Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in event planning but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tracie Simon, Founder of LeFeast, located in New York City, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
LeFeast is an event creation agency that offers services that result in gathering over a meal. We work with clients to create experiences their guests will never forget. As full-service planners, we work with many clients in the non-profit space, along with private clients in the luxury sector. We help organizations and brands create buzz-worthy events that enhance their offerings, and we create memorable celebrations for milestone occasions.
Tell us about yourself
I started LeFeast as a means to help others break bread. I'm an Event Planner, Mother, and Spaghetti Enthusiast — in no particular order. With nineteen years of experience in hospitality and a lifelong love of entertaining, I ventured out on my own and started LeFeast in 2017, an event creation agency with a culinary edge. Every event planner has a niche specialty, and the name speaks for itself — I am very passionate about food. I am a firm believer that sharing meals and breaking bread with others is the key to a happy life, so I dedicated mine to helping others do just that.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Throughout my career, I have always stayed true to myself and am honest with my clients. As a child, I was raised to always tell the truth, and I am grateful for that life lesson. It has allowed me to stay on course, and I believe it is the reason for my growth. When something doesn't fit the mold, I speak up. When I feel uncomfortable, I embrace it and try to find comfort. I've never been afraid to tell my clients my true feelings and opinions. Sometimes they take them, and sometimes they don't, and that is perfectly fine too. Being open and honest allows me to learn more about my clients and for them to learn more about me. In my industry, you become very close with your clients, and if honesty doesn't exist, I feel it can hold you back from accomplishing great things!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things you will face as a business owner is dealing with the unknown. Every day there will be new challenges and obstacles to deal with. Business is never predictable, no matter how prepared you are. One of the best ways to navigate through the unknowns is to put a routine in place that helps you get into the right mindset each day.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- You have to get comfortable taking risks and be willing to make bold decisions. At times, decision-making can require a high level of assertiveness and decisiveness.
- Don't be afraid to ask for help. When you are the CEO or founder of a company, you are the go-to person for the entire business. This can feel a bit isolating at times. Learning to delegate and building a strong team that you can trust will allow you to have a great support system in place. This can allow you to focus on the things that really matter as a CEO-- working on the vision and growing your business.
- Find your work/life blend rather than work/life balance. Being an Entrepreneur and a Mom can consist of long hours, tedious work, and constant worrying if you're doing it right. Funny how the core tenets of both jobs are the same. Too often, we think of career and family life as two entirely different spheres. I had to change my ways to allow parenthood and business to co-exist with one another. I gave myself permission to do two things at once, and I recommend you do the same.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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