Boss Babe: Ashlee Nicholson
Introducing a new series to this bloggity: Boss Babes! One thing I love about the blogging community is meeting incredible, strong, beautiful, courageous and wildly talented, smart, innovative, entrepreneurial boss babes, chief chicas, inspiring women. Every month, I'm going to spotlight one of these incredible role models and share a little bit about what makes them amazing.
This month’s Boss Babe is one of my close friends and one of the sweetest humans I’ve ever met. Ashlee Nicholson was in college when she started her own wedding planning company, Treasured Heart Events (I interned with her my senior year and it was the best time of my life). Now one of the most well-known wedding planners in Fort Worth, a wife and dog mom to two cute pups, Ashlee is dishing all about her career and what inspires her.
1) You are a wedding coordinator and the owner and creative director of Treasured Heart Events. What's in that role?
A little bit of everything! Not only do I get to design and plan beautiful weddings, but I also get to do so much more than that! I establish budgets, keep brides true to those budgets, get to know families, and truly become a friend throughout the process! I also am the business accountant, social media guru, branding ambassador, visionary and COO! I honestly get to be a little bit of everything in my role, which I absolutely adore!
2) You started Treasured Heart Events while you were still in college. What was that like?
Honestly? It was exciting, terrifying, humbling, and amazing all at the same time! I was excited to to try something new. I was terrified because I was a 19 year old starting a business--not to mention, I had no clue if it would work, if people would look down on me because of my age and lack of experience. It was humbling because I truly learned to rely on the Lord for guidance. It wasn't just one of those prayers of "Jesus bring me couples!!" (even though there were those from time to time!) but more of a "Jesus show me how you want me to impact others through this business". And it was amazing because I got to live out what I was passionate about! Not very many people find their true passion at such a young age, so I was constantly amazed that I was getting to do something I loved with people that I loved!
3) What do you love most about your job?
SO many things! If I had to choose just one, I would say the feeling at the end of a wedding when the bride and groom are doing their private dance. While we are getting the guests lined up for the send off, I always peek my head back in to the reception room to watch the sweetheart dance. It is my favorite part of my job because everything that we have planned, all of the hours, sweat and tears poured into this event have led to that moment. Planning a beautiful wedding is easy, having a beautiful marriage takes true work and dedication. And I love that at the end of my job, I get to watch this couple take the next step of their lives as husband and wife. Knowing that I got to play a small role in making their day seamless, memorable, and focused on their love and future relationship....I can't think of a better feeling than that!
4) What would you tell other young women looking to start their own business, or even those starting their own business in college?
If you are at all considering starting a business while in college....DO IT! I could not have been happier with how I did things. My attitude going into starting Treasured Heart Events was that "it might work, and it might fail, but at the very least, I am going to gain so much knowledge and experience just for trying". Holding this business with an open hand has been a game changer for me! While in college, I got to have some of my best friends help me build this company into what it is today, and I couldn't have been more thankful that I took the leap of faith when I did! For those young women who are currently in a job and looking to make the switch--be strategic! Make the smart financial decision, have at least 6 months of emergency cash built up before you jump to full time, and always hustle.
5) Not only are you a wedding coordinator, but you just got married yourself! Alright, we have quite a few bride-to-be readers, any wedding planning advice?
Get a wedding planner!! (jk, although I would 1000000% love to be your wedding planner!!!) At least get a day-of/month-of coordinator!! You can plan the most beautiful event with a perfect timeline, but unless you have someone you trust there to actually focus on executing it, you are going to end up stressed and behind schedule. I even hired a day-of coordinator for my own wedding, and yall...I am a full time wedding planner! Aside from hiring a planner or coordinator, just remember that at the end of the day, it isn't going to matter how the napkins were folded or how many tall centerpieces you had vs small compotes, the marriage is the important thing! Take the time throughout the planning process to have date nights, go through pre-marital counseling, and ask each other important questions! The day goes by soooo fast, so remember to focus on the marriage that is going to be your forever!!
6) How do you use social media to leverage your business? Any advice or insights?
I do my best to post on Instagram/Facebook once a day! I really try to comment on posts and encourage others through social media! I have even met some of my very best friendors (vendor friends) through social media! My advice is just to have the boldness to message others...the worst that can happen is they won't respond! Just remember that you do have value to add to other's lives, and never be ashamed to post about what you are about! For me, my driving force behind why I do what I do is my faith. At first, I was nervous to let people truly know what I was about. I realized that when I was willing to just be myself apologetically is when my business truly began to thrive!!
7) Go back to your time at college graduation: what would you tell yourself now?
Be willing to let things grow organically! When I was first starting out, I was so excited. I wanted to plan 50 weddings a year (which for reference, is completely unrealistic. I do about 25 weddings a year now and it's more than full-time!) and I really tried to push how fast my business grew. What I have learned in the last 3 years is that growing slow is okay and what works for others might now be what is truly best for me.
8) How do you find inspiration?
I follow a lot of amazing wedding planners, vendors, and blogs on social media. It's very seldom you find me without something wedding-related in front of my face. I am constantly looking for new ideas, whether that be in magazine, on blogs, in nature, at random shops...the world is truly an inspirational place if you slow down enough to look at it!
9) Who is your role model?
Christy Wright is a huge role model for me! She is the creative behind The Business Boutique, a company centered around empowering women to be great business owners, mothers, and sisters in Christ. She is amazing, and I read books by her, attend her BB conferences, and listen to her podcasts way too often. There is something about her that lights a fire under me to go out and do something world-changing!
Favorite food: Ice cream
First thing you do in the morning: Hug my puppies (my husband normally has left already or I promise he would be first lol)
Favorite workout: Lunges and jump squats!! legs for daaaayss
Favorite phone app: Insta!
Favorite part of weddings: Final dance or first looks! It's a tie!
Favorite place to shop: J Crew, Madewell, Target
Best way to spend a Friday night: If I am not at a wedding or rehearsal, drinking white wine on the couch with my hubby and doggos!