Nashelle Designs. Based in Bend, Oregon Nashelle reaches a global audience and has been featured in publications such as Oprah's O Magazine, E News, People Magazine, Health Magazine and most recently on the premiere of ABC's new show- Good Afternoon America. Even with it's worldwide reach and success, Heather has maintained the community centered roots and vision Nashelle Designs was founded on. Each piece is still handmade by Heather and her talented team from their Bend showroom, with recycled metals and natural gemstones. We are here today to hear more of her amazing story."To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream , not only plan, but also believe." -Anatole France
A. I began designing when I became inspired by the incredibly beautiful and organic process of working with metal. I started selling my designs when I was surprised by the response I was getting while wearing my work. The company of 'Nashelle' began as store owners started seeking out my jewelry. I took my company to a national level with the birth of my first son. Although I was involved in college, I never finished with my degree. I hoped that by pursuing my talents, I would be able to give my son and new family, the life that they deserved. My family was my ultimate driving force.
A. I am learning this as I go. Success to me in business means a multitude of things but the success that I pray for and continue to wish when I blow on a 'wishing willows' is: Sustainability for the company to support my family, my team members and their families-to me that is a successful company. We all work hard for Nashelle and my team deserves to be paid well, have flexiblility, health insurance, happiness, and so much more. For me to feel that I have succeeded in life ebbs and flows as the years progress but the one that I feel is my truth forever is raising my family to be well-rounded and happy, healthy, kind, hardworking, giving, loving and confident. Knowing that my family is strong in faith, ethics, believe in themselves and in what they can do in this world and will work hard to make this world a better place. For me to feel I have succeed in this life is largely about what I can give to my family and the people I care about.
A. I LOVE so much of what I do. I work with incredible people! I am able to pursue my dream of out reaching and helping those in need. I get to travel to amazing places. I get to design gorgeous jewelry and sometimes not so pretty jewelry when ever the craving hit!! I am able to create a flexible schedule that I can be a hands on involved parent to our growing family. I love going to work and for that I am lucky.
A. Yes, I believe strongly in my higher power. It is a large part of my life, thoughts, guidance. My family inspires me daily. I have incredible friends that have cheered for me along the way and picked me up when I have felt like giving up. My team that stretches across the nation as far as reps, public relations, etc have been a fantastic sounding board and voice of guidance. I am lucky to have a lot of people that care about myself, my family and my team and want to be involved through all aspects of my life and building Nashelle.
A. To absolutely follow your heart!! In the beginning, not one person believed I could make a living off of my jewelry and it was a difficult time navigating through that but once I showed the world and the people that care about me that I was going to make it happen no matter what, they began to have more faith in me than I would have ever imagined. If you hit a bump or get knocked down figuratively speaking.... GET UP, dust off and get right back in the ring. I have been on the floor crying many times, tried to give up and walk away more times than I care to admit but at the end of the day, I always got back up and went back with my head strong and I am SO happy that I did. I also have done this long enough to know that there will more times like that in the future and yes, I will get back up again and show not only the world what I am capable of but prove to myself and my family that I am strong, a hard worker aand will live life to the fullest.
Nashelle Designs Showroom in Bend, Oregon
A. All music inspires me. Depending on my mood it gives me a moment to 'let go' and dream.
A. My children take my breathe away every day. They are amazing. Traveling centers my soul and let my mind wander to all of the possibilities out there.My faith. My faith grounds me.Thank you so much Heather for your inspiring insights and wisdom!Join us next Thursday for our final installment of "Enlightened Entrepreneurs" this season :)
"Marriage is like a golden ring in a chain, whose beginning is a glance and whose ending is eternity." -Kahlil GibranWelcome back to Small Business Success! Wedding season is in full swing and it's the perfect day to chat with Portland, Oregon Wedding Planner Extraordinaire: Nora Sheils of Bridal Bliss. Bridal Bliss offers full service wedding day planning, day of wedding coordination and special event planning. Ten years ago Nora began Bridal Bliss and has grown it into a successful, award winning wedding planning company. Today she is with us to share some of her success secrets & business tips.
