Today we’d like to introduce you to Jane Gerwin.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I always had a hard time picturing myself in a career that I loved. I put myself though school by working in the corporate world and just sort of stuck around after college. I kept telling myself that I would figure it out one day. While planning my own wedding I finally realized that I had found my calling. I completely fell in love with every aspect of the planning process. It felt like a light switch went off and suddenly I knew what I wanted to do with my life. So that’s when I decided to start Jane Alexandra Events.
Honestly, I had no idea where to start so I reached out to a few people I knew in the wedding industry to get some guidance. Katrina Jayne Photography who I became close with after she shot my wedding was a huge help. My amazing husband Cole helped me come up with a company name and then he designed my website and logo for me. He has been such a huge support system for me I honestly couldn’t have done it without him. The next step was to get clients. I started asking people I knew who were engaged if I could help plan and coordinate their weddings for free. This was the best way to learn firsthand what I was getting myself into and I definitely learned a lot about the do’s and don’ts as well as the immense amount of work it takes to pull off a successful wedding.
Once I had a few weddings under my belt and some reviews on sites like yelp and theknot.com, I started to get inquiries from potential clients. I think that was the scariest part. Actually meeting potential clients face to face and trying to explain why they should hire me even though I had such limited experience. I decided to be fully transparent. I didn’t want to act like I knew everything. I told them that I was new to the industry so I was still learning but that I would work harder than I have ever worked to ensure that their day was as perfect as possible. I honestly couldn’t believe it when my first few clients agreed to hire me! I remember thinking it couldn’t be possible that people were actually going to trust me and even pay me to help plan and coordinate such an important day. There was definitely a lot of pressure but I felt confident and excited.
Now that so much time has passed, I still have trouble believing that this is my life. My little company has grown so much and I am so grateful for its success. I owe so much to my team of kick ass boss ladies; Lindsay, Chloe, and Katie. They work so hard and truly get my vision. I swear sometimes they read my mind and I really could not do this without them. Together we successfully completed almost thirty weddings this year. Every single one of our clients has inspired me and taught me so much and I still learn something new every Wedding I work.
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?
There definitely have been struggles. But that’s ok because I don’t believe you can ever accomplish anything worthwhile on a smooth road. I think the biggest struggle was and still is time management. I want to give every client my undivided attention but when you have 30 clients that can become difficult. I remember being so stressed out in the beginning because I was doing way too much at a time. I would schedule back to back meetings driving from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara then back home to jump on a Skype call and then back in my car to meet yet another client. I am not going to lie I still have days like that sometimes but I have learned to delegate more and I try and limit the number of meetings I schedule per day. I also have learned to make time for myself. It’s hard because as long as I have my phone I can work anywhere, anytime. I force myself to put an away message on my email, put away my phone and try my best to be really present in my life every once in a while.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Jane Alexandra Events story. Tell us more about the business.
Jane Alexandra Events is a boutique wedding planning and coordination company. We have packages that range from month of coordination to full service planning. Because the company is small we can really focus on getting to know our clients on a more personal level. Diving deeper into what makes a couple unique helps create a wedding that is inspired by them and what they love about each other. I honestly think clients enjoy working with us because we are truly passionate about what we do and we are relatable and understanding. We are their supporters, advocates, friends and therapists. We do whatever we can to minimize the stress that comes with planning a wedding. We get that it is a huge expense so our biggest priority is to keep them on budget and connect them with vendors who fit not only with their style and price point but also their personalities. Being upbeat, optimistic, and always having a smile even during stressful situations is something that we strive for and implement at every wedding.
Where do you see your industry going over the next 5-10 years? Any big shifts, changes, trends, etc?
I think people are definitely going to stray farther and farther away from the cookie cutter wedding. We have already seen this a lot over the past few years but I think weddings are going to become even more unique, intimate, and casual. I also feel that we are going to see an increase in lower budget weddings. Especially here in Southern California the housing market is insane. Couples see the importance of saving for a home and a life together and will opt for smaller less expensive weddings. We have decided to create a sister company called Cellar Door Events that will be geared specifically for this type of client. It’s another adventure that I am extremely excited about!
- Packages range from 1650-4500
- Website: Janealexandraevents.com
- Phone: 818.964.1155
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @janealexandraevents
- Facebook: facebook.com/janealexandraevents
- Other: https://www.theknot.com/marketplace/jane-alexandra-events-westlake-village-ca-956670
Katrina Jayne Photography
Stefani Ciotti Photography
Gary Coelho Photography