Meet Jennifer White, founder of Prestigious Event Planning and Rentals Inc, a locally owned and operated wedding and event planning company specialising in design and management. Since Jennifer has always loved decorating and creating beautiful spaces, she was encouraged time and again to consider a career in the industry. So, as nature would have it, her passion and creativity lead her into a marketing and advertising career in Toronto, Ontario until later moving to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
Jennifer journey then lead her into an exciting position as director for a non-profit foundation which gave her the perfect opportunity to “market” the foundation and place it on the map whilst building strong partnerships within their community.
Jennifer’s experience with Board of Directors, planning committees, acquiring community support through sponsorship’s and grants and the many local vendors, small businesses and various media outlets gave her many connections on various levels throughout her community which she felt was an invaluable tool for starting her next career as a professional wedding & event planner.
Now, having mustered plenty of experience ranging from planning corporate events, galas, fundraisers, and parties for over a decade has given Jennifer the required eye for detail and knowledge that it’s all in the small details for her clients.
We talk to Jennifer about how her passion is driven by ensuring her clients “visions” are matched to exactly what they dreamed of and more and why holding client confidence is her own way of measuring her success rate.
Hey Jennifer, can you introduce yourself to us?
I am a very passionate soul who is driven by creating happiness and purpose in the lives of those I love. I am striving daily to live my journey with intention, purpose and to live as authentically as I possibly can.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
I was born and raised in Toronto, Ont. My childhood was one of poverty and surrounded by addictions, although life threw many curve balls including a teenaged pregnancy my husband and I have always been a powerful and determined team letting nothing hold us down for too long. We moved our 2 children in my early twenties leaving my marketing and advertising career behind and settled into a small community in Prince Albert Saskatchewan. Although there were no careers in my field here I was given a new opportunity as a Foundation Director for a non-profit charity. In the process of organising and designing our annual Galas, I discovered my life’s passion for designing beautiful events. Seven and a half months ago I took a leap of faith and with the encouragement from my biggest supporter my husband Steve I opened a 2600 sqft storefront showcasing my Rental business with gorgeous displays of our Décor and linens. A showroom is an invaluable tool for clients who are able to dress up table settings in their wedding and event colours and to visually watch their visions come to life!
What is a day in the life of you like?
I never know what my day truly has in store me! The best part of every day is the opportunities I have to meet so many new people that I otherwise probably would not have met if not for the business and services I offer. With every day being very unique life is not lived on autopilot and I’m grateful for the purpose that this business has given me personally.
Can you tell us about the Prestigious Event Planning and Rentals Inc?
Prestigious Event Planning is driven on my dream to bring Prince Albert, SK a new level of service that will provide my corporate clients with noteworthy and distinguished events and my Wedding and Private Milestone clients with experiences to remember for a lifetime!
Your extensive portfolio of clients include the fabulous organisation of Hollywood Red Carpet Gala and the 2018 Chamber of Commerce – Samuel McLeod Legacy Awards, however, which has been your best project to have worked on so far?
The “Diamonds & Ice” gala stands out loud and clear! Our clients wanted to honour Canada’s 150th Birthday and I needed that to look elegant and classy. With everything draped in white satin with twinkling lights shimmering off all the silver and diamond décor, it was breathtaking. We incorporated a “WOW” factor with a six and a half foot tall by six foot wide Ice sculpture displaying a feast of seafood dishes including full lobsters, handcrafted aquatic creatures and floral carved out of fruits and fresh vegetables capturing our Eastern Provinces. Canada is Gorgeous during our winter months and our theme captured the elegance of our country and our winter landscape.
Who does the team involve behind you at Prestigious Event Planning and Rentals Inc.?
Our day to day operations team besides myself includes my sister-in-law Dawn who is our Event Operations Manager. My husband Steve who is available when I need extra muscles although he is very busy running his own successful business. My brother-in-law Jamie who also gives of his time so graciously to see this business succeed. During our large event setups, we are blessed with a “Dream Team” of family and friends who work during those times to help us create magic.
Where can you see yourself within the next 3-5 years?
It is Incredible how quickly we have become known in our community, with so many doors opening and opportunities that I couldn’t have dreamed of in such a short period of time. In 3-5 years Prestigious Event Planning will be the most reputable and sought-after event planning and rental business for not just Prince Albert, SK but for all our Northern Communities and surrounding areas.
What other areas are you looking to expand Prestigious Event Planning and Rentals Inc.?
We have had many requests to rent large outside venue tents which we are currently looking into purchasing at this time. We would also like to expand our services into destination wedding and corporate retreat/conference event planning.
Can you tell us what areas you have struggled in professionally?
I struggle with negotiating my true worth. I’m a very generous person and coming from a non-profit career background I understand the value in giving of your services and time. Knowing my true worth, being able to stand strong and owning my true value during contract commitments V.S. price tag applied. But I’m getting better with every experience and contract signed.
What outlets do use to market Prestigious Event Planning and Rentals Inc?
