Let me start off by saying that all of my website & social media analytics go crazy when I talk about myself and my personal life. Being that I am here to serve the people, I want to tell yinz my story of how I ended up here: at xo moreau weddings, doin’ my thang.
Journey 1: Bologna Sammich
I can’t say that growing up I thought I was going to be an entrepreneur, but looking back at my earlier years, it all makes sense to me now. My dad has been self employed almost as long as I can remember. My earliest thoughts of his entrepreneurship was something along the lines of “my dad works for himself so he can go home whenever he wants” … lol. I remember thinking about other people who worked for someone else and wondered if they could go home everyday to make a bologna sammich for lunch like my dad did. Young Alex was quite philosophical.
Journey 2: Workin’ At *My* Car Wash
Fast forward to age 14ish: I desperately wanted a job so that I could make my own big girl monies. However, the state of Pennsylvania is not very keen on that idea, so I got creative. I started my own little business detailing my dads’ vehicles that he was selling or that he was working on for his customers. I made a poster to hang with my own pricing that I researched from other car detailers in the area. I would even negotiate with my potential customers just to get the sale. I would spend two hours in my driveway with a bucket of water, a hose, and some Armor All wipes thinking $$I’M RICH BITCH$$. Hahaha. I did this for quite some time, even after I got my first “real” job.
Journey 3: Carlashes
I was freshly 16 and my Dodge Neon had eyelashes and leopard print seats. Nobody could stop my shine. I landed my first real job- Taco Bell. By far one of my favorite jobs, mostly because I still remember how to make Beefy 5 Layers & Crunchwraps. TBH, I think it’s why my husband married me. I mostly worked the drive thru and it was glamorous. I was pushing the max hours a 16 y/o was legally allowed to work to make that monay. I had to have knee surgery which lead to an extended absence at TB, and I landed a hosting/serving job at Ruby Tuesday.
Journey 4: Sassy Alex
I really thought I was going to be a nurse. It was Ruby Tuesday that made me want to be a Hospitality Management major, to be so honest. That place taught me so many invaluable lessons. I believe it lead me on the path to finding what worked for me in the sense of customer service. If I was sweet waitress Alex, I averaged around 20% tips on a normal day. If I was sassy smart mouth Alex that those close to me know & dearly love (ha ha), I would average about 100%, *one HUNDRED percent* tips, on good days. Being my spunky self lead me to new heights at that Ruby Tuesday bar. I learned how to sell- which is the best thing I have ever learned.
Journey 5: Wedding Bartending
That very Ruby Tuesday bar lead to me wedding bartending. A friend from work asked me to bartend her wedding and it was over for me. I loved every second of it. I began bartending weddings for whoeva wheneva and got my name out in my area. I had some trusty assistants, aka my mom and dad (free labor is the best labor) who would come along to help me work my side biz of bartending weddings. It was fun- slingin’ drinks, talking to people, and PA style wedding food (pierogies, rigatoni, those little round white potatoes). This could technically be considered the second little hustle I started up before the age of 20. This was so fun and life changing for me.
Journey 6: Sellin’ Deli Meat
Upon college graduation, I worked for a food distribution company and sold food to grocery stores and restaurants. I was 21 years old when I started. I was a 100% commission sales rep. Anyone could come in this bakery and sell you bread dough, so why would they buy it from me? I had to figure that shit out fast in order to pay my car payment and insurance. And I did. I grew my territory tremendously and was a force to be reckon with out there in good ‘ol Johnstown. That job made me realize I have the ability to sell anything to anyone by being myself, being trustworthy, reliable, and always following through on my word. I never made a promise to a customer I didn’t keep. I also never made a promise to myself I didn’t keep. I set my goals, realistic and achievable goals, and made plans on how to reach them… and I did reach them. Every. Single. Time.
Journey 7: #ArmyWifeLife
Fast forward to moving to the Lone Star State. Job market was rough, man. I was in a new place with “Army Wife” written across my forehead- which was one of the only attributes that potential employers saw. I was just another temporary employee, that is going to cost them a lot of money to train just to go and quit when my soldier deploys or gets a new duty station. I decided that I wanted to create a path doing what I loved to support myself, and not settle for something just for a paycheck. I was so on the fence about it, my past businesses were not “real” businesses. I wasn’t 14 washing cars anymore- it was going to be a real, legit company. I wanted to go on this wedding planning path, but wasn’t sure if the timing was right. I offered to intern for free with other planners and the response I kept receiving back was “you have too much experience to work for someone else”. I talked to my dearest friends, my husband, and parents about the idea of this business, and they all told me to go for it. Honestly, if one of them had told me it wasn’t a good idea- this company might not even exist. My favorite people believed in me and I dove in head first immediately. I waited not even a single second to start. I knew the minute I slowed down there was a possibility for the “what if’s” to kick in. I wasn’t going to let that happen.
Journey 8: The Birth of xo moreau weddings
I found someone on Etsy to make me an affordable logo and I got started on figuring out how in the hell to make a website. To be so honest, I was really excited to have an email that was affiliated with my website. That means you’re legit AF, right? I sat in front of the computer for 14 hours a day figuring out the website, social media, and advertising. I made an entire 50+ page business model per my college classes to learn the Austin wedding planning industry, learn what I wanted to offer, and what would make me stand out. I opened this bad boy in January of 2018 and had three weddings booked in the first few weeks. I officially announced the grand opening to everyone I knew on February 15, 2018. The response was shocking. Some of the closest people to me had abandoned me. I also had people I barely talked to reach out to encourage me and tell me how proud they are of me. It was such a mix of emotions. I knew the minute I announced this there is no going back. I turned the fear of failure into work ethic and motivation, which is the best thing I ever did.
Journey 9: Growth & Upkeep
I have been able to grow xo moreau weddings extensively over the year. I found success the same way I did at Ruby Tuesday- by being 100% me. At first, I thought I had to fit the cookie cutter wedding planner stereotype, so I was frustrated because that wasn’t me at all. I started implementing more of ‘me’ into the business- the more I added, the more bookings I got. I revamped everything and made xo moreau weddings a true reflection of myself and what I have to offer. A funny, quirky, sassy gal who works her ass off and truly gives a shit about your wedding day- to put it quite frankly. It hasn’t always been rainbows & butterflies, though. There are the highest of highs and lowest of lows. Some days I get so worked up or frustrated that I just cry. I sit here at my dining room table and think WTF did I get myself into. Then, there are days where I feel on top of the world. Regardless, being there on the biggest days of my clients’ lives and being an instrumental piece of what makes that day perfect for them is absolutely priceless. I leave every wedding with the biggest smile on my face, despite the 16 miles I walked and 14 hours of straight hustling. I strive to go above and beyond expectations of my clients, and help them and their families out in more ways than they can think of. I strive to be the wedding planner that I would have wanted on my wedding day. I may or may not have been an over-controlling bridezilla, so this is a damn high level to reach, lol.
“We gonna win more. We gonna live more. We the best.” – DJ Khalid
If you take anything from this novel about my career, please know that you can do anything you put your mind to if you heart is in it, your intentions are pure, and you work your freaking ass off. I am 100% about supporting your local girl gang, so if you are on the fence about creating your dream job, you always have a support system in me.
Talk to you soon!