said we're going to go for it. I really think that's what it came down to. And it was just like, okay, let's invest the money. Let's invest the savings and to getting the website up. Um, we got our first little office space in downtown Tacoma cause we were just like, it'd be nice to have a place where we can meet the bride's instead of still going to coffee shops and everything. So we kinda just said, you know, cause my husband was working full time so thank God for him because he was able to support us financially, why we're trying to build this venture. But um, yeah, I think it just came down to us all being like, okay, are we all in 100% are we going to give this everything we have? Because if we fail, we want to make sure that we did everything in our power not to. So that way there are no regrets. We didn't want any what ifs, what ifs, what if we did this instead? What if we did this? Let's just put everything in and go for it.

[34:48] And it was great because I think from that too, that's how we changed our, our vision with the business. And we started the decor and including decor package and then we, you know, we were literally in a small space, literally no windows. So it was a shared office and we have the decor down in the garage and like a dungeon. And I'll never forget we took the first cup, we thought they probably thought we were going to kill him. It was bad, you know, and, and it was like an epiphany that, okay, this isn't how we can operate. Are we really going to take this business to the next level? Absolutely. And we made sacrifices and made it happen and we moved to another space. Um, that was great. We finally got a window. It was actually a front door that couples could come in.

[35:42] We weren't having to go to a coffee shop. Um, but we had all this decor in there. So when they would come it was quite crowded because normally when they come to pick out the decor, they want to bring moms and they'll bring out, so you've got like eight people in here and stuffs knocking down. And we were just like, oh, okay. So then even from that, looking at how we've grown, we said, okay, we've got to take it to the next level and get a bigger space. Of course that's more money going out. But we said, you know what, if we're going to go big, we're, we're going to go for it. We're going to go big. And we got another space. We now have a beautiful showroom. Um, the excitement to see couples, um, come in and wow, literally in a showroom, like you'd go to a rental place, they're looking at what they get to you. So it's just amazing. And that accomplishment, it was well worth it. Um, what was the

[36:44] biggest thing that it could be the, the store for it, but something that you underestimated in terms of the importance or challenges? Like for mine, I always say like, you know, taxes and getting like my account and order. That was like my big like Oh crap and then I kinda got that wasn't getting no sir in front of what was something that you thought would be easier that wasn't

[37:05] money? No that, no it is that the management of the money because you think you know we have family all the time. It's like well oh well how much do you usually charge? And it's like that doesn't really matter because when you take out your business expenses, you take out your payroll. It's like really not left with a lot. So just being able to manage the money to understand my numbers because that was something I had no idea about was numbers, profit and loss. That was all like completely new to me and I'm still learning that stuff. But you know, getting a CPA and having someone to kind of help me manage that. That was definitely probably, I think it was the hardest part for me is understanding that that's really hard

[37:46] and you've done great because now even going into this year, the mindset is way different where we're really looking at, okay, what were our expenses? What was our revenue, what was our profit? You know, what we're really seeing the light. And again, as I say, it takes, you know, you start a business, everyone thinks that coming into a business, oh you own a business and you know, honey, we again, we started off working for peanuts and we're still there. We're still growing. But I think that's been the biggest learning is really organizing and keeping the business aspect in order and understanding those a profit and loss.

[38:28] Yeah. I was talking to Ryan on the podcast last week. Who you guys, you know, no, yeah, that's what we had talked about too, was um,

[38:36] nobody gets this, the amount of money, the output that it is, like you said, like getting the store front. And I wanted to ask too about the decor. You guys have to kind of manage that as well. So how does that work?

[38:49] Oh, we're still trying to figure that out.

[38:54] Inventory is growing. I mean, yeah, we're the ones who manage it. So, um, luckily now we do have, um, our team is growing so that helps out a lot. I'm Aubrey who's kind of our admin assistant. She's also a coordinator. She's been kind of helping with keeping our inventory updated, getting it all on the website and stuff. Because what happens is everyone's like, when we tell Brides, oh, you get access to our decor inventory. Okay, well what is that? If it's just a few tea lights and you know, one type of linen, I don't know if that's really going to be worth it, but when they come in and they're able to see everything, it's like, oh my gosh, hobby lobby on steroids. That's what we try to make it. So, um, yeah, that, that's kind of been the other thing that we're working on right now is trying to keep our inventory management, um, organized and also how we're going to grow that side. Because eventually we would like to just do decor rentals. And you don't have to book a coordination package with us, you can just rent items from us. So that's kind of the,

[39:51] the next thing. Entrepreneur mind going right now. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it, it, it, it, when we, when we started this, when we would get weddings and of course the brides would bring their decor, um, so some wit big and they had a lot of decor and you were just like, oh my God, boxes, no labels. And our heads would just spin. And then of course they'd go buy this stuff and say, well, I don't have any use for it. Do you want it? So that was kinda how we started it and take you. Okay, yeah, we'll take them. And, and then we'd go to some that wouldn't have a lot. So we started packing little things, just stuff to help enhance their decor. If they didn't have enough, and then they'd be like, Oh, where'd that come home? That's beautiful. And then we realized, you know, wait a minute, we're kind of on a something year.

[40:47] Um, and from there we've just grown and grown. And then we said, let's just start throwing the decor. The biggest skull behind that is number one, it saves the couple money. The decor can get so expensive and you're using it one time. Now they've got to worry about how am I going to get rid of it and all I got to worry about selling it. The other big issue last year was the biggest issue was somebody got to pack all that stuff and take it home. We had parents in the parking lot fighting and arguing because they couldn't get it all in their car. So you know, one thing we sell is that's another stress thing that your family don't have to worry about and who's taking it home. If they do it right and book with us, they come with one little box. It's like the little specialty things that they want, but let us take all that stuff home and not worry about that. It's, it's huge and priceless to be honest with you.

[41:45] Well that's the, yeah, the huge thing I with, I do think decor. Rental is so important because you know, it's like every day I see like a thousand people on Facebook. Are you trying to sell? Oh, I have 500 of these little, I don't know. I wouldn't even know. I mean I'm a guy, I don't know what all this stuff is, what I see him. I'm like God, that's just the period of the acids when we get back or 20 bucks or whatever. Yeah. If you just were able to kind of rented and especially like you said, have somebody kind of be able to pack it in and out. Is that, uh, what would you say are common like pitfalls that you see and they can be your clients or other wedding clients that kind of go through, like an example would be like kind of buying in a lot of decor stuff and you don't need to buy me. Do you guys see some stuff that you're continually educating people about that you wish that people do?

[42:30] Oh, okay.

[42:31] You know, we only have so much time.

[42:35] Well, you know, here's the advice, especially for the DIY. Sometimes they think more is better. And you know, if you don't have a vision or a theme, that's where it becomes, they're buying so much. Where when, I mean we had a bride that three truckloads of stuff literally, and we, it took us two to three hours to clean that thing you up because they had so much stuff, you know, more is not always. Um, so keeping that, that you know, you can, you can have elegance and you can have sometimes getting them to stop and think not only that you go and spend all this money on the venue in some of these venues are beautiful, but then folks want to come in and sprinkled glitter all over it. And it's just like, where are you going with this? You just spent all this money on this beautiful venue, use the venue, left the venue, speak for itself and that subtleness so it's a hard one. If we could, you know, if anything we we, you know, and that's what we try to sell, what the decor and letting them know that we can still give you what you're wanting, but it doesn't always have to be more, more, more, you know.

[44:00] And sometimes I think too with, especially now with like Pinterest because a lot of weddings and brides want to go that DIY style, which hey, I'm all about it. I love DIY. I love budget saving, all of that. But sometimes it's actually

[44:14] even

[44:15] more affordable. Yeah. Yeah. It more expensive to do the DIY side rather than if he would have just hired a florists and had them do a simple center her weights. So I'm just like, ah. Cause then you have to think about, okay, who's going to put those centerpieces together? Who's going to transport them? Whereas if you just want to hire that floors, they could

[44:32] have done on that for you. So it could have saved lots of time and money.

[44:35] No, my, uh, I think I've said this before, I'm here, but my buddy Dominic, I shot his way the couple of years ago and same thing and they were like mean. He just was really conscious about saving and your God bless him and I didn't even think people are going to hire us to do the video, but uh, like I saw him that morning and he's getting ready. I was like, oh hey man, how's it going? He's like, oh, I'm really tired because we were up till like three in the morning, you know, putting together the massages and stuff because they wanted to do, you know, and so whether it's going to cost you, it's either going to cost you time or money and so you just need to kind of figure out what's more important. Yeah. And it could, like you said across and you both, if you have the screw into the APP and half,

[45:14] I spend all this time, it's stressful. It's stressful. It's already stressed enough because you want the state to go. Perfect. Um, so, you know, we can tell anyone, I think back and we always try to ask couples what's important to you? And that's the big key is the core of the big thing. Okay, then, then maybe that's where all your focus is, but you can't, you really have to find that balance of what do I really want from this and what's important to me. And that's going to be the key to the success because it's all stressful. But when you're trying to make every aspect of it and it's all important, it's just, there's just no way you're trying to please a hundred to 150 people. There's just no way you have to cook, you know? And that's that we're going to bring you back down to reality. You know, we're going to bring you back down to reality. That's the big key.

[46:11] Yeah. When you were talking about the, uh, the, the lessons more, I had shot a wedding and I was thinking, I was like, I don't know who that, because I didn't have any of the info. Like we were talking to them as far as if it was the, but they had, it was like vintage on beyond to just like dropped off like her entire, but it wasn't that, but it was like they just dropped off their entire, you know, truckloads of all this stuff and like they had, um, Mohs and like books and you know, couches and like, and if I had had you at two hours, I could have shot all the different decor things, let alone people be there seeing it right where you're at. If I'm sitting at the table, I'm only seeing the two things that are in front of me, you know? And so I just was like, I just stopped me and it took them all day. You know, they were there all day, the was all this stuff in and then it's like three, three and a half hours and you're done. You know, maybe you could expect and let be, like you said, if that's, if that's your ideal,

[47:06] that's your idea. Go for it. But really no, that, I think that's the key is getting couples to think about what is it that I really want, what's important to me and where they can think about that. Because then maybe I take from this, if this isn't that much, now we put that money more towards this and that's what the focus or no, I really want videographer or I really want, okay, well if that's not we can cut some of that and keep it more simple and now again, and now you have more money to invest over there.

[47:40] So talking about, um, if couples year, why they use you guys kind of weird. When do they find you, when do you reach out kind of windows, that process? We're kind of, if you are working, like if we, if I was getting married that, you know, how would, how would I work with you guys and how would that move?

[47:55] It's actually changed within the last year, a year and a half because when we first started, we found that couples are booking with us, um, anywhere from like six to nine months before their wedding. But for all of our brides from this here, they booked with us like a year and a year and a half in advance. So, um, that's the other thing we say we do specialize in the day of month of coordination, but we're available to our couples as soon as they book with us. So if they have questions, if they need vendor recommendations, um, if they just need a vent because I need someone to talk to you, like we're totally there for them. So, um, it does help because they all, they always have that. Um, they can confide in us like, Hey, you know, I read about this when I'm not really sure if I should be booking my DJ at this time or is this something that should be included in the contract? So it's kind of Nice for when they do book pretty early with us. But usually it's, it's about a year out, I would say no man wants to hear.

[48:50] Um, we do check ins with them, you know, once a month, every two months we tried to just, hey, how things go on. Some tell us. I haven't even thought about it. Okay. Not a problem. Some say up, I've got this keeping up with where they're at and then you know again, then we'll do a walkthrough with them. We want to schedule a being you walked through. If they, if they book our main bitch package that includes the decor inventory. We normally bring them in about three to four months before the wedding because we want to make sure what they're using for decor and if we have it, if it's something we need to, you know, think about getting or what, where we're going with it. Then we do that. Then you walked through there, we're going to reach out to those vendors, create that timeline, pull everything together. At that point they should just be focusing on the little things about them and enjoying. Let us think about those little details that you know we need to worry about.

[49:49] Yeah. I think it's so helpful to have somebody to, you know, that knows what they're doing, to be able to ask questions because it is like this whole, you know, I think people think that they need to know a lot more about whether you played it, you know, people don't write. It's a whole new thing and, and it, you know, it's tough. He goes like, you know, people say like, you know, which I booked my DJ or how much is that cost and we need, I see all the time people ask you about like, why, you know, I have this much to spend for this or that. And like that might be a reasonable or my nod and might be able to even know, you know? And so it is a, I think like you guys said, kind of doing those check ins and having um, you know, a sounding board. Yeah. I'm going to probably take you up and your number and I can call you and call you and vent from time to time, that shoulder to cry on. Absolutely. But no, I think that's important. Kind of finally here, you guys talk about what you're kind of launching, the decor and stuff. What's the next kind of goals and what are we looking to accomplish in the next couple of years? Where do you guys kind of see it

[50:45] growing? More coordinators on our team. That's, that's another thing. Um, it was, you know, me and my mom and my husband Ryan in the beginning. Um, so now we do have three of the coordinators we have on board, so we're getting them situated this year. Um, and then

[51:02] our longterm goal is, that was our short term, which we're pretty much there, but our longterm goal is we want to have our own venue. We, you know, doing this business, we've also watched, um, you know, poor couples, they get a venue, oh, can I use this? Can I use that up? That'd be an extra charge. Gotta be this. And we would really like to have that all inclusive. You know what you're going to pay. Maybe you're going to pay 12, 13,000, but you're going to get your bartender, you're going to get your, you know, minister, you're going to get your, we, that's our ultimate goal is to really have, but not just that low budget, but it can either be low or it could be at the high level, high end, you know, depending on what your needs. And that is our true ultimate long term goal. We want our own venue.

[51:52] That's an exciting area. So where are we starting the footsteps on the other? How is that looking?

[52:01] Uh, I'd say 2020 is the goal. We're going to start actually looking into that this year. It's, you know, just making sure we have our whole team on board feeling confident. Um, you know, we're, we're still learning, like we're still learning every day. Every wedding is a learning experience. Seriously. Um, education has been something that's always been important to me and that's what I try to tell like my whole team. Like, don't ever feel like you're at a spot where you think you know it all because there's always more that you can learn always. So, um, I think that we're just gonna really focus, especially this year, we're kind of trying rebranding a little bit. Um, we want to be more confident in our brand. It's kind of been back and forth since we've been trying to build things and figure out what we're trying to do. But I'm branding getting our team on board and then 2020 will start looking into the venue possibilities. So, yeah. But it's exciting.

[52:56] Did you guys, uh, everything you a backward, you were doing the, you know, your project management, kind of the coordination and the, and medical assistant, all that, but you'd ever be kind of like so deep into why do you feel now?

[53:08] No, never, never crossed my mind. I probably still would have been working for the company, travel in the world, doing the thing, wouldn't have never thought that at all. And I love it. I, again, the best, the hardest decision I had ever made in my life. Um, you know, as a mother and, uh, and, and I'm an entrepreneur was the hardest decision, but best decision. And it was one of those things. Sometimes you just gotta go for it, follow your dreams and go for it.

[53:39] Yeah. And I just have to say like, you know, even with the past jobs that I've had, the feeling that I hated was knowing that for the rest of my life, Monday through Friday I have to get up at 8:00 AM I'm going to end at 5:00 PM and now with the weddings, you would think after so many people always ask me all the time, don't you get sick of the weddings? No. Every single wedding is different. It's different. Yeah. It might be similar in some ways, but I never wake up feeling like, man, I have to go to this wedding. It's always excitement and that's what I love about it. On top of that, the wedding community itself was just the vendors. Yeah, I have to say it. We've had some amazing vendors help us out along the way and just those connections, you build the support and the wedding vendor community is awesome. Even you. Like, I appreciate you so much, so thank you.

[54:22] Yeah, so that, that, that's been a huge, we've just, we've added on a whole new wonderful family. We work with party on the rocks. Jan and Claire loved them. They're another mom and mother duo. I think about rich and George at Rein Fire Ranch. We've become family and you know, joining in and, and having that Rion with My Perfect Bartender, he was great. And how we connected with him at a wedding and now look at us. We're really close. I'm just adding that addition on. Family add on just has been great and we've looked totally forward and we're looking forward to meeting so many more. Absolutely.

[55:02] Perfect. This has been such a great talk. I want to thank you guys so much for coming in. Uh, if people want to learn more about you guys, your company, what you guys do, where would you have them check out?

[55:12] They can check out

[55:21] Well this has been so enjoyable. Thank you guys so much for coming in. I really appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you. This has been another episode of Get to Know Your Wedding Pro. Check back next week for another wedding vendor interview. Thanks so much.

Rion McConnehey, My Perfect Bartender

[00:09] Hey everybody, welcome to Get to Know Your Wedding Pro. My name is Reid with Best Made Videos®. We are a wedding videography company based out of West Seattle, Washington. And I am joined today by a new friend of mine who came bearing gifts and a good drink, which we can talk about. Uh, Rion McConnehey of My Perfect Bartender. And Rion, thank you so much for coming in. Why don't you introduce your, tell, uh, introduce yourself and tell us who you are and what you do. Yeah. Read. Absolutely. No, thank you very much for having me. The fact, uh, as I mentioned earlier that I'm even on your radar was a big one for me. So I'm, I'm very happy to be here. Uh, my name is Rion. I'm a private bartender that does bar services for private events. I'm specialize in weddings. I love the wedding community, but I've done, um, you know, remembrances, I've done fundraisers.

[00:51] I did the Puyallup Fireman's Ball. That was the most attractive event I've ever worked by far. That was pretty cool. Um, yeah. And just really here to kind of take care of all your bar needs for your big day. And I've been a bartender long, long time, loved the bar industry. I was raised in restaurants, love everything about it and uh, gosh, decided about a year and a half ago to take a crack at this private thing and it's been going really, really well. I get really good reviews. People seem genuinely happy. I'm happy with the services that I offer and at the price I offer. Keep all the insurance and all the licensing and check and everything. Make sure that you're safe and protected because, uh, you know, alcohol does have a big liability. So I do like to make sure that everybody's safe but have a good time and we found a good balance.

[01:33] We really do it. My Perfect Bartender, it's been, um, it's been a great year and a half. I can not complain. Well, I thank you so much for coming in and like I said, you brought a, you brought gifts and I did. I did. Well, it didn't feel, it didn't feel right. You know, certain people have their specialties and minds. Alcohol. I, I asked you reboot, your drink was and you said luck is soda. So I went and picked up some, uh, some vodka soda. I'm not drinking vodka soda. I Hate Soda, but I'm drinking vodka. Red Bull to give me a little pick me up. But yeah, no, it's absolutely my pleasure. I appreciate you letting me be here. Oh, awesome. I'm so glad in, I do think it's important to have a, you know, a bartender sign here, you know, I think alcoholic, he said that's such an important part of, you know, weddings and events and, and all that kind of stuff.

[02:09] Uh, so how did you kind of get into, you said you, you know, we're doing bartending for a long time before you went private, so kind of how did you, you were kind of saying off Mike, how you grew up in restaurants and everything. Yeah. Yeah. So I grew up in there and I've done other types of work. A lot of people stay in restaurants and the kind of field trap because the money is good. I've tried other things. And I just always find my way back to the bar. That's just what I love. It's more of a long, it's what I do. So it was a bartender for a long time. Um, and then, uh, Geez, about two years ago I'd done a couple private events, but I did a wedding for a close friend of mine up Allie and RJ. And I was like, wow, I really liked, doesn't really want to take a crack at this.

[02:46] I had some money saved up and did some research and then I was actually super duper blessed. Um, something I kind of mentioned. Yeah, off, off a microphone was I, when we did that wedding, I worked closely with um, a mother daughter do well with my perfect wedding assistant. And you notice the names are similar. I'll get into all that. And so when I, when I decided to start the business, I knew that, um, friends aren't cheap. So, so I reached out to people, I was like, Hey, can I take you out to drinks? Can I take you at dinner? I just, I just wanted to learn a lot more about the industry. And Roslyn and Ernestine, I'm over at my perfect wedding assistant were so fantastic and they, they welcomed me in and it was the cheapest promo dinner. I taking people out to dinner and drinks.

[03:27] They got two appetizers and a Mike's hard lemonade and that's how our business transaction started. It was fantastic. Um, and so they kind of, they, they recognize that I was a good bartender and I recognize kind of their stability in the industry. So they taught me some stuff and they, they kind of helped me build a website. She helped me get in with Howard over at the Seattle, a wedding convention, which I just had my own booth at this show. I was really proud of that. Um, and so yeah, they kind of showed me the ins and outs and we work really closely together. And then the rest is kind of in history. Yeah, they helped me book, I'll, they've helped me book a lot of work. And then once I kinda got my feet on the ground, I started booking a lot of my own work and then a lot of referrals and a lot of shaking hands.

[04:04] And knocking on doors. And Yeah, the rest is history. It's, it's been fun. It's been a fun experience. I liked this, but I like making people happy. I genuinely, that's one thing I really want anybody listening right now to know is that I love you and I want you, we will there. Nothing's off the table. We'll get whatever you need. Um, we will talk about budgets, we'll talk about, I can help you prep a shopping list. We'll talk about equipment. I do venue consultations. That's one thing a lot of people don't think is when you find your venue. I will call your venue and I'll say, Hey, my name's Rion and the licensed bartender that looks really good for you guys. That helps them get their deposit back a lot of times. And I say, Hey, do you have a bar or do I need to bring my bars?

[04:42] Do you have an ice maker? Do you have easy access to refrigeration, running water? Just all these kind of little things that a lot of people don't think about. And I really just try and get to know all of that. Um, and that I can convey that message to you and we figure it out. You know, everything can be figured out, everything can be figured out. Yeah. Cause I do think like nowadays and you see a lot online and people wanting to like find a place and bring their own alcohol or hey can somebody have somebody set up stuff or know somebody that could pour drinks or whatever. And there's so much more that goes into it. A, I mean just logistically and then be also like you're saying liability with heaven, the licenses and things like that. Right. I mean talk about some things that people don't think about necessarily.

[05:20] Well absolutely. So what's, what's you can to serve at a wedding. Most venues, all, they really require it. Different venues have different things, but it's a $10 banquet permit. You get that online and what that does is basically allows you to serve alcohol to your guests. And what a lot of people think is like to stay in budget on budget friendly. I'm a budget guy myself, you know, I don't knock that, but they're like, oh, we're going to have uncle Jim bar 10 because it won't cost any money and don't have uncle Jim Barr tent. Um, uncle Jim might be great. He might have the best intentions, but uncle Jim hasn't been doing this like I've been doing this. Um, you don't have that liability with uncle Jim's obviously a very broad term. You understand what I'm saying? But yeah, I'm uncle Jim doesn't have that liability.