A. Ever since I can remember I have always been smitten with weddings. During high school and college, I began getting experience in the wedding industry by working at local floral, catering and design businesses. Friends and family started asking me to help plan their events and I began getting more and more knowledge of the industry. While attending Gonzaga University I realized my dream job as a wedding planner was within reach. During my senior year I wrote up a business plan for a competition and won. The competition provided me with the resources to start Bridal Bliss right out of college. Ten years later, here I am!Q. What is the most challenging element of your business?
A. Some brides or mother-of-the-brides can be a bit difficult at times. A wedding is such an emotional time for the entire family, and sometimes tempers flare. I don’t have to deal with many “bridezillas,” but if I do, it has typically come about from a family issue going on behind the scenes. We manage most of the details for our clients so there is no reason for them to be overly stressed. That being said, some clients need more hand holding than others. Some also like to change their minds over and over, so patience is key. I like to get back to my clients as quickly as possible. In doing that, I am constantly on my phone or checking my email. I work several evenings and most weekends which can certainly take a toll.
A. Watching a wedding flawlessly come to fruition is the most fulfilling part of my job. I love seeing the joy on my couple’s face as they walk into their reception and see what all our hard work created, or calming a bride down and reminding her to breathe seconds before she is about to walk down the aisle. I always station myself by the entrance as guests walk in—hearing the “ooh’s” and “ahh’s” is music to my ears. Saving the day, staying on my toes and creating a magical event that is beyond anything my clients imagined is not only fun, but incredibly rewarding.Q. What advice would you give to those starting their own business?
A. My biggest piece of advice that I give to people inquiring about being a wedding planner is to get as much experience in the industry as possible. Whether you are interning for rental companies, working as a bridal sales consultant, or helping florists with deliveries, however you can get your foot in the door certainly helps. As a Wedding Planner, you have to be familiar with details about all the wedding professionals you work with, and recognize what they do and what makes their job easier. By actually taking a position and walking in their footsteps, you have a better understanding when dealing with the specific type of vendor in the future. Starting a business, no matter what type, takes long hours, hard work and serious dedication. You have to go all in, or not at all.Q. What has helped you to persevere in running your business?
A. My passion for my job and my business is what has helped me persevere most. If I didn’t love what I do, I would not have lasted in the industry. In the past ten years since I started, I have worked through different economical times and different budgets, but was always able to create memorable events no matter how big or how small. I have seen many wedding professionals come and go (especially planners) and maintaining a strong vendor base has been key.Q. Are there any tools that have been especially helpful for your business?
A. Word of mouth is the best marketing method and the least expensive! Hearing that Bridal Bliss is the best in town from friends, online reviews and through all the wedding professionals a bride and groom may meet really makes an impression and inspires a couple to book. Keeping and building this reputation requires maintaining your business relationships, and always going above and beyond no matter how big or small the event. A good reputation can make all the difference. Social Media wasn’t really even around when I first started. Today, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter play a substantial role in my communications and marketing.Q. Is there any business or life advice you have received that has helped you along the way?
A. You have to treat others with decency and respect, no matter what the situation. My mom is the most kind and humble person I know. She is loved by everyone that knows her and she always goes out of her way to help others, whether she knows them or not. This has rubbed off on me and inspires me to always try to be a better person, planner, boss, friend, wife, daughter and sister. Nothing bad can come from taking the high road and being a compassionate human being. Sometimes I have to remind myself that there is NO job out there that doesn’t have its downfalls and I am incredibly lucky to do what I love and make a decent living out of it. I try not to take anything for granted and do the best job I possibly can.
A. 2012 marks our 10th year in business which is something I am incredibly proud of. We have hundreds of happy clients and I have made several great friends along the way. What I am most professionally proud of is being named Portland’s “Best Wedding Planner” and “Best All-Around Wedding Vendor” by Oregon Bride Magazine for the second year in a row. The awards are voted on by brides and other wedding professionals. Being named the best by your peers and past clients makes the honor that much more exciting and rewarding. Making a difference in someone’s life and having happy and appreciative clients makes for an incredibly fulfilling career.Q. If you knew in the beginning what you know now, what would you tell yourself when you first started your business?
