Today we’d like to introduce you to Melanie Guiang.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Melanie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I think I have a similar beginning as a lot of event planners out there. I started planning events for family and friends and I realized how much I enjoyed it, how I was able to do it with ease, and that I was good at it. It started with small-scale things like planning trips with friends on a budget and helping out with high school reunions. Now, I’m planning weddings and events attended by hundreds. I love being a resource and making things happen for people. I’m driven by the “life is short” mantra and so bringing people together and making happy memories is important to me. Basically, one day in April of 2017, I decided my job as a Financial Analyst wasn’t cutting it and it was time to make a change. I felt hostage to that steady paycheck though so the decision was scary, but I couldn’t imagine going my whole life without attempting to start my own business, so 6 months later I gave my notice and started on this crazy new adventure!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has not been a smooth road, and it still isn’t, but I love it! When I quit my last job of over 10 years I didn’t have a lot of money saved, but everything about my decision felt right. I knew I didn’t want to be held hostage by a steady paycheck for doing a job that was unfulfilling. So the plan was to have just enough to float me for at least 6 months and after that, I would trust in my faith in myself to make things work. I have a great support system who gave me the courage and encouragement I needed. The most surprising thing I’ve learned so far is how much I love creating and I don’t mean that in the typical artistic sense, but in the business sense. Being an entrepreneur can be an addiction. You literally create a business from simply the energy and action that you put into it. It’s an exhilarating and fulfilling experience.
Please tell us about Melanie Oliver Events.
Melanie Oliver Events is a wedding and event planning company that plans everything from weddings and birthday parties to company holiday parties and fundraisers. When it comes to planning an event you have to come up with the design and concept and then execute. While I enjoy conceptualizing and what goes into the design phase, my passion is making things happen – the execution phase. What I specialize in is researching, managing, and organizing. I can’t live without my spreadsheets and timelines! That’s the whole logistics side and I’m passionate about it!
What I’m most proud of as a company is that we exist and that I named it after my dad, Oliver, who passed away 12 years ago. I am my father’s daughter and when I started my business I wanted him to somehow be a part of it.
It’s a competitive market but in our first year, we’ve made progress that I can be proud of. I’m constantly networking and have made some amazing connections through groups like San Diego Business Connectors as well as the Rising Tide Society. They’ve taught me “community over competition”. I believe in that. I’ve been part of some successful fundraising events, and by the end of the year, I hope to be part of more that specifically will benefit my neighborhood. I’m looking to start a non-profit that will bring more events to my community of Clairemont. I’d love to plan a street fair or a movie in the park type of event where the proceeds would ultimately beautify my neighborhood. That’s my two-year goal. We’ll see!
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
That’s a tough question. I have so many great memories. One of my favorite ones would have to be playing outside. I grew up on a block with a lot of kids and every early evening, when 5pm rolled around in the summertime, they would coming knocking on my screen door asking “can Donn and Melanie come out to play?”. Donn is my old brother. We would run the streets, all on our own. About 10 kids riding bikes, playing, riding scooters. Those were good times. Another favorite would be meals at our dinner table. My dad did most of the cooking back then. So, I vividly remember him in the kitchen, meticulously cutting veggies and stirring a pot of something on the oven. Or at Thanksgiving, seeing him checking on the turkey all day. Food is a powerful thing. A smell or taste of something reminiscent of those days can make me feel like I’m there again.
- Day-Of Wedding Coordination $800
- Partial Planning $1200
- Full Planning Package $2500
- Website: https://www.melanieoliverevents.com
- Phone: 619.341.9830
- Email: info@MelanieOliverEvents.com
Photo by Elsa
Miranda Smith – The Kinship Perspective