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I think a lot about how I started my business and who the people were that helped me to make my dream job become a reality. People have a huge impact on our lives and those people who help you by being supportive in your life, truly matter. There is a quote by Jim Rohn that says “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” So when I think of this quote I think about the people I surround myself in my business. I have come to find that there are people who will lift you up and people who can suck the positive energy right out of the room. So, I have chosen to keep my circle filled with the RIGHT people. It is not the number of people that is the important factor, it is the quality of the people, friends, colleagues and mentors that have had the biggest impact for me.

When I first started Dolce Amica Event Planning & Design, it was going to be a job that was a hobby. I started the business with one of my closest friends. We did not need much money, because we were event planners, they were hiring us for our skill and expertise in a field we had both been involved in working for a not-for-profit. We did not need an office space, so no overhead there. We worked for friends and family at first and before our first year came to fruition my friend decided she did not want to be in this business anymore, which I truly respected. So I had a big decision to make. Could I do this on my own? Could I make this work? Did I want to work more hours? So, luckily for me my husband and children said to me this is what I was meant to do, follow through, and if you fall on your face, at least you will know you tried to do something that had been a dream. So I did.

I took every job I possibly could, and most of the time never charged enough. As things progressed and I did more and more events I started to meet more and more vendors and people who I now call my friends. There were some people I probably should have never done business with, but it was a learning experience for me. I clearly knew that I had to surround myself with the best of the best. I began to realize that my success really was dependent upon my trusted colleagues, the ones that gave it their all within their own talents and were willing to see the vision I had. I started to get busier and busier and with that I was using many different florists, photographers, videographers, Dj’s, bands, and venues. It was a true eye-opening, and what this helped me do was to create a “tribe”, my tribe. Those people who appreciated me as a peer and who were also invested in my success, as much as I was in theirs.

As small business owners we have so much going on, so much hype trying to keep up with the trends and constantly thinking our business could be in jeopardy because of the ups and downs of bookings and clients. So obviously we need people in our lives that tell us the truth, but not in a way that beats us down, but in a way that we can energize us to be better, to take some changes and to understand we may have to take a different path.

I think we need to realize that our success is not ours alone. We all need a mentor, someone you can call to talk you off you jumping off the edge of the cliff. Someone who will listen when things get tough in business, maybe when the money is not flowing in, when clients are not booking, someone just to vent to. I am lucky enough to have several of these people I get to call my colleagues and my friends, and a husband who truly loves seeing me successful and is always available for advice and logic.

Owning a business is not an easy venture. But what I have learned is that “there is enough bread on the shelf for everyone”. We need to work together. Competition is great, but to what avail. Do we beat down our competition or do we rise above with the help of our tribe, the tribe that will bring us success.

First and foremost I thank my family, my husband and my children for my success. For always believing in me and being proud of what I have done.

I thank the DJ that played at my daughter’s wedding 9 years ago, who became a friend and a great colleague, a person who has been someone I could always count on to steer me in the right direction. And if you want a party – he is the man to make sure the dance floor is filled the entire night! (Nathan Baker at FLE Event Group)

I thank the photographer, who at first, I was annoyed with during a wedding we did for one of my daughter’s friends, but who has become my No. 1 person not only in business, but in my personal life. She and her partners are the most amazing people at what they do – they do not just take photos, it is a story they tell through the art of photography. (Chelse Thompson, Paul Mattison, Kevin Mattison - North Glow Photography)

I thank the florist, a colleague’s sister who can bring any vision to life, who will work with me, my client and the numbers we give her – and I know that is not always easy. She is a woman who I now call my friend. Her knowledge and artistry with flowers is beyond anything I have ever seen, and with every wedding, every deliver she never ceases to amaze me. (Rachel Pasquarelli - In Bloom Florals)

I thank each and every venue I have had the honor to host events at. To the staff who work tirelessly to make sure every detail is handled, while always keeping a smile on their face.

I thank all the caterers and food vendors who put together menus to please every pallet and to make any foodie smile with joy with each and every bite.

I thank every bakery for their delectable desserts.

And to those venues and vendors who have not really come through, who believed loyalty was not necessary to do business, I thank you also. I thank you for letting me know that you are not someone I want to do business with, you are not what my client needs, because they need the best. And I am surrounded by the best of the best and for that reason Dolce Amica is a success. Not standing alone, but together!

So in business, in life, surround yourself with the best, you will be happy and success will truly follow. You know…it takes a village!

Wishing you success and happiness,


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