I find social media invaluable tools for marketing to my audience and demographics. I utilize both Facebook and Instagram regularly. Most of my clientele has been millennials and this is how they communicate. Our website is an amazing tool which I showcase our portfolio. We have an online rental store on our website that has been helpful for potential clients to know what you have to offer for the initial consultation.
What do you believe are the common misconceptions about being an entrepreneur?
That not all entrepreneurs are rich! Who have an unlimited cash flow living the high life.
I’m not sure when it will start paying me profitably?! Owning my own business was never about how much money I would make. Being an entrepreneur is for me about the mindset that I want to live in. It’s incredibly long ours there are no 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday punch out. The hustle is 7 days a week with an easy 12 to 14 hours per day. For me it’s about living a fulfilled and passion-driven life, not dreading the sound of the alarm clock in the morning and dragging my ass out of bed and living on autopilot.
What would you like to see changed for millennials in business?
I would love to see incentives and government programs to help alleviate University and College debts. Millennials are so pressured to get a secondary education to be thought of as a true success. Unfortunately after investing their time and money with a degree in hand unable to find employment and burdened with debt feeling like there is no opportunity for them to come up with business start-up fees for a new business venture.
What is the best piece of business advice you have received to date?
My friend Collette who opened her incredibly successful business 6 years ago told me her success came so quickly and that she hung on to her full-time government pension job (just like mine) because she was terrified to take the leap of faith and almost burnt out because she just didn’t trust herself or the process fast enough. She warned me that I would burn the candle at both ends and to learn from her mistakes to just BELIEVE. I know that she would tell me I still didn’t believe fast enough but her voice has been nagging in my mind and I just finally gave my notice that I will be leaving my full time very secure with all the bells, whistles and comforts. To be my own full-time boss babe.
What is the number 1 critical lesson you have learned in your career so far?
To know your true worth! If your client is not willing to pay the value you place for your time and skills – DECLINE the job. I promise you will only end up feeling overwhelmed, miserable and even resentful.
Amen!!! Now, how do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
My husband and I love to travel! And we make it a top priority. When on vacation we check in into business life once a day only! Small getaways even if only for a night in a hotel room watching movies, drinking cold beer and eating mounds of goodies. We are huge outdoors people and love road trips, camping, boating and tons of fishing, for us just being in nature is always a great way to recharge. Number one rule is we leave cell phones and laptops out of the bedroom when we go to bed to unwind. It’s our time to catch up on each other’s day and to just have uninterrupted quality time to enjoy each other’s company.
The highlight of your career so far?
Our set up and design for the 2018 Samuel McLeod Business Awards. Being in attendance and overhearing guests rave about the beautiful ambiance and décor. Being recognised and congratulated by prominent local successful business entrepreneurs encouraging my success.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Clients who truly are in awe of their wedding and event and are so grateful and generous with their feedback and praise. I love making people happy and creating beautiful experiences.
What challenges have you seen to have been presented during the growth of Prestigious Event Planning and Rentals Inc?
The growth of this business far exceeded my expectations. Working an 8am to 4pm full-time job and trying to successfully balance the needs] of my new business has been an incredible challenge. But this is a very good problem to have!
Which other leading entrepreneurs and pioneering game changers do you also admire and why?
I am surrounded by a tribe of incredibly successful entrepreneurial women who I admire. Our community is a powerful one full of these incredible women who encourage, motivate, support and share courageously and openly with one another. This mindset of women is impacting change in our community who is blessed to have each and every single one of them.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
‘You Are A Bad Ass’ by Jen Scenario, ‘Girl Wash Your Face’ by Rachel Hollis, ‘Rising Strong’ by Brene Brown. However, next on my hit list to read is ‘UnFu*k Yourself’ by Gary John Bishop.
What does your Podcast playlist look like?
I have a 90 min commute daily and this is only Wednesday. This week’s List!
- Top 50 Rules For Success
- Change your mind, Change Your Life
- The Skill Of Confidence & How To Take Control Of Your Mind
- How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over
Then there is also Rachel Hollis ‘Stop Saying You Don’t Have Enough Time.’ Tony Robbin’s ‘Find Your Passion.’ Then finally, Will Smith’s ‘Morning Motivation’ and ‘The Mindset Of High Achievers.’
How do you measure your own terms of success?
My success is measured in happiness and feeling accomplished at the end of each day, each event and every satisfied customer who recommends my business to their family and friends. That’s my true Success!
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
#BEYOUROWN means love who you are to your very core. Embrace your natural talents and put all your energy into what truly makes you feel passion. Sharing those gifts and living each day with intention and authentically sharing who you are is why you are here! #BEYOUROWN be your uniquely beautiful self.
Lastly, what is next for Prestigious Event Planning and Rentals Inc?
Our business will continue to grow our incredible “Dream Team.” Our team will consist of amazingly talented and creative minds who will always take opportunities to learn and grow with our industry. I see great success for this team but most importantly for our local community.