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Conversations with the Inspiring Rebekah Kim

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rebekah Kim.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My story began years ago, I was around twelve when I was exposed to the joy of event planning. I was elected to be on the events committee of the student council and coordinated all the major activities on campus. The months of planning and preparation, the anticipation of the big day, the rush of excitement when everything unfolds and the successful execution of a memorable event, these were all things that gave me joy and satisfaction. Ever since then, I found an excuse to plan a special event whenever I could.

During college, I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in weddings and events so I decided to transfer to UNLV, one of the few colleges I knew of to offer a degree in event management. Las Vegas, known for their hotels, events and hospitality, was surrounded with professionals in the industry. During this time, I learned the professional and technical side of events, growing from a passionate hobby to the beginning of my craft.

Once I graduated, I moved back to LA to apply my newly acquired education to real life. However, finding a job was not as easy as I thought. I made several attempts in internships and a few part time positions. While not afraid of hard work, it was hard to endure the unfair demands and harsh situations to a recent college graduate. Ultimately, I ended up having to find a full-time job in a different field to pay my bills. I was still offering my time on the side to help with weddings because it was still my passion and I wanted to be a part of them whenever I got the chance.

It wasn’t until I married my husband that I was able to build up the courage to quit my job and start my own business full time. Providence and Planning started out small, planning weddings for friends and family, but has grown since and every event I’m grateful to meet each couple and build more than a clientele but wonderful friendships.

Has it been a smooth road? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way? Any advice for other women, particularly young women who are just starting their journey?
Definitely not, there has been so much growth since day one, but even though it hasn’t been smooth, I’m thankful for the lessons learned and opportunity to keep growing. In the beginning, I had to overcome my fear of starting my own business. Thoughts of failure, weighing the risks, thinking about the “what if’s” made me fearful of moving forward. However, starting was half the battle and after a little push from those around me, I began the process of building my own company. The process hasn’t been smooth and there was a lot of trial and error especially since I had no one to turn to or ask for help. Especially since running a business is so much more than just planning events.

Thankfully in turn and with support from people around me, I was able to create my own business practices while remembering my training from college and past experiences from my previous jobs. I believe there is always room to grow, especially in this industry where change is rapid, I’m constantly learning from others and looking for ways to improve.

My advice for anyone starting out would be to build their experience and relationships. With anything, actually experiencing something yourself versus reading about it is more valuable. Learning from the people you work with will save you from making the same mistakes while helping you gain knowledge.

Adding on to that, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to build the right relationships. Most of my referrals are from either the vendors that I know or the clients that I have worked with in the past. It always helps to be prepared when meeting with clients and vendors, be professional and courteous. This builds a trust between all parties.

While starting out, I wish I would have reached out more to those around me to ask for help. We often think that we are alone but contrary to what we think, there are many business owners out there that that have gone through the same stages and problems. There’s lots of tips and advice and sometimes all it takes is asking.

So, let’s switch gears a bit and go into Providence and Planning story. Tell us more about the business.
Providence and Planning is a full-service wedding and event planning company. I wouldn’t say I’m known for anything yet. Haha. What I am working towards though, is thoughtful and quality experience for my couples. The satisfaction in this line of work comes from a memorable and joyful day for them, their friends and family. This is why we try to limit the number of weddings or events each year, so that each client receives the care and personal attention necessary. We take pride in trying to give the best experience we can in coordinating and designing a beautiful and elegant wedding.

Through our caring, we have built numerous relationships with couples who also trust us to be a part of other special occasions in their lives as well. For every event, we make it our goal to be there for each couple so that they can enjoy their special day and not miss the significance of the moment.

For good reason, society often focuses more on the problems rather than the opportunities that exist, because the problems need to be solved. However, we’d probably also benefit from looking for and recognizing the opportunities that women are better positioned to capitalize on. Have you discovered such opportunities?
Yes, I would say that the internet and social media has allowed for more opportunities for women entrepreneurs and I see a large community of supporters out there to encourage one another. For me, as a wedding planner, I find that having the emotional intelligence is definitely a skill and an advantage for women in this industry. It’s not something you learn from the books or school but being able to identify and understand my bride’s emotions is a plus. And in turn, I am able to create a bond and a trust with my clients.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Ether and Smith Photography
Etcetera Productions
Czar Goss Photography
Sara Weir Photography
Melanie Osorio Photography

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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