Bells Box wasn’t created overnight. Five years ago, I started getting restless at my day job. What had started out as a temporary job in finance (you know the first job we get when we are straight out of college) was slowly turning into my career. My dreams of being an event planner had faded long ago.
One night while we were on vacation and work was many miles away, my now-husband asked me what I wanted from my work life. The path that I was on was leading me further and further from anything that I was remotely enthusiastic about and it was slowly leaching off of my passion for everything else.
This question sparked an interest in me that I hadn’t felt in a long time. We spent the night talking about weddings, designing, party planning and all of the career ideas that I had originally had hoped for myself while I was getting my degree in Public Relations. The wheels were officially turning.
Simultaneous to this conversation, the “Wedding Season” of our lives happened. All of our friends started getting engaged and we were knee deep in all things wedding related. Over the next several years, I watched as my friends and I started down each of our own wedding journey’s and noticed something odd. Here we were in this huge industry and yet there were so many of these brides that seemed lost, without an idea of what to do next in their planning process.
There were two groups that we all seemed to fall into, the ones that hired a wedding planner and the ones that didn’t. I happened to fall into the group that didn’t hire a wedding planner. While I was envious of my friends that had their own planners, it just didn’t look like it was in my budget. After doing my research, I found that I could go down one of two roads. I could say screw it, hire a planner, delegate everything to the professionals. If I did this, I would have to seriously revisit my priorities and concede on a lot of things that I wanted for my day. Or I could dive in and figure it out for myself.
I, like many brides do, chose the later. It was hard, it was frustrating and at times I felt very, very lost. There were free tools that were available but those just scratched the surface. Then there were the tools that looked like free resources but once you got into them, they asked for your credit card number.
So here I was, muddling through this process, spending hours searching for the right spreadsheet or checklist. Only to find a something that was semi helpful and that I would then need to find something else to help compensate for what was lacking in the last one. So on top of the hours and hours spent trying to find helpful tools that worked for me, I also had stacks of files full of half useful documents piling up all around me. My head was spinning!
This could not just be me. With only 19% of women getting married that hire a wedding planner, where were the rest of these women turning? No wonder we turn into Bridezillas! Planning a wedding on your own can turn into a second job. At this point I was starting to realize why people pay thousands of dollars for a wedding planner. The only problem? I didn’t have that kind of cash so I accepted my fate and continued on my way.
For those brides that are reading this now, I have been right where you are. Enveloped in the emotional high of what the future holds only to be faced with the frustration when you realize what resources are truly available to you that fit your budget.
As I sat in my grey cubical, pushing paper for the same job mentioned above, furious that I didn’t have a secret stash of money that could make all of my headaches with this wedding go away, a lightbulb went off.
What if there was something to fill the gap between the free tools and the big expense of hiring a full blown planner. There seems to be this huge grey area that isn’t widely addressed in this industry. At that moment, all of the countless hours spent talking to my fiancé about my passions – Weddings, designing, and helping others – came together.
How could I “marry” the two options that women have and bridge that gap? Insert the inception of Bells Box. As I continued towards my own wedding date, my thoughts were no longer of the endless hours of planning that I still had in front of me in undocumented territory. Instead, I started looking at each task as a learning tool and how could we create something for that giant block of brides, just like myself, that need assistance but do not have the luxury of shelling out the dough for a professional.
After my wedding I was able to focus on truly building on this idea that I had. After 6 months and a trip to to Austin to visit with the inspiring women with The School of Styling, I got up the nerve to quit my full time job and truly pursue building Bells Box. Over the next year, there were changes along with some bumps in the road just like any other job but the story remained consistent. Make something that educates and arms women with everything that they need to create a cohesive, beautifully planned day that is unique to them.
A year later, I am so proud of what Bells Box has become. By creating a space to help educate our clients on the process of planning their weddings and providing them a box filled with all of the tools to plan their wedding right at their finger tips, our brides are able to eliminate the angst and headache that comes with planning a wedding on their own. When you are not focusing on the nitty gritty details of the HOW of navigating the wedding industry on your own, you can spend more time getting back to the WHY of this day!