We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Robertson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My career background includes 10 years of hospitality with 7 of them focused on sales and events with skills ranging from audiovisual to catering sales to event management. Enter Spring of 2020 and it quickly became a rough time to be in the hospitality industry. I suddenly became a stay-at-home mom and a kindergarten teacher to our sweet, 5-year-old son and I realized that this was an opportunity to reassess my life. Being home, I realized what I missed about my job and, adversely, what I didn’t miss. I realized that being in charge, bringing visions to life, decorating amazing spaces, and problem-solving when all combined was my passion. At home was where I belonged, but it was important, for my sanity, for me to have a purpose aside from being a mom and that it needed to be fruitful for our family at the same time. I knew that I wanted to utilize my creativity and organization and I knew that bringing amazing events to life, especially for people madly in love, was what filled my heart with that extra “something”. Owning my own wedding and event planning business is something that my husband and I had talked about for close to 2 years before I actually made the jump. And while it didn’t happen exactly how we had planned; I can’t help but believe, with every bit of my heart, that this year’s impact on the hospitality industry was the push that I needed to take a risk that I so badly wanted to take all along.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My background in hospitality has given me a foundation to succeed in this business like no other. I understand that every situation should be presented with a “yes” and then I can figure out how to make it happen from there. I understand the inner workings of venues and other creative partners because I have seen this business from a different lens. And I understand that most people are not used to planning big events, so being able to communicate with my clients and teach them along the way is a huge advantage. I think being a step ahead of the process is a valuable trait that I bring to the table and I try to be as real and relatable throughout our time together as possible. Genuineness is rare these days and I don’t ever want to pose as something I am not. Looking back, getting here was a natural process. I spent the time climbing the ladder from position to position with my sights set on the horizons, but I feel as though I was patient. I never rushed the natural process of progression and I trusted my instincts at each step along the way. I think this was the key to my success in knowing which next step was right for me by the “feeling” it gave me. Aside from learning a lot of industry-specific lessons along the way (I was really green at the beginning) I have learned a lot of life lessons as well. I have gained thicker skin, learned how to take feedback and implement it to improve myself and my craft and I have learned to keep my confidence at the top of the list because without believing in yourself you go nowhere. If there is anything that I want those reading this to know about me and my business, it’s that this is truly my passion. I do this because it is what makes my soul happy and I love love. Using my experience and network within the event industry to bring other people’s dreams to life brings me the ultimate joy in my professional life and I am so incredibly happy to be able to do what I love for a living.
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?
Showing my friends and family around Tucson is one of my favorite things, I guess that’s a trait that stuck from my time in hospitality. I believe with all of my heart that Tucson is so special and has so much to offer and I love sharing that with the people that I love. Old Tucson Studios is a must-see during a trip to our little gem as they offer so much for all ages. The Sonoran Desert Museum is also a favorite for our family, showcasing wildlife true to our surroundings. Hiking is a favorite past time and we have some of the best trails and spots to go so Sabino Canyon, Mount Lemmon (hello Cookie Cabin), and Catalina State Park are a must as well. I am a foodie at heart, so I will try to keep my “eats” list to a minimum, but Baja Café is any breakfast lovers’ dream come true (they have like a million amazing Benedicts to choose from), Beyond Bread is a Tucson lunch staple for delicious sandwiches and baked goods and also serves breakfast, dinner is tied between Guadalajara Grill for Mexican food and Vero Amore for the most amazing Neopolitan style Italian food, and finally, The Hub has the best ice cream in town with a great environment to enjoy it in. I also need to mention that I would never miss an opportunity to take a guest to Empire Pizza. It’s just the best.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
When I first put the idea out to the world I was completely shocked at the amount of support and excitement surrounding the journey I was embarking on. My support network is so diverse and really showed up for me in ways that I could have never imagined. From coworkers who have become best friends ready to connect me with valuable partners to friends and family who gladly offer resources and materials when needed to everyone in between who has offered assistance or to just come over and drink wine while working through details, I am forever grateful for the outpouring of love that I have received throughout this process. I think I should start by acknowledging my husband and my mom. They are the two that I lean on the most – seriously, my husband builds crazy things and carries the heavy boxes for all of my insane ideas and my mom lets me run those ideas, written copy, and everything in between by her at all hours of the day/night without ever complaining. The two of them are truly my rocks and never cease to show up when I need to be told to breathe… and drink water. It is also worth mentioning that my mother-in-law has been a great shoulder to lean on from taking my son when I have events or meetings to be at to chatting on the phone for hours about what I’m working on and helping me sort through my thoughts, her support is so appreciated. I also want to mention my college roommate and best friend, Dr. Meghan Grace. When I brought the idea to her initially, she jumped at the opportunity to use her refined skills to help me build a solid business foundation. Meghan and I spent 6 weeks working on mission statements, vision statements, and goals to get all of the necessary legwork done (correctly) so that I was set up for nothing but success from the start. I am forever grateful for Meghan’s friendship and professional advice and I can’t wait to plan her wedding with her this coming year in 2021! I would like to give credit to Nichole Cline of KevinChole Photography for being an amazing friend and partner in creative brainstorming and styling shoots and Ruby Sandoval of Ruby Sandoval Photography for all of the insight and recommendations that she has given me from website and branding templates, helpful business resources and park dates with our kids so that we can multitask business and mom life at the same time. I’m so grateful for those around me who continue to hype me up, encourage me to grow, and stand by my side to watch it all happen.