Celebrating the beautiful work of Ruffles & Tweed this week! This New York event planner/designer joined us at The 1st New York City NotWedding. We’ve interviewed owner Adrienne O’Connor to give you an inside view into some aspects of owning a small business.
Describe a highlight or pivotal moment in your career.
Can I describe two??
The first most pivotal moment in my career, by far, was when I was hired to be the exclusive planner/designer of Island Farm at Elihu Island in Stonington, CT. That single event led to the start of Ruffles & Tweed and has shaped my business in more ways than I could have ever imagined. When this happened, I had been assisting other planners and always knew I wanted to be the boss one day, but didn’t think I was quite ready or qualified yet. It took one person, who has been and always will be my mentor and biggest cheerleader, to pass on the torch to me and push me in the right direction. She believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself and was the kick in the butt I needed. For that, I will be forever grateful. By working on the Island, I have found my niche – it has shown me what it takes to pull off an outdoor tented wedding weekend with grace and ease, and has given me a multitude of skills, knowledge and expertise that I’m able to use anywhere.
The second most pivotal moment was when I took a leap of faith and traveled to Vegas for an industry conference – Rockstar Wedding Planners. I had just launched my business publicly and was struggling with a lot of fear and doubt. It was there that I gained the confidence I needed to know that I could own and run a business. It’s also where I made lifelong friends with other planners – yes, this is possible. They have showered me with advice and opportunities, and they are never competitive or cutthroat. I love the wedding industry, but there definitely are people out there with an agenda. I never want to be on that side of it. I believe in working hard and being kind all the time, and only want to surround myself with people who feel the same way – it’s how I got to be where I am today, and hopefully how I will succeed in the future. That group from the conference is now called the Community of Wedding Innovators and we continue to support, challenge, and celebrate each other.
What is the best part about your job?
The fact that I get to plan and design the best day in people’s lives and be there to watch it all come together in perfect harmony – there is no better feeling than that. And the fact that looking at pretty pictures on Pinterest is part of my job, not a break from my job, isn’t too bad either.
Describe the ultimate/perfect bride/client.
I’m lucky enough to say that I’ve worked with my perfect client a few times already, and know that I will continue to attract this type of person in the future. She is confident, decisive, and has an idea of what she wants, but isn’t sure how to make it happen or pull it all together. She’s open to out-of-the-box ideas, understands the meaning of “you get what you pay for”, and enjoys the planning process. Family is extremely important to her, she is respectful towards her parents and spouse, she lives life to the fullest, and doesn’t let the little things bother her. She trusts me completely, knows that I have nothing but her best interests in mind, and notices and appreciates the surprise personal touches that I add to her event.
What has been your favorite part of The NotWedding experience?
Definitely the connections I’ve made with the other vendors and feeling like I’m a part of the NotWedding family – I think it really is a family of people who know that you need to be different to reach today’s bride and who aren’t afraid to think outside of the typical bridal show box, and I love that. Also the creative freedom of being given only an inspiration board from which to design a tablescape – but since I joined only 2 weeks prior to the event, the pressure was on – knowing that I could pull together 6 tables with custom made centerpieces, (which I designed and my husband built), was an amazing feeling. I can’t wait for the next NotWedding!
Personal headshots by Justin & Mary Marantz
You know you want to see more of her work!