Learning from the Best: The Gorgeousness of Trouvaille 3.0


Rhiannon Bosse of Hey Gorgeous Events has captured my heart with her style! I love it! And it's not that it's "her style", it's my style and your style and anyone looking for pretty!

This past summer I had the immense pleasure of attending the Trouvaille Workshop in Chicago. I know, I already wrote about the people I, but I want to share with you some of the gorgeousness too! I want others to learn that we do not have to be "stuck" with just what we have. There are so many incredible vendors in this beautiful world!!

Our first day we were treated to a welcome dinner at Firehouse Chicago. While Trouvaille is in the Windy City, New Orleans has an abundance of venues to choose from! Have you seen il Mercato? Or how about a lovely evening at Bevolo? Or the very intimate Maison Montegut? Take a look around and you'll find unique venues that fit your personality and needs! The point is to find the pretty (or what you find pretty :) 


Everything was pretty and everything matched! It was not just the setting or the people, but from the beginning with the invites to our place settings during both class and meals, Rhi had the prettiest items! What I want you to remember is that it matched. Rhi has brand, much like your wedding will, and it is soooo easy to get lost in ALL of the pretty this world has to offer. But sticking to what your brand is, creates an atmosphere and a physical setting that you and all of your guests will be awing over!

















I loved getting to capture some of the pretty Rhi shared with us, but if you want to see more and from a professional (you've already seen some of her work on here), go check out Shalyn Nelson of Love the Nelsons. You'll definitely see some more gorgeousness!!

It is so abundantly clear that Rhiannon Bosse and her fabulous team of speakers and support staff pour their heart and soul into the Trouvaille Workshop. I feel like focusing on community and investing in each other is incredibly important in an industry where we all work so hard and put out so much of our own hearts into someone else's day or event. Trouvaille is truly an inspiring workshop to reinvest in not only yourself, but in those around you. Thank you Rhi for curating such a wonderful event that truly helped refill my cup. Till the next time! xoxoxox

Erin

Credits


Learning from the best: The People & Places of Trouvaille Workshop 3.0

trou · vaille

\ troo ' vī \ a lucky find

Seriously, what a lucky find!

Trouvaille

3.0, the workshop with heart, is one of my best finds in years! I could not be more thankful I was able to attend such professionally run and beautifully designed workshop! I could write a book about this wonderful workshop but instead I'll try to be short and to the point :) Each person and place was so incredibly special!! It's going to be hard not to go into detail on everything and everyone! 

Lodging & Workshop Locations

Trouvaille

3.0 took place in Chicago, and while I didn't get to see a lot of the city, what I did see I absolutely LOVED! Who wouldn't love a city on a lake where they have neighborhoods that tell you that "YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL"? Chicago, or at least the part I got to see, was pretty stinking cool :)

We stayed at the very awesome Guesthouse Hotel. Walking in, I immediately fell in love with the lobby and all that it contained! It was decorated perfectly! Everywhere you turned there was something to see or touch or enjoy! The lobby itself has several sitting areas, but the rooms also have them! Besides the ample areas to work and lounge, the hotel also comes fully equipped with a workout facility and yoga instructor you could have come to your room! You could easily stay at the Guesthouse for more than a short stay! You could be there for a long while! The service was great and the people were so warm and welcoming! They made us feel right at home! I couldn't get enough of it and highly recommend it to anyone visiting Chicago! 

Of course I had a ton of work to keep up with in Chicago but upon arrival I had the immense pleasure of seeing one of my business coaches - Kathryn Duckett from Crème Brands. I LOVED getting to sit with her one-on-one in the corner above! She is so sweet and caring!! 

I wish I had taken photos of our suite, because it was SWEET! It was decorated perfectly and big enough for us to spread out and not feel like we were on top of each other. Couldn't ask for a better place to stay! 

By night we stayed at the luxury hotel, and by day we visited the most charming venue - Firehouse Chicago. It's a charming and perfectly styled vintage venue. So perfectly styled I wanted to take photos of the bathroom, but it might have looked weird to take my camera in the bathroom so you'll just have to take my word for it :) 

Workshop with Heart: Speakers that Share

Every day and every setting for this workshop was so well planned! Each speaker sat in front of us, a group of women that wanted to soak up as much as possible, and each speaker gave as much as she could. To help her speakers feel more comfortable, Rhiannon (Rhi) set up the most intimate and pretty space!  I loved this setting! 