[06:01] He doesn't have that insurance. He doesn't have that experience and he doesn't know how to gauge the venues or help you make kind of a shopping list or really even the most loving, confident uncle Jim can't give you the confidence of what I've kind of done over time. Um, and people, yeah, I want to save money. And so like my, my rates are really rolled the program out to raise my prices like 50 bucks. But the Promo I did for the Seattle wedding expo was $300. I'm really proud of that price. 300 gets me for the day. My insurance, full consultations. I'll help people to shopping list. I'll do venue consultations and then you get access to all my equipment. I have collapsible bars, tables, linens, beverage dispensers, Kagy equipment, all that kind of stuff. And so I just kind of pay that money and just, it alleviates so much stress just knowing that that we will bring this bar.

[06:48] The bar will be good. It will be taken care of. I'll be there till the bitter end. We'll stay. We'll clean. Yeah. Uh, did you, did you like the lighting show? I loved the wedding show. I love the wedding show just because I, I like talking, I like meeting people. I like shaking hands. I love meeting other vendors. I love going to venues when venues have boost and I don't try and promote myself. I just ask one question, one real honest question. I'm like, are your bartenders taking care of you? Are they taking care of the venue? Are they promoting safety while having a good time? And if the venues and a lot, I'm like, they're like, you know what, our bar tenders are great. And I'm like, that's fantastic. I hope that continues to go well. And then some of them use kind of have to take that time and they're like, you know, maybe not.

[07:28] Um, because you do hear a lot of these horror stories about bartenders. I'm especially when you hire your friends is they drink, they get drunk. Um, they want a party. Um, and it just, you'd hear these horror stories, people falling asleep in cars, this, that, the other thing. And uh, sorry I got a little top topic from the thing, but uh, yeah, love the Seattle wedding show. Love this God winning show because, well we can talk about two things. One, I do have, you know, stories as well, even seen with bartenders. I love him. Cause what's I think interesting about you is you're somebody that has a lot of knowledge in bartending, right? You know, years and years and now you're kind of making this transition now into weddings more so in private events and stuff. So that's what I was just kinda curious. Yeah.

[08:10] Like what you thought is like an outside of, you're now coming into the, whether you show, you know, we've done the wedding show for years. Love it. I love meeting people, but you thought that that was good and you felt like it was a good place to kind of display and talk to people. It was, it was a good place to display and talk to people and network a little bit and then just meet, um, a lot of potential clients. I booked a lot of work off of the, off of that event and there were other bartending services available. One, I'm, I love Claire and Jan, uh, over at party on the rocks. But the, the other services that were there were a little more big scale and there are a little more expensive, but that's fine because they, they bring, um, I shouldn't say they bring more to the table, but I kind of like where I'm at.

[08:49] Whereas I am a one man operation. I have four people, I've had over 200 people try and work for me at my team consists of four people. I trust them, I loved them. They know who they are. I don't, yeah, I don't work with Randoms, not to say anybody else does, but, uh, it's just kind of Nice being the little guy, but I'm like, I'm a big, I'm a, uh, Dan, what's the, what's the phrase, like small fish, big pond or a big fish, small pond or whatever. Yeah. For the kind of that niche that I'm in, um, I'm happy and I can deliver it and I can do good. And I'll, I'll give you kind of an example. When I was starting this business, I was reaching out to everybody and I was just calling and I'm asking questions. And so I got ahold of some of these bigger companies and I kind of priced them and stuff and I'm like, okay, I'm not quite there yet.

[09:27] But then when I did, as I went on sites like craigslist and I found these kind of little dog bartenders that were kind of at my stage and I contacted all of them and I hate knocking other vendors, but I did not like those craigslist bartenders. And let me tell you why. A huge overwhelming consensus from these like eight individuals that I hit up was make them do it, make them do it, make them do it. You just have to show up and bartend. Don't worry about this. And that's not my style. I want people to feel confident that I am going to bring this in and I'm going to take care of everything. And that's not what they were about to like don't buy any equipment, don't buy those beverage dispensers. Make them do it, make them do it, make them do it. And that's just not, I'm just, that's not my style.

[10:05] I don't like it. Don't, yeah, don't like at all. Yeah. I want to be there. I want you to know that things will get taken care of. It'll be all good. I like that as someone, you know, kind of before you got it in the weddings here, you know, had you gone to a lot of weddings was just like kind of a foreign concept. Like I always say, cause like when we, when I shot my first wedding I'm like, I was, I had no idea anything. So that's why I'm so, I'm like the worst example of it. So that was the most scared. No, no, no. That's actually a really fantastic question. I definitely have. I turned 30 so a lot of my friends have gotten married in the last couple of years and I'm always fascinated at how bars work, not only at weddings but anywhere I go every time I travel, like when I go to Mexico, the way that their bars operate down there are way different than the way bars operate up here.

[10:44] And so, um, I was like intrigued, but I never really had a serious thought until that event that I did for my friends and I helped them pick up the cakes and I helped them do just, I really helped. And I was like, Oh man, I think I can. That's when I actually was inspired and I was like, Oh man, I think I can take a crack at this. I think I can take a crack at this. But no, no. Actually I've been at weddings. I might talk to the bartender, but it was an open bar. I probably was a little bit off off kilter myself, you know. Yeah. Yeah. Um, who as someone that's gone to Mexico a lot, what do you, what do you think the differences are between, well, they have a lot of the, I'm just curious. I know there's a couple and it's not, I mean they overserve a little bit that that can probably be said about any kind of vacation town or anything, but a lot of them is, um, they have open air bars so they have to at the end of night, take everything down here in Washington.

[11:35] We just lock our doors because we don't have open air anything. Cause why would we, but it's, I have, I would watch them just have to collapse all the bars down and take all the liquor and put it in a cage. And that was interesting. Service was also different because as I understand it, I don't know all the logistics but um, for certain like tip jobs down there like in the states, in certain states, um, if you make tips you might make less than minimum wage as I understand it in Mexico or parts of Mexico, if you make tips, like they'll pay you a flat rate but then they can keep you all day so they don't pay hourly. They're just like here's your $40 for the day or whatever and they keep you all day. So they have just a ton of like servers on staff, but they almost were just, they're not, I'm, I'm a very kind of in your face what you need, what's going on, talk to me, how can I help you?

[12:18] And that's not the surface dial down there. It's very like you have to ask for the check, they just kind of stay away. It's just kind of interesting. And the one, this is my favorite one I encountered this many, many times in Mexico was they have happy hour, same as here, but they have two for one drink specials, which is a pretty common thing, but you don't get like say you are now to go and be like, oh, can we have to my ties for the happy hour special. They would give you to my ties and they would give me to my ties and it wasn't, you don't split, you know, like I don't know. I was, and I was like, I'm a drinker so I can't complain. I'll drink to my dies. But uh, I always thought that was, that was so funny. That happened to me many, many times.

[12:52] So it was funny a go. Yeah. I was just kind of curious about that. Um, so kind of transitioning into wetlands, like was it having done events before was at like intimidating to kind of like self, you know, you're building this now, you know, your face, you know, along with them. But like was that it was at a new thing for you? It definitely was a new thing. The intimidating thing wasn't actually the bartending itself. I am a good high volume bartender. Like I'm a nice guy, but I can move a line through, I can get things done. What was definitely intimidating was more of the administrative side about it, um, because I only got on Facebook a couple of years ago because I became a father. Um, so that kind of social networking and making sure that I paid the insurance on time and making sure that I'm replying back to emails in a prompt manner.

[13:36] When as a bartender I had a schedule, I didn't have to respond to emails, nobody emailed me. They just came into my bar versus now and con, I just have to make sure I'm on top of the emails and organization has definitely been the most intimidating thing for me. And I'm actually proud of myself. I've taken leaps and bounds of staying on top of that. My son's mom, sometimes I'll say things like, just give me a minute. I've got to answer a couple emails. And she's like, I never thought you would ever be the human being to say that, you know? Um, so yeah, the administrative side was a little intimidating. Thank God. Like I said, I have Roslyn, Roslyn um, has helped me a lot and she helped me line up my insurance and things like that, so, so God bless that woman. Um, but not the bartender.

[14:12] They actually did get it. That's what I do because it is tough. You know, we've talked on this podcast before about, you know, some of them might be like a good photographer, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they're going to be a good, you know, web design. There are like, I can, you know, shoot video, but that doesn't mean that I'm necessarily good at taxes or whatever. So there was like, like you said, there's so much more that you now need to kind of focus on as well. Right? Yeah, no, that is definitely true in, there are definitely a lot of different types of bartenders learning there. There's, there's high volume, there's, there's low volume with more attention to detail and I love that I can do all those things. I'll doing consultations. I handled a lot of high volume things, but then I'll talk to me like, okay, if you want me to just be me for this crew, you need to understand, you need to, um, let me prep you a high volume menu.

[14:54] And what that means is like the streets can be overly intricate or that line's going to go very, very slow and people are going to get a little bit upset. But if you do want some of these intricate muddled and type type drinks, you know, Moscow mules are really popular right now or any sort of Mohito or any tropical thing like that, I can bring on an additional person or you can just maybe accept that the line's going to take a little longer or we can kind of figure this out. People just need to work with me. I have, I'm, I'm really excited for this one. In a few months, I remember the exact date, but in a few months I'm doing like a three day, a wedding type thing. I'm up north and so we're kind of preppy. Menus are going to do it. Um, uh, most of our one day and then French 75 is on another day.

[15:31] And so, but one thing I kind of had to tell her, she wanted those French 75 which are a little more of an intricate drinks. She wanted that to be the initial drink when everybody got there and is going to be a huge crowd. And I was like, let's maybe do that another day because when 200 plus people are going to bum rush, I you don't want me to make you French 75. Yeah. So, so figuring out, cause like I said, we can make anything happen but you just kinda need to listen to me and my recommendations and we'll talk to this. We'll talk that we'll make something happen, you know, and yeah, cause it, there's nothing more frustrating for me to mean. We're not a big like classy go out barf console. But you know, when you go and you sit for like 15 minutes, wait and I'm, you know, to peel a BLM and then, you know, get the essence and whip it around the glass so you get a Aladdin on fire.

[16:15] And I this might, you know, but it is something to keep in mind like you said, and especially like with events and being able to do like that high volume stuff. Right? It is. Um, so, so you feel like you do a good job, like kind of consulting, you know, your potential clients are kind of letting them know and helping them kind of figure out what they want to serve and how they want to do that. I do. So I do the consultations and we tell you read, if I had a super power to make you like the perfect shopping list, I would be a millionaire because there is no, everything is different. Every family's different. And so, so I do try and help as best I can and we talk, um, you know, like drink calculators and, and how much of this and how much of that and do we want this cocktail one.

[16:52] And another one is, we talked about Moscow mules, this Moscow, just a really popular with the younger crowd now, but they'd be like, that's the only drink one off. And I'm like, well, can we maybe get some cranberry juice or something? Because you know, Frieda does not want a Moscow mule. She would like a vodka Cran and most people are pretty open and receptive to that once, once they kind of hear it out loud. That happens a lot in my industry is like I just have to say something out loud and then people are like, oh, that makes sense. Um, in nine times out of 10, people are super receptive to it. Every now and then you get that little fight back and that's fine. It's their big day, so, so we'll make it work. Um, that's as a y. Yeah. What's the deal? It like the Moscow mule.

[17:26] Now why is that the big thing? Um, because it comes in a fancy cup. I'm not a big fan of the ginger beer. It is definitely like a drink. Like if you'd like Moscow mules, drink Moscow mules, but it's definitely a Moscow mules. And IPA is man Seattle 2019. That's what's going on. The beer is another fantastic one where, um, you know, we'll, we'll talk about things like, do we want to be bottled beer versus kegs? Do we want to do a mixture of both? Where can the money be saved? But a lot of times they'll be like, hey, we got three kegs of ips and I'm like, can we get, uh, uh, a rack of Coors light for Uncle Jimmy? Uncle Jim doesn't want that heavy IPA. Um, and so that's one. And sometimes I got to kind of be like, just get a case. Of course, it's always gone. The case of course, like always goes. So that, that, that happens quite frequently, but it's, it's, it's whatever the, whatever the client wants to just, so when we say, listen to me a little bit, you know, just listen to me a little bit. I've done this a couple times

[18:18] and I remember when we were getting the booze, the alcohol for our wedding, we got married that salty is and we got, so you know, we told them, you know they helped kind of supply that 70 it was the same thing where they were like, they had all these really heavy beers and we're like we need like a corona or something that people, cause I don't, I'm not going to drink that all night. And then it's my wedding. You know like you definitely have to a it staff to kind of incorporate that across the board. Especially with like beer and wine too and kind of figuring out, right? Like I think people always kind of struggle with like figuring out how much of each together, whatever they absolutely do. Yeah, they absolutely do. And that's kind of a heartbreaking one for me because I try and read them and try and figure it out. But it just sometimes doesn't work and, and sometimes the guest count doesn't come out the way they say. And sometimes people don't drive. Can I tell you something?

[19:03] And I love all my clients. This happens absolutely eight out of 10 times minimum, probably closer to nine out of 10 times is a, so I kind of do these consultations and there are always, I'm like, okay, so what you going to on, what's this from like going on 110 but who you can drink every seat in that tone in that thing. Like our friends are alcoholics. I'm like, okay, let's tone it down. I'm like, let's actually figure this out. And they always want to like, I'm not saying they're trying to impress me, but they're always trying to like make it seem boisterous and big. And then there's just all this alcohol left over and it kind of breaks my heart and it's like we just took a step back and maybe kind of looked at the dynamics of WHO's coming in from out of town.

[19:39] Are People staying nearby? Um, and that's something I always kind of try and figure out. I, I did one, I've had two events where the guy's like, no, we drink a lot. And they actually drank a lot. I was in, I told them, I told them, I was like, no, you guys did work. But they had a lot of things where they were like lining up hotels and shuttle services. So always kind of trying to assess that, um, versus our people driving. And I look at the parking lot, the parking lot, so I'm like, everybody here drove so they might not drink as much. You just try and figure those things out. But every sing, oh, we drink. And I'm like, oh yeah, sweetheart, you drank. All right, let's, let's figure it out. You know. [inaudible] I didn't mean to sound rude.

[20:10] No, that's awesome. I love that. No, we had a, my wife seems jury. Then when we, uh, my mom and I went in and did the shopping and when we went, we just got back from Maui and it was the same thing. Like we came out with this car that alcohol into and he's like, what's going on? So we can draw.

[20:25] Yeah, yeah, yeah. And if you know, if you know yourself, yeah. Just kind of take that step back in and figure it out and don't get heartbroken if there is extra alcohol. Uh, working with budgets. Oh, so this one happens a lot is I'll talk to the bride and groom and they're fantastic. We click, we do good. They're like, okay, my uncle or my dad is going to be buying the alcohol is a president. And I'm like, all right, how's this gonna go? And so then I'll start doing consultations with the uncle or the father or grandpa or whoever. And then they're the ones kind of given me some static and do you really think this is going to be this? I'm like, yes sir. I honestly really do think this is going to be this. And then sometimes there's leftover and people kind of get frustrated.

[20:59] It's like, well, it's alcohol, you know, somebody and somebody will want it. Um, and I also talked to them about places like Costco has really good return policies. Total wine has really good return policies. So I do try and keep all that in all that in mind. It's just a, it's not a perfect process. Like I said, man, if I could figure it out, I would never have to bartend again. I just be doing consultations and, yeah, that's awesome. Like I want to hear a little bit more about kind of getting into bartending. Did you grow up in the area? Did you start working on here? Are you from where? So a federal way. I now live in northeast Tacoma, bottom of federal way. Boy and definitely worked in a few places in there and Auburn and around. Um, what's, what's interesting, I'm 30 years old now and I started in the industry at 17.

[21:40] When I started in the industrials. I'm actually not, I was, I was a host and that was, oh, I was so obnoxious. I was, I try and be high energy now, but now I kind of tone it down. That was when, you know, we'll come to all of good and I guess doing be, don't you tone it down a little bit there young man, you're freaking me out. You're freaking me out. Don't do that. Um, but, uh, no, when I started in the industry was at the absolute, um, like the worst part of like the economy crash. And so a lot of people didn't have jobs. So when I was competing with was I was working with people with master's degrees. I was working with teachers, I was working with engineers who couldn't find work, so they're coming to the restaurant. So I had to fight tooth and nail to move up because they're so great at their jobs.

[22:23] And, um, and I'm actually really happy about that because I, nowadays I see people get promoted, a bartender quick and like I took me years, so I had, I, I've, I've served cocktail bust, I've worked in kitchens, I worked front of House, back of house and everywhere in between. So I had to fight tooth and nail to become a bartender. And I think it made me a stronger bartender. Um, so I see a lot of young girls and no offense to them, but they get moved to bartender and then somebody, can you make me this? What's that? I'm like, it's a screwdriver. That's a vodka Oj sweetheart, you just need to, you should know that, you know, um, um, that one, that one definitely happens, but, uh, yeah, no, I love restaurants. I love bars. I love the volume. I love the speed. Um, I like the comradery.

[23:04] I liked my regulars. I love my regulars and even some of the regulars I hate. I still love you. I'm still happy you come in, even though I hate you so much, you know. No, every bartender has regular psychic that if they tell you otherwise mind. Um, and then, uh, so do you still bartend regularly now? I do. So, so in the slow season, I'm actually really, really blessed. So the rock in federal way, it's the pizza place kind of off Costco. I was their lead bartender for a number of years and then I decided to take a crack at this. And so what I've seen, and I'm sure you've seen it too, actually, I'm sure the wedding, um, the whole wedding crew has seen this where they want to start a small business and they kind of give the finger to their old job. They're like, I'm never coming back.

[23:43] I'm going to make it. I'm to, I'm a rock star and I absolutely, absolutely refuse to ever do anything like that. You'll never catch me burning a bridge. So, so what I did to them as I was like, hey guys, I'm going to step down as your lead bartender. You need to find somebody to kind of replace me. But I'd still like to be on the schedule. I'd still like to be able to pick up shifts because I am a father. I do have house payments and all that stuff. So, so they were really receptive to the kind of thought of on me. Just Kinda, I helped them when I can. They help me and when we can and it works well. So I'm really blessed to have that. What's funny though is that there, there were a couple of people that stepped up and took my spot.

[24:18] So now I'm serving at like in the dining room, which I hadn't done in years. I haven't served kids in a long time. And now to help them, I'll pick up shifts in the dining room. I'm the only dude out there and people are like, what are you doing out here? Bucks? And I'm like, I'm just helping out, you know, but it's good. Hi. I'm happy to help them. They help me and we'll keep spending. So, so yeah, we got it. I got a good little working relationship with them. They've been really supportive. That's awesome. Yeah, I definitely was the one that the uh, the, the alternate to not be, uh, yeah. Tell him, tell me, tell me. Oh No, I just, I, you know, when you're done, you're done. Is it certain places? Oh, absolutely. Yeah. No, no, no. There's nothing wrong with being done in a place and moving on.

[24:54] It's, it's when you like think that you're better than a place and then you have to, and I've seen so many people go crawling back to restaurants. You, you have no idea. I have a lot of friends that are Djs and some are very successful and then some are not so successful and then they have to go back to work, kind of tail in between their legs and you won't, you won't catch me doing that. Do you think that continuing to kind of work in the industry and then also do events and stuff like Kinda keeps you sharp and Hungary and kind of more tuned in where you're kind of doing, you know, this dual purpose and you, so you're still coming to, you're not like in this wedding, hi I you're kind of working most science, right? I mean it definitely kind of keeps me grounded in a sense.

[25:34] It's nice to have that additional income. What I, that's an interesting question. I know when especially being new in the industry, I have my prices set so low that I do need to work. So it is, it is nice, but the bills get paid. What I, the ones that I'm always so jealous of is, so being a bartender, I made all my money, most of my money on the weekends and now most of the time weddings on the weekends. So I'll pick up shifts at the restaurant during the weekdays, but they're just not as profitable as some of us weekend ones. The people that I see just doing phenomenal are the ones that work nine to five. So that work the weekdays and then do weddings on the weekends. That's, so I'm just, yeah, trying to find, trying to find a balance. He was trying to find that balance definitely keeps me grounded.

[26:16] Um, and when I see people that have found that balance, I'm like, I'm so jealous. You know? Uh, yeah, just young, got to make sure the bills are paid and everything like that and it, and it gets them going all get there. Right now. It'd be in the slow season. I cannot wait for a couple months from now cause I think I have like 60 events booked in like a four month period or something like that. So when that four months comes, oh, it's going to be good. But right now, you know, we just tighten your belt. Yeah. Uh, what kind of, in some of the

[26:43] biggest surprises you've learned, can they, you know, going out, you know, started in your own and, and things that may be either you thought it would be easier or you thought were harder that weren't, or I kind of vice versa.

[26:53] Eh,

[26:57] I don't really know. I think a lot of it was like money that I'm spending on the backend. So, so when working in a restaurants, you make minimum wage plus tips. So I would rely on those tips and just kind of let them minimum wage buildup. It's almost the opposite of that here. Whereas I might make money, but I'm constantly spending money. I'm constantly getting new equipment, paying for the insurance, paying for brand and marketing things, buying little presence, things like that and missing shifts. Um, so I think it was just kind of, I knew, I knew starting a business would be expensive, but it's just constantly expensive and a in a lot of people don't get that about bartending and they don't mean to be offensive, but they'll do things like, well, you know, you just show up and bartend. I'm like, no, I pay insurance.

[27:36] I pay all these things on the backend. Did a lot of people don't think about. Um, so that's been kind of an interesting way to try and get a grip on reality because when I was just bartending, I was making, I was working 40 hours a week as a bartender making really good money, making really good money and uh, and that was a fantastic life. And People Think, oh, they issue all the time. Now they're like, Ooh, private bartender, you must be doing good. I mean, maybe in a couple of years I, you know, like when I go green, it'll all be good. But honestly, the, I don't let that deter me from the passion at all. If anything, it kind of fuels that flame. It makes me want to book more and more. And even when I get tired and somebody wants to double book and I got to find somebody else to do the job, it's like, no, Rion, you need to book every job you can and you need to love every individual. You can't because they're the ones that are going to recommend you. They're the ones that are going to pay that bill. When that time comes, you just need to get to that time and that time is coming. Um, and I am good with my money so that time will come I think sooner than a lot of other businesses. I've seen people start restaurants and they wait five years until they're in the green and I think I'll be in the green one too. So

[28:38] keep on trucking baby. I know. And that's, I was thinking about that too. Like you said kids. I um, even like the guys that you know work under me like I don't think anybody gets, yeah. How much, like as like a primary business on your, like how much is constantly like money going in and you know, or I got somebody coming in and then going down. We just that constant just all the time I there. Yeah. I don't think it can be overstated. It just kind of how you, like you said you got a book like every single one cause you know,

[29:05] yeah, you absolutely do. Oh and I see this stuff. I mean the setup that you have in front of us. I mean, um, I don't know a lot of equipment, but not, I know one piece of equipment is worth more than a few, you know, a couple hundred bucks, but I just have so many pieces of literal equipment and I'm looking at these microphones in this sport that you have in front of you. I'm like, God bless you man. Like this is, I'm looking at it car. I mean I'm like, I'm afraid to even touch it. He's in front of me right now. I'm

[29:28] talking about, you know, how you're doing weddings here, you know, kind of in the, in the Greater Seattle wedding community. What has that been like, kind of like networking now into this different world that maybe you weren't in before as much and kind of like you, like you said, doing the wedding show

[29:42] and meeting people. I'm meeting venues and things like, do you enjoy that? I mean obviously you're a people person, like you enjoy constantly kind of building those webs. I absolutely love building those webs. And I love building those webs when they can become successful. What sometimes gets frustrating and I try to recognize it, but sometimes other people don't, is that there are people in businesses more successful than me that are simply out of my league. And I'm okay accepting that because that's just part of this growing process. I'll give you an example is, uh, a regular amount of the restaurant. His sister's getting married in Aspen, Colorado, and he is constantly like trying to get her to book me. And I'm like, dude, she doesn't want to fly me to Aspen, Colorado to get me a mass 12 permit in Colorado. Like that doesn't make sense.