A. I started my business, Bridal Bliss, straight out of college with no true training, other than a bit of experience planning events for friends and family. I had planned corporate-type events in college but without much supervision or advice. If I was to go back and start all over again, I think I would have interned with a few other coordinators both in the NW and in other parts of the country to get an idea on how others have perfected their trade.
A. Happiness. I know that I cannot be truly happy without a work/life balance or a passion for my job. Even thought I try to be as accessible to my clients as possible (some even text me in the middle of the night!) I also try to spend as much time as possible with the people I love.Q. Is there a book, quote, blog, etc. that inspires you?
A. “Go big or go home.”Q. If you weren't a Wedding Planner, what would you be doing for a living?
A. I would be a personal trainer/nutritionist. I’m fascinated by the human body and feel like so many people could whip themselves into shape if they just knew what to do and had some support. I realize this is totally weird, but I love watching muscles flex!
A. My job is never the same and sometimes turns from wedding planner to therapist to good friend. To take away the stress involved with planning a wedding so my bride can have fun planning and enjoy every minute of her wedding day is what makes it so fulfilling. I take the time to get to know my brides really well and take a personal interest in making sure their dream wedding comes true. Brides need to understand that wedding planners are not only for the rich and famous. Many times I save my couples more money than they are paying for coordination services through vendor negotiations and discounts. No matter what the budget, no bride should have to worry about the background details on her wedding day. I have talked to so many people that say “I wish I hired a wedding planner” as the one thing they would have done differently and I just wish there is a way I could have made the experience better for them.
Thank you Nora for sharing your insights and tips with us! For more information on Bridal Bliss visit their website at www.bridalbliss.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bridalblissportland. Join us next week as our Small Business Success Series continues!
Today we are so honored to feature life coach and founder of Bloom Life Design, Amy Pearson. Amy is a Master Certified life coach and coach mentor, trained by Oprah's Dr. Martha Beck. With 'It Doesn't Have to Be A Struggle!' as her core message, she helps women lead their lives from a place of self-love and confidence so they can play big in the world. Amy brings her warmth and exuberance to every encounter, believing that play, fun and joy are requirements when it comes to finding your authentic life. She also created a popular e-course "How to Overcome Your Inner Approval Addict", which I have found to be incredibly helpful and transformative both in my personal and business life. For these reasons and many more we are proud to feature her as today's "Enlightened Entrepreneur"!
"As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same." Marianne Williamson
A. My inspiration really began a long time before I ever realized I would begin my business. I had been working as a research assistant for a progressive think tank doing reports on things like the home mortgage interest rate deduction. I was working with highly intricate tax policy reports for the legislature. It was insane! Half the time I can't even remember my own phone number so to think I was forcing myself to prepare reports about tax policy for the Oregon legislature? Crazy. But for the longest time, I worked very hard to maintain a persona of someone I wasn't. Then a series of events in my life sort of forced me to drop the persona. I realized that I didn't enjoy much of my life because I had been putting so much pressure on myself to maintain a persona that was not authentic. I began to read self-help books, books about psychology and dream work and all sorts of other woo-woo stuff. One thing lead to another and I came across a memoir by my now mentor, Martha Beck. The rest is history. I enrolled in life coach training in 2009 and I have been loving my business ever since.Q. What does true 'success' mean to you, in business and in life?
A. Success to me in business and in life is about being an example of what is possible. I'm a working mom with three kids under the age of 5 but I don't let that stop me. I enjoy my family, I love my work, I'm in the best shape of my life and it just keeps getting better. I believe it's because I give myself permission every day to have fun. We seem to think we need to put so much pressure on ourselves in order to succeed. It's a lie. I figured out how to release the pressure and I'm thriving in every area of my life.Q. What is your favorite part of what you do?
A. People who invest in themselves - who believe in their own purpose and invest in uncovering it - inspire me. And I feel like I'm doing my part to change the world by helping my clients make the shifts in their lives that lead to freedom, clarity, peace, joy, abundance. The people who create these things in their lives just have a better energy and I believe this is the kind of energy we need to change the world in a big way. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that my favorite part about my job is that I get to help make the world a better place, one client at a time.Q. If there was one message you could share with the world what would it be?
