Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Live Blog, Wednesday July 27, With Tara Guerard

Soiree by Tara Guerard was founded in 1996 as an event planning and design company.  Tara began thinking that her company would just design parties.  Eventually, they became known for their weddings and began a letter press invitation company, The Lettered Olive. Soiree is known for both their attention to detail and being customized to every clients style, taste, and needs.  They provide their own flowers, decor, and design in house. Tara jokes that so far, her company has done almost 500 weddings and have an impressively "low divorce rate."

Economic climate: Tara says they count blessings every day that the company is doing well- and very well. The business has thrived through it all.  Not until this past year has she had to step back and look at what they needed to do differently (since they had growth each year until about 2 years ago, when it unfortunately went flat).  Budget is the biggest concern of clients today.  Now they have to talk about money first, not last.  This was a new development in the last 12 months. 
"Competition either makes you better or bitter."
Tara says that she gets most excited about TV appearances and really enjoys teaching and doing conferences. Anything design gets her the most excited.
Two books out from Tara provide tips, ideas and how-to's.

Background: When asked where she gets her "artistic eye," Tara believes you're born with it, but would never have described herself as an artistic person growing up.
Background in Food and Beverage.  Was a Psychology major.
What spurred her entrepreneur spirit? First-born, highly energetic, driven, hard worker
What are the biggest challenges? Not enough hours in a day.  Having to be a good wife and mom by means of finding balance.  "When at home, I'm at home and when I'm at work, I'm at work."
Biggest challenge as entrepreneur: Keeping balance. How can I improve? How can I be better?
The biggest goal Tara has is to be like Martha Stewart.
Next step: TV. She's in talk with production companies.
Advice for aspiring event planners: You have to know the food and beverage service first and the rules of service. Tara never hires anyone without that experience.
Advice for entrepreneurs: Know your business like the back of your hand. You have to start at the bottom and learn your way to the top.

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