[30:25] So, so I love networking and I love when I network with a, a caterer or event planners, somebody and we sync up because we're in, there's so many different realms to wedding. There's low budget, medium budget, high budget, huge budget. I mean it there, you know, and once you kind of find that niche in that little crew that you work with and we all kind of recognize each other's strengths and weaknesses, that's, that's absolutely fantastic because I've gotten hired and I've done a good job and I've gotten hired to a couple of venues and I'm like, this might be a little out of my league I'm in and I've done good. I'm not saying that I let anybody down. They had, they loved me. It's all good. But, uh, and then sometimes when I do maybe a lower budget venue or a lower budget thing and I'm like, these are my people, you know, I'm a federal way street kid, you know, like, these are these, these are my people right here, you know.

[31:08] Um, but I do love the networking. I love shaking hands. One thing that I do at every single, I've done it since the first event to the event I worked yesterday. And I don't go, my other people do it. As I go to every single vendor, I go to the DJ, I go to the coordinator, I go to the caterer, I go to the damn dessert person and I just shake hands and say, Hey, I'm Rion. If there's anything I can do to make your life easier, you'll let me know and vice versa. Um, and people really like that. And I'm just surprised it's not a more prevalent thing in the community. I love shaking hands. I love and even I know I can't help you, that dessert lady. I know our jobs have nothing to do with each other, but it's still cool, shaken hands and still cool, you know, get to know people and people like that.

[31:44] And he was a good impression, you know? No, I, until I agree and I know, I think that that's great. And just so you know, reaching out like, cause I always try to reach out to the people had the time to, and like there's so many, even like videographers. Yeah. But like don't like they just show up and they don't want to deal. And bartender, you know, I'm like, Hey, can I get a water with it? You know, you kind of get it. It's like, yeah, like you totally would appreciate like somebody like you said, sure, I'll go out. Yeah. Water walls. You go to the caterer. I yesterday the caterer was olive garden and I went to the olive garden girls and I was like, Hey, could you guys a soda or a bottle of water? And they looked like I was like trying to hit on them and like a night, no, not sorry that, that, that's an exaggeration. But they were like, why is this guy was like, I'm just trying to be friendly and they appreciate it. But you could tell they were just used to being treated, not respectfully. And I was like, no, like, let's get you a water. You know, it's, it's all good. Yeah. And so when you see that genuine surprise, it's almost like a scared puppy. Like did somebody do something to you? Like, you know, like what's, what's wrong? It's going to be okay. It's going to be okay. It's funny, I just had a quick story

[32:40] when you were talking about feeling now that your league or, or you know, a little bit like we did a wedding in a couple of years ago, same kind of deal and they purchased us like a charity auction. So they, you know, we weren't, they probably wouldn't hire this anyway, you know, but they got, we were whatever. And so, yeah, we're there and it's like the four seasons and I'm with Tanya with the Zuora photography, they're pretty high end. And like I'm sitting there and they've got a catwalk that they're walking on coming down. Sasha and Shane, you know, God bless them, I, you know, great couple and they're awesome. And uh, but like they've got this catalog said to come down. There's like ice sculptures they're going to walk through. There's like this whole thing and I'm just thinking, they were telling you on the, you know, we're getting ready for him to come down.

[33:21] I said, same thing. I said, I'm, I'm way out in the astronomical. Yeah. And I'm sure you did a great job. You kind of look and you're like, I wish I'd have mentally kind of keyed in on some, like I sculptures. Geez. Okay. Yeah. But this is funny, but yeah, like you said, you know, he ended up in different spots and then you kind of like, you know, you rise to the occasion and it's like, you know, we could do it, but it's just funny. Yeah. When you see and you're like, I don't know if this is where it was.

[33:45] Yeah. I love that whole you do. We won't let you said rising to the occasion. I love rice. Any occasion. I love getting to a new venue and be like, oh, like they told me the ice maker was here, but it's on the different, I love solving problems. Problems suck inherently, but I love knowing that I can solve them and I do a good job of solving them. But sometimes you're like, somebody should have told me about this problem when I got, I didn't know. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Uh, that's funny. Talking about the, uh, you know, we tried to get a little bit about like, uh, purchasing and you know, the amounts and kind of trusting you, like whether some other things, uh, you know, problems that you see arise a lot with like couples in the, in terms of like know, bartending or the alcohol or the serving you overservice what are some kind of problem areas.

[34:26] So there's definitely a few. One, the one I kind of mentioned is like connecting with the bride and groom and then finding out that I'm going to be dealing primarily with somebody else in that person being a little more difficult to work with. Um, one that is definitely prevalent. So at a wedding, everybody is there by invitation. This is not a random thing and the entitled [inaudible] like certain people get entitled to have no business being entitled and that can be really frustrating. Then once again, I'll use the term uncle Jim, but he comes up and, uh, you know, I might maybe not cut them off, but I was like, Hey, can you tone it or, you know, we'll try and talking. He's like, I'm uncle Jim. Like I get it. I supersede you. That that's what happens when I'm like, I actually don't work for you.

[35:03] I worked for the bride and groom and I say it respectfully, but certain people that have no business getting entitled to the bartender, getting titled to the bartender, that can definitely be a frustrating one. And then sometimes you've got to kind of put your foot down and say, hey, you're sending up tons of red flags. Like please like, like you're not going to beat me. You're not going to win this. And that's the thing. And they think like, I that they're going to win this, you know, and there's so many weddings, especially the older crowd, I think the older crowd got away with getting absolutely trashed at weddings, weddings, people do, people do drink and they drink when I'm not seeing them, they drink in the morning, drink behind the scenes. You've got to kind of watch out for that. And I think venues are getting a lot more keen on that and they're aware of that and they're trying to monitor that.

[35:44] Um, so that's always an interesting one. Just trying to stay on top of like the drinking behind the scenes and things like that. And then, yeah, some people being entitled that have no business being entitled. Yesterday the one I want the groom got a little bit tipsy but he ended up being okay. But I was like, all right, you're the groom, you, I know you're not driving and stuff and if it's okay with your now wife, you might be able to have that one more year. You know, you kind of gauge. But that's my job to judge, not yours, uncle Jim, you do not get to tell me that and I'll nip it right in the bud. Yeah. Um, don't have many problems with underage drinking. That's one that I definitely, just because I'm very well aware. I've had drinks at weddings before I was 21 I think most people have.

[36:25] Um, but the big one is making sure you've no underage person ever comes up to my bar. If I see somebody then done a discussion is going to be had and, and possibly shut it down. And I've actually never had that happen. I got a good story for you and I got it. I got permission to tell this one. This happened about a little over a year ago at a wedding that I wasn't even working. It was my buddy's wedding and his mom, God bless her, goes up to a, so it's my buddy and then he had a younger brother who was 19 at the time I believe. And his mom went up to the bartender thinking that she was being kind of cute and funny and she's like, I'm going to get a beer. I'm getting it for, you know, the groom's I, you can't send them up. I'm getting it for the groom's brother.

[37:00] He can't buy. And the bartenders like what the hell? Like why, why would you tell me that? Like don't sell that. It became a big thing. They didn't shut down the bar, but we made it. They made it very clear like that. Like no, no, no. So cause it's your, it's the bar. Bartenders. Yeah. Licensed and everything. And this is my livelihood and I could lose. What's really scary is that I could lose everything like that. Yeah. Like that. So you just monitor and things like that. But, uh, I'm, I'm trying to think of more problems. Um, sometimes with the purchasing. Oh, so this is one is a lot of times I'll help them build that grocery list and they're like, thank you. The grocery looks good and then I'll get there and there'll be nothing. Um, I did an event a couple months back. They, they were really nice, but man, they didn't listen to anything I said they wanted the signature drink that was really wanted to be budget friendly.

[37:47] So they're trying to watch budget, but they, their signature drink Hatzolah very, very, very expensive alcohols in it. Had Hennessy and grandma and Yay. So I'm like, okay, that's not budget friendly at all, Bill. Fine. That's fine. Um, and then, um, I had orange juice and when I show up they didn't bring the ice. I didn't bring any cups. They didn't bring the orange juice and I had to beg the read. I begged them. I'm a, it was like 115 guest count and I was like, okay, are we getting any beard all, and they're like, we don't drink beer. I'm like, oh, I was, I am. Soon as I said that, I was like, I don't know, this is going. Um, so it's like, okay, well can we still just get like a 30 pack of Coors light? Just so he just had this 30 pack of Coors Light and Chickasha like 20 bucks just to have it.

[38:22] And they're like, like, we're trying to be budget friendly. I'm like, but cores, like, is budget friendly compared to that drink? No, no. Take this in. Um, I don't know about you, but if I go to a wedding, the house, an open bar, even if I don't particularly care for the cocktail, I'm going to have that cocktail. And I did the math and that cocktail ended up costing about two $53 a piece versus a chorus line is about a buck apiece. So I tried to talk to them and I was like, well for every person that drinks a Coors light instead of that cocktail, you're saving like a buck 50, you know? And they still didn't get the course late, but uh, and then yeah, they never once got to have that drink and then obviously, and then consumption to, right. It goes up to, cause everyone's drinking the drink.

[38:56] The drink. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, when when somebody like wants a chorus like cause that alcohol contents so low, like here's a Coors light, take your time. Yeah. Um, I also do try and get them out of waters and sodas and stuff like that. One thing that I do, I'm in, sometimes people be like, oh you don't have to do that. And I now do it, it's like part of my contract is I set up a water station and I set up my water station on my bar with cups next to it. So when people are getting a drink, a lot of times they'll also get a glass of water. And that's been a huge thing because people get bottled water, but sometimes somebody doesn't necessarily want a whole bottle of water. They just want like a little splash and I always set up a water station.

[39:28] I'll always keep it stocked, all that. Yeah. And I'll always keep your non alcoholic stocked. I'll keep caffeine around it. There's coffee maker, we'll brew coffee, you know, whatever. Whatever you need. You know, he had the party, you go and keep the party going. Absolutely. Yeah. Uh, when you were talking about the groom, they was getting a little tipsy. I was laughing there that one of my other shooters a couple of years ago, it was a, it was a long, it was like a, it's like a 15 hour day. Like it was like one of those, like they booked us for eight and then it was 10 and then the next thing I know it's like he was like eight to 10:00 PM or whatever the hours are. Okay. And so he texted me and it's like nine 15 and I think there's supposed to be done like 11 or 1130 and he's like, hey man, I'm so, they just carried the groom up in the elevator.

[40:10] He's blacked out and they just carry them up to go upstairs to his room. Okay. And he's like, you know, I think we're done. And I said, yeah man, you know, no worries. And so we pack it there, you know, they pack it up and then I'm editing the footage and I'm seeing them just porn in these huge shots over in the corner. Yeah. Because I'm going to do the B roll. Then you know, after they met, he made the any immediate even click on it. It's like, no, no. I'm like, no wonder this guy is like was carried out of here. I mean this guy was freaking going nuts. So in the corner, you know, this the biggest one I need to get us like a stupid little sign that says this is not a race. It's a marathon. It is all about lasting long.

[40:46] And a lot of times people drain in. It's a celebration. So they're getting ready early in the morning and maybe have a couple drinks and then dinner. I have a few more drinks, but, but ladies and gentlemen, it's all for not, if you get wait, you know you want to have a good time, you want to get that healthy buzz, but it's offered, not if you just black out and it and it goes and it goes south. You know? So I, it's not a race, it's a marathon. Whatever you gotta do to make it last. And I'm a service that I offer, I've offered this to everybody is that if you want to keep anything, I do this for like liquor and stuff too. So say you know, you bought like a really nice bottle of Scotch. You can keep that back there with me and I won't serve it to the public.

[41:19] I'll just serve it to the VIP user or whoever you deem. But that also goes for things like red bull. Like, I understand you don't wanna get the whole party red bull, but if you want to keep a six pack of red bull back here with me, I'll keep it cold. You come up, you get a red bull, we'll chill for a minute. Kind of gets you back on your feet. Um, and I don't like it when people feed the groom shots. Like that's not, it's not tasteful. You know, it's, it's fun. It's fun. But I'm sometimes we were like, guys, like he needs a minute. He's still got to do a speech. He's still got it. Yeah. So that's the big marker is that after speeches, obviously different weddings have different protocol or like a schedules. But after speeches, that's when I'm like, all right, now you guys can loosen up.

[41:55] Now the official stuff has done, the papers are signed. It's when people go crazy before the speech. My man that was bad or good idea. Not a good idea. Um, whether, whether some things you're looking forward to kind of in the future in terms of growing, you know, continuing to market, continuing to brand. That's a good question. And I'm actually, so I'm good to finish out this year kind of the way I am with me and my four person crew. And there, there's kind of two ways and I'll tell you something that I haven't really told anybody. There's kind of two ways that I, I want to either take the business and I want to go more of that like party on the rocks where I get more licensing and I had the ability to operate a cash bar and that's still about a year out minimum. Um, but something else I really, really want to do read, and I think you've maybe kind of picked this up for me, is I really love that all inclusive.

[42:39] Feel like I want people to be comfortable. I kind of want to open an elopement business. I actually got ordained. I can marry people, I can marry somebody right now if we planted. Um, but I want to open up like an elopement style business where you come and you say it, you know, different packages, but you come and you say, maybe give me $1,200. Oh, right. Your vows. We'll get a couple of bottles of champagne, we'll get some food, we'll have, I'll have my partner do like some pictures. Um, so you can really, all you have to do is bring yourself in the suit that you want to wear. Um, that's, that's kind of during the mind and I might be able to do both, but it's still, yeah, it's still just kind of planning and making sure that I find that balance and everything.

[43:13] But on the bartending aspect, which what's really great about this is that I'm proud to say that like I'm kind of part of the community now. So even if I kind of tone it down and maybe take down the website or maybe don't spend so much money on this, that, or the other thing, people still know my name out there. Um, and that's been so, so amazing. People are recommending me. People are, people are saying like, Hire Rion, you know, and that's, that's just been, that's just been a dream come true. No. Literally as you were coming today, I was on Facebook and someone on the thing was looking and a couple of different people and I said, oh, he's coming to my house right now. What's the finance? I think I saw that, but I didn't want to like Facebook and dry. I get excited.

[43:50] Sometimes Facebook thing will pop up. It'll be on the road. Be like, no, Rion sage for, you know, and, and all that. But uh, it is, it is, it is cool. It's, um, and I like, I like knowing it because I earned it. I didn't, I didn't get there by kissing ass and things. I did it by doing a good job and by making people happy and, uh, I mean, I'm proud of that, you know? Is this something that you thought, you know, I'm being you, did you ever think you'd be this passionate about weddings and kind of brides and grooms kind of doing this stuff? No. No, I did not. Um, and people actually ask me that all the time. They're like, oh, like you're heavily involved at weddings. Like, they don't, don't want to get. So she's like, oh, you must believe in true love.

[44:28] And I do believe in true love. It's not any concept like that. I'm like, no. Like I just really liked working in weddings. Like I really like a, yeah. Yeah. Um, I did not think that I get so enthralled, but I absolutely love it. I absolutely love it. And I love the passion that comes from me that meets with the passion of the bride and groom. And when we just click and it just, it just clicks. And I've hung out with some clients, the clients that I worked with yesterday and they're like, we're hanging out next week. I'm like, all right, sweet. Like, and um,

[44:53] okay.

[44:54] So, so yeah, I knew I'd be passionate, I knew I'd be strong, but I didn't know it's going to happen like this. So, but you, you would say it's kind of exceeded obviously what you were hoping for so far? Yeah, yeah, a lot. Um, a lot of lines. Sometimes I get a little bit intimidated by that and then just like, no, Rion, if are 30, just buckle down and get it done. Yeah. Yeah. I did not expect to book as much work as I did. I did not expect it to hit the ground running. And like I said, I've had a great support system. It has absolutely not just been me. It's been the help of other vendors and my friend was Lynn and Ernestine and uh,

[45:25] so yeah. Yeah. It's getting there and the hope is that it just continues to thrive and continues to grow. And then the people that I bring on all continue to work well. Like I said, every single person, like my little crew, they've all done um, uh, event staffing and things like that. And they've all worked in restaurants because there are, like we talked about the different types of types of bartenders and I need problem solving bartenders and because there are problems that come up with these new venues, you don't know where this is, you don't know where that is. And I need bartenders to keep a cool head. That's a big one, high volume and a cool head because it sucks when there's, you know, 150 people deep and you just, you just got to smile club and come on, come on. I call it, I did it man.

[46:00] I call everybody baby boy. Come here baby. Come on, come on, come on. And uh, the daddy's like, I'm not baby. I'm like, I am sorry. So not call you baby anymore. I'm sorry. Yeah, yeah. Um, one thought I had just to kind of about, you know, in terms of like you and clients and stuff, and you can say I'm wrong too, but like if you're, when you're working the bar, obviously you have like regulars that come in, but there's a lot of times it's kind of like one off, so you know, to see the people, whatever. Like do you enjoy kind of going on this journey with like the brides and grooms and stuff? It kind of being a part of that whole process? I absolutely do. And then it's so heartbreaking because at the end of it, it's, it's just, it's gone. So I do consultations and a lot of times I do consultations in person and we build this relationship and I figured out how they met.

[46:41] Do you have kids? What would I meet their parents? So that's one thing. I'm Adam and his, like, I meet the parents, I shake the hands, I meet all the groomsmen, all the bridesmaids. And so I kind of built up this report and then at the end of it, and I'll just kind of goes away. And that's part of the process. And I totally get it. I don't cry out, you know, I don't go home and cry, but, um, it is, it is kind of a bittersweet thing. So a lot of times I'll maybe try and find them on Facebook or try and send like a, we, you know, happy anniversary, or I just even a little smiley face every now and then because then you, you, you, same thing. Yeah. You, you build a rapport with these people and then it ends. But that's, that's part of the game.

[47:14] What's so fun is that I get a lot of referrals and it's so fun. So I'm uh, going to a wedding from a referral and then seeing a bride and groom that I had done that, that makes me so happy. One thing I try and do is I make, once I do a wedding for you guys, the thought of hiring any other bartender for any other family event is ridiculous. I mean, they were like, no, we're hiring Rion. And that's something I really try and cultivate and follow through on. And uh, and we've had a lot of success with that. Yeah. It's a, like you said, you're, it's, and it's something that I don't think they, a lot of like clients are couples, however you want to refer get is. Yeah. It is like a, one of the most important days that they're, you know, you're there on this really important day, you're really invested.

[47:52] And then like you said, it's like Poof, it's gone, you know, for us. And then you're like, oh my God, no. Like, you know, you want to kind of like, you know, we've been going back and forth for a year and now we kind of got a, then it's like, it's done so well. I want them to know they're more than just a business transaction. Um, yeah, you, you, I was a part of your life. You are a part of my life. We had, we shared this day together, I did everything I could to make your day special and, and they're like, can you did, you didn't make our day special? And that's, so that's, that's a really big one for me. Also working in restaurants, if something were to go wrong, even cataclysmically to where the restaurant had to get shut down. Say we run out of something, a piece of equipment breaks, something like that.

[48:28] Nobody's day is ruined and they just have to go to the restaurant next door versus on a wedding day, if something goes wrong or one of my cake taps breaks out of cake, tap break. And so I was like, I could just like Jimmy rigged it together, you know? And it all falls on me. And I love that. But, uh, it's, it's also kind of terrifying, but when it all goes smooth and the couples happy and we clean up and we go home, you know, that's, that's just tops ma'am. That's, that's good stuff. Perfect. Uh, this has been a really good conversation. I really enjoyed getting to meet you. Thank you so much for coming in anonymously course scheduling this, bringing in the guests, the vodka and everything else. If people want to learn more about you, your company services, uh, what would you have them check out?

[49:09] Absolutely. So the website is I do have a Facebook with My Perfect Bartender though. The website is definitely the best way to get ahold of me. One thing that I absolutely am adamant about and I want everybody that listens to this to know and you can convey it to your friends even if you don't book with me, even if I never make a penny off you, if you have any questions on anything, you can always contact me. If I can help, I will help. If you have any questions on licensing, where to buy alcohol, eat, I can even spend a little time helping you make a grocery list off the phone. Even if we never book, I still got your back. I still want your day to go. Well I and I mean that. I genuinely want, I want everyone's bartending experience in this whole world to go.

[49:46] Fantastic. Um, so yeah, just get ahold of me. My Name's Rion and a, even if I have a date books, um, I have colleagues and, and uh, you'll do consultations with me, but my colleague will be the one that shows up. Damn. And you can talk to my colleague on the phone, make sure it's a good fit. Um, I want everything to go good before I even accepted a posit, I make sure that you feel good about everything. That's, that's really important to me. Perfect. I will say this will not translate to the law because this is audio podcast fee. Do you have a good kind of cross arms? Usually when you're, when you're waiting to talk and it is like a big bar tender way. They're behind the bar. I appreciate it, but it's like this warm, friendly, like I've got everything under control, so I know that won't translate

[50:28] it at all, but I do appreciate that. But no, I appreciate you saying that, but that's too funny. This has been awesome. This has been another episode of Get to Know Your Wedding Pro. Check back next week for another wedding vendor interview. Thank you so much. Yeah Reid thank you man. I appreciate Ya. Perfect. Cheers.

McKenzie Wilson, Fun Frames Photo Booth

[00:09] Hey everybody, welcome to Get to Know Your Wedding Pro. My name is Reid with Best Made Videos®. We are a wedding videography company based out of West Seattle, Washington and I am joined today by one of my longtime friends and I'm so glad she's finally coming on the podcast, McKenzie Wilson, owner, of Fun Frames Photo Booth. I wanted to thank you so much for coming on and why don't you introduce yourself, tell us who you are and a little bit about your company.