Outside our "classroom" was an intimate courtyard where we shared breakfast, lunch and even dinner sometimes. Every meal came with so many visual treats and savory eats!!!

The setting provided the perfect atmosphere for us to get to know not just each other but the speakers as well. Rhi and herTrouvaille workshop are not just about curating and showcasing beautiful designs, but also about relationships and memories to last a lifetime! 

Fearless leader, Beautiful spirit, Giving Nature, Creative mind, Rhiannon Boss of Hey Gorgeous Events & The Trouvaille Workshop

Rhi is one of the most successful wedding planners & designers in the industry. She is creative and business savvy and she is unique. And while others may try to copy, there is only one of her. And that is one of the key messages I truly got from her. She does what she is good at, and that is what I have to do and what you have to do. You cannot copy other people. They are successful because of who they are. You have to be yourself and find your passion and be successful by doing what you do best. 

Every Last Detail blog editor & chief, Lauren Grove: "former bride and wedding planner" - her blog is "carefully curated to educate and inspire brides" 

RiverOaks Charleston, Marianne

Trouvaille isn't just about the swag or the education. It is called the "workshop with heart" for a reason. Each of the speakers truly shared pieces of their hearts and that is no less true for Marianne. She gave each of us a neatly wrapped present that contained smaller gifts to remind us of the characteristics and how we can better serve our clients & make their wedding day as special & meaningful as can be. 

  1. A small wooden spoon to remind us that we are here to serve others in our profession; 
  2. A fine art photograph representing the beautiful stories and memories we help create on the day of the event;
  3. A piece of wood to show the strength we must have in setting the pace for the event; 
  4. A tiny packet of salt to represent that something special, a seasoning that helps to set the tone and bring out the flavors of the event; 
  5. A piece of cloth linen that represents a sense of softness and reminds us to perform with the grace;
  6. A feather to remind us to tread lightly and be flexible when we are working with our clients and allow authentic moments to flow naturally when they are happening;
  7. Small, smooth rock representing the rock hard foundation a marriage should be built on and should be at the forefront of our planning; 
  8. A ribbon representing the bonds that tie a couple together and that while the ribbon may fray and come untied, it can be strengthened over and over again; and 
  9. A gathering of lavender to represent the sense of calmness and tranquility that should envelope this day so our clients remember what it is all about - their relationship, their marriage. 

Graceline - illustration & calligraphy, Jennie Sanders,calligrapher, designer, illustrator

Reveriemade, Kristin Polhemus

New Jersey wedding planner passionate about love & celebration who believes "hospitality is a the root of every successful soiree" 

Crème Brands, Kathryn Duckett

Personal, heat-to-heart Brand coaching Designer with a heart for celebrating love

I first "met" Kathryn through one of my favorite local planners, Valerie with Sapphire Events. I needed someone to help me define my business or my vision more clearly and Kathryn helped me do that. She helped me clearly articulate exactly why I do the things that I do. As a planner, and generally as person, through detailed planning and personal relationships I plan events and work to curate an atmosphere of a seamlessly executed day of event so my clients and those working the event are able to enjoy every minute of the day and leave with memories for a lifetime. I'm at my happiest, when those around me are at their happiest. 

As a brand coach, Kathryn reminded us to to hold on tight to who we are at heart, and to create brands that represents each of us in a classic and timeless ways so we can create TRUST. If you need some help figuring out how you want to best present yourself and your brand, Kathryn is definitely my first choice! 

-------------------------------------------------

Gwyneth Paige Couture Letterpress, Jodi Bos

Momma first, Savvy & Successful Business Woman

Creative at Heart 

"Grow slow!" Jodi had a hugely successful business and a beautiful family and was rolling! But along the way she lost sight of things and got off track of what truly mattered. She was so open about the pitfalls of being a business owner and mom and wanting to have it all. Her advice is to take it slow and take care of yourself and remember the important things in life (like your friends outside of your business). Her story is definitely one we can all relate to! Thank you Jodi!! xoxo

------------------------------------------------

Sage Wedding Pros, Michelle Loretta

All about the numbers & helping wedding pros create financially & operationally sustainable businesses 

Before Michelle got to talk I was already wanting to talk to her! I know where I want to go and what I want to do, but things somehow got moving along the way and I forgot to look at my map and adjust my directions. Michelle is one of the first people in the wedding industry to talk about the business side of things. And as such she was and is someone who is highly respected. If you need help, don't be afraid to ask for it! Setting a good foundation is key to your future success!! 