A. Well my core message is it doesn't have to be a struggle! We are just so conditioned to believe we have to beat the crap out of ourselves to be successful. So. Not. True. In my experience struggle just leads to more struggle. Think about what you really want to create in your life. If it's peace, find a way to bring some peace in your life now. If it's love, find a way to bring love in your life right now. Struggle begets struggle. That's the bottom line.Q. Have there been certain people who have guided or inspired you on your business (or life) journey?
A. For sure. Martha Beck is my hero in many ways. I love my tribe of coaches. They inspire me all the time. I make sure to surround myself with people who inspire me and challenge me to be a better me. I also read a lot. Right now I'm reading The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. Highly recommended! Oh and my husband gets a lot of credit too. He has always believed in me and is a huge source of support and encouragement in my life.Q. What advice would you give to those who want to pursue their passion but might be afraid to try?
A. You can't course correct when standing still. In other words, don't be afraid to make mistakes. Don't believe for a second that you have to know how to do everything before you begin. Fear of failure will never get you anywhere. In fact, "failure" or making mistakes is the main way to figure out how to achieve your goals. Put yourself out there, see what works and what didn't, then do it better next time. You don't have to have it all figured out first. Ask any successful person and they will more than likely tell you they had no idea what they were doing, but they tried. That is the key!Q. Is there a book, quote, piece of music etc that uplifts and inspires you?
A. One of my favorite books for anyone who wants to be successful is The Smart Edge by Jeff Olsen. Here's a little exerpt from the book: Some day... Some day, when my ship comes in. Some day, when I have the money... Some day, when I have the time... Some day, when I have the skill, confidence... How many of those statements have you said to yourself? Have I got some shocking news for you: "some day" doesn't exist, never had, and never will. There is no "some day." There is only today. Seriously, this book is like a winning lottery ticket in your hand. Read it! xoxoQ. What are three things that make you really happy? :)
A. My kids. My husband. And most of all, myself.http://www.bloomlifedesign.com/i-dont-need-your-approval/. She is also starting a brand new coaching program over the summer along with several new offerings. To stay in touch, you can subscribe to her newsletter at www.bloomlifedesign.com. Join us next Tuesday as we continue on our "Enlightened Entrepreneur" path with another featured business owner. For all previous stories click Here. Have a great week! ~Elena
"Art of observation is about finding something interesting in an ordinary place...I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them." -Elliott ErwittWelcome back to the Small Business Success Series! Today we feature full service video production company, My Life Films. Specializing in filming and producing cinematic weddings, events and life stories they serve Bend, Redmond, Central Oregon and beyond. My Life Films has earned a reputation for excellence to a long list of satisfied customers with friendly and professional staff who possess years of film and storytelling experience. Today we are with owners Scott and Debby Whipple, to discover some of the secrets of their business success. http://vimeo.com/30998524 Q. Welcome Scott and Debby, will you share a bit more about the services My Life Films provides?
A. In addition to cinematic weddings, events and life stories My Life Films also videotapes and produces films for a variety of special events, such as; dance recitals, sport events, concerts and company meetings. We also specialize in custom life story films, such as; anniversary, graduation, birthday, funeral/memorials and film tributes. For our business clients, My Life Films produces product and web promotional videos and training films. We also offer typical video production services, such as competitive volume disc duplication and archive-quality videotape/film transfer to disc. During filming, we use multiple professional HD cameras and shoot angles to capture all of the beautiful imagery. Wireless and hidden microphones capture wedding vows, event speeches, music, cheers of happiness, and toasts. Afterwards, we edit and polish the footage using highly emotional cinematic editing techniques, slow motion, blurs and many other "Hollywood" effects. All of the visual beauty of the event is then expertly weaved together with a rich audio soundtrack and selected sound bites from throughout the day.Q. What are your individual backgrounds?