[00:33] Yeah, definitely. Thank you so much for having me and I'm glad we finally got a chance to do this. I'm McKenzie Wilson and I own and operate Fun Frames Photo Booth and we're based out of Mukilteo Washington, but we service all over the Seattle area.

[00:45] And how long have you guys been in business? I know it's a long time now.

[00:49] I believe it was 2010 or 2011 when we first started, but I've only owned the business since 2014.

[00:56] And so what were you doing before you got involved in fun frames?

[01:01] I was doing a lot of restaurant work. I was also modeling back in the day, uh, and then also working in coffee stands and kind of just all over the place where I felt like doing.

[01:11] Um, did you kind of always want to be entrepreneur or was that something in your family? Was that something that came naturally to you or was that kind of a big jump for you?

[01:20] It was something I've always really wanted to do. I just didn't know in what aspect. So business has always been at the top of my list.

[01:28] And now what was it specifically about weddings and other live events in, in photo booths in general, kind of how did you, how did you get involved in all that?

[01:36] So it was actually pretty random. I was a different situation than most. I didn't found my company but I bought it back in 2014 from two women that owned it and ran it. Uh, so it kind of fell into my lap and I looked at the business aspect of it and what exactly it did and I kind of just got to know more of the industry and went from there.

[01:54] Was it, had you done a lot of like, I mean had you been a lot of weddings and you got into a lot of stuff like that. I mean like I had never really done weddings at all before I started shooting, so it was all pretty foreign to me.

[02:06] Yeah. I actually didn't attend many weddings before this and I truthfully have no idea what photo booths were before I got involved. So it was something I had to look up and when my mom first called me when she found out about this, she was like, Oh yeah, photo booth. And I'm thinking, why am I thinking like a vending machine? I have no idea what it was.

[02:24] And uh, yeah, even so I. and I know that, you know, even when people go on today and they look like there's a bunch of different types and kinds and so why don't you talk specifically about what you guys offer and the type and kind of the different options in that regard.

[02:38] Yeah. So we offer luxary photo with services with a lot of customizable options. Our, they're very modern and sleek and we just of try to keep saying every, keep everything very simple and pretty.

[02:51] And is that something you guys, you find like you attract them like that there are certain people that kind of look forward to those kinds of boots. I mean, like I said, this isn't your normal like kinda throw up a flash in the corner with an ipad kind of experience. Right?

[03:06] Definitely not. We try to keep our quality of images really high so we're constantly updating our education. I'm trying to keep up with the latest trends and also it's very different from the very fun like feather boas thrown up in the air and just all the, you know, kind of cheesy or side of things but some people really love. But we want to give people the option to have a, a higher end option for photo booth.

[03:27] Do you think, uh, and I know the answer to this, but do you think that doing that kind of allows you guys then to do obviously more like corporate events and kind of high scale events in that regard to kind of having that overall or a for weddings and kind of that pertains to everything then?

[03:43] I do, yeah. I think that it gives us a lot of opportunity to branch out and not just do one thing. So everything's customizable. We can brand for corporate but we can also customize everything to hell. The couple wants day to go.

[03:56] So it's interesting to me where you, like you said you kind of came in and bought the company. Um, I, did you have like a vision for this? Was this something that you knew or you kind of got it under your feet as you got going or I mean that just seems like it can be a really daunting task. I mean obviously you kind of had a game plan and figured it out, but how has that kind of initial process?

[04:18] It was definitely intimidating. I didn't know what to expect and I didn't have a lot of times decide on what I was going to do, so I just weighed the good and the bad of it. And you do it. It's, it's definitely a risk. I think I'm going to like it. And then when I met up with Michelle and Julie, they had a great connection and that really is what showed me that their passion for this will be something that I could love.

[04:40] Um, why do you think that you guys have been able to find the success that you have in the time that you've taken over? I know that's probably a hard question,

[04:50] but also I think I got very lucky with the reputation we already had, so I give a lot of that success to them, but also we've upgraded our equipment since then really have focused on that education side of things because I had no knowledge of cameras or photography and I've continued to learn over the years.

[05:08] Yeah, it's funny. I think because we had met initially it like an open house I think back in the ID. So though, and you know, and I know, I mean I knew flow boost and I kind of knew whatever, but then I can't remember, it was something I think I was looking to refer you guys are something I looked at your site and I was like, Oh wow, you know, I mean it is like a marketed bowl, like a market difference between looking at Eno even like what I use for my wedding and you guys. Um, so obviously that was a really intentional thing, right? To brand that. I mean how did that kind of, the overall vision of that come about?

[05:42] I went to the photo booth expo for the first time and I got to kind of see the different options out there. The booth that we had before was a five by five pop up canopy tent, which you still see some of, but it wasn't really the appearance I was trying to go for. So as soon as I saw that it's really clean, white, modern version of the photo booth, I was like wow. So we can actually do something. It has dslr photo quality as well as a bunch of options to do stuff beyond just regular photos that you might not be able to print at a later point.

[06:12] So did you. And then obviously you know, starting off and then do you know, obviously you guys are a lot bigger now in the handle, lots of different events, dean, to kind of know about how many they were doing when you took over and how many now or I mean you have to be like super specific, but I mean it's kind of the growth potential of that.

[06:30] Yeah, I think when we started it was anywhere from 80 to maybe a little over $100, but it was also a different price point then. So now we do between 100 and 150 are in that range. Um, but everything has changed so much but it's a very different scale I think.

[06:48] Do you enjoy that managerial kind of overall view of that sort of thing? Is that where you, what you enjoy or what it, what is your favorite kind of aspect about running the business and doing that?

[06:59] My favorite aspect, I would say that business side, I love that part. I love trying to come up with new ideas and trying to see how far I can go with, with this business and how it can grow, but I also really enjoy when I make connections with either other vendors or couples that I have and it's not very often that I get to make those genuine connections with, you know, I have a bride that I've been texting this week and that's really what makes me happy when I get to see how happy they've been at their photos and they continued talking about it and continue reaching out to me.

[07:28] Yeah. It gives me and yeah, and even from our wedding, you know, that was, we didn't do a lot of like customization. I mean we did like some invites and stuff, but you know, having their photo booth was like a big. That was a big thing that I know that Dorothy and I want it and it's so funny because I remember we did a, this was even years ago and open house and I'm the guy that was doing the photo booth, we, you know, we had talked during the day and then afterward they did like this vendor open house, just all the people that had been on the tour and people went absolutely ape for kind of doing the, you know, and these are like photography and video. I mean this is all the vendors and I mean they acted like they had never seen the photo booth before and you like couldn't get anybody out. Like it is really funny just how much it draws people in and how much it helps kind of elevate and add excitement to kind of the whatever. I mean, do you, do you notice that? Do you like obviously you kind of sell that feeling and stuff as well. What do you think about that?

[08:25] I definitely think it's something exciting, but I also think it depends on the group of people get very shy and maybe a little bit nervous about taking their photos, but they also really enjoy it once they get to that point and a lot of people also are very surprised by what the pictures look like because they're so used to that older style photo booth that isn't going to produce the same quality images. So we get a lot of those comments like, oh, make me make me look skinny or make me look pretty. And I'm like, okay, well you're gonna look right. Either way. But yeah, it definitely takes some time for certain people warm up, but then there's the people that I can see you're running from the other side of the room and I wonder if I have to duck.

[09:01] That's awesome. How do you kind of continue to get new ideas and continue to grow and how do you kind of keep things fresh and new now?

[09:10] Stuff like this? Actually I think it's easy to get really stuck in the same pattern of doing things and then when I get something going like the podcast we're doing, it's great because I get to come up with new ideas and kind of gets me motivated to start thinking again and then I also just keep up to date in the forums and different educational experiences and stuff like that.

[09:31] Yeah. I know that you and you and others kind of help moderate some of the facebook groups and said, do you, do you enjoy kind of like does that help you keep tabs with everything or is that Kinda like a lot of a lot of work?

[09:43] It's definitely a lot of work. When I first volunteered to do it, I was on vacation and I thought it was a good idea, so I figured I'd help and then I very quickly realized that we were pretty much the bad guys. We were the ones that are having to enforce those rules and out of all of it, I think that it's probably not great for my business. I think that if anything that would give people a different impression of me because we're trying to enforce those rules versus being the actual fun than a friendly person.

[10:16] What do you think of A. I've heard a lot of people talking about coming to Seattle and there is a lot of like community over competition and there is a lot of talking and I do think one of the benefits like of the facebook groups is, you know, getting, you know, all the communication, getting people to know everybody and like, you know, we met online before we ever met him personally. What do you just think of Seattle? Like kind of in general as like um, you know, community just have like weddings and other events like that.

[10:42] I think there's some amazing people in this industry and I've met some of my best friends through it, so that's an upside to it all. But I also think that as good as the community can be, they're still going to be those people that will come in and try to copy your work or plagiarize stuff like that. But other than that, I think we do a pretty good job of staying connected.

[11:03] Um, how do you, how do you go about having to kind of like manage different teams and vendors and a kind of makes sure that there's like a, like a consistent quality kind of across the matter. What is that hard to do?

[11:17] You mean at each different event or with just with the people that we work with?

[11:21] Uh, yeah. I mean with the people you work with and different events.

[11:26] I think when there's a good team definitely shows the difference when you have a good relationship with the vendors that are super helpful and friendly. It really shows and kind of the energy of the event. So I've been pretty fortunate to have some great teams and you know, we had that wedding in new capital off your, um, I believe it was last year. So stuff like that I think definitely improves it. But we always maintained that a professional atmosphere while still to have a good time and make sure everything is consistent.

[11:56] Yeah. It's crazy to think like, yeah, October Elizabeth William, that seems like five years ago.

[12:02] Is it actually last year, was it?

[12:05] Yeah, it's definitely funny to kind of look back and see. Oh yeah. That was like, I get the one year anniversary, like reminders and I'm like, Oh wow, that was, that's crazy that, that just because it seems like there's so much, you know, kind of before you got into, you know, doing the further buoyed and may we can get a little more into that, you know, it seems like there was a lot of hustling going on. I mean, were there some lessons and things that you learned from that, that you've kind of helped carry over now into being like a business owner?

[12:31] It taught me a lot about myself and about other people, so they experience is just continuing with know as time goes on. Um, I think that getting into this I knew that I wanted to be in business, but I had absolutely no clue what all it entailed at the time I was in business school while doing my prerequisites to get a business degree. And then I ended up discontinuing my college because I didn't thoroughly enjoy it and I think I've learned a lot more from actually doing the business side of things. So I think that has really changed my outlook on things and taught me how to work even harder than I already was.

[13:11] That's interesting. Yeah. I always kind of lament I, I am like a broadcast degree, which is kind of great to get into news, but I think like I would have been better off having the least a cursory level of kind of business and things. I mean, were there some lessons you took away from that or was there some quality education that you took from that that you're kind of continue on? Or are you said it was just better off kind of learning stuff as you go?

[13:35] I personally wish I had never gone to college because I don't think I had a chancellor and the thing that was going for, I was basically paying for, you know, the basic math class that you have to take before you can save all the business classes. So I never really got to learn anything about business, it was all very basic and stuff that I'd already learned from my family or from other friends that are in business. So I think those, that insight has been a lot more beneficial to me in the long run.

[14:01] So yeah. So I mean it just must have been like a tremendous kind of learning curve then coming in, you know, was that scary? Was that. I mean, what was that feeling like kind of coming in and knowing that this was all kind of on your shoulders and trying to figure it out.

[14:15] It was intimidating, but I really did have a lot of help. Um, I know that when some people buy companies, they ended up just kind of wiping their hands on it and leaving. And I was lucky to have the help throughout the process and I'm still not as Michelle and after for advice or any questions from the past. So I've been very, very fortunate having people help me along the way, but I could never have anticipated what all this entails about waves. And it's made me a lot more passionate about others running their businesses legally. And I think that's a big part of it. Also. I have a lot of respect for people to do this the right way.

[14:50] Yeah. I do think that that's

[14:52] an interesting thing and something that I think you encounter with wedding vendors of any type, you know, kind of having the, the, the business licenses. And there was just um, a story on the news last night in my neighbor who's retired like senate and it was something about a wedding photographer, Jesse Jones. Is that. Yeah, because she scammed a bunch of people and you know, he just couldn't, like, it's funny because we kind of deal with this every day, but he was like, I could not believe that anybody would, you know, because he's like 65 easier retired. Like he couldn't believe that anybody would like scam anybody or not delivering, not whatever. And I said, well, you know, for 50 bucks or whatever, like you can get a business license. But even then, it's so funny like how many people don't or you know, don't go through even like the nest, like the base necessary things, but then even do that and then ended up, I don't know if she was running away with people's money or just not fulfilling the orders or whatever. But it is an interest in all of the above.

[15:51] Yeah. How do you. I know that that's something that I, that's a good question. I know there's something that I kind of struggled with constantly is kinda making sure that I know couples view us is reputable and like doing things like this podcast who, whatever, like how do you try to build that integrity that you have with your clients and kind of foster that relationship with other businesses and things that we are someone that you want to be in business with.

[16:15] I think just being honest about everything, there's a lot of ways that vendors can lie to people if there were to be an issue or you know, if they ask for something and they kind of run around the outside with no real answer. So I think my honesty is definitely helped in that, whether it be a good or a bad thing and you know, if there were to be a tech issue, I would be forthcoming about that and not try to tell them that it never happened. So I'm always open to those conversations to make sure that people are happy on both sides and figure out solutions.

[16:47] Yeah. Because I mean with like further boosted anything. I mean there's things that can go wrong and some things are in your control and some things aren't. And you know, at the end of the day, the best you can do is provide, you know, what you think is going to be, you know, a good working experience. Uh, what was like a big lesson that you learned like that first year that you. Like? I looked at stuff that I got not got away with, but then I kind of lucked out that it worked out in my favor. Um, whether there's some lessons that you learned kind of starting off that you look back and kind of think, yeah, that was a good learning experience. Now you're happy to kind of move past that.

[17:20] Uh, I think the two main things would be networking and also taxes. I was not aware of it. You can pay taxes quarterly in my first year, so at the end of the year they were like, oh, you got to pay x amount. And I was like, oh, okay, well this is probably something I should have known sooner. But now that I have my bookkeeper and accountant and my old business partner and stuff like that, that's been a huge help. But also the networking side of things, I think it's so important, but it's also very hard with groups that are already so well connected. So I got to keep out of the mindset that it's like high school all over again, unless you got to be with this crowd is pregnant, still maintains a little bit cliquey. But I've made some great friendships and relationships along the way and I think that's probably the most valuable thing that I've been able to learn to do.

[18:07] Yeah, I mean it is weird. Yeah. Nowadays like with even [inaudible] like the facebook groups in several and like even really kind of just starting and when I felt like when I got to it, like craigslist with a soul just kind of like the place to go. And so yeah, it is like kind of weird now that people grow up, you grow into this business and then you know, Oh yeah, I get it out into like a group and I can talk to $1,500 or 2000 people or whatever and it's, it's crazy. I'm like, man, you know, I feel like I'm like the old Geezer now on the front lawn, like, you know, you guys don't even know like five, six years ago and like we didn't have any of the staff and my guy had to do stuff on craigslist and I had to like meet people at parking lots to get checks and stuff. Like you guys don't even know. What do you mean?

[18:54] I'm meeting someone in the parking lot. It was just always weird.

[18:57] Oh yeah. Uh, no, but I mean was that like, was that intimidating to kind of like enter this like wedding community kind of thing? Like I said, I had no clue any of this stuff before I got into it.

[19:12] I went and was very confused. Expectations. I didn't know what to expect. I kind of just thought that it would be a bunch of people that did weddings and then I actually got a chance to know these people on it. Definitely changed my view on it, but I had no, no idea what to expect.

[19:29] Yeah. The uh, the other thing, the note when you were talking about it's like having your taxes in order I remember. And that would be my advice for anybody who's starting businesses, making sure that like everything is separate that I went, you know, when we started, I have like my credit card and said call wall, just separate out like the best made video staff, my personal staff. And then when it came time to like do my first quarterly, whatever, I was like how a panic attack and like hold up. I remember I went on the West Seattle Chamber because we're members and I like found the first accountant on there, and bless his heart it was this guy named Brett and he said, I was just crying and I said, hey man, I said, so my taxes are due like next week and I have no idea what to do. And he was like, well, you know, you can come down right now, we'll take care of it. So I was, uh, I would strongly advocate kind of having a professional, always kind of look at that stuff. That's a hard thing for you too.

[20:25] Now that I've found people that know what they're doing and then I have a connection with, I think it's made it a lot easier. When I first started out I was doing, my task was with someone who was a little bit old school. Uh, nothing, nothing wrong with him. He was great. It was just not my style of communication. So I found someone that actually understands the business better and that's made a lot easier for me to explain, to make sure that everything is in the right order.

[20:50] Yeah. Because you're obviously even dealing with like, you know, not only like the income but then like, you know, employees in step two. Right? Or do you guys deal with subcontractors? Stuff? How did you know

[21:00] that's a. people try to do the contract with saying photo, but it's not, they're not contractors making get a lot of trouble if you don't do it the right way. So I definitely recommend talking to an accountant was seeing which was the correct way to go about it.

[21:16] Yeah, absolutely. It's a, yeah, that's one of the things that you can get a, you can go to them a lot of trouble for something that's good. Uh, do you find a, you know, as like a female running the business, is it easier in the wedding community because there is a lot of like, you know, women smart people, only businesses or is that challenging because you're dealing with like corporate events and stuff or how do you kind of see that you're kind of placing them that is it easy or hard or. I don't know.

[21:44] I think I have a slight disadvantage when I got into this just because I was pretty young and I was also a female. There's a lot of women in this industry though. I just feel like they had been what felt to me like they'd been doing it longer, so I kind of felt like I was just little fish trying to come in and learn stuff from them. Uh, but I think now it's a mostly even playing ground. Um, but I think there will always be some confusion because when I work in events, every once in a while someone will be like, Oh, do you own this business? And I'm like, oh, I can see that. You're assuming. I don't know.

[22:23] Yeah, it is funny because I do, I think I have to remind myself to like, you know, some extent with the people you included, idea where they're like, oh yeah, like I am actually like significantly older than a lot of people. But I do also find all my podcasts I ended up with, that'd be like 10, like female business owners in a row. And I'm like, I needed to get like a dude on here, just kind of balanced it out just a little bit because it's really easy when I'm like trying to find people that I look up to and respect. Like it really is easy just to kind of find somebody like that that has a business. So I mean, I guess that's something to be said for that. Um, what, what's kind of the hardest stuff you deal with? Like nowadays? Is it just like managing, managing employees? Is it Kinda like adding new accounts? Like where do you find the circles that you deal with kind of day to day

[23:07] employees have probably been the most difficult, difficult aspect over the past almost five years. Uh, finding good people. It's just so hard as I'm sure, you know, I've found a couple great ones and some that, you know, if they lost I would be completely heartbroken and not know what to do with myself. So they've helped me tremendously and I've recently hired an assistant which is going to be a good thing for me. Um, but I think employees are always going to be difficult for anyone in this industry because there could always be something different and it's not guaranteed work all the time. So that's, that makes it hard.

[23:42] Yeah, it is a, that's something that I struggle with too. Even just trying to fill a certain dates and yeah, finding someone that's available but you know, that's responsible but then also like maybe has some other stuff to do or is it tough, Kinda balanced I think in 2018, 20, 19 with like freelance work and trying to, you know, give people enough work and I don't know, it's just kind of a tough balance. Right.

[24:04] Very tough.

[24:06] Um, how do you kinda see yourself kind of growing here in the next couple of years? I mean obviously from 2014 and you know, till now, how do you, is it just kind of like landing those bigger corporate clients? Uh, is it continuing to do more Weddington shows? Where do you kind of see that going?

[24:22] I love doing weddings and private events, but the reality of it is most of the time they don't come back. You know, I've never had a, a couple that's come back into their adult divorce. We want to hire you again. That's the thing. So corporate definitely is the returning clientele but we rely on your two year aside from the weddings and other events, but corporate is definitely something that we enjoy focusing on. I don't think that we're ever going to stop doing weddings because they're most of the time really awesome to do and we have a lot of fun. Uh, but we definitely want to expand our options with bigger clientele that can have reoccurring events that we can maintain those relationships with. Over the years.

[25:01] Are there any, and this could be for like kind of any photo booth or video footage, I mean are certain like different kinds of struggles that you guys have, you know, with like corporate stuff that maybe you do or don't deal with with weddings. Like you know, I know a lot of like myself with corporate is like maybe a little more cut and dry, kind of not cold, but just kind of, you know, maybe you're dealing with a point of contact and you don't. I mean, what are some things, maybe some people that don't do as many corporates are kind of balanced it, but how, how do you kind of see the difference between the two?

[25:33] I think there's a common misconception with zillow or doing weddings. It's horrible. One some people's eyes, but I think that a lot of the time my couples are very easy to deal with. You know, they're kind of know what they want. They're happy with the insight you give and then you can make adjustments based on that. But with corporate there tends to be three, four or five people that I'm talking with via email and having different decision makers is hard to keep up with. I also think the corporate clients have higher expectations and um, are, you know, they expect you to be working around the clock, which I mostly do, but you know, sometimes emails are coming in at 1:00 in the morning asking for something and that's something I just kind of either have to continue doing, which I have been or set some sort of office offers, but I don't see that happening in the near future.

[26:23] Yeah, I then that's kind of my feeling too and I know that even there's some videographers is they're like, oh, like I'll, I want to do is corporate now or that's kind of what we do. And I always Kinda, I mean I say of good luck. I mean I do corporate sap but I just had um, we have an internal video. I mean it wasn't even anything for publication. They needed to do an internal thing for some awards ceremony or something. And I was dealing with a team before, like you said, kind of multiple heads and they, you know, it was under a deadline and we needed to have it done. And so I was getting ready to, like I had sent him the first draft and then I made changes and I was like updating the second draft and I could see that like they had viewed the video like 60, nine times within like just, you know, the 24 hours, wherever, you know, the review period.

[27:12] And then I was like, I was, Dorothy I think was coming in and I was like, I cannot believe how many times they've watched this two minute video in the last, you know, 12 hours just to try to figure this out. We're like, you know, a wedding, couple of Phi, send it to the bride and groom and they're on their honeymoon and they were like, this is awesome. Like we're not, you know, share it or that. And then. So yeah, it's totally like, you know, it might be like a higher contract where there is a lot more work and kind of scrutiny that goes into that.