--------------------------------------------

Sinclair and Moore, Steve Moore who "focuses on design, florals and every last detail"  

Encourages us to "Take a leap of faith" and "be confident" in everything that we do!

Trouvaille was everything and more than I could have hoped for! There were a plethora of creative and educational ideas shared and warm hearts opened! Being around individuals who share the same soul searching goals and dreams to be a part of such a wonderful industry was so inspiring and brought so much clarity!! I walked away with my to-do list and an over flowing heart! So incredibly blessed to be around such inspiring people!! 

Truly TROUVAILLE! 

To find out more about the Trouvaille Workshop, contact Rhi via the Trouvaille page - https://www.facebook.com/trouvailleworkshop

Some of the Trouvaille 3.0 Sponsors:

Nuage Designs Inc

Smitten on Paper

Tablescapes Event Rentals

Hey Gorgeous Events

Oatmeallace Designs

Parris Chic Boutique

Laura Hooper Calligraphy 

Love, the Nelsons

Kate and Moose

Learning from the best: the Artist Holiday




http://jenhuangphoto.com/artistholidayparis.pdfThis summer when I saw a posting on Instagram by Magnolia Rouge, I thought to myself, "why not? If it happens, it's meant to be. Maybe God has a plan."

I honestly cannot believe I did it. I cannot believe I entered for a chance to win $500 toward a seat at the Artist Holiday. I still cannot believe I received an email from Kurt Boomer saying they were offering it to me and I cannot believe I went. 
Yes, I literally jumped and squealed like a little girl when I received that email. Honestly, who wouldn't? It's an email from Kurt Boomer! 
I was crazy excited, and I felt in my bones it was a sign that it was meant to be....I was supposed to go to France and I was supposed to meet these phenomenal people and I was supposed to get back in touch with who I am. 



I honestly cannot describe it. I'm not sure even Hemmingway or Shakespear could put into words my thoughts and feelings about this summer and the emotions and thoughts and plans that have gone through my head (and there really isn't enough space to blog it either). It has truly been amazing!

July 20 - I arrived in Paris, the city of love. Leaving during the summer meant I knew I had to stay focused so I set some goals:
  1. rekindle a love affair with my cameras;
  2. get to my lodging on time; 
  3. soak in all that these wonderful industry experts had to offer; 
  4. reset my budget; and
  5. I don't remember the 5th...clearly I didn't accomplish it. 
                   
















I decided I was going to take the trains from Paris central to Brou (pronounced Broo, not Brow like cow). Surely I could do it. I'm a grown woman. It's not as easy as it sounds though. But I made it to Chartres and then Brou and I was a happy girl. I already hit one of my goals :) Doesn't sound like much I know, but it was for me. I was taking the train and I was by myself and I don't know a lick of French. In fact, more Spanish came out of my mouth than French the entire week. But I made it. 

We stayed in Fraze at a little farmhouse. Brou was in between the farmhouse and the chateau where we'd be doing all the learning - Chateau  de Bouthonvilliers in Dangeau.
The Chateau is truly spectacular! Every inch of the grounds is stunningly beautiful from 250 year old trees and wild flowers to the rolling fields in the back which you can see as you gain entry through the front door. And every inch of the interior is covered with the Verdun family history. 



















New Orleans Business Owner: Lessons I've learned as an Entrepreneur



Several months ago my brother moved home (he's lived in Florida for a LONG time). He went to school out there and worked out there and had a life out there, but I'm guessing he thought it was finally time to come home. 

Once he did, he also decided he was going to start his own business. Now, New Orleans has been praised as a great place for entrepreneurs and young people, so this is a great place for him to start. But like so many other people looking to start their own business, he wasn't sure how to get moving or even where to start. So we sat down and made lists and worked on things together.

