Today we’d like to introduce you to Hannah Lique Naitove.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’m your date night planner and hopeless romantic who’s always trying to recreate “the perfect movie moment”. I am originally from Keene, NH and moved from Boston, MA a little under three years ago to San Luis Obispo, CA.
My story, my drive, and my inspiration are all fueled by one special person: my Mom, Tamara Lique Naitove. My mom was my best friend and my whole world. She was an adoring wife, a devoted and doting Mom and the kind of friend everyone should have. She was love and light and goodness all in one petit and fiesty package; always there to give a hug, help a friend in need or celebrate a special moment for a loved one. Unfortunately, cancer took everything from her and fast. It was just one month from the time that she was diagnosed with an aggressive bone cancer to the moment she took her last breath. In so many ways her end was my beginning and I needed a fresh start after everything.
The morning that she passed away, my life changed forever. How could it not? It was during that dark period and in reflection of what it meant to lose my Mom that I realized I was so caught up in the corporate grind, getting ahead and making money, that I had lost focus on what is important in life as hard work and effort: passion, taking risk, following your heart and most importantly: TIME. Time! My mom died at the age of 53; too young, too soon. In her death, I learned the hard cold fact that time is the most precious thing we have, but it is not guaranteed or promised to anyone. Losing my Mom also made me realize that I was allowing my life to pass me by. I was going through the motions but not really living. For years, I have been surviving, not thriving – and I had no more time to waste. If you knew my Mom, she was all about making the most of all the moments. When she had her heart and mindset on something, nothing stopped her from pursuing her interest, and now it was my turn, and I needed a change of pace to set my plan in motion.
So in 2017, I quit my job, packed up my little apartment (and my cat!), and I moved all the way across the country to the Central Coast of California to a beautiful seaside town where I did not know a single soul. My mom and I always dreamed of having a home near the beach, and so I felt her with me more than ever.
After a year of settling in, making new friends and immersing myself in my new community, in the fall of 2018, I finally decided to put my dreams into motion and I started Project XO (PXO). PXO is a Date Night Planning service where we create packaged and customizable dates for you and your significant other. We believe in the Motto “Date for Life” where there is always an opportunity to take your loved one on a date to have a romantic, exciting, unique and memorable experience. PXO is also community-based as we utilize local vendors to create exclusive, out-of-the-box date adventures that cater to you or a small group for that special occasion.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Being an entrepreneur and starting your own business is not always easy especially being in a niche market. I think one of the struggles I have had is working a full-time job, as well as trying to make the leap to do Project XO full time. Moving away from the security of getting a paycheck every two weeks to relying on yourself for income can be pretty scary.
Also, I have found it a bit challenging figuring out a pricing structure that works best for Project XO in a market that is so new.
However, believing and trusting in yourself and your concept is so important, as well as using different resources such as listening to podcasts, joining local groups and surrounding yourself with like-minded and supportive individuals can be so helpful when just starting out. It can also help you learn new things and make you a better business owner.
Please tell us about Project XO.
Project XO designs plans and organize for that special occasion. We keep the spark alive and create exclusive and unique experience for any date night whether it be for a birthday, anniversary, just because, proposal, elopement, mini moon, staycation, workcation, baby moon, etc.
As of right now, PXO offers four types of services: Packaged Date Nights, Customizable Date Nights, Surprise Date Nights, and PXO at Home. Some of our packaged Date Nights include Latte Art, Demonstration Dinner with a Private Chef, Paint Night, Dance Night, Downtown San Luis Obispo Scavenger Hunt, Walking Tour in your area, and a Crepe Date Night. All of the packages are exclusive as we create experiences that don’t already exist in the current locations with local business owners.
For the Customizable Date Night, we start out by getting to know you and your significant other or your small group through a questionnaire, we then meet for a consultation either by phone or in-person to go further into detail of what you might be looking for. Then, if you like some of the ideas PXO has put together we move forward in creating a proposal based on your budget and begin planning for that special date.
The surprise date night is a bit different in our process as both of you will be surprised. Therefore, PXO will confirm the date you are looking for and then send you a questionnaire. Two weeks before the date, an email will be sent that contains some information regarding your accommodations and how to prepare. Then a few days before you embark on your adventure a personalized note will be sent in the mail via FedEx that will give you both directions to your date. PXO wants to give experiences that you will never forget.