[27:39] Right? Absolutely. I think the work is very different. They have their expectations and they don't always portray them to their vendors and we do our best and try to make sure that they're completely satisfied. But we, there's a lot more communication that goes on when you start getting up to 50 emails before the event.

[27:59] Yeah, absolutely. Uh, so what do you, what do you kind of focus on? I know I'm running the business and I would be the first to have it tested. It's kind of a 24 slash seven, three 65, but what do you kind of do when you're not running the business? I know you just got a dog. I was going to actually lead without them, so mad that I was gonna bag it. I have this whole segue I was going to go into and then I forgot to do it, but I'm talk to me about your dog and kind of what else do you do when you're not running the photo booth company?

[28:27] Yeah. So, uh, Charlie that we just adopted. He is adorable. Kind of a little monster though. So starting to get to know his personality and that's brought me a whole lot of joy. I've been wanting a dog for a long time, but I wanted to make sure that I could commit the time to take care of them. So that's mostly what I spend my time doing now. Otherwise I like to sit down with a glass of wine, catch up on a TV show and just try to turn my brain offer a second. But, uh, still mostly working 24 slash seven.

[28:58] Yeah. I have to imagine it's a lot, you know, and not only with like the facebook groups and then with like corporate emails and stuff. Do you find that's hard to kind of dedicate enough personal time? You mean I'm the worst workaholic in the world. So how do you kind of struggle with that?

[29:13] I'm still struggling with the balance of thing, um, and setting boundaries with clients because when I'm responding at one in the morning, you know, that that's not necessarily something I want to do for the rest of my life, but I'm still working on figuring out a way to still enjoy time to myself will not being glued to my phone because that's definitely an issue with, you know, friendships and everything else because I am constantly focused on something else.

[29:39] Oh, absolutely. No, that's like if know you're on couch and you're watching snl or whatever, and then there's still something going on in the background. Uh, how do you find it? I know we just kinda got down with like the wedding shows and staff. Um, you know, the Seattle wedding show and I know there's some other tours and things, do you, how do you continue to market? Do you find the wedding shows is kind of a worthwhile way to grow your business or what do you kinda think about? How do you market it? Is it just kind of referrals now or how do you work on that?

[30:07] I think word of mouth will always be a very valuable tool or you know, other vendor referrals and very helpful to us. Uh, the wedding show, their thinking depends on the wedding show, like we did the Seattle wedding show recently, which was a high number of people, but it's always about how qualified those people are. So if they're the right type of clientele that you're looking for or if they're people that are going on for the free swag, you never know. Um, so I think this last year it was a lot more qualified people for this current year I would say

[30:38] as a Clo of the show.

[30:39] Yes.

[30:40] Yeah, I would, I would concur with that too. I would say that a lot of the conversations we had, yeah, I think you get kind of in downtown Seattle either paid entrance. I think you get a little more, you know, people that are ready to kind of book and ask questions. Um, you guys, and I know that the hard thing with the heart at one of the hardest things to, with you guys is like you have to do like all these, like open houses for like venues and stuff to ride. You mean the second taxi and on are you, are you, do you have to staff in place? You can kind of put those people out?

[31:10] Well I, I have been sending certain members of my team to do open houses or wedding showcases and stuff like that. But the issue for us is a lot of times for the events we do, so we try to get as many details as possible about guest count, about what kind of people are coming. And then every once in a while, as I'm sure you know, you end up going and it's a bunch of vendors. There's no one there getting married or anything else, which is totally fine, but then there's also the people that are just there to eat because the food's awesome. So I definitely have had to be more selective about the events I do because I am spending money to be there and I don't think a lot of people realize that, especially when I have the higher staff and I have other events going on in those days. So it's hard for me to say no, but I just want to do the events that are going to be beneficial to all parties.

[32:00] Well, no, that's the thing too is, I mean not only are you paying for the entry but then it's also like the product in terms of the paper and the staff, but like people don't, you know, like I might print a batch of flyers for the year and kind of be, be done with that except for just showing up and kind of handed them out. But yeah, there's like this cost like a, you know, like a baker or somebody would have. Right. Kind of handing those things out.

[32:20] Yeah, it definitely has costs associated with it and uh, I don't mind doing it when it's something that's going to be a really great event and someone that we've worked with for a long time, but I've been getting a lot of the requests for free of employee just in these past couple of weeks. I'm like, Oh, here we go again. [inaudible] the season of everyone asking for something for free because they want, they want something but it's never someone that you've worked with before or that you've been in contact with. So that, that's a little bit hard to manage.

[32:48] Yeah, I saw that, uh, that posts too about kind of the, it was like the nonprofit and, and I did laugh because I think it was like a day or two before I had gotten an email about doing an auction, a fundraising video, and I do a auction fundraising video every year for a little bit a therapeutic riding center out in Redmond. And they're awesome. And they budget, you know, uh, a good portion of their budget every year. The pain has to do this video and then in return they raised, you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars and it all works out well for them and you know, I'm currently editing that right now and then yeah, I got an email, hey, you know, we need this video and you know, we really kind of gotten it for free the last couple of years and it's, it's tough because you know, like, you know, I mean we're self employed and you can't, you know, your time and energy and trying to do these events and then you know, especially like you got to pay out of pocket for people to go do it if you aren't going to be there.

[33:42] Right.

[33:43] Yeah. I mean even if I do the event myself or so, a lot of costs and then I have to factor in that that's taking me away from my office and sending emails and doing that kind of client communication. But it's just really difficult personally and business wise to be saying no to events that are for such a great cause. But a lot of people don't realize that. We can't write that off either, I mean, other than having a good heart, there is no benefit to us for doing these events because we just throw money away. Sometimes it's for a great cause. Sometimes it's just because someone wants a photo booth for some sort of event when it's not going towards a charity or something like that.

[34:21] Yeah. I've had the same conversations with my accounts every year. I'm like, really? Like I really can't like really? And they're like, no, you're really. And every year I keep asking them and they say, no, this is not a. yeah, it's just you do it from the goodness of your heart. Um, what, what advice do you have? I, you know, as someone is young age, I'm kind of coming into the business, you know, growing this, taking over like do you have advice for new entrepreneurs and new business owners and what are some things that you've learned that you would impart on other people to kind of help follow in your footsteps?

[34:56] I think the main piece of advice I would give someone coming into this at a young age is to really think about if you want us to consume your life because this business is my entire life and there was no, there's no separation between personal and business. So I think that if someone doesn't want to be 100 percent committed to something at all times of the day and throughout the night, then this isn't the business for them. But I also think it can be really rewarding to be able to see some sort of happiness when people on the special days, but luckily their corporate events. So, um, I just think it's a huge investment and a huge commitment and it's not something that you're going to get eight hours of sleep a night for.

[35:35] Yeah. It's funny. I've, one of my Viagra first now we're booking a lot more and I think he is. Yeah. Learning now. Like, um, you know, we, I've been telling them about the podcast and we've introducing him to like new wedding planners and things and yeah, I like, I don't think he gets, it's like all, like all I do is try to book weddings like all day 24 slash seven either, you know, booking weddings or maintaining weddings that we have or trying to figure out a way to market to book more events or things. I'm like, yeah, if you're not in that mindset, I do think it is a little overwhelming kind of some of the work that goes into that.

[36:11] Yeah. I also think for the season for a different time. So it's hard to always maintain that 100 percent, you know, dedication to the business and sometimes you just need a day or you're not responding to emails or talking to anyone because it is a lot. I'm on 100 percent of the time talking to people and they're just, sometimes you need, you need to take a day.

[36:31] Um, what is one thing that, and I'd be the, you want more people to know about you. I think, you know, obviously like, you know, with facebook groups and with the business owner and Kinda like, you know, it's mackenzie from birds, like what do you, if you could have anybody know more about you and in you personally and kind of what makes you tick, what would you, what would you want people to know?

[36:51] Oh, that is probably the hardest question you've asked me. Um, I think that it's easy to portray someone different way than they are, so I can completely understand that question and see how it would be difficult to imagine. I think that I really care about what I do and regardless of if it's business or people, I truthfully get so invested in these type of thing. So if something were to go wrong at an event, it would be on my mind for probably the rest of my life. Like I can think about something that happened four years ago and I'm still thinking about, oh no, I wish that one photo would have been better. So I'm very passionate about how other people feel. So I think that's a little bit more about me and I'm a lot nicer than I look for.

[37:37] Yeah, you do a yes and I think, and I would as someone that's sitting next to you many a wedding show and, and seeing you at the, in a mini van, I would say that yes, there is a kind, very kind and hard working passionate business owner and someone that, yes, does take good pride in what they do. I want to thank you so much for coming on today. I know the, uh, this was, you know, it's a big ass. Not everybody wants to be like Blah Blah Blah about them and their business and stuff. So I really do appreciate you kinda taking the time to, to come on. And I think it is a fascinating kind of, like I said, it's such a young age. You take this over, kind of grow it, maintain it with kind of. The point is that you do and I think it's good and I'm so happy that I could have you on in terms of kind of bet the roster of, of, you know, smart people that we have, uh, for people to listen to on here and people want to learn more about you and your business and what you do and more about your company.

[38:34] What would you have them check out?

[38:36] Also we have our website We're also on Instagram and Facebook, but if anyone is interested in getting to know me on a business or a business level and actually have conversations about business or life or anything on my facebook page is probably the best way to go, Fun Frames Photo Booth.

[38:59] And then personally I have my personal facebook for other vendors that I've previously connected with, just McKenzie Wilson.

[39:06] Perfect. Well thank you so much again and I hope that you get dug out of the snow here at some point. I know we're getting through it here slowly but surely.

[39:15] Yeah. Well, thank you so much for having me, I really appreciate it and that was a little bit nervous to come on here, but you made this a great experience, so thank you.

[39:23] Awesome. Well thank you. This has been another episode of Get to Know Your Wedding Pro. Check back next week for another wedding vendor interview. Thanks so much.

Matt Clements Jr., Best Made Videos®

[00:09] Hey everybody, welcome to Get to Know Your Wedding Pro, my name is Reid with Best Made Videos®. We are a wedding videography company based out of West Seattle, Washington and today I'm joined by what I think is going to be pretty exciting. And uh, and the new fun thing I have with me, Matt Clements Jr who is actually one of my employees, I guess a Co-videographer, partner in crime kind of however you would want to phrase it. But, uh, I thought it was great to kind of get Matt on the podcast and get his, you know, his voice and his personality and kind of get a, his history and backstory since he's going to be working with a lot of our clients this year and kind of hopefully moving forward. So, Matt, why don't you introduce yourself and tell us who you are and just a little bit about what you do.

[00:57] Hey, thanks again for having me. I'm Matt Clements Jr. I am a video editor and producer and I just happened to do some videography on the side as well. Um, so I, I've been doing weddings for about three, four years now. Uh, working with reading and a lot of their weddings for friends and stuff. Um, but yeah, I've been doing videos since pretty much high school. I kind of fell in love with it and it was just something I was doing in my spare time. Ended up going to college for it out of a really good niche of people, which took me down to Los Angeles for a short stint at a short film and now I'm back. I'm ready to do some more production and, and film some weddings. Yeah.

[01:35] That's awesome. Yeah. And I definitely want to get into all that because I do think it's interesting to talk with someone like I, you know, I went to school not for film that for kind of like production, you know, news and just to kind of get that take as well as you know, because then people kind of fall into it and then some people choose to go to school for it. So, uh, I think that's awesome. Well thank you so much for coming in or a coming on, I should say. Um, we're talking off camera or off Mike. The snow has seemingly kind of damp and everybody's enthusiasm and I will tell you, wedding vendors, if you are listening to this, you know, it is very easy to make worthwhile of your time when being stuck inside in the snow, when you can come on a remote podcast recording session and talk about your business and who you are. So uh, Matt, uh, they used to come in. And so talking about Kinda when you were, like you said, when you were growing up and it's something you've always wanted to do, when did that love star? Were you one of those ones that had a camcorder corridor running around with super eight or what was going on

[02:34] in a way? I would say the, the actual realization that I wanted to make movies and stuff kind of came later. But I think back to I had a, an extra credit science project that could have just been an essay, but I decided I wanted to make like a bill Nye inspired episode with a family camcorder. And at the time I didn't. I didn't know how to edit anything. I didn't know how to shoot anything. I was just like, I've got this camera and I'll make this cool little like Bill Nye episode and I ended up using our vhs recorder to edit it just by running, rewinding, stopping, and just getting into the right spots here and there. So that was my way. It was like kind of cutting on video essentially with a vhs recorder. Um, but that was, that was early on. I think that was like fourth or fifth grade. Um, but, but since then, you know, I started getting my own cameras and really teaching myself how to do things. Um, started with final cut and all that. And uh, you know, you find the right people to kind of help you learn the craft and, and that's, I think really when, when you figure out where your place is, when you find the people that work with.

[03:42] Yeah. And I think I will say, and it kind of relates to that vhs story, uh, one thing that's always struck me about you as kind of your, um, a handy kind of macgyver kind of, you know, being able to, in a good way of figuring out kind of how to make things work that you came up for a wedding. We did a, I guess it was last summer and we were doing a same day edit. And so I knew, okay, I need somebody that can come up that, you know, I can trust and you were working in La at the time and we can get into that too. And um, you know, we've been editing all day and shooting and editing and dumping all this stuff. And like we got to the reception and uh, the, the projector, the setup that they had set up to play the same day.

[04:24] Either it wasn't hooked up and the thing wasn't working and they didn't have the right chords and it was on the wrong side of the room and nothing would reach. And like I was freaking out because, you know, we're, you know, they've paid all this money and you follow them up from La and we're kind of doing all this work to get this going and like, you know, I didn't think it was going to happen and luckily, I mean, you were there and I do mean that, but you kind of help and get all that figured out, you know, I'm freaking out. And he said, well no, I used to do a v and I used to do production and I kind of knew all this stuff. So I do think that, uh, obviously that's kind of transcended even from a young age. Right. You always kind of feel like you're able to figure things out like that.

[05:00] Yeah, I've, I've always liked tinkering with stuff. I mean the computer that's right underneath me as I built this thing by hand a I. and I've been doing that forever. Um, and I, I think that translates a lot to some of the work I've been doing too. It's also why like edit, I like to put pieces together like a puzzle solving and stuff like that. So.

[05:20] So how did, how did the bill Nye self edit workout

[05:25] that go? Well, I got some extra credit. It was maybe not my best work. I think that was literally the first video thing I've ever edited and I'm sure the tape is somewhere at my mom's house so if I find it I will absolutely transferred and it online.

[05:40] Yeah, that would be awesome. Is My nowadays yeah, they'll be able to find something like that insurance. Uh, so what was it just wanting to kind of think outside the box? I mean, did you grow up watching movies and stuff or where did that love of kind of everything come from?

[05:55] Yeah. My Dad always was taking me to the movie theater and seeing movies I probably shouldn't have, but it was a big deal to me. It was like, it was an event to go to the movie theater and, and you know, I wasn't necessarily told go dress up, but I definitely was like, oh, I'm going to dress up because I'm going into the movie theater. And they got the Big Red curtains around the screen and everything. It was, it was a cool, extravagant event for me. Every time I'm, I've always seen it that way. And whether it's a film or a corporate project or whatever, her wedding video to, um, you know, I, I want to bring my most professional and my best appearance to it. Um, yeah,

[06:35] that's awesome. I love the idea of dressing up and going to the movie. That's like people back in the fifties when they use to fly, like when they would go flying and they would, uh, if they dress up, uh, they go to the airport. I want to talk about, um, I mean that was pulling up your bio on the website that I have and it's something that I don't think we've ever talked about. Uh, you, you were born overseas in, grew up in spokane and can you kind of give us a little bit of your origin story of where that all came about?

[07:03] Yeah. Uh, so my dad was in the air force. My mom was living in Izmir, Turkey where she's from and he was stationed over there and that's how they met and then a out a year or two after they knew each other. I came along and he brought both of us back to the states. So you're living around Tacoma at the time and that's where my dad's side of the family's all based. And then shortly after that we moved over to spokane and I've Kinda just. Spokane is really what I've known to be home. Um, but I love Seattle. I moved here when I was 16 and um, you know, even though I did that recent in La, I was very happy to come back home to Seattle. This is Kinda, this is my old stomping ground.

[07:43] I said, you, you're probably too young. You don't have a lot of memories of being over there.

[07:49] Not so much A. I did visit a couple times, I'm reluctantly, I was a kind of a rebellious kid. I didn't really want to go and see the world and stuff. Now I can't get enough of it. I just, I did a trip to Japan last year and it was fantastic. But, um, yeah, I did a couple of trips to go see my mom's side of the family and it's, I, I remember being very pretty, very warm. Um, but I didn't speak the language so it was Kinda, it was a lot of barriers for me to kind of reached back and figure out my family roots there.

[08:20] Um, so, so you're growing up in school and soaking and you went to high school over there.

[08:26] Okay.

[08:26] And then so talk about being kind of like progressing then making the decision to go to school for film and kind of how that came about. And where did you go? Again,

[08:35] I should know all these things as your, as your official employer. But uh, I went to central Washington University, um, but before that, technically I went to another college because I was doing running start in high school. Um, so if running starts not in your area, it's a, you take college classes as a high school student on actual college campus. Um, so my junior and senior year I was actually going to Bellevue College at the time, Bellevue Community College. Um, they're now an accredited university and I think I, for some reason I took like a film as literature class as an elective. I just like, oh, this is cool. I get to watch movies and write about them. And I think that was when the gears started turning. It's like, oh, this is kind of a career path if I want it to be, um, you know, analyzing at the time.

[09:24] My very first film that I had to analyze was Donnie Darko and I was like, oh, this is weird, this is like a really cool movie and they want me to dissect like the sound effects in the introduction scene. It's like, okay. Um, and then from there it's like I just started taking more and more film related classes that weren't necessarily working in that industry. Um, I did like dogs and film as Literature Class, did a film music appreciation because I am terrible at music. Um, and then finally was like, you know what, I'm going to take a video editing class. So it was my first time actually doing anything with video. Um, aside from the one vhs project, a vhs tape project, um, I kind of lost.

[10:11] Uh, so yeah, because like for me, you know, my high school didn't really offer, you know, I always like my brother Scott went to bellevue high and you know, they have like radio classes and like, you know, whether it was film or like production and you know, I went to see all the prep but like we didn't have anything. Like we had a free period everyday which was like awesome for you when you're in high school and then when you go to college and you're like, wow, that would have been really cool if I could actually take them like a radio class as opposed to like hanging out on the quad for an hour and a half every day. Uh, so is that like, that was exciting then that you kind of got to like tinker around with all that stuff for real. So like what were you editing on and what was that kind of like, that experience of being able to do that?

[10:54] I never got to edit actual film. Um, so I, I dove straight into digital editing and final cuts set and I'm actually six at the time. I'm on just Max. Um, and I, I actually was required to kind of learn some videography and the process. Um, I, I didn't necessarily need to go buy my own camera, but I felt the need to. I had to have my own Mac book for editing at home and I had to have my own camera so I could fill them whatever I want to do. All of these things could have been checked out from the college, but I was stubborn and I wanted to do it in my own my own way and not have any limitations.

[11:34] Yeah, I remember the same thing, trying to justify, um, I have uh, like a, I guess it was like a gaming pc laptop that I can edit on a and take home. Yeah. Even though like I easily could have edited, like at the computer lab and stuff, but the idea of kind of being able to work from home. Uh, and do you know, we were doing like short films and stuff. Uh, we did like a TV show a, that's a, that's a story for another day. Well actually I, it was called the God couple. It was a spinoff of the odd couple and it was because we were at Gonzaga was a jesuit university. It was um, be uh, what was it? It was the son of the devil and it was an angel and they were roommates at Gonzaga University and that it was actually really funny. It was kind of like a Sitcom, but we blew up a, one of the dorms, uh, with CGI, like we could buy, you know, like you can go online and buy like the fire effects for like 28, $29 and like overlay it over.

[12:35] And so we fake blew up one of the dorms for one of the episodes. Like because they all, everyone had like super powers and stuff and we actually got heat from the dean, uh, because they, they found out that we were like, it felt like we were threatening. I mean we, you know, we were not doing anything but it ended up getting like a, a huge amount of eyeballs on our, um, college, like the program because it would air like every week for our, we would do like a weekly show. And I remember Dan, my professor being like, because I think I was directing the show as well and he was like, there are more eyeballs on this program today. Then there's ever been in the last like three years of this thing because they wanted to make sure that we weren't like, you know, crazy here. Uh, anyway, that was a long tangent. So I'm talk about more about you here, doing the editing in college and then kind of like what ended up being, I guess your degree from now there. What was your kind of focused a field of studies from that?

[13:29] So I was in the communications department at Central Washington University and I got my bachelor's of arts in film and video studies. So the production specialization. Um, so a lot of that, it wasn't necessarily just video editing, it was a lot of um, you know, there was about six or seven of us that were like a really tight knit group and we would pass hat around. I'm depending on, you know, every single time we do a class project I would direct and then the next one I would shoot it next time when I would record the audio and I'm. So we all kind of got experience in every department throughout the program. Um, I just definitely, I felt I was gravitating towards editing. I also really thought that I was gonna be a director, I won't it, but you know, it's, it's a lot to handle a group of 10 people on a crew plus actors and then you get up to like a 50 percent crew and then a 100 percent Korean. It's crazy. Um, whereas video editing, it's just me and a computer and I have the footage, I know what I want to do with it. I've got notes from producers and directors and I can help kind of get those into the final product. Then it's a much more intimate process I think. Um, and I, I enjoy kind of being able to be the person that puts it all together and you know, it takes torch across the finish line.

[14:53] That's a great way of putting that, taking the church across the finish line. I like that. I do like to, it sounds like you kind of had a similar as I did, where know we doing, like you said, you know, one week you're shooting in one week you're editing and one week you're doing the audio because it lets you kind of see that whole picture which is really important for me is someone that sends you out to get footage for me to edit and having someone that knows both sides. I can't tell you how many guys I worked with when I was a news who had been shooting video for like, you know, 20, 25 years and did not know how to edit. Like on the new anything, you know, maybe they had done some tape to tape, you know, you know before they made the transition with ever.

[15:37] But like they didn't know how to edit. And so when you go out and shoot, if you don't know what that process looks like, it, it really dictates how you're shooting or what you're doing or not because you don't know what that person back at the station and back in the studio or like you're editing, you don't know kind of what you're looking at compared to someone that's done both sides and you're like, oh yeah, well I know how I want my footage to look and to, you know, be 10 seconds long and have, you know, two seconds of path on each side or whatever. The edit. I think it's incredibly important to that. It's funny to me like how many guys don't edit their own staff and so it's crazy. Like you just don't see the whole picture that way. Do you have any thoughts on that, done that statement?

