Ashley Walker and Whitney Christensen are two young, vibrant women who have the passion to pursue their entrepreneurial dream. They love business, they love helping people and they love creating happiness. So when they identified a niche in the wedding planning market in Lethbridge, starting Pink Tie Events was an easy business decision for them.
“Wedding planning is stressful; there are so many ideas, so many opinions and so many choices. We just wanted to remove the anxiety and save some tears by offering a ‘one-stop shopping’ storefront for the bride,” says Whitney. When the two friends were planning their own weddings, they found there was a lack of selection and availability of everything décor wise under one roof.
They started small, renting decorations from their home basements but the demand for their services required more space. So they left their marketing and accounting jobs and took the entrepreneurial risk, moved to a storefront and increased their services to include rentals, decorations, gifts, wedding and special event planning, and event setup and takedown.
Even though both women had Business Management degrees, Ashley and Whitney thought they could benefit by registering for the 8-week business training offered by Community Futures Lethbridge.
“Each week there was a new topic taught by a professional from the community,” states Ashley. “We were eager to learn and excited to do the classes. Meeting other people starting their own business was priceless. We learned from others. The experiences, the feedback, the advice from the other participants helped us improve and define our business plan and clarify our vision, ” advises Ashley. “It opened up a whole new direction for us to go,” explains Whitney. “The program helped us improve, helped us validate our plans and gave us confidence.”
The pair is creative and embraces innovation to keep their market fresh.They are often the same age as their clientele and nurture the business relationship. Every event offers a new experience, a new challenge as the little hiccups on the event day are certain to happen. But the strength of the partnership brings a sense of calm for this “take charge” duo, and the laughter and fun pulls them through the intricacies.
In less than a year, the business expanded to incorporate event planning for fund raising, bridal showers, and a variety of other special events. When asked if they feel successful, Ashley and Whitney replied in harmony “Yes we do!” When asked what has contributed to their success, they agree networking and being involved in the community is key. “And you have to have the passion for what you are doing.”
The two women are definitely passionate about their business, and passionate about creating happiness. And yes, most importantly they both agree ‘they are passionate about the color pink.’