Meisha Pigford has decorated and planned, over the last 7 years, beautiful weddings and social events; however, she couldn’t help but notice the growing need for assistance after the wedding. She not only wanted to help couples plan a beautiful day together, but to keep them together for life. So she started Dream Celebrations, Inc – a company with a full-service wedding planning & design studio PLUS a premarital toolkit that includes resources, access to experts and private-personalized premarital sessions with a third-party licensed professional counselor. Read our interview with the lovely Meisha below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I’ve been planning and decorating events for the past seven years, but in 2014 I walked away from Corporate America when I decided to turn my passion into purpose and incorporated my business as Dream Celebrations, Inc. While planning weddings, I’ve seen too many couples spend a lot of time planning for their one wedding day (known as the “day of”) but my question is, what about the “day after”? Recently, we have relaunched our brand to be in better alignment of what we stand for which is preparing for marriage with a focus on “Planning for a Lifetime”. I have a heart for marriage and want to put my couples in the best position to have a strong marriage.
Tell us about your business.
We are a full-service wedding planning & design studio. We help our clients not only plan for their wedding day, but we offer an exclusive Couple’s Toolkit which will help them develop relationship skills and put them on the right track to having a strong marriage. Our team assist our clients with planning, day of coordinating, design and décor. Although weddings make up majority of our bookings, we also accept clients for a variety of other social events such as baby showers, bridal showers, birthday parties, graduation parties, engagement parties and anniversaries to name a few.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
We are actually running a promotion for baby showers and social events that takes $100 off any package. You can receive our packages by completing our webform on the website under the Showers & Events tab. Also, we currently have a promotion for weddings. If brides book one of our wedding packages, they will have a choice of receiving a free engagement photo shoot ~OR~ a 45-minute massage on their wedding day. Both services would be provided by one of our preferred vendors. For more information on our services, check out our website here.
Where is your business based?
Dream Celebrations, Inc. is located in the Metropolitan Detroit area inside Southfield, MI. We serve clients throughout Michigan and the surrounding states. One of our goals is to incorporate our business regionally to serve more clients with our unique service and exquisite designs.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
My business partner and I spoke with an accountant who was able to speed up the process in getting our business registered as a corporation. Next we met with a graphic designer to come up with a logo and company stationary as well as a web developer for our website. After that, we secured office space and applied for liability insurance. The rest is pretty much history! My favorite part of this particular business is, we get to be a part of the most memorable moments in people’s lives, and I take that part very seriously.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Social media has played an integral part in the success of our business and growing our customer base. We can be found on Google and then there’s also word of mouth and referrals from past clients that really sets us apart. At least twice a year, we participate in local bridal shows which places us directly in front of our ideal clients.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
My top 3 challenges are resources, patience, and overcoming self-doubt. Sometimes I feel if I had more resources (capital, manpower, experts), then I would be able to excel to the heights I desire. Having patience is a struggle because I fall victim of wanting instant gratification. I am constantly in prayer asking God to order my steps and that His will be done on His time. Lastly, overcoming self-doubt. I hear self-conflicting thoughts throughout the day and learning how to cast them down and simply ignore them is certainly something I practice daily. It is becoming easier because although the doubt arises, deep down inside I know I will succeed.
How did you overcome these challenges?
These challenges are a work in progress. Some days are better than others. I do say a positive affirmation daily which helps my overall being, overall attitude, and overall belief. I’ll be searching for some silent investors to partner with and take the company to new heights. I’m pretty sure that will eliminate the challenges.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
Being an entrepreneur has its ups and downs. I compete with myself daily to be a better me than I was yesterday. While going through the difficult times, I just think to myself, “There’s purpose in this pain. Everything is working for my good and to give God glory. Someone will need to hear my testimony.” I’ll admit, there’s been tears… tears of joy, tears of disappointment, tears of hope, tears of fears, and tears of happiness. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster, especially when you are pulled in multiple directions and wearing a variety of hats. But through it all, I’m proud of my journey. I am constantly striving to achieve greater as well as developing my gifts to enhance our clients’ experience with Dream Celebrations, Inc.
How did you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I am a Marriage Planner and WOW Expert. I am different from most wedding planners in a sense that I assist my clients with preparing for their “day of” and their “day after”. We offer an exclusive Couple’s Toolkit that includes tools, resources, access to experts, and private-personalized premarital sessions with a third-party licensed professional counselor. Although we’ve perfected our planning process, design is where we’ve distinguished ourselves. When our clients’ rooms are revealed for the very first time, their reaction is “WOW” – hence the name WOW Expert. We give our clients a personalized design consultation to capture their wants and wishes, then we elevate that to the next level. Earlier this year, we received the Couple’s Choice award through WeddingWire which is only given to the top 5% of wedding professionals in the nation. We are proud to be part of this elite group of professionals. This award is special to me, because both the bride and groom must vote for you. That says a lot, because sometimes the grooms can be more focused on price and then to know that they also saw the value in what Dream Celebrations, Inc. does, seriously makes my heart smile.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Someone told me, I am more than enough. To stop being so hard on myself and understand success is a journey. But better yet, I get to define what success means for me and for Dream Celebrations, Inc. I know I heard that before, but sometimes it takes the right person, right time, and right situation to occur to finally allow the truth to seep in.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Stay in your own lane and continue to focus on what you are doing. Your gift will make room for you. Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle or end. Celebrity Wedding Planner, Alison Howard, best said “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I’m here to tell inspiring entrepreneurs that you are enough and the world needs your particular talent!
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
Anything that automates my workflows. I’ve been using 17 Hats which is a system that captures leads, sends contracts and invoices, accept payments, does bookkeeping and so much more. It frees up my time but still allows me to give attention to new and existing clients. If it is something your business can benefit from, contact them through my link so they will know I referred you!
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
“The Power of Broke” by Daymond John.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I’ve always struggled with marketing, therefore I have been taking a more proactive approach on becoming more familiar with various marketing strategies. It’s a learning process. I know I’m offering an amazing service and it is something that people need… I just have to get the services in front of them.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
I am working on some things to make the planning process easier for brides. I’m not ready to announce it, but keep following me and you will soon find out. I have been setting milestone goals and sticking to my timeline so I can achieve this goal by the end of the year.