A. Scott: My life-long interests in music, drama and graphic artistry, together with over 30 years experience in computer, video and audio technology provide me a unique ability to orchestrate quality cinematic video productions. Debby: I specialize in wedding and event film coverage, adding my own unique interpretation and camera angles. We also have several other trained camera staff who are experts at capturing your event in detail, creativity and with cinematic style.http://vimeo.com/33568214 Q. What is the most challenging element of your business?
A. Marketing and selling wedding and event films is the most challenging part of business at My Life Films. For example, in today's challenging economy, wedding films are sometimes sacrificed for photography alone. Brides will typically invest $3000 dollars on a photography package, yet may resist investing in a video package priced half that. Many brides do not realize that video footage and story development take much longer to edit and produce than photography. We also find many clients have not considered the power of video. For example; would you rather see a photograph of the winning super bowl touchdown, or the footage that captures the motion, commentary, sound and story of that touchdown? My Life Films is known for working well alongside our photographer friends, but, we do want to educate clients of video's power to capture all dimensions of an event, including the gorgeous imagery, motion, sound, music, story and emotion. When output to DVD, Blu-ray or the web, clients can relive all of the sights and sounds of their event forever. Imagine the power of video, and it's increasing value over time. For example, how wonderful it would be, to view their parents or grandparents special day; venue, flowers, decorations, procession, their heartfelt vows, fun and dancing at the reception, or the comments and blessings of friends, family and guests?Q. What is the most rewarding?
A. As a husband and wife owned company, we really strive to serve each of their clients with friendliness, professionalism and most all, integrity. We often "go the extra mile" to add special custom refinements or a cinematic touch, creating a highly stylized film suited to their clients unique personality and styles. Filmmaking and videography is a tremendously rewarding business. Staff at My Life Films absolutely love to serve our clients, get to know them. They desire to be a special part of their clients day and event, to serve them and to assist throughout the day where they can. We love the awe and expressions on the bride and grooms faces when they view their completed wedding film for the first time.. priceless!Q. What advice would you give to those starting their own business?
A. At My Life Films, filmmaking requires both technical and storytelling knowledge and also developing relationships with clients and other vendors. Those considering starting a videography business should understand that abundance of today's cheaper filmmaking cameras and equipment, tools and "special effects" only go so far in telling a story and are often overused. Amateurish camera shooting and editing skills can greatly distract from the beautiful story being told in the film. Some videographers possess the technical aspects of the job, but lack the ability to edit and assemble the footage in a compelling and storytelling manner. Most videographers never strike it rich and understand that hard work, determination will eventually pay off in repeat and referred clients. Effort must be made to focus on the psychology and story need of each event, for example, understanding a brides needs, respecting her day, being sensitive, helpful, calming and as unobtrusive as possible. Educating brides in the power and need for video and price justification is essential, understanding that paybacks may be a long time in coming. A demo reel or set of quality film samples is essential and often takes time to acquire. Membership in a wedding and event group, such as WEVA and also take training in shooting, composition, story-telling and cinematic styles is desirable.http://vimeo.com/16703114 Q. What has helped you to persevere in running your business?
A. My Life Films has persevered, especially in a difficult economy. It has helped knowing that people we serve absolutely love their product. In fact, a recent post wedding survey of brides listed wedding videography as their number one cherished wedding investment.Q. Are there any tools that have been especially helpful for your business? (social media, mobile friendly website, organizational tools, specific marketing decisions, etc.)
A. My Life Films uses a variety of tools to market our business. Until recently, we advertised heavily in the yellow pages, then moved to social media such as Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo for reaching clients and supporters.Q. What has been the most important factor for you in the success of your business?
A. The biggest factor in My Life Films success is our attention to detail, adding extra touches to the film and excellent customer service. We pride ourselves in professional excellence, and always strive for the best possible footage, camera angles and creativity to tell the story of any event.Q. If you knew then what you know now, what would you tell yourself when you first started your business?
A. Invest in the proper equipment, software and tools upfront and understand the paybacks may take much longer than anticipated. Act and take a positive step in the right direction, and avoid needless worry. Trust in yourself!Thank you to Scott and Debby Whipple for all your valuable insights and practical business tips! Join us next Tuesday for another Small Business Success feature, "Enlightened Entrepreneurs."