[16:19] No, absolutely. I mean, I cannot tell you the number of times people have told me like, oh, make those blues pop or make those screens pop. It's like, well you didn't really captured in a way that I can do that or you know, it's. They would want me to reframe the shot in post. It's like, I'll do it if that's what you want me to do, but really at that point I'm then stepping on the cinematographers skills. Um, so it's you really want to capture it correctly the first time. And from my perspective, I just have to acknowledge like if, if it was shot a certain way and in my world of like scripted television shows, movies or whatever, if it was shot a certain way for multiple takes, that's the way they wanted it and I have to respect that. Um, but also knowing like coverage, um, and it's something that directors really need to acknowledge, acknowledges.

[17:11] Um, when you're going out there with a shot list in mind, you need to know what kind of angles you're going to be showing this from in post. You can't just do a single shot for the whole thing. Same thing applies to weddings. If we just filmed the ceremony with a single camera, it's gonna be a pretty boring 30 minute ceremony of just one angle. So you got to get those detail shots of the rings and the bouquets. And, and happy faces in the crowd that you can kind of cut around the room as if you were just standing in the center of the room during that moment and you're just kind of looking around and you're, you're just noticing nice little as the ceremonies happening. So it's, you know, from my perspective as an editor, I know when I'm on the floor with a camera that I can't just be looking at one thing. I've got to be looking all over the place for good moments.

[18:03] Yeah. I think that's incredibly important. It's funny to just as we talk about this, I saw this morning that the uh, the academy awards this year in, in an effort to kind of shorten the ceremony. I don't know if you've even seen this yet. They're a, they're going to air a bunch of the awards during commercial breaks in order to like speed up the process. And so it was like a cinematography film editing a show. I think it's like short action and then hair and makeup they have all deemed were worthy of a, of only area during the commercial break. Which is awesome because you know that working in a let alone the cinematographer, the editor that was going through and like you said, that there's, if there's multiple takes and like clarity that, you know, which is the best one in which way it looks the best. And which way does it. I mean, you know, the film editor has incredible power with all that stuff, right?

[18:53] I think we need to give more recognition to our camera operators, to our, our cinematographers and in dps, our sound guys even, um, especially hair and makeup and our editors too. I think there's a lot of faces that just kind of go unrecognized in this industry, whether it's scripted corporate, wedding, commercial. Um, now those guys are doing a lot of hard work. Guys and gals are doing a lot of hard work. Um, and you know, I, I hope that the award ceremonies maybe reverse for next year and, and look to, to give them a little bit more time in the spotlight.

[19:30] Yeah. I just thought that was funny because it was one of those things I think like a lot of people just, you know, you just glance over and you're like, oh, whatever, but you know, you're, you're not, you know, because like obviously like the screen writers still gets accepted in the war, then the director, but not the, you know, the cinematographer that's like actually capturing everything. It's uh, that's funny. So, uh, when you Kinda, so back to your origin story kind of getting out of the central Washington and then what was the next step from that and where were you looking to go?

[19:57] Uh, from there I came back to Seattle just because that was kind of home base for me. Um, and I was really just trying to figure out where I could fit in and um, and that took some time. It's actually pretty difficult to find like a, a studio position in the Seattle area. Um, most people that are doing this for a living are doing it freelance. I'm working from home. They're dealing with the GIG economy route. Um, so, and, and that's actually when I took a brief stint into the art world and now setting up screens and projectors and a lot of Leer mics and stuff for corporate events and speeches and whatnot. Um, and then I just Kinda got lucky. I got an opportunity to uh, edit videos for an online school. Um, and one those schools happen to be based in Los Angeles. I'm not too far from the airport.

[20:52] And so I flew down there a couple times and, and hung out with them and then I kinda just decided. It's like, well, if I've got this position, maybe I should get down there and see what else I can get. 'Em It's pretty cutthroat. If you're not pushing it every day and trying to find more work, then chances are you're probably not going to make it. But, um, and that's kind of what ended up happening is I got to the end of the road and I didn't have another gig lined up. So, you know, I heard you were looking for a primary videographer again was like, you know what I should do kind of Miss Washington, this heat is getting a little bit overbearing. The traffic is kind of nuts. Um, so my girlfriend and I, we packed up and we came home,

[21:34] I'd say it staff and even, you know, when I was in news and in Bakersfield and trying to find anything in Seattle when you email and then like, I mean I think you could, you know, count on two hands, the number of studios in town. I mean I know like La has got more but it is tough and like, you know, I got to the point where I was just like, like you said, you just kind of freelance it yourself because if you can't find something that kind of fits your mold or what you, you know, you kinda got to make the mold, you know, I'm talking about doing that in la. Working on that was obviously very different environment than Seattle. Like you said, a lot more cutthroat, but like did you learn some lessons down there? Were those some good takeaways that you know?

[22:16] Oh yeah, um, budget things out well in advance. Um, I know you think your project is going to be manageable when a weekend there will be some hidden costs. You're not expecting a no matter what the position always make sure you're paying them. Um, you know, I, I did a couple of short film projects and stuff and they'd toss 100 bucks here and there and that's nice of you. But la is really expensive and we're working really hard and we went to school for this and all that. So I think one of the things that people always overlook, you know, as his budget for sure. Um, and kind of along the same lines, I'm, I'm starting to see people hiring what they're calling a junior video editors instead of interns and they're paying well below like union rates. And I think the unions union is super important.

[23:08] La does have a really good community. Um, you are absolutely going to run into someone that you can collaborate down there. So, you know, it was rough and I certainly had some issues with just the traffic and overgrowth of the city, but I'm pretty much everyone I talked to was working on something. They were directing something. They're writing something there, you know, they wanted to start shooting maybe. So the nice thing about La is you're going to find a place to be um, so long as you go into it prepared to uh, you know, it's gonna be tough. So

[23:45] yeah, I tell you when I, uh, when I was in these up here and my buddy Paul, you know, he had taken the job at Kta lay down in La and I just thought, man, like, you know, it's just a totally different world. I mean I know Seattle and you know, they talk about photographers and video and weddings and all sorts of different, you know, saturation, appearance. It's like you go to La and it's like you times that by 100, you know, I mean it's just crazy the amount of. But like you said, then there is a lot of like, you know, I think creative energy and if yeah, maybe if you are somebody looking for like a variety of different things, like you said, they're not all going to pay or paid equitably as well.

[24:20] What I did like about talking to folks down there is nobody's from La, so you always start your conversation of like, oh where'd you come from? So everybody is very social and happy to talk about about where they came from and where they plan on going. Yeah.

[24:37] So you moved back up here and you're kind of, you know, besides working for us and you know, you were taking it from other freelance stuff. I know that you're working on a cool documentary kind of editing the trailer, talking about some things here you're working on right now and, and maybe something you're especially proud of and kind of why.

[24:53] Sure. Right now I am doing the final touches on a short film called little treasures. Um, I don't know how much I can spoil. Well, I won't spoil anything. I'll just say it's a story about a couple of them widths that are trying to rob a house and things go horribly wrong. So I'm actually the trailers up on my website, a Um, and yeah, you can check that out there. We will probably be doing some kickstarter funding of some sort in the near future to, to kind of get the finishing touches done. Um, other than that, I'm also editing a trailer for a documentary, um, about the, the families that have lost loved ones in nine slash 11. The 20th anniversary is coming up. So, um, it's kind of focusing on, not necessarily the events but how they are coping with a loss. I'm almost 20 years later. Um, and we're going to start editing the feature length version of that film pretty soon actually in about a month or so.

[25:54] Yeah. What's that been like, because obviously like you're, you and we talked about this the other day to day, you know, she, the woman that's kind of directing this, right? I guess it's been going out, uh, you know, with the cinematographer to kind of capture that. But you still have to kind of go through and experience all this stuff yourself, right? I mean, what's that process been like, kind of hearing these stories and going through that.

[26:15] It's tough. There's, you know, you're, you're looking for really important moments of the story, but you're reliving those moments with them and, and they're, they're painful memories, um, for some of these folks that are just now the, uh, one of the main characters in the, you know, not character, but individuals in the film, um, they lost their husband that they were just married to like three months prior, um, and they've remarried and they've had kids and they moved on, but it's still a major piece of their life. Um, and, and that's what we're trying to show is that nobody's forgotten what happened. So they've just had to evolve and figure out how to live with those memories. Um, and I think it's, I think at the core of the story is that everyone in New York who was alive at the time and not even alive at the time, we still have kids who are growing up and learning that their parents were lost in this tragic event and everyone in New York has the story of some kind and it, it, it varies from house to house.

[27:27] But, um, you know, there's, there's a lot of material that I have to go through a week's footage. I'm the producer and director actually has been doing audio recordings a cents a month after the event. So I have a box full of audio cds from the last 18 years. There's a lot of material as an editor that's a little daunting. Um, and it definitely requires a certain mindset to be able to organize all of that. I think, uh, one of the, one of the signs of a good editor is what their organization system is. Um, just being able to, to bend everything correctly, have everything properly dated everything properly, like seemed out kind of. Um, and I think the biggest hurdle of that is just the sheer amount of time it takes to watch and listen. Two weeks of, of content.

[28:30] No, I think it's, I have a lot of respect for, for editors and especially someone like you, like that meticulousness where I'm kinda like go, go, go, you know, I like kind of editing, you know, my own staff or at least that, you know, the weddings that we shoot, it's, it's at least it kind of follows in somewhat of a formula, you know, a little bit you can kind of go through because like I could imagine having to wade through all that and, and like you said, the attention to detail and kind of being able to like, okay, wait, where is this going to go? And we're okay with WHO said this, who said that? And kind of. I mean it's got to be daunting, right?

[29:06] Oh absolutely. You know, if you were to look at my string outside, I'll put an entire interview on a timeline. There's probably like 100 markers on my timeline of just like, Ooh, that's a good bit. That's a good bid and I think actually these moments need to be swapped in time and you know, it's, it's a lot of notating and just kind of storing things up in your head, but also giving yourself a physical backup notes and um, yeah, it's just really key to have good organizational skills as an editor.

[29:37] Yeah. And especially like for documentary, it's like my buddy just did one a year and it took him like 18 months, you know, and he shot everything himself and so obviously like he, you know, lease you're, you kind of have firsthand and you're there, um, you know, kind of knowing, but especially like you were, you got to go through these 18 years of like stuff and plus all the interviews all over the country, over the, you know, the last 20 years. I mean, it's crazy. I just a, I think it's going to be a cool project when it's done. I'm definitely excited to see it.

[30:04] Yeah. I'm looking forward to getting it out there. I think, uh, I think people are gonna find that this is not just like another nine slash 11 documentary. I think this has a unique approach with the families involved,

[30:17] so uh, to transition a little bit more to, you know, a little more uplifting, talk a little bit more about kind of like shooting onsite. What do you like about that and especially kind of like weddings and kind of like your role in the day with that and kind of how you, if I would assume you enjoy it, but kind of why you enjoy it.

[30:36] I think that the aspect I love most about shooting a wedding is getting that moment and nobody knows that I got it. I like to be that. Like I always tell clients like, Hey, I'm just going to be a fly on the wall. You're not even going to notice me there. Um, and I like just being kind of in the corner and I know like, oh, that's going to be the moment when they watch this video, they're going to, their mouth is gonna drop. It's, it's the detail shots. It's the smiles and the crowd. It's someone telling a joke to someone else next to him at a dinner table. It's those little moments that nobody else has really seeing happened as it's happening, but then I get to capture it and I get to remind them later.

[31:19] Um, and then do you enjoy, do you enjoy the actual, like, yeah. Are you happy kind of like doing that? Any sort of fill in or is it something more about like, weddings you kind of get caught up in all that emotion. I mean, I know you're dating, like do you, are you kind of a romantic at heart or are you more likely

[31:36] talking about that? Know I've been dating my girlfriend here for. Let's see, we're at 12 or 13 months now. A No, sorry, we're at like 13, 14 months. You should know that. Let me back that to the map properly here. I do consider myself to be a bit of a romantic. Uh, I do get caught up in some of the romantic moments of the wedding. Videography of. I've been dating my girlfriend for about a year and a half now. Um, and we're just a couple of nerds than we do everything together now. Um, we, we just went to Japan back in October for our one year anniversary and had a blast there and spent two weeks just kind of seeing all the culture together and every wedding has its moments that are similar, other weddings, but I think every wedding is also incredibly unique that the focal point is always there.

[32:29] They're always going to have these different qualities and quirks to them. That is really important for me to find and figure out in the moment these, these two people that are getting married, they've known each other for years. Um, and, and even before they were dating, they probably knew each other as friends or, or, you know, childhood friends or whatever. It depends from relationship to relationship. Um, but I got to find it in the moment. I got to figure it out on that day, how this couple is entangled with each other. Um, you know, and that it may not be incredibly apparent to even them, uh, how they interact with each other because it's just day to day. I, I can't tell you specifically how my girlfriend and I are, are joined at the hip. I just know that if she's gone for more than two hours, I start to get a little cranky. So, um, yeah, I think I, I do consider myself to be a little bit of a hopeless romantic and I, I, I liked the fine, um, those kind of mushy shots, but you know, they're, they're important moments to remember and look back on when you're looking at your wedding video in five, 10 years.

[33:43] Yeah. I think it's funny like you said, is they don't necessarily know how they lawyer. Some couples just have like rockstar chemistry and you know, it's nothing that you can do or not do and in some couples are madly in love and it's just a little more quiet and then some are madly in love and it's a little more loud and like you said, it really is like you got to walk in and like, you know, email or do a skype call or you know, like in person meeting and then you got to figure that out. Like you said, within about 30 seconds of walking in the door and kind of who's what and what's going on. And it is daunting, but it's also a, I think, is it exciting? Do you enjoy that?

[34:20] Absolutely. I think the first look is always the moment that you figure it out because before that it's, you have that skype meeting and it's Kinda hard to figure things out over that because everybody's looking at different documents and stuff on their screen. They're not necessarily looking at each other eye to, um, and then after that, uh, you don't see the bride and groom together until that first look, um, if they're doing the first look with a videographer. Um, in my experience, I've, I've filmed every first look at every wedding I've been to, but, um, that's always the moment where it's like, oh, now I finally get to see these, to just be together and, and not be worried about, you know, how much is this wedding and a cost and how many guests are we gonna have and how many different meal choices do we need to offer? And all that. It's like, no, it's just these two people love each other very much and they get to just spend this time together.

[35:16] Uh, yeah. And uh, like you said, kind of getting it, I always say I like doing the first look and kind of getting that time with them where a lot of the day, you know, and obviously I get the during the first lecture in the ceremony too, but kind of getting to see that couple as a unit kind of throughout the day as opposed to like segmented until the reception. I think it's nice and it just, you know, just someone that genuinely enjoys being around, you know, couples and hanging out in this kind of fun as opposed to like that I, you know, there's a little bit of excitement to like running back and forth like, okay, what's, you know, what's uh, what she doing? Okay, what's he doing? You kind of running. But then at some point it, this kind of Nice to get everybody together and just kind of like rock and roll through stuff. What's your favorite part of the wedding day? I know you talked about the first look, is it that or is it, you know, the food or the dancing or music or what do you like about it?

[36:06] I think host ceremony is when everyone completely opens up. It's, you know, the, the boulder is released off of the couple of shoulder because now it's like, okay, it's done. Now we're going to go eat, we're going to go party. We're gonna have fun. We're going to dance. Um, that's when you see everybody's at their, you know, they're, they're at ease, everybody's like ready to go and just have a good time for the rest of the night and there's really nothing else to worry about. Um, you got the rest of your lives together now. Um, you've, you've officially tied the knot, you put the rings on, you're good to go.

[36:40] Um, do you ever, uh, do you have any. Like I was just trying to think about like a generally during that time too, you have a lot of family members and stuff buggin, but like do you have any funny stories or any like happy memories from some of the weddings you've been a part of that. I'm like something that probably puts you on the spot, but anything that kind of stands out.

[36:58] There are so many moments that I've been, I've had someone turned to the camera and say, Hey, don't record this, you know, because it's, you get in that room and they forget like, oh, there's a camera here. We got to be like, are cleaned up, sells. And Yeah, there's a lot of moments, but I want us to put any, any past couples on the spot of, you know, I've been hanging out in, in bridal parties and groomsmen and, you know, they, they have fun there. It's, it's a full 24 hours that they're just kind of having a party. Um, it's a good time.

[37:34] Yeah. It's uh, it's, it, it is kind of, it's a weird experience for like every time you show up. Yeah. Like these people are like, you know, not on vacation, but you're kind of like in this concept, especially like during the summer when you're like constantly hanging out and like people are like day drinking and eating all day and hanging out and lounging and then you're kind of like, wow, this would be really easy to just kinda like get caught, you know. But then you got to go back to work, you know, it is just kind of in this constant state of like, it's weird. I don't know, it's weird to be like if you, did you like go to weddings, back tobacco three weddings or whatever. Like it's really weird that kind of like just be in that constant state for like extended periods of time. Talk about kind of, you know, when you're not filming and you're not editing your girlfriend. I want to talk about. Tell me about this trip back to Japan. What was out about? Uh, it sounds exciting.

[38:27] Yeah. I mean we're, we work because we are absolute nerds and we share all the same nerdy likes. So yeah, we're big gamers. We like our anime or Manga. I'm just a bunch of weeds. So yeah, when, when we went to Japan, we, uh, we, we went to the, uh, the electric town, a Akihabara and we, we saw all the sights and sounds there and I went to a couple different neighborhoods as well as Shinjuku and Harajuku and um, and I don't know, it's, it's, uh, it's something that we really click on. It is just the things that we're interested in. Um, I don't think I've named a movie or show that she doesn't like, um, I've certainly named a lot of movies that she's never seen, but that just comes from being a film student. You watch a lot of movies. Um, but yeah, I mean we, we, we met at a video game convention so naturally that's kind of one of our, our cornerstones. Um, we at one point had two tvs in our bedroom and we play video games side-by-side. Um, she is currently reading a Manga that is taking forever because it's over 2000 pages and as soon as she's done she's going to pass it off to me. Um, so, you know, all the things that we enjoy, we kind of go out of her way to enjoy it together. Uh, whether we can do that simultaneously or not. Um, yeah, I hope that.

[39:58] And uh, what is it about kind of those things and you know, like anime and all that, like what is it that draws it to you as it, is it back history of like, you know, studying film in different art forms? Is it like the creativity, is it, what is it about video games and those sorts of things that kind of draw your attention?

[40:17] I think what got my attention like Monga is that it's, it's kind of like reading a storyboard and I get to and, and graphic novels who were, uh, were picked DC comics fans. We like our marbles, but we're, we're, we're were DC household, um, comics and Manga to me is like reading a storyboard and I get to kind of visualize the action as it's happening, um, in it kind of figured out how would I shoot this, how would I edit this? How would I, you know, what sort of sound effects would I add? And, and all that sort of thing. Um, with video games, um, I think there's such a rich medium to be able to tell stories and allow the person who is ingesting that content to have their own presence in the world. Um, whether you're controlling another character has their own name and has their own dialogue or if you are creating a character from the start doesn't ever speak, maybe you never see their face, that person completely represents you in that world.

[41:17] Um, either way, I think it's much more engrossing than a feature film because you are physically putting yourself there or you're, you're mentally putting yourself there. Um, and, and with virtual reality games in, but it kind of blurs that line of like, am I actually in this world or am I just feeling that I'm there. Um, so I think that's what I really like about gaming is that I can, um, I can kind of disappear to another world. Whereas when I'm watching a movie, um, you know, get, don't get me wrong, I love movies, but you know, my phone rings and I have to check that or you know, I get a text notice or whatever and I have to pause the movie and um, it's much harder for me to break out of the trance of, of gaming.

[42:03] Well also the, you know, the thing too and I mean, I, I think when you your house sitting for us and when you came over inside, you know, we have an xbox and I said I haven't played it in a long time since I started the business, but I did use to be a pretty, pretty big Gamer and you know, when you put like 30, 40, 50 hours into like anything, you know, let alone like a, you know, an immersive like grand theft auto or whatever. And then versus like, Oh, I watched this movie for 90 minutes or whatever. I mean it is like, it just grips you more and more and yeah, maybe that, you know, to kind of a quarterly, uh, bring this guy. It's like weddings and stuff. I mean, there is a lot of time invested in that and so you have the more time and energy and like a video game, you know, like the, the payoff is going to be a lot better and like you're just going to feel those emotional kind of notes a lot more. Right?

[42:52] Yeah. You feel more ownership, I'd say. Yeah. Thank, you know, the more, more time commitment, the more you feel like, oh, this is mine, this is my story that I get to enjoy and I can show it to others. But at the end of the day, there's that little bit in your head. It's like, no, this is my, my little bit. Um, and that's true to an extent. Everybody plays games differently, so everybody's going to have a slightly different experience in slightly different stories to tell. Um, and you know, it's maybe it's not as heartfelt as certain stories and films, but you hear people plan a fortnight is a, is a big thing right now. And they're always telling me, oh, I got this cool story of my squad dropping on these people and blah, blah, blah. Um, you know, right now all these different games are coming out, apex legends is, is kind of taking a fortnight for a run and um, but at the end of the day it's, it's, it's about creating your own story and your own moments to share with other people. There you go,

[43:47] uh, moving forward now, you know, professionally, personally, you know, besides, you know, obviously filming like, you know, Buku weddings for you best made videos and things like how well see now, you know, now that you're back in Seattle, like how else do you want to grow professionally and, and, you know, where do you want to see yourself in the next couple of years?

[44:07] Uh, I want to finish the short film that I'm working on a and then I, uh, I actually do have another script that I'm ready to go on. I just got to get a funding lockdown and find a solid crew to work with. And um, I think, I think Seattle is probably the only city that I really could have done this script. I've been writing it since, uh, my first year of college. Um, and I think it's finally ready to come out, but yeah, I, you know, I, I'd like to get my company up and running an outlier media as something that is doing kind of gaming related content. I want to do gaming videos with my girlfriend and friends and I would really love to continue doing a short films, short narrative films.

[44:48] Uh, so you're writing this one, do you enjoy writing as well

[44:53] or is it more of a struggle? It's more of a struggle for me, I, I get really bogged down in the writing process. I know the story I want to tell. Um, but in terms of getting the words on the paper a lot more difficult for me. Um, and it's typically I'll, I'll hit like one week where I'm just like flying through pages and then the next week it's just like, oh, I can't even write a paragraph. It's just, it'll, it'll get bogged down at times like that. I definitely have a lot of respect for screenwriters.

[45:25] Oh, it's, uh, it's, it's, uh, I couldn't, I can't hardly write content for the website. Yeah,

[45:32] well they're right. Three or four feature films a year that just drives me like I can't even imagine.

