Today we’d like to introduce you to Blaire Kimball.
Blaire, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Originally called LASUNSHINE in 2012, we began as a handmade decor company that used vintage & recycled items, turning them into event/home decor. To increase our inventory selection and sales, my husband and I began to collect vintage furniture, and in our small rented garage, refurbish them into beautiful pieces. After acquiring many furniture and decor items, we decided selling wasn’t our niche, but after a few friends asking to borrow items for photoshoots and events, renting vintage was definitely in our future!
Then in early 2013, we changed our name to Sparkles and Vintage and became a vintage rental company. Our business came mostly from word of mouth and doing local Bridal shows like “Brideworld” to get our name out there. We steadily did the vintage rentals for a couple years, and slowly transitioned into coordination & event styling… then onto providing full planning services in 2014. Now fast forward to 2016, and we are now a full-service event planning company, providing services for weddings, bar & bat mitzvahs, anniversaries and the like!
Our company has literally blossomed into a butterfly, from a small cocoon of handmade decor to fully curated event planning company in merely a little under 4 years. We are also so humbled to have received two awards via The Knot- Best of Weddings in Los Angels for two years in a row, both 2016 & 2017. But I truly owe all of my gratitude to my clients. They trusted us, they continue to refer us to friends & family, and I am so fortunate to still be able to call these clients my friends today. I love what I do, and I’d love for you to become a part of the SAVevent family!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Oh yes! We have definitely had some high highs and super low lows… In the first few years, I actually contemplated closing down my business, I’d say about 2-3 times. So when business got tough, I’d have a part-time job, continue to sell furniture, or do styled shoots for free to increase exposure and in turn work with other professionals in hopes to get referrals.
But yeah, running a small business is not cake. It’s more like a yummy pie with some small nails thrown in. In the very beginning, it was tough, never knowing when your next gig or paycheck would be, or if you could even afford to purchase that chair to refurbish it to make a little extra money.
Like any business, you also have customer service. Wanting to provide the best possible service for your clients, while balancing paperwork, taxes, people to work for you, making sure to get paid on time etc. I have solely ran the business of SAV on my own, having friends help me here and there with gigs, but in the beginning, my husband jumping in as my non-paid assistant.
I think the greatest thing I learned from starting my own business, is to never to give up. As cheesy as that sounds, it’s so true. Four years ago, I would never thought SAV would be where it is today. But it blossomed, it was curated, the company vision changed several times, and quite frankly you evolve. You evolve with the trends, the times, your clients, you just have to make it work. So don’t give up! Push forward, work through the struggles, when you feel like giving up- reflect, write in a journal, figure out the things that aren’t working, research your competition, see what’s working.. make changes on your own, but don’t ever give up.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Sparkles and Vintage story. Tell us more about the business.
Sparkles and Vintage is a full-service event planning company. I specialize in planning weddings, but also provide event planning services for bar & bat mitzvahs, birthdays, anniversaries etc.
I assist our clients in planning the best wedding/event that best represents their life and story. Often times we create handmade signs that they are able to keep after the event, or even build a custom wood backdrop display for a photo booth, reaching back to our roots of handmade decor. All the way down to the details of their timeline of how their day will go from start to finish, or even re-writing their wedding ceremony in the final hours before their wedding to best represent them. Some of my clients I have worked with for over 2 years planning their wedding, some for only 5 months, in a small sense my clients become my family.
We are known for our vision. Having a bachelor’s degree in theatre, I am able to use creativity, my love for arts and crafts, set design, costume design for choosing wedding dresses and men’s wear and my small infatuation of making lists as a child to create a beautiful sense of magic for my clients as they walk thru their venue for the very first time.
What am I most proud of? We have won TWO awards, in under 4 years. I can’t even believe it. SAV is considered one of the top 2% of wedding planners in Los Angeles according to The Knot.
I love what I do. I love creating magic. I love to make events sparkle.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Once my business had a clear vision of what I wanted it to be, things started to get a little easier. We focused on what we were good at and got rid of ideas of what we weren’t. Over the years we have linked up luckily with some great professional photographers, who were able to capture our items and work in their best light.
Heck, one of my main photographers that I use, I met her on craigslist. In the very beginning. We worked together, and still do… four years later!
- 6 months of planning begins at $3800
- 12 months of planning begins at $6500
- Website: www.savevents.com
- Phone: 818-809-2704
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: sparklesandvintage
- Facebook: sparklesandvintage
- Other: https://www.theknot.com/marketplace/sparkles-and-vintage-los-angeles-ca-955887
Sarah Tribett Photography, Jennifer Fujikawa Photography, Martina Micko, Celeste Noche, Let’s Frolic Together, Anna Lee Media