Today we’d like to introduce you to Sahar Whitley.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Sahar. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I grew up in a family that was super artistic and creative with a mom who always threw amazing parties with amazing food that she would cook herself! I’d say its in my blood. The turning point for me was when I got engaged and had an excuse to start planning one of the most extravagant (and most expensive) parties of my life, my wedding. Seeing all the many months of hard work come together and the joy my family and friends had on my wedding day, was probably the most infectious feelings of accomplishment and self-realization I’ve ever had (and let’s be honest, a movie marathon of The Wedding Planner about 30 times). At that point, I knew I wanted to be an event planner. From there, I helped friends and family, unofficially, with baby and bridal showers, parties and even dabbled at some weddings. About a year and a half ago, with the support of my husband, I figured I’d take the plunge and go for my passion full time. There was no holding me back.
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?
Well, every business has its own bumps in the road that’s for sure but luckily, I don’t feel I’ve experienced anything out of the ordinary. I’m an over-preparer which I feel helps me on that front. However, some of my own challenges are setting boundaries for myself. I have always been the overachiever growing up and still to this day. I always go above and beyond and sometimes WAY beyond the scope of what I’m charging for. I feel that is really one of my biggest challenges. It’s very difficult for me not to get too excited for even the simplest events. I’m constantly learning about myself and my limits. My 2019 New Years’ resolution was to know my worth, own it and stick to it. Resolution update thus far: I’m still sticking to it! YAASS!
What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
My advice to other women who are starting their journey is to write it all down, make lists, and believe in yourself! Don’t listen to anyone but the little voice inside your head. It will be hard and things will not be handed to you. You need to grind and never stop and remember your WHY. Ignore the nay-sayers. People told me I wouldn’t be able to do what I love full-time and also take care of my two young kids (5 and 3, and 34, if you count my husband). I sure proved them wrong! Anyone can do it as long as they believe. Stay humble. Sounds corny, but it’s so true.
We’d love to hear more about WHITLEY & CO.
I’m an event planner specializing in weddings. I love the other events too but there’s something about a wedding. A wedding to me is like the holidays. It’s so magical and everyone is so selflessly full of cheer and love.
I’m so proud of the brand I’ve created! I feel like I offer more than the average planner. It’s like I say to my clients, “I’m not just there at your event with my clipboard and my headset in the corner. I truly immerse myself in every event. I become part of your event and even your family.”
There are so many known brand-name event companies that operate like a machine, constantly churning out wedding after wedding, in such an impersonal way. That’s NOT me. I love to be on such a more personal level with my clients. Almost like your best friend helping you throw a party or plan your wedding. It’s more one-on-one and real. Not all this corporate mumbo jumbo. Don’t get me wrong, I have my processes and my pretty brochures. but at the end of the day, you’re getting the real me. I feel like THAT is what sets me apart from others. I’m a people person and truly give it all I have! I feel that is so important in my industry. People get so lost in themselves and their status. I’m a breath of fresh air in this sometimes cut-throat and dry industry.
Let’s not forget, my creativity. When given the chance, it just oozes literally out of my head. My ideas come to me at random times and even in my sleep! My family always jokes and would say that they need to clip my wings. I’m like that little Red Bull guy with wings. My ideas are always so huge and unique and I’m so proud of it. Pair that with a good personality and BAM! We have magic, my friends! And THAT client experience is truly priceless and what I pride myself on.
Which women have inspired you in your life?
The three most important women in my life are my mother (Leah), my aunt (Claudia), and my daughter (Shyanne). They inspire me every day because of what they have overcome and the hustle they have in their bones. They’re the reason I am the way I am. Always keeping me accountable and pushing me to be better than yesterday. I grew up with them on my pedestal, learning and watching and never to quit. Quitting doesn’t exist in our vocabulary. I wouldn’t be who I am today without them.
I included my 5-year old daughter in this because even though she’s 5, she inspires me every day to do better and to keep being the best mom I can be. I catch the way she looks at me sometimes, with that glimmer in her eyes like I have for my mom and aunt and want to keep that glimmer so bright for her as it was for me. The innocence in her age is what makes her so special because there is no filter. She inspires me to keep striving and to work hard because I see how I inspire her. In Preschool, her teachers told me she would plan weddings with her friends complete with ceremonies and cocktail hours. I rub off on her in the best way possible and if she looks up to me because I inspire her, then that inspires me tenfold.
- Website: www.WhitleyEvents.com
- Phone: (424) 371-8621
- Email: sahar@WhitleyEvents.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/whitleyevents
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/whitleyevents
Duke Images, Intuitive Images Photography, Human Artwork, Brooke Borough Photography