It's scary starting a new business. It's your own. You're constantly wondering if it will be a success and if the next client will come. You're investing time and money into this huge venture and there are absolutely no guarantees, but you do it anyway.

As entrepreneurs we’re often going after our dreams alone and it’s hard. There are so many ups and downs and it’s so easy to take a look at what other people are doing and wonder...“What is wrong with me? Why is it taking me soooo long? Will I ever be able to get to where I want to be?”

Being a business owner and someone that loves to see people happy and successful, I felt compelled to share some tough lessons because the more honest and open we all are about the reality and truth of entrepreneurship, the more we will empower each other to succeed. 
  1. IT WILL TAKE TIME - This was a big lesson I learned (and am still learning). I remember when I was starting It's Your Time Events, someone said it could take a long time...sometimes it's the 3rd year, and other times it's longer for a business to be successful. That definitely didn't help my fears, but I kept going anyway.

    It's been 3 years and there are still many times when I am not sure if I'm spinning my wheels in place or if I'll ever have another client or if I'm doing the right things. We live in a world where we want to achieve everything now…We want 10,000 subscribers now, 100,000 website visitors now, lots of sales now. And so often we get caught up looking at what other people are doing and then think, “why is it taking me sooooo long???????” But as the quote goes, “Rome wasn't built in a day.”  It takes time (and LOTS of patience, faith and hope!).

    Once I started to be okay with this, it was like a weight had lifted. I stopped beating myself up about how long it was all taking and began to enjoy the journey more, because that’s what it’s all about anyway.  So, if you ever think to yourself, “why is it taking me so long?” just remember that it does take time, stick with it and be okay with it, because it’ll help you to enjoy your life right now more.

    I started It's Your Time Events because it made me happy. For every wedding and couple I worked with, I saw a future....I saw the hope that it represented. I started my business because I wanted to be a part of that and contribute to someone else's day. I started it because my daytime jobs did not meet my social or creative needs. That’s why I started It's Your Time Events. To be a part of helping others' special moments....to ensure they are able to enjoy those moments.
  2. YOU NEED TO BE MENTALLY TOUGH - This follows on nicely from the first lesson I learned because entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint and in order to keep on going, you have to have mental strength – that’s what will get you to the finishing line (not that there’s really a finishing line in business, the line is always moving!).

    This is by far one of the toughest lessons to learn....and toughest hurdles to get over. Success begins with YOU. It’s an inside job and it’s something that you have to do on purpose, day in, day out. Heck yes it's scary! You're trying to achieve something you've never done before and you're doing it primarily on your own.  I know all of the excuses because I've said them to myself... “I don’t have the time, the money, the knowledge, I’m not ready yet etc.”

    I literally had to tell myself that I can do this. I will make it happen. I am going to start my own business. I had to condition myself, and you will have to do the same, to overcome the fear, to tell the excuses to go away and allow myself to step up and be the person I need to be in order to make it happen.

    When the challenges arise, when things go wrong, when everything feels like it’s taking foreverrrr, you have to have the right mindset to be able to deal with it and keep moving FORWARD.  This will be your BIGGEST asset in life, because the right attitude will help you to start manifesting a life and business you love.
  3. IT TAKES MONEY TO MAKE MONEY - This is a lesson I learned early on - to make money, you've got to spend money. Because of my background in communications and marketing, I knew where I wanted to be to reach my audience. However, I also knew it is best to talk to those already in the industry for suggestions. So I figured it all out and with a credit card and a small spending limit a day, I was able to get my business and my offering in front of my audience from day one.

    I think so often we build a website, create a product or service and think that somehow people will discover us, that somehow miraculously we’ll be able to build a big list and make lots of sales. The truth us that if you want to want to grow faster (get more traffic, more subscribers, more sales) you have to pay. And I’m not talking about spending thousands… you can start off with an advertising budget of a couple of dollars a day.
  4. YOU ARE NOT ALONE - Make friends with like-minded people, who get you and want to help you along your journey. This is one of the most valuable things I've ever done, not just in terms of my business, but in terms of my sanity!