The SBS Series is back! And this time there is a bit of a twist...In addition to "Small Business Success Stories" we will also be featuring "Enlightened Entrepreneurs" and "Community Connectors". These are people who are leaders in their business, community or even their family. The common thread that connects this group is the intention they each carry to better the world around them. Each week we will be highlighting some of these amazing people who are raising the tide for all of us, starting with today's guest-- Bethanne Kronick! SIMPLIFY!, to help people create more time & energy and live with less stress. She offers classes and workshops to businesses and corporations on a variety of topics revolving around focus, organization and productivity. Bethanne is also a keynote speaker and presenter and is widely known to deeply inspire and motivate her audiences.
"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak." -Hans Hofmann
A. My dad has always been my greatest role model. He’s inspired me since I was young. My dad was an amazing man—he was one of the most patient and humble people I have ever known. He had such tremendous respect for people and was so non-judgemental. And of course he was organized and a phenomenal planner! My dad taught me to love, the joy of being loved, and about giving unconditionally. He loved challenges and was a successful man who blazed his own trail. I learned from him that you can do anything you put your mind to. His example of courage and tenacity has been a huge driving force in the things I have accomplished in my life and my business.Q. What advice would you give to those who want to pursue their passion but might be afraid to try?
We return with the 2012 Small Business Success Series and are honored to begin with the wonderful Central Event Rentals! John and Janeen Fuqua started their business 5 years ago and certainly have a wealth of knowledge to share. They offer quality event rentals for weddings, parties and corporate events throughout Central Oregon. With a tremendous amount of heart and natural business savvy this customer service based business is a perfect fit for their skill set. Today they share with us some of the valuable lessons they have learned during their years in business. Q. What is the most rewarding part of Central Event Rentals? A. As with any event service company… event rentals, photography, music, venue, catering, floral, etc; choosing the company you are most comfortable and confident with is a great relief. To see our clients’ confidence when they know they have hired the right company for their needs brings us joy. Seeing an event come to fruition and knowing we had a small or large part of its success is rewarding. Q. What are some challenging elements of your business? A. One of the challenges we face is reaching our largest customer base with proper advertising. Finding and reaching our largest demographic of customers is an exercise in financial responsibility. This is an ongoing challenge and we are constantly reevaluating where our advertising dollars should be spent. Another challenge is time management during the busy summer event season. We quickly realized our time with family, recreation, and friends would be limited. We try to make the most of any free time we do have and spend it with family and friends.
"You're happiest while you're making the greatest contribution." -Robert F. Kennedy
Thank you to John and Janeen for all your thoughtful insights and wisdom.
Join us this Tuesday for another in the Small Business Success series!
There are certain people you meet who thrive on creating community and their enthusiasm is contagious, Connie Austin is one of these people. She cares deeply about people and wants everyone to feel comfortable and uplifted. Her positive and nurturing approach to teaching is a big part of the reason the classes have been so successful. Connie inspires those around her and brings a collaborative energy to all of her pursuits-- it is vital to her that the people around her succeed and this generous intention has helped ensure her own success as well. Are you interested in learning to run? Her next class begins Wednesday July 6th-- find more details or sign up at www.learntorunfun.com We have officially reached the end of this season's Small Business Success Series! I want to say a big THANK YOU to all of the incredible participants, and to all of the readers for your engagement- I hope the insights shared have helped all of you on your business journey. It has been a privilege to share this series and to connect with all of you-- I look forward to starting up another round in early 2012! ~Elena *If you want to be sure to receive all new posts as they are published just click here to subscribe to our RSS feed
A big thank you to Byron Roe for all of these sincere, clear pearls of wisdom. His insights exemplify what this series is all about and his generous sharing is helpful to any entrepreneur on their business path, or newly discovering their passion. Are you a creative professional as well? What parts of Byron and Wendy's business journey do you relate to?Please share your thoughts below and join us next Thursday for our final installment in the Small Business Success Series!