We just love when vendors exceed our every expectation. Renee and Derek of Forget-Me-Not Vintage Rentals really went above and beyond the call of duty at the 1st Philadelphia NotWedding – not only did they beautifully deliver on their contracted services, but they also resourced to other vendors to help everyone shine a little brighter. This inaugural event was so successful because of rock star vendors like Renee and Derek; we invite you to learn a little bit more about how they “fell” into their business.
“Forget-Me-Not Vintage Rentals was the most accommodating company to work with. They were so helpful with references for rental companies and bringing in Tunnel of Love rentals for our vendors to use. They provided beautiful goods for the designer’s tablescapes and brought charm to the whole event!”
Allie Webber, Philadelphia Production Manager
Tell us a little bit about the inception of Forget-Me-Not.
We weren’t quite on the path to be business owners when the opportunity just sort of presented itself. I was set for graduate school and Derek was going to trade school to work with my father in HVAC. I guess you could say, our story starts with our own wedding. We got married on June 1, 2013 in my grandparents backyard. Much like couples today, we didn’t want a cookie-cutter wedding. We took our ‘picking’ hobby to the next level and collected 120 unique chairs and a ton of totally eclectic and fun pieces for the big day. It was also a huge bonus that my grandfather, a long-time business owner, had a passion for antiques as well. He was just tickled that we designed our wedding the way we did. He offered up a lot of his collection for us to use. Unfortunately, he passed away just a month after our wedding day, but not without leaving us his entire collection of ‘neat old things’ and a store front to leave them in. Sometime in the process of planning our own wedding, we met an equally awesome couple that had already ventured into the ‘vintage rental’ business. We found them to be totally inspiring and a seed was planted in our minds. Once everything had fallen into the place the way it did, it felt like fate was making itself heard, and so Forget-Me-Not was born!
What is is like being in business with your spouse?
This question made us chuckle! As with any business partnership, we have our differences, but Derek and I are truly a team in all aspects of life. Probably one of our biggest advantages is that we each work within our expertise. Derek is the handyman (and muscles!) and creates most of what I dream up. I’m the creative mind and I’m also a computer nerd, so I take care of the office needs as well as the design and decorative aspects of Forget-Me-Not. We also collaborate, and that’s how things like our stellar farm tables are created!
Where do you go for inspiration?
Even though our business name states that we are a ‘vintage’ rental company, we pull our inspiration from a number of old and new mediums. We strive to stay on top of what is new and cutting edge, so we pay attention to interior and home design trends. We also think it’s important to be involved in what the real bride is looking for so, of course, we follow the industry’s leading wedding blogs. Pinterest is also a very useful tool when it comes to working with our clients. I work largely based on visuals so it’s not uncommon for us to share inspiration boards that our couples can contribute to as well.
What advice would you give to aspiring small business owners?
Starting a small business is essentially taking a giant ‘leap of faith’ and hoping everything turns out okay. Which means, more likely than not, you aren’t going to know all of the answers. Take it for just that. Approach every situation with an open mind, and don’t consider yourself an expert in owning a business, but an expert in your trade. Life hit us with this opportunity and we rolled with it. We’ve had to be flexible (there’s no 9-5pm schedule when owning your own business) and we’ve put our creative problem solving skills to use more than a few times. It’s also good not to have any expectations, but just strive to produce the best quality service or product that you can.
What is your favorite part of The NotWedding experience?
Our single favorite ‘moment’ of the day was definitely watching Jake and Amanda, the NotCouple, exchange their vows. For many of us, that’s the moment that all of our work revolves around, so it was neat to experience that (we don’t always get to stick around for the ceremony). The second best part of the entire experience, was working with other vendors that ‘get it’ and are on the same creative level that we are. Collaborating is crucial to our line of work, so it was great to be thrown into a room full of like-minded individuals!