We had the good fortune of connecting with Brandy Blackford and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brandy, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Starting a new business is always fraught with questions and anxiety. Will people need/want what I’m trying to sell? Will I be successful? Will I make enough money to continue being my own boss/setting my own rules?
In the end, starting the Arizona Online Wedding Show was a business born out of necessity. You see, I am a wedding planner with Sweet I Do’s. In March of 2020 my entire business fell apart. All of my couples were cancelling their weddings and I was left with no current business, no future business and no end in sight.
I had formerly booked 85%-90% of my business from the large in person bridal show. No show, no client base. And I knew that I wasn’t the only person in this position. Fellow wedding professionals were trying to save their businesses and couples, oh the couples, were wanting and needing professionals to help them plan and celebrate their weddings. Professionals that were still in business, still returning communications and ready to think outside the box to give them a celebration that wasn’t overshadowed by Covid.
So I took a chance. I pulled my knowledge of the wedding industry together with my ability to think outside the box and the first virtual wedding show in Arizona was born. We’ve helped more than 200 couples have access to the local resources they need to plan their weddings.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The Arizona Online Wedding Show is the only 100% virtual wedding planning show in Arizona. We pride ourselves on being a place that encourages intimate, one-on-one communication between couples planning weddings and the wedding professionals that help them bring their dreams to life. We structure the show to allow just enough time for professionals to showcase themselves and their businesses, sprinkled with fashion shows, fun games and then we foster and environment that allows a private question and answer session between the professionals and the couples.
The show today is very different from the first few shows. We’ve learned so much about how to provide the couples with the variety and information they need. We’ve also learned how to coach the professionals to present themselves virtually and still not lose the essence of their business in the online world.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Phoenix is so very diverse! And we’re beyond lucky to have some pretty amazing suburbs as well.
I’d take them on a haunted ghost tour of Vulture City Mines and then stop at La Bamba Taco shop in Surprise.
Depending on the time of year, I’d take them to a spring training game and then out to Organ Stop in Mesa.
Golf is huge here, and while I’m not a golfer, my husband is and he could scare up a great game at some of the best courses in the valley.
For our last night dinner I’d make reservations at Kai Restaurant at Wild Horse Pass! The menu speaks for itself!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would never, ever have been able to create and continue to produce the Arizona Online Wedding show without my husband, Steve. Every other month he packs up the kids and gives me a perfectly silent house and all the technology I need to create an amazing resource for couples and allow fabulous Arizona wedding professionals to showcase their businesses and talents. He encourages me when things get a little overwhelming and knows just what to say to make sure that I know that I have his full support and encouragement.
Graphics – Bridal Babe Media