September 2020

MEET DESIREE, VISIONARY BEHIND LEAVE IT TO MAY EVENTS

“Hey guys! My name is Desiree May, people call me “Dez” or sometimes “Desi”. Recently I’ve been called “May” because of my business name Leave It To May Events, people assume my first name is May which is hilarious. I am an ambitious, creative, social introvert with a passion for event planning and making things beautiful. I am a “new-ish” mom to my favorite boy Cayden who brightens up my life. I’ve always been the type of person to go for my goals and once I set my mind to something there’s nothing that can stop me. These days I am addicted to HGTV and YouTube. I could live off of Tasty Crab and I just enjoy genuine good times with people.”

Follow her here:

Facebook- Leave it to May Events

Instagram- @leaveittomayevents

Web- www.leaveittomayevents.com

 

Tell us about Leave it to May Events- its origin, your mission, and what your business is all about. 

Wow! I had experience with weddings and event planning years prior to the birth of Leave It To May Events, but at the time I had no business name or any real desire to start a business of my own. Up until my wedding planning process began. I got married in May 2016 and that was a game changer for me. After planning my wedding for 1.5 years, once the planning process was over and the day, I knew that I wanted to keep the ball rolling! I wanted to keep planning and keep my creative juices flowing. I started brainstorming names for my business, and I started working on building my website. It took about seven months to complete, but I just decided officially that I was going to put myself out there. I signed up for a Wedding Planning certification course at Del Tech and upon completion I knew the timing was right. By January 2017 I had a logo created, my website completed and a Facebook and Instagram page ready to go. I booked my first client a few days after launching my business on January 17, 2017. From there it’s been about building and developing my brand. Continuing to learn and perfect my craft. My slogan is “bringing visions to life with style and flair.” And I truly believe my brand exudes this. My goal is to give my clients positive memories to last a lifetime, execute visions beyond expectations and always provide high level professionalism. Currently I do all kinds of events from baby showers to birthdays to grand openings and much more. But my heart is truly with wedding planning. There’s nothing like working with a couple for months, sometimes up to a year and truly getting to know them and being a part of one of the biggest moments of their lives.

 

Why/how did you decide to become an event planner? What kind of steps did you take to make that happen?

I cannot even remember when I started getting into events, but I started taking things seriously in 2016. I took a wedding and event planning certification course. I launched my business that following January 2017 and then February 2018 I took an event styling and décor certification course. I believe continuing education is extremely important because the event planning is one that changes so often. It is important to continue to grow, learn and expand your knowledge, skills and abilities. As a planner you should be hip to the latest and greatest as far as trends, styling, colors, textures, venues, vendors and much more!

 

Your events are always so incredibly well-curated and you have an extremely good eye for detail and design! What kind of things do you do to keep your inspiration and design fresh? What are your go-to “idea jump-starters”? 

I look at each event as a new opportunity. I am not a “cookie-cutter” planner with specific décor packages and layouts, each event is unique and special. Custom! I am fully invested in the industry so I stay up to date with the latest trends, bomb vendors I can collab with and really build long-term relationships with. I spend a lot of time on social media and online researching different styles and viewing inspiring décor. I always save inspiration photos from Pinterest or Instagram and then I “window shop” online a lot. I save items or add items in my cart so I can get an idea of how things flow together. Then I typically hand sketch a layout of what I want the event to look like. I am a very visual person so I need to see the event space first and get an idea of what my options are for décor and styling. I always try to put my own twists to things even if my client sends me inspiration photos. It is important to deliver what the clients want but also be original and true to your brand.

 

What is your favorite part of the event planning process? Who are your favorite clients? 

My favorite part of the event planning process is the end (haha). I know that sounds crazy but the best part of the event is the final outcome and the reactions from your clients and their guests. It’s the most fulfilling and rewarding experience. Those are the times when I realize all of my hard work, attention to detail and fatigue is worth it. My favorite kind of clients are clients that know what they want but still give me my creative freedom. My favorite kind of client also understands that their ideal vision does not always come DIY and you get what you pay for. Sometimes clients want the sun, moon and the stars but their budget does not allow for their inspiration to be executed. My ultimate clients are the ones that say “I know I want to work with you, I want XYZ, what is your fee? I can pay your deposit now.” It’s music to my ears.

 

When you’re in a rut, what is your go-to way to get out of your funk? What motivates you to keep going?

Covid-19 has been a test for a lot of entrepreneurs. My 2020 plans went from booked and busy with quality clients to cancellations and reschedules for 2021. I always try to stay pretty positive and hopeful especially for the sake of my clients. I know that event planning is something I want to do for years to come. I am passionate about it so that drive, that ambition and that desire to be one of the best isn’t going to fizzle out any time soon. When I am in a funk, I allow myself to feel down for a day or so but then I get right back to business. When one door closes another one is waiting wide open on the other side. During times where there may not be as many opportunities, I try to be creative and create my own opportunities. Eventually I would like to get into hosting annual events, fundraisers and things like that!

 

As entrepreneurs, and especially as young females, we often face some crazy obstacles- what is your advice to your fellow bold babes that just want to quit? 

Don’t quit, don’t stop! Don’t stop, don’t quit! For what? We all go through tough times, we all doubt ourselves, we all sometimes feel like we are not getting the support we deserve. It happens. But you can’t stop just because there are obstacles ahead. I guarantee the feeling of facing your fears and doubt, plus overcoming negativity is the best feeling in the world. You will be able to look back and say- yes, I did it! Despite whatever I was going though or whatever doubt I had. Often times, we doubt ourselves more than the world. I think the problem is with social media we often compare our journey and our level of success to someone else and really, we should just enjoy the ride! It’s the roller coaster we are building and it’s the most exciting one.

 

What are your top 5 favorite resources for getting inspiration and motivation when it comes to business? (podcasts/role models/books/songs, anything!) 

1. Pinterest (it just gives me life across the board)

2. HGTV (helps me think outside of the box)

3. The Breakfast Club (radio show/podcast) I can’t go a day without listening, it’s not directly business related but it gives me what I need!

4. Instagram (surfing through specific hashtags) gives me motivation plus I follow a ton of other wedding and event planners (some local, some in other states and counties) that motivate me

5. Shopping! I love to shop on the web and also go out to the stores to touch and feel the products or décor I am interested in.

 

What are some of your HUGE goals? (life, business, anything!)  

I ultimately just want to be financially comfortable and doing what I love. I don’t want to work a 9-5 forever. Long term I would love to own my own event venue. As long as I am in the event industry whether it be on the planning side, decorative side or business management side, I will love it. I also am finding a love or interior design so I think owning my own venue would be a great mix of both worlds! Who knows….stay tuned!

 

If you could tell your pre-entrepreneur self anything, what would it be? 

You got this girl! You are going to be successful and create a brand that is your own that people will start to recognize and love. Don’t doubt yourself and just go for it!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published