    Knowing that I have people I can turn to to talk about my experiences and challenges and get perspective and advice, and people who are there to celebrate with me when I have a win, makes such a huge difference. I would go insane without my business friends, who are actually scattered all over the world.

    Being an entrepreneur can be so lonely, if you let it be… so don’t. Start getting better connected by reaching out to people who you resonate with, send an email, join Facebook groups, go to networking events, attend conferences – hang out where other like-minded people hang out and start building friendships.
  5. BE CONSISTENT & FOCUSED - I actually learned this lesson when I was training for marathons and half marathons and a half ironman in DC. It takes a commitment and it take focus to make it happen.

    If you want to be great at something you have to practice being great at it consistently and you have to stay focused on it. I would have never thought I would be able to run a mile let alone do a half ironman! At one time in my life I would have thought that was impossible. But all that training and commitment and focus, showed me that I am capable of doing things I never thought were possible. Those races showed me what it takes to make big things happen.  

    It’s exactly the same in business, if you want to be great you have to practice being great every day… even when you haven't gotten a client in a month or more, even when you feel like you keep doing things wrong, even when you have hardly any followers/fans/subscribers.

    I get it. It's tough and scary and disheartening and so you want to try every different angle to improve, to make it happen. It’s sooo easy to feel the need to hop around from one idea/strategy, to the next, but this often leads to inconsistency. You start doing one thing and before long, you've moved on to something else… never allowing yourself the chance to become really great at it.

    So instead of doing a million things, just focus on being consistent at one thing (or a few), and then once you’re great, keep up the practice and, if you want, move on to something else too.
  6. KEEP IT SIMPLE - You're starting a business. You have family and friends. You probably have a daytime job which pays the bills. There is a LOT going on in your life. Starting and maintaining a business can quickly become overwhelming and chaotic because there are a million and one things we need to be doing. It’s exhausting. It will be okay though. You can do this!!

    I've found keeping things simple is best. I literally have to list my priorities and focus on one thing at a time and make life easy by planning out the what and the when. I review my priorities and goals and needs and wants and if something doesn't fit within those goals or needs, then it's not on the list. It'll just have to get addressed later. When you know what you need to do and when you need to do it, it makes life so much easier!

    For me, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't carry my Emily Ley Simplified Planner. I literally schedule EVERYTHING: daytime work, It's Your Time Events work, family time, and I try for social and me time, but that doesn't always work out.  I know myself. If I don't keep track of my time and my priorities and what I'm doing or not doing, I will feel overwhelmed...I go insane. I get emotional and stressed and frantic and unable to focus on anything.   When you are intentional about your day and keep things simple and plan things out, I promise, you’ll feel so much happier and make lots more progress.  

Not entirely sure of what your priorities are or what your ultimate goal is? Here's a worksheet to get you rolling. Or we can set up a session to talk. I love coaching others and seeing their dreams come true! 

It's Your Time Events owner, Erin St Pierre England, is now offering Coaching sessions on starting and managing your business. If you have any questions or would like to discuss where you are in your process, we'd love to help! Contact us at Erin@Itsyourtimeevents.com

Life's a journey, you have to keep moving forward


At 18 or 19 years old, I thought I knew what I wanted to do in life. I came out of high school thinking I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I was going to head off to Baton Rouge and attend LSU for undergrad and then head to LSU Law, so I could work in a position where I would be able to help other people. 

To help other people....to help people....

But I didn't get into law school. In fact I was rejected from every single school I applied to. I even took an LSAT class where people didn't understand why I was there...I got all the homework right all.....the.....TIME! How could I not pass that test!? It's a test....not a guy holding a gun to your head! 

Talk about a blow to your confidence and drive in life.

It's called choking. Yup....that's about what I did. Each time I walked into the test setting, I told myself "this is the test that determines the rest of your life." Ouch...looking back, that seems like a lot of pressure on a 20something year-old. 

So, I sulked for a bit and then took the GRE and headed to grad school...at LSU of course :) 

I started in Political Science with the idea of staying on track to go back to the law school thing, but eventually a good friend helped me realize I don't need a law degree to help people. I began working with student athletes while at the same time working in government. I was a part of two very different programs but they both allowed me to feel like I was helping people....I was making a difference! 