Additionally, the PXO at Home Date Night is if you decide you want to stay at home but still want something unique with your love or for a small group of friends in the comfort of your own home. We do everything from setting up your dining table, getting a private chef, setting up a game night, having a cooking class, decorating your home, hotel, or rental home, stocking your fridge if you are coming from out of town and staying in an Airbnb, or if you just need a little extra sparkle added to the space before you arrive.
Furthermore, something that can be added to any of our date nights is our “Random Acts of Love” this can be getting styled for the evening, having hair and makeup done for both him and her, floral design and delivery, table décor and styling, adding a photographer, live music, choreographer, hand-delivered invitations, custom-made love letters, gift baskets, etc.
I think what sets Project XO apart is that we continue to share love amongst everyone and bring people together to create that one of a kind memory. We work hard to build relationships with business owners, as well as with our customers and we pride ourselves on bringing exceptional customer service and creating something authentic and unique. Also, I am proud of Project XO because we continue to support our community and give back to others.
Project XO has donated time to help out with an organization called Dream Makers SLO where they make terminally ill adults dream wishes come true. This past year we helped put together a date night for a woman who is terminally ill with brain cancer. Her last wish was to have a date night with her husband and go see the Blake Shelton Concert. We all worked really hard to put together an unforgettable evening for them, she even was able to meet Blake Shelton was absolutely amazing.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I am not sure if I would have done anything differently. Yes, there are still things I am working on and adjusting and fixing but I think that is all part of the process of becoming an entrepreneur. Things change and you learn and grow from each failure and success you make. It really is a process and as cliche as it sounds, enjoy it! 🙂
- Consultation Fee – $65 per hour (For individuals who will be doing all the planning themselves but needs a few ideas)
- Latte Art Packaged Date Night – $497 per couple
- Website: www.project-xo.com
- Email: Hannah@project-xo.com
- Instagram: @projectxo
- Facebook: @projectxo
COFFEE PHOTO – Kacie Jones Photography, Fox Jump Cinematics, SLO Brew Lofts, KIN Coffee Bar, Ambiance SLO, Office Hours SLO, Idle Wild Floral, Bellizzimo Beauty, The Gallant Barbering, Real Estate Supply Co, Wayward Bread Co., Scout Rental Co, Rachel Rae Designs, Farm and Harvest, Shop Be Present. CHEF PHOTO – Kacie Jones Photography, Fox Jump Cinematics, SLO Brew Lofts, KIN Coffee Bar, Ambiance SLO, Office Hours SLO, Idle Wild Floral, Bellizzimo Beauty, The Gallant Barbering, Real Estate Supply Co, Wayward Bread Co., Scout Rental Co, Rachel Rae Designs, Farm and Harvest, Shop Be Present. GARDEN PHOTO – Jill Hewston Photography, Fox Jump Cinematics, Cass House Cayucos, Avenue Twelve, Blush Fine Linens, Wild Flower Women Boutique, Office Hours SLO, Bellizzimo Beauty, Nates Barber Shop, Pismo Beach Florist, Rachell Rae Designs. POPPING CHAMPAGNE PHOTO – Jill Hewston Photography, Fox Jump Cinematics, Cass House Cayucos, Avenue Twelve, Blush Fine Linens, Wild Flower Women Boutique, Office Hours SLO, Bellizzimo Beauty, Nates Barber Shop, Pismo Beach Florist, Rachell Rae Designs. LIVING ROOM PHOTO – Kacie Jones Photography, Fox Jump Cinematics, SLO Brew Lofts, KIN Coffee Bar, Ambiance SLO, Office Hours SLO, Idle Wild Floral, Bellizzimo Beauty, The Gallant Barbering, Real Estate Supply Co, Wayward Bread Co., Scout Rental Co, Rachel Rae Designs, Farm and Harvest, Shop Be Present. COUPLE SITTING – Kacie Jones Photography, Fox Jump Cinematics, SLO Brew Lofts, KIN Coffee Bar, Ambiance SLO, Office Hours SLO, Idle Wild Floral, Bellizzimo Beauty, The Gallant Barbering, Real Estate Supply Co, Wayward Bread Co., Scout Rental Co, Rachel Rae Designs, Farm and Harvest, Shop Be Present, Chamisal Vineyards. TABlE SETUP FOR FOUR PHOTO: SLO Town Studios, Fox Jump Cinematics, La Lomita Ranch, All About Events, Dream Makers SLO. PICTURE WITH BLAKE SHELTON: Dream Makers SLO, SLO Town Studios, Fox Jump Cinematics, Ambiance SLO, Office Hours SLO, Bellizzimo Beauty