Today we’d like to introduce you to Cynthia Alexander.
Cynthia, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Gosh, I wish I had this amazing story like I had known all my life I wanted to do event planning and then I followed my passion but it wasn’t like that.
I attended Baylor University and then transferred to Christopher Newport University in Virginia. After receiving my BS, I wanted to challenge myself further so, I continued my education and received my Masters in Business Administration from the University of Maryland, University College. I used to want to be CFO of a major corporation but I got a little bored. I found auditing and project management and really felt like I had found my career path. I pursued it and was very successful but I didn’t feel fulfilled.
In 2010, I was laid off and I felt a little lost. My husband encouraged me to find something I was passionate about and do it since we didn’t know when I’d find another job because the economy was pretty bad. He suggested event planning because that had always been a constant in my life.
I had planned events for fun since I was in elementary school starting with organizing a neighborhood kids organization to save the earth. I joined various community service clubs in high school and organized service events. Then when I was in college, I planned various events for my sorority (alpha Kappa Delta Phi) such as socials and community service activities. This continued into my corporate career where I led a new hire group at a major defense contractor.
I decided to take the leap and did all of my research about the business and how to get started. I took classes to become a Certified Bridal Consultant and created a business plan. That’s how An Enlightened Event was founded! After being in the business for nearly eight years, I decided to expand my business to include a full service planning and design company called Cynthia Alexander Events to be able to help couples, corporations and non-profits plan their special events.
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?
Our business is like the 405 – always under construction (but in a good way)! Ha! We’ve definitely had our challenges but we’ve learned so much along the way. For quite some time, I was working full time and doing my business part time. That was a challenge and really taught me how to hone in my organization and time management skills. I am also a mom of three crazy kids and a military wife. Whew! So, trying to balance all aspects of my life in order to run a successful business definitely is challenging… every single day.
We’ve had our share of non compatible clients and mishaps at events. They’re major learning experiences and something I believe, is that you can’t grow without failure.
Luckily, I have an amazing team of women who are super organized and can help handle the clients that we have. It’s definitely a team effort that has made my businesses successful.
My husband is also supportive and he understands that event planning is my passion and not everyone gets to do what we love to do. He is my rock and biggest cheerleader.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Cynthia Alexander Events/An Enlightened Event story. Tell us more about the business.
I have two businesses as of 2018. The first is An Enlightened Event which we have changed the scope of to include day-of, week-of, and month-of services for our clients. Cynthia Alexander Events will cover partial planning, full service planning and design for weddings, corporations (including influencer events), and non-profits. We are known for making our clients feel calm at stressful times throughout the planning process as well as taking their visions and bringing it to life. One of the most important aspects to our business is relationship building; therefore, we work with all of our clients for at least three months so, we have time to build trust. Without trust, none of our events can truly be successful.
I am extremely proud of my team and the business for a number of reasons. When I first started my business, I submitted my business plan to the Association of Bridal Consultants and I won the Rising Start Award for the quarter as well as overall for the year. That was first big accomplishment! Throughout the years, we have been published on various blogs and in industry publications. Most recently in 2017, we were one of the top finalists for the Ventura/Santa Barbara Region for California Wedding Day’s Best Planner. It was an honor to be on the list with several amazing companies. We are truly blessed to share our work and be recognized for it by our clients and industry.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
In regards to my business, I’d have to say luck isn’t part of it. Everything I do is not by chance but by perseverance, motivation, hard work and a strong desire to make beautiful events. I try not to take for granted my peers or my clients and I want to make sure they all know that I appreciate each one of them. If it wasn’t for all of these people trusting me and believing in my capabilities, I wouldn’t have been able to grow and my business definitely would not have been in existence this long.
Luck (a.k.a. God) is definitely part of my life because He has brought me so many wonderful people in my life. A few people I want to recognize are my husband who I mentioned earlier, my mentor Percy Sales of Percy Sales Events – a creative genius – and my dear friend, Heather Brown of Brown and Co. Designs who is one of the most humble and talented artists I know.
- Event Management – starts at $1,400
- Event Planning – starts at $5,000
- Design – starts at $2,000
- Website: www.CynthiaAlexanderEvents.com, www.AnEnlightenedEvent.com
- Phone: 805-419-0709
- Email: cynthia@CynthiaAlexanderEvents.com
- Instagram: @CynthiaAlexanderEvents, @AnEnlightenedEvent
- Facebook: CynthiaAlexanderEvents, AnEnlightenedEvent
- Twitter: NLightNDEvent
- Other: www.pinterest.com/nlightndevent
Brandon Aquino (Headshot), Angelica Marie Photography, Jenny Quicksall Photography, Lucas Rossi Photography