Today marks 3 weeks since our big Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting ceremony! What a whirlwind it’s been. It all started when I joined the South Bend Chamber of Commerce about a month prior. The Chamber likes to recognize its new members or members that have taken a big step in their businesses. They do this by putting on a ribbon cutting ceremony at their place of business. Chamber members come in, learn about your business, ask questions and the owner/member cuts a large red ribbon with huge scissors. It’s a great tradition and really brings the community together!
I’ve had my studio since May 1st and I’ve always wanted to throw an open house but could never find the right time. I moved in at the heart of wedding season so decorating or even hanging a single picture was not happening. This was a terrific wedding season with 19 weddings and countless engagements! I traveled all over and made some amazing forever friends! Needless to say, I was happy to wait till things calmed down before hosting any type of opening. However, joining the Chamber in October gave me the time and incentive to finally put something together.
I had my dear friend Beth Ann of Anderson Photography take pictures of the event. She captured all the details, excitement and heartwarming moments. I’m so glad I didn’t have to have my phone on me or worry about getting a picture with someone.
Nidia of Blushing Beauty Hair did my hair and makeup right before the party. This is another time when hiring a professional really makes all the difference. She did a tremendous job and I could simply enjoy the party without worrying that I just rubbed off all my make up after taking a sip of champagne.
A huge thank you to Burn’s Rent-Alls for supplying the table, chairs, linen and champagne wall! We definitely needed more places for people to relax so I was so grateful that Amanda from Burn’s offered to furnish the event. If you’re getting married, throwing a party or having a corporate event, please check them out for all your rental, decor and floral needs.
The opening started at 4 o’clock. I supplied Subway sandwiches and drinks of all kinds. I knew a lot of my vendor friends would be stopping by so there had to be wine. 🙂 Courtney of C’est La Vie Cakes made me 4 dozen cupcakes and an adorable 6″ round cake with my logo on it! Everyone loved the cupcakes and Micky and I had fun cutting into the cake together. I know it’s silly but we eloped so we never had that ‘cake-cutting’ moment.
Approximately thirty minutes later, we headed outside to my main entry door. It was pretty cold but I stayed warm due to my excitement and butterflies. Mayor Wood of Mishawaka stopped by to congratulate me and give a speech. I was honored that he made time for this small business owner and not only that, he wanted to talk and stayed a whole afterwards too. Thank you Mayor Wood for your kind words and your encouragement!
Then it was my turn to talk. I had been practicing what I would say for the last week. Rick from the Chamber reminded me to keep it brief because of the weather so I timed myself when I would practice. It’s a good thing too because I would often go off on a rant about someone I wanted to thank and 3 minutes would go by. However, when it came to the moment of truth, all those nervous and rehearsed words fell away and genuine excitement and gratitude prevailed. I don’t remember any of my speech but it was on Facebook live and everyone said I did a great job. I can’t watch myself so I’ll just take their word for it. 🙂
Cutting the actual ribbon was the part I was looking forward to the most. Mayor Wood, Jeff Rea (Chamber president) and myself each had a pair of giant scissors and cut into the long red ribbon while two chamber ambassadors held the ends. It was amazing feeling and the photo with the ridiculous look on my face (the first photo of the blog) is my favorite!
After that, we all rushed back upstairs to the warmth and food! The Chamber let me keep the ribbon pieces except 1 that Mayor Wood wanted to have. I thought that was really nice and I plan to display the pieces, along with my favorite photos of the day, in the studio.
For the next few hours, I walked around the studio, trying to talk to as many people as I could. Everyone was so excited for me that I wanted to make sure to have time with everyone. I wish I could have stood and talked to each person the whole time. Luckily I had my wing man (my husband Micky) on the job. Whoever walked in that I couldn’t say “Hi” to right away, he swooped in and made each guest feel very welcome. I didn’t except that. He went above and beyond in my option. Thank you so much boo.
As the hours passed, the crowd wined down to just about 10 of us. We all sat around a table and just talked and ate. Alaina, my oldest friend, dating back to 1995, drove the 2 hours and took off work to be here for me. I was overwhelmed that she came all this way just for a few hours. Those of us left spent the next hour or so just laughing and reminiscing. I truly enjoyed this part of the day because I could really talk to each person and give them my undivided attention. We had a lot of left over food and cupcakes so I sent everyone home with plenty of goodies.
As the day came to a close, Micky and I sat on my couch, curled up under a blanket and just talked. It was quiet and sweet and the perfect way to end such a wonderful day. He toasted me and had me take the last glass of champagne as sign of success. He’s always thinking of amazing gestures like that. I am truly blessed.
Before I close, I want to thank YOU! Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to see my studio, watch it on Facebook live or read this incredibly long blog post. Every time time you ‘like’ or ‘comment’ or ‘share’ a post of mine, you’re building my business. Every time you send me an encouraging text, you’re building my business. Every time you’re simply wondering how I’m doing… you’re building my business. I could NOT be where I am today with YOU! You have given me so much and there’s no way I’ll ever be able to repay you for your kindness and support throughout these years. But I’m sure going to try. 🙂
Thank you everyone, Love – Sarah
Photography: Anderson Photography
HMU: Blushing Beauty
Rentals: Burn’s Rent-All’s
Cupcakes/cake: C’est La Vie
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