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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fabulously Me: Why I Feature My Competitors

{Photo Credit | Fudge Graphics}

Recently I had lunch with a dear colleague, who is also a friend (and competitor) and she asked me... "Do you feature weddings planned and designed by the competition?  I proudly answered, "Yes, actually I do!" 

She posed this question because this is not common practice among wedding planners and designers. I thought I'd share my thoughts on this because if you are a blogger, you might be considering this.  Or if you are a reader, you might be wondering why I do this.  I want to shed some light on it and give you my reasoning behind it. Perhaps you will be inspired...perhaps you will get to know me a little bit more.

 Before making the leap to feature my competitors, I actually considered the various reasons someone in my capacity, a wedding planner and designer, would want to feature the competition.  Some of the questions I asked myself were:
  1. Will it take away from my own spotlight?
  2. Am I actually driving traffic away from myself and to my competition?
  3. Have I lost my ever-loving mind?
Here's the thing... there are a ton of us in this industry and yet there are more weddings occuring every year than all of the wedding planners and designers in the world could possibly manage.  I am my own unique person.  I have my own style, my own walk, my own talk.  The bride who is attracted to me may not be attracted to my competition.  The bride who my competition books may not be my type of bride. 

When booking clients, I am interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing me.  Why?  Because, planning a wedding is a 12 month-plus journey.  During that time, I work very closely with my clients to ensure that their wedding dreams are realized and I also do my best to expound on that .  My motto is to "give them what they are looking for and then surpass that in execution and delivery".  If we're going to spend that kind of time together, working that closely together...honey you better believe I am going to do my part in ensuring I am a good fit for you AND you are a good fit for me.  A good fit means we connect, our personalities are not clashing, I get your vision, you know that I get your vision, you love my ideas, you know I am listening to you, I know you are listening to me...  Does that make sense?  I don't know anyone who enters into wedding planning wanting to butt heads with their vendors, especially their wedding planner.  And I can tell you without a doubt that no planner wants to do that either.  We are in a happy business.  We want you to be happy...we want to be happy!  Happy!  Happy!

As a planner and designer, I have my own style and taste.  Part of the reason I share the work of my competition is because they are FREAKING TALENTED!  If a designer or planner is featured on my site it's because they rock.  I'm not saying I don't rock...because I truly believe I rock it like no other... after all I represent Fabulously Wed...  Get it... FABULOUS?  So yeah...  But I am also stoked about working in an industry with people who are just as passionate and creative as I am.  We all have different strengths and my competition inspires me.  I hope in turn I inspire them.

I love to share information.  Any vendor who has lunch, drinks, coffee or Pinkberry with me will tell you, I share!  I share advice, resources, connections and my heart.  I share because I live my life with an attitude of gratitude.  What does it serve me to hoard information for myself when it can benefit others? I believe strongly in reaping what you sow {or karma, if you will}.  Whatever seeds you plant will come to harvest.  You plant seeds all day, every day.  Whether they are good or bad seeds, they will develop and grow.  And sometimes when that plant grows, it grows bigger than you imagined.  I sure don't want to plant any bad seeds just to have it develop into an out-of-control monster that kicks me in my butt.  I would much rather reap one of abundance!  How about you?

AND THIS IS WHY you will find posts by amazing people in my industry.  Work by the sweet and organized Amber Gustafson, the ridiculously talented event designs of Jesi Haack, gorgeous florals by Lauryl Lane and JL Designs, and pretty paper by Lehr and Black and Ceci New York.  They are all amazing and I am proud to share the stage with them.  They are not competition in my book...they are an inspiration.

Until Next Time, Stay Fabulous!


Allison @ Engaged & Inspired said...

I absolutely love this! I think your reasoning is utterly brilliant! There is enough to go around, and just because they are not your unique style doesn't mean the work isn't increds.

I love that you posted this :) And I love that you are looking at the competition as talent and not "competition" per say.

carissa said...

thanks tami! great post! :)

makingitmemorable said...

Thank you Tami for this wonderful post!!! More planners need to read this and understand that all clients are not going to be a fit for our business. As event professionals, there is truly nothing that we do that has not been done before- we need to celebrate one another!

Aleah + Nick said...

This is so perfect, Tami! If we are closed off to others and their talents, then we aren't learning, aren't inspiring, and aren't raising the bar. We are all talented in different ways and not shying away from others is invaluable. There's enough in this industry for everyone as we're all so unique!

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