Turns out my friend was right. I don't need a law degree to help people and make a difference in small and big ways. I pursued a Master of Liberal Arts with concentrations in Political Science, Counseling, and Higher Education (talk about a well rounded education!). I loved every second of it!


After an absolutely awesome SEVEN years at LSU, I finally stopped (because I couldn't afford being a professional student) and in the Spring of 2005 I accepted an internship with a smaller Texas school working in their athletic department. At that time, I was making....wait for it....$1,000 a month! (Yes, we all start at the bottom people. We all have to learn certain skills and knowledge that we are not taught in school.) I left home for the first time and had my own apartment and took advantage of activities on campus and saw a bright future. 

But then August of 2005 rolls around and everything in my world shifted a bit. Yes, Katrina happened and for many people from New Orleans Katrina became a milestone in our lives. Things happened pre-Katrina or post-Katrina (this thinking may be shifting a bit as we get older, but it's still there).  

August 28th...do you know where you were? I know exactly where I was at that time. I was helping move my mom from the West Bank to the Northshore. We were packing and not even paying attention until it was quite clear that Katrina was indeed coming. At that point what were we going to do? Leave her new house and all her belongings sitting....waiting for a huge storm to wage war? We stayed. We stayed and we were okay. I still hear the random voices of people calling in to WWL and telling Garland Robinette where they were and that the water was rising. I can still see the images toys and clothes left on the high-rise by the Dome. I remember the destruction I saw all along the entire gulf coast as I drove from my mom's house in Covington to my apartment in Texas and then to my sister in Pensacola. And every time I go to the Convention Center my heart still hurts. Yeah, Katrina was a doozy and did a number on all of us. 

I moved home immediately (Rita just happened to follow my mom and I to Texas so we kind of had to return to south Louisiana) and took a job working as an executive assistant. I floated between jobs for a bit until I got an offer from an old friend for a great opportunity in DC. 

DC was supposed to be a three year plan to gain experience and knowledge. I was moving to DC! How cool is that? I planned to bring all that knowledge and experience home to New Orleans and make a difference here. But it turns out leaving home for a place so far away from my family was truly one of the hardest things I've ever done in life and I hit bottom for a bit in DC. Talk about depression! AND in DC they don't give hugs and it's cold so there was no combatting it....

Eventually I got back up on my feet and learned to LOVE our Nation's capital. Working for the DoD I did some pretty neat things and learned so much about myself! I lived right up the street from the Capital and Supreme Court...who is not going to love that! But I still wanted to go home eventually and turns out getting a job at home wasn't so easy. DC turned into 6 years and a husband. 

At that point I took what I could get and hated it! I was working on contracts and budgets...that was it....no interaction with the outside world at all. I took a long, hard look at myself, and thought about all of my previous positions and what I liked or did not like about each them. 

  • I'm a people person;
  • I love helping other people; 
  • I love making things happen;
  • I love happy people and good times; 
  • I like communications;
  • I like being creative;
  • I like managing and executing projects;
  • I like planning....

I finally began to see a light....

I brainstormed and dreamed and asked myself "what would I do if I could not fail?" I slowly whittled my thoughts down from communications and public relations to project management and then finally to wedding planning and coordination. And I thought about how important a person's wedding day truly is and how much money we spend on it....and It's Your Time Events was born. 

It's definitely not easy being a business owner and trying to make a living. In fact, it's hard as heck! When I first opened the biz, I had a full-time job then at one point I was able to do the business full-time, and then eventually went back to a full-time job with benefits and that could pay ALL of the bills (not just some of them). Talk about trying times! Am I a failure because my business hasn't been steady? Heck no! I'll get there eventually! 

Life's a journey people. We're all going to do some form of falling down or choking on tests and getting depressed, but what is important is getting back up! We all have to make that decision for ourselves. Without going into details, I've been through some pretty tough situations and experiences. Things nobody thinks they will ever experience. And then you do experience them and you wonder if you'll make it back up...if you'll ever see hope again. I had to actively make that decision of whether to get up or stay down. I chose to get up. I might not be "30 flirty and thriving" (in fact I struggle quite a bit), but I am happy and I did choose hope over all the things that hadn't gone quite right in life. It's up to you to make your choice. What will you do?