May 27, 2010  |  Southern Fete News

My friends and I picked one word New Year’s Eve that we wanted to represent 2010. I picked momentum. I had just come back from Lara Casey‘s workshop Making Things Happen and I was fired up. Momentum seemed to sum Making Things Happen up pretty well. Well thanks to some really impactful advice via Mrs. Lara Casey and some fiery ambition, the first 5 months of 2010 have been amazing.

– The Wedding Shoebox launched.

– The Southern Fete brand expanded to {}

– SF Creative invitations are now being shipped to brides all over the U.S.

– Our 2010 invitation collection has been featured on several lovely blogs.

– I have had the pleasure of being a part of the styling of two photo shoots and have invitations featured in several others (a goal of mine for MTH). Sneak peek from Courtney of the latest one below!

So what do you do now when you build momentum and start making things happen?

You must regroup. The same systems that you had in place for working with a certain number of brides don’t work when that number is doubled. With the new momentum, I decided to take a “workcation” for two days a few weeks ago. I wanted to take the time to

– get things organized

– simplify a few of my processes

– become more efficient in some areas, etc.

I knew with the extra workload all these exciting things brought, I should take steps to make sure I was using my time as efficiently as possible. I did absolutely zero client work those two days. I know what you’re thinking. That’s IMPOSSIBLE! Well, trust me, it wasn’t easy. But it was necessary. You’re clients will thank you for it.

During my workcation I may have gotten a bit overzealous with Amazon. I bought atleast 7 business related books. I am reading a little of each at a time and have been so inspired by what I have read already. Here’s a list of them as well as a few of the my other favorites:

1. Love is the Killer App – The day of the sharks are over. Tim’s big principles are giving away your knowledge and even contacts away freely.

2. Getting Things Done – This book is blowing my mind already. Recommended by Michelle from The Sage Wedding Pros, David Allen gives such great organizational tools that have already begun to simplify my life and help be “get things done.”

3. Craft, Inc. – If you are even contemplating starting your own business, this book has all the resources to help you get going. Everything from naming your business, pricing, packaging, marketing. When I started my business, I read a similar book The Boss of You. Both great resources.

4. Outliers – The stories in this book fascinate me. It shows how even the most well-known successful people had circumstances that helped them get where they needed to go. We aren’t islands of success

5. Made to Stick – These brothers give basic principles of how to make whatever you do memorable. The wedding industry is growing so quickly. How will your clients spot you from the crowd?

6. The Creative Habit – A great read for any creative mind that wants to learn practically how to make creativity literally a habit.

8. Never Eat Alone – When Lara asked us our biggest fears, I said mine was networking. I HATE the thought of it. I picture fake handshakes and sliding business cards to everyone. This book along with Love is the Killer App show a different approach: creating real relationships and adding value to others.

9. Weddings by Tara Guerard – Everyone in the wedding industry should own this book. Tara has an amazing ability to create consistent, polished vision though decor, fabrics and stationery (something I am passionate about).

7. & 10. Domino: The Book of Decorating and Elle Decor: Style and Substance – Refresh your mind with inspiration besides weddings. It will give you a fresh perspective to meet the challenge of creating something “new.”

About the photos: Jason Cohen, the wedding photographer I share an office with had a 2-day creative shooting project of following one person around for the work day. Jason captured every meeting. The first picture is of a meeting discussing invitations with Sam, center, and her sister Sara (a past SF bride and my hair and makeup artist for my wedding). The main image was a creative shot Jason had in mind.


  1. Great post! I took 2 days a couple of weeks ago and did NOTHING business related (which was so odd for me… even though it was the weekend!) and it was SO good for me, my business and my family! I highly recommend business owners do it, too. Really excited for you and how your year is going. 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing this! I’ve been overwhelmed with a “where to start” kind of feeling and I am going to check out the books you’ve recommended. Thanks!

  3. So glad I could help Jennifer! And best of luck!

  4. This is an awesome list Valerie!


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