As you know, I really enjoy profiling artists and professionals who take pride in their craft and who are making a positive impact in our industry. Today, I would like to share my interview with the incredible Deirdre Luster, owner of Divine Elegance by Deirdre and the founder of the All That Glitters Bridal Extravaganza, which I attended as a speaker this past October.
PB: I am always fascinated to know the different ways professionals find their way into our industry. Would you please tell us a little bit about your background and how you were first introduced it?
DL: Sure! I was born in New York and had Ben working in the medical field for decades. My work enhanced my sense of compassion and passion for helping people and bringing a smile to their faces. I was always planning and designing parties for family and friends, and this grew into a network of colleagues and finally corporate executives. After a while, I started to realize my gift.
PB: So it sounds as though this was a passion that was just waiting to be ignited. How did you get started?
DL: After relocating to New Jersey, I started Simply Favors, a wedding and party favor business. As the business grew, I added wedding and event planning and instantly fell in love with the work it entailed. When I began networking with other wedding industry vendors I knew I was headed in the right direction.
PB: Looking back, what advice would you have given yourself when you were just starting out?
DL: I would tell myself to diligently peruse my dream sooner rather than later and not allow others to alter my decision to persevere. I’d also tell myself to be more confident and trust my instincts.
PB: Tell me, why are you so passionate about this industry?
DL: I enjoy the end result that comes with bringing my clients dreams into fruition. To see the sheer joy on my client’s faces is such a gift.
PB: I can definitely relate to that! Is this why you decided to start a wedding expo?
DL: Being new in the state, I wanted a medium to network and build relationships with other professionals in a mutually-beneficial way. I am always seeking new avenues and ways to continuously grow and expand. As an event planner, creating new relationships and working in harmony is the key to success. By being able to offer unique showcases throughout the state, I found I was able to explore different markets, services and professionals I may not have met otherwise and offer them a stylish way to showcase their services.
PB: I agree. Is networking the main purpose of the expo or something else?
DL: Well, to sum it up in one word, the purpose of the expo is best defined by the word change. I want to change the way we showcase services by making it intimate for the couples to be discerning about the level of professionalism on display. I want us to offer brides across the state the most unique and stylized line-up of professionals in the area. Lastly, I would like to showcase my own talents and to bring business to others. This is all a part of my brand.
PB: How has the response been?
DL: The response has been divine. As with any venture, we wish to continue to grow and create even more elaborate showcases while keeping the chic boutique feel for clients.
DL: We love when fellow professional tell us “We love your shows, we will travel any distance to be a part your show!” This all works towards the end result: Happy Clients, Happy Professionals.
PB: As an expert, tell us what trends you see your brides following this year?
DL: 2013 is all about themed weddings! Not the standard “theme party” but creating an event centered on what they love or what has personal significance to them. From “Twilight” weddings to making a statement about their convictions in an entirely green eco-chic wedding, brides are all about personalization.
PB: What is your take on the 2013 Bride? Who is she?
DL: Thanks to social media and resourceful sites like yours, Pinterest and lover.ly, the 2013 bride is more informed than ever before. Today’s bride is savvy, knows what she wants, and is much more involved in the design phase of their wedding than the brides of previous years.
PB: On a more personal note, please share with us what you feel is the most fulfilling thing about your work?
DL: Seeing my creativity interpreted in so many different ways to create events that warm my clients hearts.
PB: That’s wonderful! Lastly, You have done so many great things thus far, what is it that you hope to achieve in 2013?
I hope to expand into more charity work. I recently donated our services to a military charity wedding by Weddings for Heroes Org, and enjoyed the sheer joy of helping couples in need. We also just re-branded our image to have a whole new approach while continuing to be open to learning more and to reach new heights. But really, does it get better than having met you Preston? I don’t know.
PB: Thank you so much for that kind compliment. The feeling is mutual. Thank you so much for your time and hospitality! Here is to a wonderful 2013 for all of us!