With gifting I literally think about every tiny detail. I think about the color palette, how things will look together, the typography, and the overall packaging. I am a firm believer in simplicity. I always look at a design and figure out what I can take away verses what I can add. I think there is such beauty in simplicity.
What brought you to the gifting industry? For me, it was 100% the details. I feel like I am mix between left and right brain. I always enjoyed the logistical side of planning/coordinating a wedding, but what really makes my heart race is the all the tiny details! Designing and putting a gift together is no easy task and I don't think people really think about it until they are knee deep in the design process. You have to drive around to a bunch of different stores e.g., Anthropologie, World Market, and source all of the product and then you have to go home and assemble it all, pack it, write a note, and then ship it. At Salt & Pepper Co. we are a one stop shop for gifting.
A lesson you’ve learned the hard way? I think you need to be realistic about what you can and cannot do. For example, I want to say “Yes” to every project and opportunity, but I’ve learned my lesson (time and time again) the hard way. I am only one person. I manage all of our social media accounts (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook), I do blog posts occasionally, I take all of our photos, I design and pack all of our gifts, plus so much more! If you want to succeed, I think you need to be realistic. I’d rather be on less platforms (socially) and consistently be delivering quality content verses spreading myself too thin and not engaging with my customers. Trust me, I want to integrate Snapchat, do video tutorials and start a YouTube Channel, have a "Build Your Own" box feature on our site, but right now it is not possible. My biggest piece of advice to all entrepreneurs and business owners is to focus on your strengths and do one or two things within your company that are going to drive sales and allow you to see a ROI. Once you start to see your hard work pay off, then you can start to hire a team and expand. I have an amazing business mentor and I’ve learned a lot from him, but he always said slow and steady wins the race, and he’s right. Don't try and do too much at once just for the sake of doing it. It will end up hurting you in the long run.
Why did you start your business? Entrepreneurship is something that is in my DNA. My parent's are both entrepreneurs and I knew I always wanted to be one, so when I wasn't working on a commercial or music video...I was working on my own business. Eventually, I took a leap of faith and went out on my own. I started planning special events for non-profit organizations and then switched over to corporate. After a few years, I got a little bored with corporate events, and decided to start planning weddings. I planned weddings for about 3 years before I started Salt & Pepper Co.
Best piece of advice to someone starting out? My number one piece of advice before you get started is to figure out your passion. Other things I have learned about entrepreneurship: Be an expert in your field, not a jack of all trades, focus on your strengths, set goals that are measurable and achievable, make sure your company's infrastructure and customer base is growing at parallel rate and not one before the other, treat others the way you want to be treated, deliver valuable content that your audience/customers want to listen to, watch or read, figure out your best medium for postponing yourself as an expert e.g., is it video, blogging, writing, interviewing people in your field, and run with it, and last but not least stay on top of your finances. I know this is hard for a lot of my fellow creatives, but it is the lifeblood of your company, so it is important to learn to LOVE it.
What was your first job? My first job was with a company called Heller Holdings. They were a real estate development company based in Woodland Hills, CA. Ironically, that is where I live now. Ha! I landed an internship with them while I was still in school, which transitioned into a full-time job. I have my degree in Interior Design and also Culinary Arts from Le Cordon Bleu. With this particular job, I was in charge of designing all of their model units. I would put design boards together, space plan each of the units, shop for all the items, and oversee installation. It was a really fun job, but a lot of work and long hours. When the market crashed in 2008, the woman I worked for went back to producing music video and commercials, and asked me to go with her. I was really fortunate and had the opportunity to work on $1 million dollar spots for Dior, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, and Charlize Theron.
Best tip for balancing work + home life? Ha, that’s a joke. I am the absolute worst at this. I live and breathe Salt & Pepper Co. It is pretty much all I think about and all I do. I don't have a family or kids, so work is my primary focus. I do my best to finish work at 7pm every night. I always have a glass of wine to relax, and I try to make a homemade meal.
What are some words you live by? If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door, change your thoughts and you change your world, live life to the fullest and focus on the positive, and last but not least do something you truly love, and you'll never fail.
Best moment of your career? The best moment of my career thus far is scheduling a meeting with Mindy Weiss and Colin Cowie. Working alongside both of them is such a surreal feeling. I also wrote and published a book called “After the Ring”. It’s about wedding planning and teaches couples how to plan their big day!
Guilty pleasures? Without a doubt it is wine! I also love a good cheese spread with a fresh baguette, chicken tenders and french fries. I wish I could have it every night, but that definitely would not be good!
Favorite Instagram accounts? Oh my goodness…there are so many different Instagram accounts that I love. A few of them include: Damsel In Dior, Love Detailed, Laurie Arons, Jose Villa, Sarah Winward, Ginny Au, Once Wed, 100 Layer Cake, Ruffled Blog, Whoa Nelly Catering, and Paula LeDuc Catering.