September Feature Story: Jordan Larmay
Jordan Larmay, Event Planner, Unveiled Design and Events
I met Jordan when I was 14 years old. She was 18 at the time. I was in 8th grade and my parents signed my sister and I up to participate in the local Children's Theatre. That year we performed in Bye Bye Birdie.
Jordan was there near the end of the summer to help with production of the shows.
That school year she was the lead in our high school musical, Guys and Dolls, and totally killed it! She was a ball of energy that everyone gravitated towards.
High School came and went fast. We all went our separate ways. We reconnected back in 2016 when I moved to Texas. We've stayed in touch ever since. It's wonderful to connect with other event planners, support each other, and watch each other grow.
In 2015 Jordan purchased Unveiled Design and Events and has been killing it as business owner, event planner, and mama to two beautiful boys.
Enjoy her story below.
Tell us about yourself - Where are you from and what did you wish to be when you grew up?
I grew up in small town Vermont where everyone knows everyone. Whenever we would take trips, you betcha it would take at least an hour or more to get anywhere with substance other than cows and barns. When we would pass old run-down buildings or motels, I always had this itch to want to fix it up and give it life again. I was always that girl who hosted theme parties whether it was for Halloween or end of school year. I LOVED planning and organizing gatherings!
What brought you to where you are today?
I have always been a natural leader, and if I want something, I go for it. Something that I was always taught growing up was to work for what you want. When I was in undergrad and we had to do internships as part of one of our event classes, I made sure I got as much out of it as I could. Working for no money of course is not ideal, but all the experiences I gained are honestly worth more than the piece of paper that states I went to four years of college and passed my classes.
What do you do professionally?
I currently work as a Contract Specialist full time on an Air Force Base. Talk about complicated and stressful at times. I also run my own event planning and design business, Unveiled Design & Events. I bought the business from a mentor and friend of mine when I lived in North Carolina. It was started by her in 2012 and I purchased it in 2015. My absolutely DREAM will be to run Unveiled full time one day. And I know I'll get there.
What is the number one struggle you find in owning and running a business?
Finding time to do everything that I want to do. Being a full time working mother and wife, while trying to do this on the side, is VERY stressful. But get me talking about one of my amazing couples and their wedding, and all that stress goes away. It makes my heart so happy.
What does a day in the office look like?
When I have office time (like right now - nap time is the best!) - I am usually doing research, making necessary phone calls and following up with my clients. Checking in to see how the planning is going, seeing if there is anything that they need help with, etc. I also make sure I look at the month ahead, see which events I have coming up and get started on timelines and fine tuning.
What do you spend the majority of your days in the office doing?
Working on social media, checking in with my brides and getting ready for future events.
What do you do to stay involved in the community?
I am a member of the local Chamber of Commerce, and I try to stay involved with them. I am also a Key Spouse for my husband's squadron, so I try to stay involved with base activities as much as I can.
What is the importance of hiring an event planner to assist with planning an event?
When I set up a booth at bridal shows, one of my first questions (besides how are you and what is your name, ha!) is: How do you plan to execute the day-of the event? THIS will determine for me if that will be a lead worth chasing, or letting them pass along. Most of my brides never had this question asked before. They plan to buy all of their decor to save money (DIY is my JAM) - but they don't think about: who is going to set it all up and make it look amazing on the day-of? Who is going to call all the vendors and figure out when they are setting up? It's not until that moment, that these potential brides look at me and say, "We definitely need to set-up a consultation!". People do not realize everything that we do. We are on our feet for the entire day of the event, are there before and after everyone leaves, and we make sure you don't have to lift a finger on your wedding/event day.
What do you enjoy most about being an event planner?
I love the relationships that I not only build with my clients, but other vendors, who I like to call "friendors" because so many of them become my friends! The best thing to hear at the end of the night is your bride saying, "I have NO idea what we would have done without you!", this just assures me that I am on the right path for my life.
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
Full time event planning, marketing consulting and travel planning.
What advice would you give to people your age looking to start their own business?
Get various mentors! Create those relationships with your "competition" as other people would see it. These folks who have been doing this for what seems like forever, are going to be a SLEW of knowledge, and I promise you, the good ones will take you under their wing. There is plenty of business to go around, no matter where you are.
If a child walked up to you and asked for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?
Never give up on what your heart tells you. If your heart says that you should be painting, then paint. If it says you should be cooking, then cook. Never be afraid to take some risks and do what makes you HAPPY!