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Center Valley wedding planner sees business boom after COVID

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Samantha O’Donnell is the proprietor of Lavish Haus Design + Occasion Co., a Middle Valley marriage ceremony and occasion planning firm. O’Donnell began the enterprise after she was laid off in October 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The financial affect of the COVID-19 pandemic has confirmed to be a hidden blessing for Samantha O’Donnell.

In October 2020, she misplaced her job as an inside designer, however took the chance to start out a brand new firm and do one thing she has at all times been keen about.

O’Donnell based Lavish home, a Middle Valley marriage ceremony planning firm, again in January, and enterprise is booming resulting from marriage ceremony cancellations a 12 months in the past. Lavish Home additionally serves individuals in Bucks County, Philadelphia and the Lancaster space.

She mentioned occasion planning was her main in school earlier than shifting to inside design and admitted that she at all times needed to start out her personal enterprise.

“It is a problem, nevertheless it’s additionally a terrific factor,” she mentioned. “I want to have the ability to make choices primarily based on what I feel is finest as an alternative of working for somebody and deviating from what they assume. I’ve to make these calls now. “

O’Donnell labored with SCORE Bucks County licensed mentors Steve Scialabba and Steve Morello in growing the corporate.

SCORE is a nationwide community of small enterprise mentors who present free assist to aspiring entrepreneurs like O’Donnell.

O’Donnell mentioned the data that SCORE mentors shared and their earlier expertise was vital to them and the success of their firm.

Morello mentioned that O’Donnell could be very disciplined, brings a whole lot of ardour to her enterprise, and reveals nice initiative. He mentioned he had thought-about a advertising and marketing and pricing technique along with her and helped her create the marketing strategy.

Scialabba mentioned O’Donnell at all times had the entrepreneurship it took to start out the corporate, however wanted essentially the most assist organizing their time and efforts.

She actually goes the additional mile to verify the marriage day is particular for the couple by providing quite a lot of companies and charging an inexpensive worth for them, he added.

“I feel she appears to have the ability to determine what the shopper wants and take it a step additional,” mentioned Scialabba. “It can provide companies that might not be frequent on this trade, however they undoubtedly add worth.”

Scialabba mentioned that his major function at SCORE is to assist an aspiring entrepreneur determine the subsequent steps to develop their enterprise and meet their wants.

He mentioned the variety of profession paths is essentially the most distinctive a part of caring for all of those new entrepreneurs.

“I similar to that individuals are in other places and simply use that power and really feel the passion they’ve for the type of new companies they’re beginning,” mentioned Scialabba.

Based on Morello, SCORE is an incredible useful resource entrepreneurs must be utilizing, particularly since aspiring enterprise house owners can get in contact with a mentor free of charge.

“I discussed SCORE to some aspiring entrepreneurs who’ve by no means heard of it and have all benefited from it,” he mentioned. “I’m certain that there are firms which have by no means heard of SCORE and that would actually profit from it.”

Morello mentioned the demand for SCORE mentors ought to solely improve as extra firms reopen and others open for the primary time.

O’Donnell mentioned their most important job helps their purchasers and determining the timing with brides, as it’s often the primary time they’re planning a marriage and so they want somebody to depend on.

She mentioned weddings postponed because of the pandemic helped her enterprise develop, however there are only a few planners within the Lehigh Valley and Bucks County areas as effectively.

“Folks might not essentially know it is one thing that must be delivered,” O’Donnell mentioned, including that she’s working to lift consciousness about her trade by “simply actually educating (potential clients) that there’s a bonus in having a (marriage ceremony planner. “

She mentioned she did a lot of the make money working from home, however made on-site visits and infrequently met with purchasers in particular person.

O’Donnell mentioned personalizing the marriage for the couple is necessary to her and he or she actually tries to include particulars from her private life into her special occasion.

An instance of this, she mentioned, is making a serviette design or signal with a pet picture on it for {couples} whose pet can’t be with them.

“I feel one of many issues that’s actually necessary to me is ensuring that there are elements in the course of the marriage ceremony that actually contact the {couples} and who they’re,” she mentioned. “So that actually performs into my design and my creativity.”

O’Donnell mentioned she hopes to rent extra workers after the marriage season to maintain the enterprise rising.

For extra details about O’Donnell and Lavish Home, go to LavishHausCo.com.

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