So I decided to officially start my own wedding and event planning company in August of 2017. After moving to Maryland to begin my new chapter, I decided it was time to step out in faith and do something big. Planning had always been a passion of mine, so why not get paid to do it, I thought. The thing is, when I moved here, I was scared to step out. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Maryland Wedding Industry, it is supersaturated with Nigerian wedding planners. I didn’t want to become another Nigerian planner. I knew I wanted to do something different but I didn’t know how to separate myself.
I remember doing research on all the planners in Maryland and it just seemed like there were a million and one already here. How do I stand out, what makes me different, why would people want to work with someone with no website, no clients, no Instagram, no reviews and frankly no experience in Maryland? All these horrid thoughts crowded my head but I was sure that this is what God wanted me to do. I began looking for people to shadow and intern with hoping someone would want free help, at the end of the day I had 4 years experience planning and running weddings, so why would they say no? Fortunately for me, all I received was no after no after no. Why fortunately, well it was God’s way of telling me to be bold and courageous and not to be afraid. He was telling me that I didn’t have to hide under the covering of someone else’s business because He will support me and help me build mine.
Now it was time to create a business… what will the name be? I tried to come up with names but nothing seemed right. I even went as far as to recruit family and friends and bribe my little cousins with a share of a no-name business if they came up with great name. All those efforts yielded nothing….Nothing! I remember one day while praying, I knelt down on the floor in the room and said “God i will not leave this spot until you give me a name”, I guess it was my little version of Jacob wrestling with God. A few minutes later I heard very clearly “Willow“. I remember thinking… “huh, Willow…? Like Willow Smith? God what is a willow?” It sounded so weird but it was just perfect, well compared to my previous idea of Sashey’s Soirees , LOL.
So why Willow? Well, I googled Willow I found, “slender, graceful, resilient, determined, courageous and beautiful”. All words that I hoped to God defined me… well slender maybe if i keep going to the gym, but the rest just seemed so perfect. It was like God was encouraging me to become more like a Willow. The next day I spoke to my Aunt who said Willow… that’s perfect you can name your event center The Willow and I laughed because i knew this is a dream that God placed on my heart and I am excited to see it happen.
So where is Willow now and how is it going? In the 5 months The Willow has been alive, I have booked 4 weddings. Can somebody say GOD IS FAITHFUL!!! With no reviews, no brochures, no pictures, no MD experience, no nothing… God continues to show himself. He has shown me that all it takes is a little faith.
Join me on my wedding journey… follow @thewillowevents
Lots of Love!
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