It's a new year and with that being said, I'm sure there are plenty of new faces around so I figured, let's make this week's post a Friday Introduction!
I'm Alyssa Johnson and I am the owner and lead planner for Alyssa Jean Signature Events. Owning my own wedding & event planning company has always been a dream of mine. I always knew I was meant to be an entrepreneur. I am someone who absolutely loves to work (it really is a struggle for me to take an entire day without doing something to make this business better!). It is so true what they say - if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. I truly feel blessed to be able to do what I love day in and day out and watch it grow as a direct result of the effort, time and care I put into making it better.
So first, a little about how I got into this industry. Well, to be honest, I have never known anything else. I started working in restaurants when I was 15 and have been in the hospitality/service industry ever since. I went to UMASS Amherst and majored in Hospitality Tourism Management with a focus in Event Management. Since then I have worked in some of the most iconic spots in New England including the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, the Boston Convention Exhibition Center, the Hynes Convention Center and the Wentworth by the Sea Hotel & Spa before leaving the corporate world behind for this #entreprenuerlife.
Now for some fun stuff about me!
1) I have lived in 4 of the 6 New England states: born in Rhode Island, grew up in Massachusetts, moved to New Hampshire after meeting my now husband and most recently, Connecticut!
2) I spent a year of high school living abroad in Costa Rica - I actually took my SAT's in the country's capital, San Jose! I absolutely love this place and could see myself retiring here many years down the line (or perhaps planning destination weddings!) If you've ever been to Costa Rica - you'll hear them say Pura Vida to everyone. It translates to Pure Life or Simple Life and is as common to them as saying hello. I fell so in love with this way of life that I got the saying tattooed onto body to remind me to always live this way.
3) My ultimate career goal is to own my own wedding venue. I've got my husband and I on the 5 year plan to make this happen so be on the lookout for big things to come in the future!
4) I am entirely too obsessed with my dog. His name is Finnegan and he is a 5 year old mixed breed (I DNA tested him so I can tell you that he is a Staffordshire Terrier, Chow Chow, Shar Pei, Sheep Dog blend) that I rescued from the streets in Houston, TX. He is majorly spoiled and deserves every minute of it.
5) Fitness and health is something else that is SO important to me. I am a certified personal trainer and work part-time as a Fitness Coach in addition to running my business. Physical activity is something I crave and is so incorporated into my life that I truly can't go a day without it.
6) I'm an HGTV and Discovery Channel junkie - Love it or List It (the original) and Alaska the Last Frontier are two of my favorite shows. I'm not much for reality TV but these two make the cut! Plus I feel like Discovery Channel is reality TV you can learn from, right?
7) I don't like going to the movies. Honestly the last time I went was to see a midnight Star Wars premiere (yes, I'm also a big nerd and love Star Wars) and only because my dad insisted we see it in the theater. I would rather watch movies at home, in my PJ's, snuggled up with my dog with my refrigerator a few steps away lol!
8) My favorite number is 8 so we are going to end with 8 fun facts about me before I jump into my 8 goals for 2019! So last fact - if today was my last day on earth, my last meal request would be a Caesar salad, Chicken Parmesan, garlic bread, a glass of the best Cabernet Sauvignon and a huge chocolate lava cake with loads of whipped cream and vanilla ice cream!
Now, I want to hold myself accountable for my 2019 goals, so what better way than to share them with the entire internet universe. I have loads of goals but for simplicity sake, let's narrow this down to my 5 biggest business goals that I plan to achieve this year!
1) Focus on booking more Full and Partial Planning clients. I absolutely adore doing Month-Of Coordination but I have found that I love to be a part of the full planning process. I love spending months (sometimes years!) getting to know all about my couples and truly helping to craft their big day from the very beginning.
2) Consistent Blogging. My goal here is 3 blog posts per month. I was really good about this at the beginning of last year but as my season picked up, blogging became one of my lowest priorities. I love to write - I always have and I feel good about having another creative outlet to express myself. I really try to make my posts useful and contain wedding planning tips that brides would appreciate - but every so often, there will be a more personal post, such as this one! I hope you guys don't mind!
3) Network, network, network! This was another thing that I was great at when first launching my business last winter as I truly didn't know anyone in the Connecticut wedding industry since I was so new to the state. I've made loads of connections since then but feel it is so important to maintain these relationships and continue to cultivate new ones. My goal is to make time for at least 2 in-person networking meetings per month, whether that is an industry event or a 1 on 1 sit-down meeting, it's something I want to continue to focus on.
4) Enhance my design skills. I enjoy design but my true strength is in planning, details, vendor management and organization. I've restructured my wedding packages and only include design services for my Full Service Signature Clients to allow me to really devote more time and care into their wedding design. I'm interested in finding a local design class to expand my knowledge - maybe an interior design course will be in the near future!
5) Book 12 weddings. In my first season I took on 10 clients. My goal for 2019 is to take on 12 weddings. I give each and every client everything I have so I feel 12 is the perfect amount to keep my schedule full and still give me plenty of time to focus on each one and treat them as if they were my only client. I am currently at 8 weddings so if you are interested in working with me, I have 4 spots left for my 2019 season!
And lastly, I want to share a quote with you guys that I heard on a recent podcast that has truly been a driving force for me lately. It came from the Lewis Howes podcast and he was interviewing CrossFit champion, Katrin Davidsdottir. She said:
"Champions don't have balance and the reason they go ahead and do what they do is because they focus all their time and energy on it."
This quote truly resonated with me. Everyone always talks about balance but really - if you want to be truly exceptional at something, balance doesn't exist because this one thing consumes you. Now for most people, exceptional isn't what they are after and balance in their life is more important which is 100% okay. It's all about what is most important in your life and your personal goals. However, I am not one of those people. I have been a perfectionist my entire life and settling for anything less than my absolute best has never been an option. For me - building this business is everything. I am honestly obsessed with developing a great, reputable company that helps couples plan and execute one of the best days of their lives. Anytime I'm feeling stressed or haven't taken a full day off in weeks, I repeat this to myself. It motivates me to keep going because if you aren't out there working your absolute hardest, someone else is. I wanted to share this in case it motivates any of you the way it has motivated me! Thanks for stopping by this week and I hope you enjoyed getting to know more about me and Alyssa Jean Signature Events! See you next time and as always, Happy Planning!