[45:39] Uh, well no I'd seen, but it does seem like you have a lot of good outlets for your creativity and the somebody that, that obviously has a lot of the different juices flowing. I think it's kind of fascinating just to hear a little bit about each of these things and kind of keeping your, keeping your mind sharp and kind of your talents. Uh, Kinda tuned in, right?

[45:58] Yeah. Yeah. I think it's super important to figure out, you know, what, what sort of a creative output do you have and where can you put it? Um, and, and I've, you know, I think I've got plenty of things to work on. I can do graphic design, I can do editing, I can pull out my camera and shoot a little thing if I want to. And um, you know, even gaming to an extent has some areas where you can create, um, you know, dreams on the ps four is, is an interesting one right now where you can straight up just make a game if you want to do with, with a controller, you don't need to know how to code or anything like that. Oh God. If I at one point I wanted to be a computer programmer and that is not a field that I can.

[46:41] No, uh, no, they, they say that. But that's like the new thing they're trying to get everybody into, right is like computer before the robots figuring out how to do an intake. All right.

[46:52] I really am maybe stubborn in it, but I hope that automation is not something that we have to fear and filmmaking and video making.

[47:00] I would hope so. I've seen like the GoPro, you can have GoPro supposedly, like edit your footage now and you know, by finding like the highlights and then it's always. Yeah, it's always a little interesting. I don't think it'll ever that I stand firm that a robot will never know how to feel like a human, so long as a robot doesn't know, does not know how to feel. Then I still have a role in this industry. That's awesome. Last thing before we go, one thing, if there was one thing you wish a future clients of yours and mine and ours and everybody else I knew about you, what would that be? And that's a huge push on the spot.

[47:40] I may be quiet, but I'm always present. Uh, you know, I'm always thinking about what my next step is and I'm trying to figure out how to fix other people's problems in the moment. If you come to me with a problem, I'm going to come with you. Come back at you with a solution. I'm. Hey, I, I would say that I'm a fairly open book. If you want to talk to me about anything with your, your video and anything about your project, um, you know, I'll listen and I'll kind of digest that and analyze it and then I'll figure out something to get back to you. Even if it seems like I'm a little bit closed off, um, I'm, I'm, I'm a little bit more open than that

[48:21] I will say as, as a problem solver and probably the reason why you got this job is when we have a wedding last year and there were some transportation issues with getting one of the videographers back. Uh, the wedding was in Vancouver and getting back from Vancouver to Seattle and you were in La and coming up and you say, well, you know, I guess I could sleep at the train station or well, could I change my flight to Portland because we're going to be in Vancouver because I leave the wedding, you know, on time, be done with the wedding and make it to the fly or, you know, there were, there was quite a bit as I said. Yes. And so I very much appreciated that. And like you said, your willingness to problem solve and figure things out and, and uh, it goes a long way and I think their clients for years will appreciate that. So thank you.

[49:12] Yeah. Thank you.

[49:13] Well, this has been such a fun talk. I want to thank you so much for coming on. Like I said, a just for me to kind of hear more about your story, uh, and, and be for everybody to kind of hear more about it. Um, obviously, uh, if people want to know more about you, uh, a, they can go to our website, but if people wanted to learn more kind of about your short films and all your other creative endeavors, where would you have them check out?

[49:40] Uh, they can go out to Um, I, I post a trailers and blog posts and stuff on, on current projects out there. I'm also on twitter at @mattclementsjr. Uh, I don't always filter myself on there, so, you know, I try, but uh, yeah, that's, I, I post a lot of what I'm working on out there as well as just a lot of stuff I'm enjoying in my personal life.

[50:05] Perfect. Well thank you so much. This has been another episode of Get to Know Your Wedding Pro. Check back next week for another wedding vendor interview. Thank you so much.

Candi Lirette, Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist

[00:09] Hey everybody, welcome to Get to Know Your Wedding Pro. My name is Reid with Best Made Videos®. We are a wedding videography company based out of West Seattle, Washington and I am joined today by one of my longtime friends Candi Lirette who is a hairstylist and makeup artist here in West Seattle. And I was going to say that you're probably one of the most famous guests I've had on just because you are my own personal hairstylist, which has to account for something. Probably nothing but uh, why don't you introduce yourself and tell us who you are and what you do.

[00:38] Hi, Candi Lirette. I'm kind of just go buy candy in a sense like share when working out Ola for six years. Been doing here for almost seven. Been doing reads hair. I looked it up this morning. I think it's been since January 13th, 2016. But that's just when we got Vagaro. I mean you could have been seen me before that on like a different thing. It's been a long time. It's been while um, every three weeks y'all. Um, I kinda just started doing here actually in junior high for, during the lunch I would just break people's hair in corn rows. I would do my own. I cut color my own hair. In high school I did updos. Um, I had my fingers in a lot of artsy pies and decided to go to college for fashion because that's what I was like, oh, maybe that'll really take me somewhere.

[01:24] And I got my associates in arts and fashion design. Clearly I'm using it. That's my Zombie apocalypse survival skill right there. Uh, I just, I was almost finished with school and I was like, I'm just not really enjoying this. And I'm a year after that I was doing your friends up due for a gala. She's a Candi, why aren't you in school for this? I was like, Huh. And so the next couple of weeks I checked out a few schools and um, I found Aveda in Capitol Hill and they seem really legit and like they would keep me in order. I mean the place looked like a salon. And so the next month I moved up to Seattle and started school. And even at school and it was almost graduated, I'm still so excited to do it and it's still every day so excited to do it. Whether it's, I know everybody on my books or I have like five consultations or you know, five new people. Like I just, I'm really excited to do what I do and where I do it too. So that's something to be said for that.

[02:18] That was awesome. And so are you, are you from the area originally and where did you grow up and where, where did the origin story began?

[02:24] Yeah. Um, I'm from New Orleans. The oldest of three, uh, actually will kind of, we just found out like five or six years ago. I'm not just that I have an older half sister, but basically, yeah, I grew up the oldest of three and we moved to Washington when I was 12 in 1998. Why? Washington is because my mom's mom lived up here. I'm like, there's just wanted a better life for us. They're moderately liberal and it is just. If we didn't live in the ghetto or anything, it was just, they just wanted better opportunities for us. And even when I moved at 12, I was like, yes, let's do this. Like I'm not like you're taking me from my friends and um, you know, I've always been the artsy kind and you know, my grandpa was always like, Candi always got to be different, you know, and I just, I think that's why it brings me such joy just. But yeah, we um, we moved up to Graham Span only area and I've been living in Seattle since 2011 and I'm not moving anytime soon. I'll add all my roots are in Seattle.

[03:22] Uh, do you have any memories growing up in New Orleans? Did you. I get there,

[03:25] yeah. The biggest part, it wasn't like Mardi Gras, like actual New Orleans. I lived in New Orleans in a sense like someone says from the Sni adult area, but they're actually from Marion. I grew up in Avondale, but it's mostly like our friends or our family and our family were our friends and we're all like really tight knit and there was always room for more and it literally took a village to raise all these kids and um, we would always get together like every other weekend and it was very, like everybody pitched in, you know, the kids cleaned up and the guys, you know, cooked and uh, yeah, it just, it was all, all hands on deck, but it was just such a loving thing to do and I think that's why I dunno, I just, I love people and like I like to give that back to them and I love that exchange of energy. And so I think that that was really instilled in me just. Yeah. People.

[04:21] That's awesome. Yeah. So, uh, so transitioning back to Seattle or to Seattle, uh, at the age of 12 and then, so when you went to school for arts and where was that at and what was kind of the inspiration behind that?

[04:32] That was actually, um, I was 20 and it was like 2006 and I was ready to move out of my house, but I wasn't ready to just live on my own or with roommates. And I had um, my mom's good friend at the time, we'd been friends for like 10 years and she moved to Arizona and started her own trucking company. She, she's like the middle man between the commodity and the truckers and she's like, hey, why don't you come down and live with me, you know, I'll help put you through school. And so it actually loop, move. Moved Down to Glendale, Arizona, lived with her for about a year and then I kind of moved around Peoria downtown Phoenix. But uh, to me about three and a half years to get a two year degree as it does these days. But yeah, she, I didn't have any debt because she paid for it all and I'm eternally grateful for it and I still use that skill, you know, I know how to do alterations and you know, like I say I'm at a wedding and something goes awry. I'll know how to help kick that skill into gear.

[05:31] Ah, what was the particular motivation? We are kind of pursuing the as an issue associate's degree that you did?

[05:38] My parents, they're like, just go to college. I don't care if it's for underwater basket weaving, like just it looks good on paper kind of thing. And then it's. Nowadays it's more like, well maybe you don't need to go to college because they see how expensive it is and how in debt kids get. And it's like, is it worth it because we're not getting jobs. But back then that was the mindset. It's like, no, no, no, do it, do it, you know, even if you don't do anything with it. And it's like, well that's kind of lame, but it's better that our eyes are open now. But that was the drive. Otherwise I probably wouldn't have cared.

[06:10] Uh, no, I, I totally know because I think we're a similar age and like when I grew up, yeah, it was like, there was no question you had to figure out something. And luckily, you know, I kind of figured out along the way before I got out, because I know kids still in my brother went to school and still struggles to kind of find like, what is your purpose or what, you know, it's, it's in a really intense thing at the age of like 20, they'd be like, okay, this is what you need to figure out what you're going to do for the rest of your life.

[06:35] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Um, what pushed me to do this though, I think, I don't know why, that I never really thought of it as a career for me. Not that it's like, oh, I would never do that, you know, I just, it just wasn't, oh, you know, um, and my friend was like, why don't you do this? I looked more into it. I'm like, this is actually a legit career. And like, you really could go far with it. So then it's a, it is a form of art, you know, I mean the client has a say, but I was definitely,

[07:03] uh, so when you went to the, so then, uh, when you went to school to be a stylist and you, you know, you found the school on Capitol Hill, is that what you said? Talking about that, was that intimidating? Were you nervous? Did you, were you excited? What was that process like?

[07:16] I was super excited. I wanted to start as soon as possible. We moved in April and the next round of like when you could start was may and we started off with, usually nowadays I think there's like 20 to 30 kids in a class and I think on average there was about 15 to 20. There were eight people in my class when we graduated, by the time we graduated, there was only five, like three heads, like left for some reason or dropped out or um, so I felt like I got the attention I needed, but the school and the teachers weren't intimidating and like the students were new, just like me, you know, some were younger than me, some were older than me and it was really great to like take that all in at the same time kind of thing and how I learn is by doing and I got to do that.

[08:04] It was, wasn't a whole lot of book work, you know, and that's when I start to like judge out and it goes in one ear and out the other. But my hands are on it. I'm learning and if I'm able to teach, I learned too and it just drives it deeper into that. But it was such a beautiful experience as we went through the phases and learn the different things. They would let us out onto the floor and we would take clients and so that we got more comfortable with that. And as we went through the phases, we got more days on the floor and so I think I'm also the exposure we got for being where we were and then the name we had because salons, they'll do the same thing, but maybe they don't know about it or people like, oh, it's a school, I don't want my go to a chop shop, you know?

[08:45] Um, but I took it for all it's worth an I, I think it was definitely worth it. Oh. So we got exposed to a career fairs and got to do a salon tours and even mocked, kind of did the state board with us. And so I really felt fully prepared. Um, but I think two things, it takes his passion and skill. You can have the pageant, but honey, if you're not good at it, you're not good and you can have the skill. But if you don't have the passion, it's not going to take you anywhere, you know. And I could see the people who didn't have it, they were dropping out or just, they just weren't passing, you know. And then like that, my heart kind of broke for them, but you know, I'm here for me right now. So.

[09:28] Oh, it's so funny to hear you talk about kind of that odd that hands on learning because like I'm the exact same way. Like you know, when I can figure out like oh I could get behind the camera or whatever. And the like ultimately then instantly I was like okay, like I can do this where like anything that involves like reading books or whatever. Like even right now I've been pushing off because he like my drone license for like three years because I have to like sit and read this book and like I can fly a drone but I have to sit and read this book. So I just hire people that are, that are licensed and insured because I'm like the thought of having to read through this 100, page six. So it's just am like I haven't done schooling and so long I've just. It's really scary.

[10:06] No, I'd have to go through and like highlight. I'm like, is this really important? I'm just going to skim, like, what are the instructions? All right, got it. Let's do this.

[10:14] Dorothy gets mad because, uh, we'll talk sometimes about like she went to some fancy English class or whatever, like I was a big like cliff notes Kinda guy and in high school and that infuriates her that like somebody would actually like other guy. I didn't really like any of those books at all. Like it was a big, uh, whether, what are the, what are the key points I need to know. Um, when you kind of figured out, you know, doing the styling and really got behind it. So then did you just go like, wait, how long did it take you to be like, okay, this is really clicking for me or this is really what I wanted to do. Was it pretty immediate or was it kind of through the program?

[10:46] It was kind of immediate because I introduced myself to it early on anyway and I already had a likeness for it and I was like, this is fun. You know, when I was, I literally like, I wasn't just doing trims on my hair. Like I would chop my hair off and dye it all kinds of colors and multiple colors and um, I'd never done that to anyone else's hair until I went to school for it. But I just, I was very comfortable with hair because it grows back. It's fine. Nobody's, I'm literally not gonna kill anybody. So it's not as, you know, I'm not a fighter jet person or literally doing surgery, you know, so it wasn't intimidating and I just saw it as fun and sometimes it can be nerve wracking, you know, your first, my first client, we weren't allowed to take kids cuts.

[11:30] My first client was a six year old boy and his dad was like a hoverboard over me and I'm like, is this right for me? I'm freaking out, man. I did it. And I got through it and that was almost eight years ago. And so, and I do tons of kids cuts now and I love children, you know? And when they, you know, when they're older, I know how to handle up on them and be like, listen, little did you know. But, um, there's, there's any, even now you know, there's intimidating things and I'm like, challenge accepted, let's do this, you know, but it's a journey together and I think a big part of it is listening. I think it's like maybe 60 percent listening, 40 percent, like asking and talking and maybe even less. But that's kind of what I'm thinking for me. Um, and if you know what to ask for and you know, how to get that information, you can't really mess it up, you know, and you just build that trust.

[12:16] Well, I'd be like you saying where it grows back because like, even today, I think like every time I come in to get a haircut, it's like you've got a different look or a different style or different list. Like every time I'm like, oh wait, we're just here to keep you on your toes. But I know, I think it's good. I think it's a great way that, you know, obviously expressed. I mean, I all through high school and college, like I was very expressive with my hair and uh, I don't as much anymore just because directly tells me not to do it, but no, that was, that was kind of a good outlet for me to. And I think that a lot of people, I mean it is one of those things that like you can change on a daily basis to really reflects kind of who you are. And it's like that outward personality, right? That you're like showing like somebody walking down the street with a Mohawk versus someone that's walking down the street with like a Ponytail, you know, portrayed is like a very different kind of outlook.

[13:05] Yeah. Well, and then people come there to feel good, you know, even if they got their hair messed up somewhere else, like they come, they're like, please help me fix it. You know, they're not coming to the dentist office and they're dreading it every time, you know. Um, and this is like, and it's good touch, you know, and it's loving and we're here apis and some people literally like, they'll come in once a week for something just to be there and like feel that good vibe, you know, and someone to walk through and they'll get eight compliments. I'm like, you want to feel good about yourself, just walk through Ola and leave, like it's just all the way back. So they use the bathroom, go to the front, you'll feel good. You know, it's just a good energy place. But

[13:42] that's awesome. Uh, so, so you're, you're going through the program now you've graduated. Uh, so where did that, how did you progress from there? Where did you go after that?

[13:53] Um, I had just moved in with my boyfriend at the time and we were, we were living in west Seattle and I was like, well, let's just check out some salons where I want to work. I was, while I was going to school, actually I worked nights at cupcake royale is a baker and I work days at Teles. So I was burning the candle at lake six different ends and I was ready to just have one job, maybe two, you know, I'm, I'm a little workhorse. Uh, but I was, I was fine, you know, I wanted to find the right salon. I didn't want to settle. And so I was kind of interviewing them and I came upon all are actually. And I loved the vibe and I was like, I had checked out a few salons. I was like, okay, whatever. And um, sent in my resume and did the interview and the next I did an audition and actually the next week I did an interview at another salon.

[14:43] I won't say who, and they hired me that same day and I was like, okay, well universe, this is where I'm supposed to be. I worked there for two months and I dreaded going to work almost everyday and I'm like, challenge me, let's do this. And like there's grunt work you have to do. But I, I felt kind of attacked by the manager and like nothing ever did was right. And I was like, I should not be feeling this way, this is not good enough for me. So I emailed Rachel again. I was like, this isn't this experience I signed up for. What do you guys have? Can we meet again? We met again and then I told them, I was like, this is, this is. I wasn't very picky, you know, this is what doesn't work for me. I'm like, this is what does work for me.

[15:23] What does your program offer basically? And I was kind of interviewing them and they liked that initiative I guess, and they wanted to hire. You're like, okay, well what about, you know, in two weeks would have been thanksgiving. So we did it in three and I waited a week and then I gave my two weeks in an email and on the end of my shift on the last day I'm the manager and the owner came up to me and they said, are you sure you want to go? We really like you. And I'm thinking funny way of showing it and you're talking to me now. And I was like, no, bye bye. We're done. But I just feel like I wanted and I, I feel I'm appreciated and that's like a big thing for me. Like you don't always have to say thank you, but I need to see it because thank you. Just so easy to do sometimes, but I definitely do feel appreciated, you know, all. And I definitely have found a home there

[16:14] that was awesome. It also doesn't surprise me that you would be the kind of person that would be interviewing your future quarter versus the other way around just having known you for years now that does not surprise me at all. Um, and so yeah, well I think what's great too is like obviously you get to work at a lot and then you get to kind of handle, you know, events and things on the side too if you want. So I want to kind of transitioned into some of that as well. I'm kind of, how did you start entering, you know, doing some other events and, and what were your thoughts kind of entering that kind of outside, outside just the salon working.

[16:44] Yeah. Um, well another person you interviewed, Don at the time, she's done Padgett, I don't remember what, Boylston complaintant yeah, she's someone I looked up to because she did a lot of weddings and away and when she left, you know, not a lot of people did that and I wanted to be an integral part of that and I was like, send me places. Like I've been into Bremerton. I've been to veshawn a bunch of times, you know, I've been downtown or a lot of times they'll come to us and like it's such a beautiful, exciting day and I love being a part of that. Um, whether I haven't met you before or I've known you for years. Um, and then I expanded. I just taught myself how to do makeup and I'd practice on people and I was like, that's gonna help, you know, so they don't have to reach out.

[17:28] Oh I have to get here from this person, but I have to contact the salon, you know, it's, I, I would rather be more of like a one stop shop. And right now we have another girl, Michelle. She does fantastic makeup. I'm like, go, like, get on this train, you know, and she's doing updates to, and I want, I want to have a team of people and I've just kind of just headstrong in head strong in that was like, and we just went to Rachel, I'm like, this is what I want to do, you know, if, if you show initiative she'll just. So she's like, yeah, take the reins, may go for it and do it. And I, I love to just travel around and just bring all my stuff and make people feel good and then just get out and let them do their thing.

[18:05] Uh, was it, was it. I'm like, when I come to entered weddings, I didn't really have any clue of why that was even like, was that a foreign world to you? Were you, did you, were you nervous going into that? You know, as someone like, you're pretty like liberal, like me, you know, like tattoos and stuff ever. I mean, was that like before? I mean, when I thought, I mean nowadays I think Seattle is a little more, like, pretty easy going into it, but like from the outside when I started I'm like, oh, this is like really like buttoned up, tight lace, whatever, and like were you scared at all or did you.

[18:36] No, based off appearance. I where all black and I have a lot more tattoos now than I did when I started off. Um, but I usually, I don't try to cover up. I'm not, I'm more behind the scenes and so it's a little safer there, you know, they may have a photographer take some pictures of the bride getting her hair set or something. But other than that, like I'm not, I'm in behind the curtain and so it's a safe place for me. It's like, you know, the room's not there. Most of the family is not there. It's her and the bridesmaids maybe mother of the bride and it was just girlfriends and they're most likely drinking mimosas and it's, it's a, it's a very calming, awesome vibe. So now, I mean I get nervous or makeup because people can be very particular on makeup and you know, I love it when they have photos and they're ready and they know what they want.

[19:23] It's really hard and I think it takes time in, you know, in another interview of yours who are wedding coordinator to like what you've said. So winning behind his hair and makeup, I'm like, I totally get that. I think a lot of it has to do with they don't know what they want. So there were cutting into active time by like, well let's search on Pinterest when this probably should've been done weeks ago, you know, and they're like, oh, just something subtle. Like I don't know, you, I don't know what your subtle is. I don't know what your dramatic is. So I'm like, and I don't have time to Redo your makeup if you don't like it, you know, I want to get it right the first time. And so that can be a little little stressful. Um, but I've, I've done so many I can like, all right, who knows what they want. Okay. You don't. All right, you still looking pictures. I'm gonna work on this girl. I'm all set her at, you know, like I can do that on the fly and set like a quick schedule. Most of the time they're really good at sticking to a schedule and most of the time I know them and so they know what to expect from me so I know what to expect from them.

[20:14] Do you like, I mean, and I've talked with other, you know, hair and makeup people have to wear like um, you know, the hair and makeup like really does kind of set that tone for the day and it's like that first kind of, you know, building block for everything. I mean do you enjoy like being part of weddings as a whole? Do you enjoy like your piece of that or is it just the connections you're making with people and it could be a wedding or it could be anything else?

[20:34] Um, I liked that piece of it and I liked the connections. I don't like the whole because I'm, I like to kind of get in and get out unless I'm a guest, you can get wrangled into other things like, oh, can you just, you know, can you help with this? I'm like, no, I want this is know. Most of the time I'm like, this is my Sunday or you know, like I, I like to do this and I love my energy and my time with you guys. But when it's done it's done. Um, but I like, you know, like I've been seeing, you know, this person for years and I finally get to meet their mom that we've been talking, talking so much about or their knees or, you know, and like that's really special. Like I feel like I already know them because I've heard so much about them and I love to enter it in a calming sense. You know, when people show up late, it's like, okay, you know, that's good. This started like I'm not super as I don't come up as militant as I seem like I'm coming off now. That's all going on in my head. But like, I do like to keep it like calm, but in order so the bride doesn't stress, you know, that's the main concern. We don't want her. Gino emotions do go, why can you.

[21:40] And so is it, are you going to continue expanding on this wedding side and, and kind of building this together mean do you see that something you're going to work towards during the next couple of years?

[21:48] Um, you know, I don't want it to take away from what I do at the salon, like the other things I do. And so I don't want to expand on it too. I'm pretty comfy where I'm at right now. Um, I am also an educator at the advanced training program that we have and so I'd actually like to expand more on that. And so maybe like a third of my time is education. A third of my time is what I do at the salon and another third is, you know, maybe spending a few days doing wedding stuff, you know. And so I don't want to put my fingers in too many pies just because I like to really give it a lot and I have a lot to give, but only like in three piles, three prior and current events, you know, talk more about this education and where does that passion come from?

