I’m writing this post from 30,000 feet as I head toward “home.” Home to viva Las Vegas to attend Engage!12 Luxury Wedding Conference at the Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas!
(For those of you unfamiliar with Engage… It is THE BEST wedding industry event and is a must do if you’re a serious wedding professional. It’s amazing, intimate experience to meet and learn from some of the best in the industry. A ton of design, inspiration, networking, industry insights and is held twice a year in fabulous locations. I attended for the first time in San Diego last year and when they announced this year’s Las Vegas destination, I jumped on it in a heartbeat.)
First, I get to spend a couple days with family just being a regular gal (daughter, sister, auntie) before I head over to the conference and meet up with my wonderful roommates/friends. So today, I’m reflecting how long it’s been since I’ve been back to this place.
When we first moved to Nashville, I was lucky (surprising) to continue my gaming (that’s gambling friends, not video games) industry background with my main client, a major Las Vegas casino-hotel resort operator. I was lucky to go back and forth to “home” those first two years after leaving. (not to mention my own super-fun bachelorette party weekend). Then the recession happened and the ‘good ole days’ came to an end, leaving me planted firmly in Nashville.
When I have gone back the last three or so times, I’m amazed at how much the city has changed. My family moved from Southern California to Las Vegas as I was entering high school. This was the big boom of the 90′s and I watched first hand the city change identities a half dozen times – I recall when MGM Grand first opened with its theme park and Emerald City/Wizard of Oz theme. I witnessed the implosion of a half dozen hotels of my parents generation. I later missed the Wet n’ Wild water park where I longed to be a lifeguard at in high school (that’s where all the cute boys worked!). I rang in 1999 with other New Year’s revelers at the intersection of Las Vegas Blvd. and Flamingo Rd. with my girlfriends decked out in sparkly black pants (and fake ID’s in the back pockets -ha).
…And I never quite noticed/cared about the permanent Crazy Girls strip club billboard off the interstate until I returned as a Mom.
Even though this city has a new facade at each visit, a few things hold true that I can count on and love so very much:
- The dry heat makes for the most wonderful evenings
- People really get moving here and know how to drive (and merge onto a freeway)
- Complimentary valet (why southerners will drive around forever instead of forking over a $3 tip is beyond me)
- That glittering cityscape of the Strip…it never ceases to amaze me
- 24hour everything
- Oh and….Fashion Show Mall (my most favorite mall ever)
I know by the end of this week I’ll be longing for the friendly smiles, polite silent acknowledgements, and the slower paced sweet life that is in my home in Nashville. But for now, I’m off to soak up the sun and the city!
My friend Rebecca recently reached out to me to design a custom invitation design for her friend Jessica’s upcoming Baby Shower. Jessica is an artist and had made a replica of this amazing crib for her daughter’s nursery, so it only seemed fitting that I design something fit for a princess!
This pink and purple invitation is printed front and back on a shimmery white cardstock. The first thing guests see when they pull out the invite is their “summon” to this elegant shower. Finishing off the invite is a coordinating envelope and custom guest label wrap. This suite is available in my Etsy shop now for $3.50 per set with a minimum order of 20. The best part is all you have to do is drop them in the mail when you receive them since I do all the addressing for you!
Here are a few detail images of this beautiful suite that could easily be customized for a princess birthday party invitation!
I also created this decoration inspiration board for some details that you could execute for your party. So many lovely things you can do with this theme! If you visit the inspiration board on my Pinterest page, you can see many more ideas and the source links for all of these images: http://pinterest.com/amberhousley/princess-party/
I’d be crazy if I didn’t tell you how loud I squealed in delight when I read the email from the editor of the Martha Stewart online community, Dreamers Into Doers, and that I would be an upcoming weekly featured “Do’er.” I was in the middle of a cafe in Sewannee, Tennessee, and the first time with internet service after our fun Father’s Day Weekend in the Georgia mountains.
I am SO PROUD of this accomplishment and the opportunity to have my name associated with the Martha Stewart brand. Her huge empire of businesses is SO inspiring to me. Nothing brings me more satisfaction than encouraging other women to follow their dreams and build a business – whether big or small. The Dreamers Into Doers community represents all that and more. The women highlighted are crazy talented and smart and I feel humble to join their ranks and share my story of building my business over the last 5 years.
Right after I got the news of the feature, I went to my Making Things Happen Atlanta Alum group to share the news. It is fun reading this back from a few weeks ago and I thought I’d share it with you all. Maybe it will give you the encouragement you are needing to do something you haven’t acted on just yet.
Hello all – this past week, I realized both the meaning of these quotes “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” and “you’ll never know unless you just ask.” I was ready to launch my new site a few weeks ago, but something in my gut was saying it wasn’t right, it wasn’t ready.
During this time, some an opportunity came up to be featured/profiled on popular wedding business blogsite, but instead of replying to it, I ignored it. I made the excuses to myself, “it isn’t the right time…my site isn’t ready. my blog isn’t ready…” It was as if I was telling myself the stars all had to be perfectly aligned with my branding, my business before I was capable of sharing, “look at me, this is what I do, I love what I do and I do it well.”
Also, on my list of business goals is to one day be featured as a “Dreamer Into Doer” on the Martha Stewart website, but I had never applied. (The bigger part of this is the Dreamers each year are invited to the Martha Stewart offices to meet editors, see behind the scenes, attend workshops, meet Martha, and attend a show taping). I’d just get the emails each week of the new person being featured, and I think, “wow someday that would be great.” What the heck was I waiting for?!?
So finally, rather than sit around and wait, I made a few tweaks to what I did have. I went ahead and updated my profile pictures across all platforms with new headshots, I made some minor text updates, new splash images. And of course, I finally nominated myself for a Dreamer Into Doer. Four days later, an editor contacted me and I going to be featured in an upcoming Dreamer Into Doer. (insert high-pitched squeal) I also finally finished that business interview and I’ll be profiled in the coming weeks. Some other opportunities are popping up all over the place. The point of all this sharing? I ask you, What are you waiting for?? Is there something you’ve been holding back on? The only thing you’re wasting right now is time… :)
I was at a cross-roads for taking the next steps for my business a few months back. I know very well that businesses do not reap the rewards of new branding overnight, but all the changes and branding strategies I was dreaming up started to hold me back under the weight of: it ALL had to be done NOW. The huge monster of to-do’s kept me from tackling very things I was certainly capable and deserving of, right at this moment. Just as I am today.
And I have to share with you, I’m in an AWESOME place. Seriously. I listened to my gut, held off on the new branding and now coming out with something totally better than before this Fall.
And even though my shell is still in it’s ‘awkward’ state, they called anyway. ;)
Click here to read my business journey thus far: http://dreamers.marthastewart.com/pages/doer-of-the-week-amber-housley