Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Valentina Porro, founder of Valentina Weddings & Events and The Flat Lays Styler, located in San Diego, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Valentina Weddings & Events is a boutique wedding planning & design company based in Southern California and Lake Como, Italy. We are influenced by European romanticism. We absolutely love creating weddings with a timeless look, incorporating each couple's style and story to design weddings that truly represent them!
Tell us about yourself
I was born in Switzerland, and I grew up on the beautiful Lake Como. My family always had my back, so when in my late 20s, I decided to press the reset button, and I looked for a work experience abroad, they were happy and excited for me. I was hired as a trainee by an upscale hotel in San Diego, and there is where my interest in events and weddings all started. In a couple of years, I went from being the new foreign receptionist to managing corporate and social events. Of course, weddings were part of it! I loved executing weddings so much that after spending more than five years working for events in luxury hotels, I decided to open my own wedding planning company to design, plan and execute flawless events for my couples.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My ability to adapt and pivot during the pandemic. As we all know, the event industry in 2020 and 2021 was greatly impacted. At the time, we didn't even know how long this would last, so I started to think about what else I could incorporate in my business while the event industry was recovering and in order to make it while many other businesses were shutting down. That is when The Flat Lays Styler was born, a company that specializes in the production of hand-painted, rollable, styling mats and backdrops for wedding photographers! Today I divide my time between planning weddings and painting beautiful surfaces for photographers!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Being able to manage all aspects of the business on your own. When you are a business owner, especially in the beginning, you are the production, the marketing, the accounting, the PR, the logistics. It is easy to go crazy! You have to make sure you are willing to wear those hats until you are financially and mentally ready to outsource some of the things that you don't love doing. It is important that you know that there will be days where you spend most of your time doing the "thing you love the most." There will be other days where you'll have to spend hours doing tasks that are maybe not so enjoyable but that are necessary!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be very clear on what you offer and to who do you show it.
- Be financially prepared when you open a business; most of the time, it will take some time to have stable revenue; how are you going to survive over those months?
- Look at other entrepreneurs solely to learn and to get inspired, not to bring yourself down because you are not there yet!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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