[22:35] Um, you know, I had a really good experience when I went through the education and there's things I'm like, oh, I love the way they did this or you know, what, I would change this. And each time, you know, we bring in a new student or each lesson we do, I'm like, you know what, I feel like I could've done that better. But I also like to get their feedback because I've been a student for so long, you know, for so many different things. Um, I, I want to make sure I'm giving them what they need to succeed. Uh, but again, you know, I learned, I learned more when I teach. And so I'm thinking, you know, when I'm teaching a haircut, I'm like, why is it I do that? And maybe I can explain to them why you do that and why you wouldn't do that.

[23:14] Um, and I just kind of geek out about it. I love hair, you know, and I love learning about, you know, why here comes back curly when you know, you it falls out from radiation chemotherapy, you know, and to Cotilla mania and all kinds of like those quirky things. And I think that's part of the passion and like the why and the when and where, and you know, giving people information. I think that's, that kind of helps build that trust when they're in the chair and we talk about hair and they're like, wow, she really knows a lot about this stuff. You know. I mean I'm not the best hairstylist out there, but I think it builds that trust and that connection.

[23:49] Yeah. Well, so it's where it's not like a one size fits all in terms of like how people learn or how people teaching me. I would just have to think that that would be difficult to kind of like challenging I guess is, is, you know, like learned very differently than somebody else. And so you're on that other side, you know, you kind of have to figure out, you know, and I think that probably relates to just how you handle working with different clients have to, where it's a lot of different like personalities and stuff when you find that, like you're pretty good at like getting the people are different than kind of teaching those lessons.

[24:17] I read energies. Yeah. Um, and besides just asking, I can tell when someone's getting frustrated with something, I'm like, okay, let's take a break, you know, and I think working with so many different personalities, hairstylist and then having so many people in my chair just in one day let alone a year, you know, I think I can enter like a go with the flow and like just change how I need to, but it's, it's reading energy and personalities and so, and a physical kind of cues or whatever that's called a physical cues. Yeah. Yeah. Uh, I'm just going based off of that, I think I'm asking them like, is this working? You know, because I like to after class I like to meet and be like, okay, what do you need from me? What was working? Are you getting at, you know, like I'm not just here to teach and get a paycheck. I want to make sure you're getting everything you need and you're comfortable and comfortable with me, you know, if like if I'm teaching in a way or if I'm a little too soft and a little too hard, you know, or put too pushy, like let me know or I was, I'm to keep doing it. Thinking it's working.

[25:24] Do you enjoy kind of. I, I mean I think of like, oh on like this line like west Seattle and like, you know, it's like right there, you know, kind of as you come and go and, and you've been there so long now. Do you enjoy kind of like being a part of this? Obviously like the west side community and kind of making that mark and all the different people and stuff. Seven. Talk about like you know as like a hair stylist has been there for so long, like all the different people. And stories and things that you've kind of gotten to be a part of?

[25:47] Yeah. Um, we're, I mean we're kind of hidden place, but people know Ola and I mean I cut the hair of Tracy who owns virago and I see joey and Alaska street tattoo parlor awake. We're kind of like all intertwine and the best way possible. Like it's not very small town feeling but it is in a good way. Um, you know, it's a lot of shop local kind of stuff and it's all, what's the handles? Kind of like a big family, but there's always room for more. But there's still like that base of like we care about each other and we cared about each other's businesses and we support each other. And I love that, you know, I'll come in to Ola and I'm never sick of walking through that door and smelling that smell and seeing these people, you know, and it's, it's always just like a comforting feeling. I get all my packages shipped to Ola because I'm there more than I am anywhere else. That's, that's home. I'm just going to ship here. Thank you. Um, but it's so funny, I love and I this, I'm like, well that does that someone will be in my chair and I'll someone walk in and be like, oh my God Susan. I'm like, yeah, she's Susan comes here. You didn't know she comes to, you know, it's just so funny or you know, six degrees of separation and it's crazy small freaking world.

[26:59] Uh, one day I want to come and get your opinion on just because where I hear silence and you do weddings, beer, you know, kind of like, I think you're very opinionated and kind of, you know, you're, you look, you're not like in, in, in the wedding industry where you interact with it. Like what are some like common like you're talking about like people, you know, having their makeup and stuff ready to go or know what they want. Like what are some things you wish she has someone that's like in and out kinda like the things would make it easier for you or easier for the brides are easier. Like I always say like what are common misconceptions with like, you know, your whoever's industry and are there things that you notice about that kind of like, this is like you're a soap box to get onto a.

[27:40] I think there can be a misconception, which I used to do this when I was a kid. When I go to a hair salon or something and I see the most trendiest person, they're like, I want them to do my hair when really they just started and they don't know what they hell they're doing, you know? Uh, I think when people see my look, you know, if I have my sharpie eyebrows on in my big winged eyeliner and they're like, I want subtle. And sometimes they're like, I don't want that. Like that's okay. I know I'm going to be an extreme look. You know? And when I had my lime green hair and I think I love proving myself and then letting them know and I love showing pictures of like, I can do this, you know, I'm a blonde but I can do brunettes.

[28:20] I work crazy makeup but I can do soft. And Pretty, and I liked that challenge, uh, and sometimes I, you know, I think it's, you need the proof is in the pudding. So, I mean people can believe, okay, you know, I believe her when she says that, but I liked doing it and then them, they're really being amazed and that makes me excited when they feel good and they feel that I feel that little bit of trust, you know, grow even more. Um, but yeah, I mean, don't judge, don't judge a book by how people look. Um, you know, just because someone has punky hair doesn't mean they know how to do punky hair, you know, just because someone was a button in their hair doesn't mean they don't know how to rock a mullet on somebody else. You know, I encourage people to look at reviews.

[29:02] I always look at reviews when I buy stuff online. I'm like, well, what is, what's really going on here? A lot of my, I have a lot of reviews on forgot for A. I haven't told anybody to do it, but the main thing they say is that I listened and I love that. And that just makes my heart smile so much because I do want people to feel like they're heard and I'm not just here to do what I think they should have, you know, um, I could put my opinion out there but, or my professional suggestion, but I want to make them happy what they, you know, I'm like, okay girl, you want to try it. Okay. And if you want to keep rocking it, that's cool too, you know? Um, but yeah, I think the misconception is don't judge on people, help people look, just look at the reviews and they're credited that ability.

[29:45] Yeah. Kinda defining expectations. I think that's good. I'm talking about. So when you're not cutting it in silent and do makeup. I know tattoos are a big part of your life. Talk about kind of that and the inspiration over the years. And I know because I saw you and you've been going through this big recent piece and kind of talking about the passion behind that and why you kind of continued to, to check that out.

[30:06] Even when I was young, I loved to pretend put piercings. I'm a self and a John Myself and tattoos and I think it's just a fun thing, but as I was getting more tattoos, I feel it's almost, yeah, it's an expression of like, you know, a lot of my tattoos mean something. Some of them don't mean anything and I just liked and I think they're pretty and I'm okay with having them for the rest of my life and it's almost like maybe not, I don't want to say armor, but like a protection for me. Um, you know, like this piece on my chest, you know, I just, it feels close to my heart or, and I'm fine with people asking about them. Like, why did you get that, you know, if, if it comes from a good place of actual questioning, not condescending, like why did you get that?

[30:53] You know, I'm, I'm always down to ask questions or did that hurt or, you know? Um, but I think it's just, I think it helps make me stand out in a way, but I'm not looking to look flashy. Um, and I've always just loved the look. I just, I, I like to look different. Um, I'm not, I don't like to be a star of a show, you know, I don't need to like come in and be like, Hey, look at me. But you know, just like walking by like, oh, that's an interesting piece. She pulls it off or you know, I've seen it done that on other people. The big recent piece I'm talking about this thing hurt. It's a big Ole death moth on my throat when I actually, this is the only piece I'll get pieces and I won't say anything and people just, Oh, you got a new tattoo.

[31:36] Okay. You know, and they're usually pretty big. This one I felt like I think I need to tell my parents before not ask their permission, but I'm like, I'm probably just going to let them know. I let my dad knows is a couple of days before Christmas and I said, Dad, I have a thing this coming Saturday. And he's like, how much is it? Gonna cost me. I said nothing. He was like, all right, can you do what you want? And I told her it was. He's like, okay. And then Christmas Eve at my sister's or kind of all in the kitchen, my mom and my making someone else was in the living room and we can, it's like a straight shot you could see. And she's like, did you tell mom? And I was like, not yet. She's like, you need to do it now.

[32:13] Sounds like go do it. Um, so I go over there, I sit next to her and they're all staring at me and I was like, you can't stare at me, like, just let me do this. Mom was like, Oh God, what is it? So I avoided aggressive words like throat. And I was like, you know, I'm going to get a tattoo. She's like, oh my God were. And she had me promise her years ago not to get any on my face, so I'm going to hold true to that promise. Um, but he told her, I was like, I'm going to get them off butterfly, you know, looking thing. She's like, where I'm like, oh my neck, you know, and I didn't, I wasn't going to answer any teller. Give her any information that she didn't ask for so she didn't ask where she didn't ask how big.

[32:49] I was like, okay, I'm in the clear this is happening. It was going to happen regardless. But I felt bad. I just, I, the weight was lifted, you know, because I'm like, that's kind of an intense place to get. Well not just pain wise, you know, like that's. I felt like the hand tattoo in the knuckle tattoos were sealing my fate. Like this really is like, this is my life now. Like there's no corporate for me. There never was, but this kind of guarantees it. But I just, I love that because you know, you can get 16 people all covered in tattoos, but they're all different styles, all different colors, all different things. You know, it's so funny how you can look all the same but totally different. And I love that. And that's kind of the same about hair. You know? Right now what's really in error shags and people are scared of that word, but I think it's, it's catered in so many different ways.

[33:34] Mine's more of like a seventies rubber plant kind of Shag and today it's kind of more of like an eighties, you know, David Lee Roth one. Um, but I think it could be like a fun thing, like Shag is kind of a general cookie cutter, but it's a thing, just lots of layers around the face but like maybe a little longer in the back. I'm bangs or no bangs, but you know, we kind of mold it to make it their own and sometimes I avoid the void, the word Shag until I tell them like, okay, so this is what you with this, we want you. And I was like, well cool because shags are really in right now, you know, and people want to be hip and in and I'm and it, if I put the word to it after they already like it, it's not so scary.

[34:15] Shag carpet. Right. I think people maybe think I'm like Dorothy Hamill or, or, you know, some super 60. He's like, I don't think I want that in my, you cut my hair and I cut dorothy's here on the shower. We're not, we're probably not to people to ask about. That's why I asked you, is it tough to keep up on those things? Is it tough to kind of figure out what's going to be popular? Not really because I've, I'm on instagram a lot. I look at funny memes. I look at political stuff, you know, that's where I get my news, feed a, you know, if I just turn on the news, it's just, it's a lot of fluff and just nothing but bad news. I want to get like really what's going on politically, but, you know, in the world, but I follow a lot of hair stuff.

[35:05] Um, and I don't want to do what's just in trend, but what's in trend that I like. And it's like, well, I'm like, I think that that's really going somewhere. I think this could be really cool and fit on a lot of my clients, you know, not just, Oh, I'm going to do this on you because it's a trend. I don't think this really goes with your hair but, but you know, you can get information so fast and I'm a little like add on like I can take it super fast too and I'll save videos. I'm like, I'm going to come back to that and I'm looking at it and like I break it down each time I see it I'm like, okay, that's pretty cool. Or even in color, you know, just different ways of doing things, different ways of Bali and like 32nd video can teach me so much more than sometimes going, you know, paying $300 and going to a seminar because it's just fast, quick. I like just, you know, like cliff notes, like we were talking earlier, you know, I'm like just give me the dates. I don't need all this fluff. So I mean I, I think it's not hard if it's fun for you and you want to learn and you know, but people can be stuck in their ways and just stuck in doing the same thing over it. But if it works for them, you know, and obviously they're still successful age today, you know,

[36:08] it's tough because we're, I think like you guys in like if you're, you know, maybe like a design, you know, there's certain jobs like vendor types in terms like weddings and events that you could more or less kind of have to know like what's on trend. Even if you're deciding I'm going to do that or not. And like, I mean I guess it's that way in video a little bit. Like there's certain like styles right now that are like really popular. We're like a little more not come on that. But like I just film whatever. So if I get a bride that's like got the coolest hair dude, that's like most on trend or not, like that doesn't affect like what I do, I just captured like you guys really have to know what to do and like what's coming up and kind of how. I don't know, I just think it's a lot more challenging I guess. Um, just because like you, my videos are data. They're not just because of like, what's going on, but you really have to like, no, I don't know, I just think it's a lot more challenging to kind like have to be up on it on the other.

[37:03] Yeah, I can see that. And on your shoes for me, I think like fashion would be that because that's like ever so changing, you know, every season even. And sometimes a can be. I mean, should I started somewhere and it's still here, you know, it's like, it's a good little logo back to when, you know, we're not coming out with many new things, you know, everything's regurgitation, even fashion I guess. But yeah, like that just seems so intimidating and I have my associates in the stuff. So I never thought we were talking about shag haircut so much. Freaking the Shag.

[37:38] Uh, so how do you, you said that, you know, every time you go in, you know, it's always exciting. How do you stay motivated and how do you stay? Always kind of like, you know, approaching like every new day and like what do you look forward to and how do you help you grow in the next couple?

[37:51] Yeah, well I don't treat everyday the same. I don't treat every client the same and each same client. I don't treat the St. you know, like you, you come in every few weeks, you're not going to change, you're going to let me know if you want to change it up. I haven't, you know, if I see someone once every couple months, I don't assume they want the same thing, you know, like what are you thinking, what are you liking you and how can we change it up? And that kind of helps. Even if they don't want to change it up. That's my responsibility to myself tonight. Get into like a mundane seems he seems ease and they'll. So that's what makes me excited, you know, even just looking at my books, this, this person's new, you know, they look for a color, what do they really want? You know, like they're wonderful, highlight, guarantee it, you know.

[38:29] Um, but even st people, I'm like, okay, you know, they change up their here. I'm like, what are you, is your hair going to look like even just catching up with them because I connect with these people and I know about their breakups and weddings and deaths and babies and animals. And so that makes me excited to come to work. And the people we work with, we don't just see each other at work, we go to events together together. We go to concerts and picnics, sleepovers. So you know, and so it's, it doesn't really feel like work and sometimes I step back and like I get paid to, to this fun and like it's, it's not, sometimes it's not about what you do but who you do it with and where you do it in the environment. And it just makes me so happy about life, you know, because I feel like it domino effects and other things where it's like, well, you know, it's not so bad, you know, we can, it's just today or that's just that moment, you know, and we can reflect on it later. You know, I got to do here right now.

[39:27] Uh, I wouldn't forgive myself if I didn't talk about your love of Tvs, movies, uh, holidays, Halloween. I'll talking about some of the other passions that you have. You kind of interspersed between doing, you know, hair, makeup events, and

[39:42] yeah, my whole thing with. I have a big heart for Halloween and horror and I'm not an adrenaline junky in a sense where I don't rock climb or skydive. I keep my two feet on the ground, you know, I don't want to do that stuff. I'm lazy, but, and I'll keep my button, the living room watching horror movies. This morning I was scrolling through looking at tons of conspiracy theory stuff and aliens and ghosts. And I like to be challenged intellectually like that, you know, I'm always asking why or where, but how, you know. And um, I, I think I, it started, I mean, even when I was really young, I was watching from the dark side and tales from the crypt and I, sister and brother were watching Barney, you know, and I didn't want to have anything to do with that stuff. Uh, and growing up, you know, nightmare on elm street was my Freddy Cougar's, my favorite boogey man.

[40:32] I mean that's such a cool concept, like kill you and your dreams and you're kind of helpless. Like that's crazy. Um, and it, can, it grow into, you know, my love for Halloween. Obviously the two kind of go hand in hand. I even have a whole Halloween Tattoo on my arm, you know, and um, my Christmas bins, I have like two or three. My Halloween bins I have four and growing. I get stuff every year. One year for Christmas I just asked for Halloween decorations. It's just such a happy, creepy place to be a and it doesn't have to be long lasting, scary. Like it's a fun little jump of scare and like that's my adrenaline and you know, if there is a serial killer on the loose, I know what to do. You don't run upstairs, you pick up your feet when you're running, you don't trip, you know, you grabbed that knife for the guidance when the gun runs out of bullets, you throw the gun at the person, you know, like I think, you know, Zombie apocalypse. I would know how to survive. So stick with me, you. And

[41:29] that's awesome. One of the other podcasts I listened to, they do sample every week and this week they did a all about conspiracies and they had this guy come on and I'm not like big guy, but in about 15 minutes on there I was like, you know, I really buy into this stuff really was, it really was scary and it was talking about a Michael Jordan retiring when you went to go play baseball, but it was like a cover for his gambling addiction and it was like this whole thing. But it was really fascinating and I've thought on man, like if I'm not careful, like I could totally be a. wasn't totally on the conspiracy thing. So I, I enjoy that. We have that in common.

[42:08] Not a bad place to be. I think. I think it's a very eyeopening place to be and you don't have to be fully enthralled enthralled in it or be like, drink the Koolaid on it, just just keep it in your back pocket even and, and keep that information handy and you're like, hmm. It could be, you know, and like just like aliens. Like I know they exist. I know the government knows they exist, but can the general public handle that information? Heck no, but you guys can tell me because I already know they exist. So that's included Candi and on that head, k, k big brother. But it's just, it's not just fun knowledge, but it's very interesting stuff, you know. And how deep down that rabbit hole do you want to go? Because I go pretty deep. I don't, you know, the ghost stuff and I'll see videos and stuff. Even I don't read that stuff before bed. I'll do it in the morning when I'm just being lazy with my kitty cats and I'm like okay, let's watch this video. Or I watched that. I read a feet about how to properly use a Ouija board. You don't get a real board, you get a piece of paper so you can destroy it later and like had a asked spirits, everything. And

[43:11] so what is this though about using the reg board?

[43:15] Yeah, well it's the paper so you can dispose of it. Uh, you should be able to just kind of get rid of it easily because I guess spirits can bring it back and manipulate the board and, and maybe even hunt the board, you know, there's the whole little piece with the eye that they can mr with. Uh, she even said things like if it scrolls across the numbers, it's trying to escape. I mean, I don't mess with that stuff. I'll never use a Ouija board. I do believe in spooks and I'm not trying to poke my finger and that's, I'll watch videos. I'll watch other people mess around with. I love ghost adventures. Um, and goes to investors on another thing is my favorite show because other ghost hunting shows, they'll hear a noise and then they'll start talking to you. You hear that? Did you get.

[43:57] I'm like, shut up so you can hear it again. And there'll be, and they'll actually listen for it. They use the infrared, they have all the cool stuff and like I've actually seen stuff on their infrared and like heard the voices. Um, I think sometimes stretching with the voices. Oh, he said this model on it, but it's super fun to be an audience for that and not a player. And I keep my safe distance. But yeah, the paper we do board so you can just straight later. It was a whole thing. I mean, I, it was like one of the first ones I scroll through this morning. And so it's been like 80 pages deep in their fascinating stuff.

[44:35] Uh, lastly, before we go, one thing you wish more people knew about you or asked about or that you wanted to tell people, this is your last chance forever.

[44:44] I'm actually kind of an introvert. I'm as rambunctious and charismatic as I am. Um, I socialize a lot and I'll talk to strangers, you know, and I'll take myself out to dinner and just talk to everybody. But I really find my energy and comfort when I'm just home, you know, um, whether it's, you know, my brother lives with me, what it was hanging out with him or literally like just me and my cats or just staying in bed literally all day. Like that's, that's kind of my happier. I'm recharging place, uh, also playing magic, the gathering. Super Fun. Um, and it's, it's a game of chance as well as skill.

[45:25] I have a shoe box downstairs in our storage. You have magic cards from years ago and I don't know what to do. And I did. Oh, here's. No. So we took him into, um, what was that meatballs a, it's like a game store by. I'm like Bob The junction and I took it in and they said, well we buy like magic the gathering cards here. And dorothy and I were there for something else. I said, Oh, do you guys, can I like bring in a bunch of these cards and can you guys. Yeah. I don't know if they're worth a dollar $10,000 for you. Then he said, oh, we'll give them to you for store credit because we don't know. We don't know if they're still under, not, so we don't want. I was like, I want a bunch of, like, I don't want $10,000 or the store credit to meatballs. I want money, I don't care if it's $100.

[46:10] It's a lot of work to kind of go through all of them and look online, but it could be worth it. I know we did that with my brothers, Pokemon cards. I mean, I think the, the most valued one was like $3, but it was like, it was fun. I did that with coins before and I'm like, oh, this is a quarter. Is it messed up? Like, let's Google this thing, you know? Um, and it's, I like the hunt, I love to hunt. I'm like, is it, you know, and it's, it's. And even if it's not, it's like, okay, well that was fun. You know, or even when you know goodwill, you know, I shop there a lot and I love the hunt, you know. And um, so I'd sometimes I cross my fingers, I'm like, Lord, I don't want to find any, I hope I find nothing, but I like just kind of looking at stuff, you know, and just taking my time so it could be fun.

[46:55] Thank you so much for coming in today. I know I see you every couple of weeks, uh, at the salon, but it's so nice to Kinda just get to hear a little bit about your background and growing up and everything else is Rosie here. Is making noise on the floor. Um, if people want to learn more about you, I know you have your instagram, you work at a salon, what would you have people check out and look at it?

[47:14] Um, there's my instagram, I have a lot of before and afters pages of my cats and a lot of political stuff, but it's Candizzle12 there's a picture of me and my scrunchy face and my neck tattoo there. And it's open, you know, like you don't have to follow you, you just come creep on my page if you want. But uh, yeah, he can just come check out the salon, just come in and visit. It's a super welcoming place. We'll give you a cup of tea and just check it out and hang out in the lobby and we'll give you a little tour and it's just, it's a beautiful happy place. Ola on Avalon way next to Luna Park cafe.

[47:49] Yes, I'm right, that's right where I used to live. That's why I started going to the Salon. So as this has been another episode of Get to Know Your Wedding Pro if you want. I've been talking to people recently about liking, subscribing, leaving reviews on the podcast. You can actually just go to the I have a really nice link set up. If you want to leave us a review, that would be awesome and it would just kind of help more people find the podcast. I don't want to do any advertising on here, but that would be great for more people to do that. This has been another episode of Get to Know Your Wedding Pro. Check back next week for another wedding vendor interview. Thanks so much.