Meet the Planners :: Ali PhillipsFriday, August 29, 2008
Name: Ali Phillips
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Company Name: Engaging Events by Ali, Inc.
Number of Years in Business: 6.5 years
How did you get started in wedding planning?
I met another wedding consultant in Chicago and ended up assisting her for a summer. After that summer of many weddings, she encouraged me to start my own business and was an amazing mentor to me. I was not one of those “dream of being a wedding planner since I was a little girl” girls. I just wanted to 1) be my own boss and 2) do something well that utilized my business and project management strengths and that I enjoyed doing.
If you had to start over what one thing would you do differently?
I actually would not change a thing! But advice I could give to those starting out is to think a lot about your business image. Is it fun and funky? Or elegant and classy? Make sure your business cards and business image reflect that and that is one step to attracting your “perfect” client that will be a good fit for you and your business. Understanding who you are and the clientele you want to attract is half the battle. Also, make sure to sit down and write a business plan. I did that before I even started my business and feel it was a great exercise and have most recently re-written it for the future ahead.
What's your favorite item in your emergency kit?
Safety pins. I actually rig 5 safety pins into my suit coat on the wedding day so they are right there on me if anyone asks for one!
Bobby pins are pretty popular too!
What is the best piece of business advice you've ever received?
“You have to ASK for the sale to get it.” - My father, Eli Babcock
“Coffee is for closers.” - Glenngary Glen Ross
“It is better to have tried and failed than not tried at all.” - Winston Churchill
What two people (past or present) would you have as guests at a dinner party and why?
Queen Elizabeth II: I would love to hear her talk about manners and etiquette and also about her experiences meeting many leaders and dignitaries over the years. I would also love to hear her “small talk” tips for those famous and successful people she meets.
The Dalai Lama: I relate to his philosophies he teaches of peace and happiness. He tells us all human beings are the same and equal and he teaches the human values of compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment and self-discipline.
What are your three favorite blogs besides thesmartplanner.com?
Style Me Pretty, The Food Whore - Okay, it is not a wedding blog but I love hearing her talk about food!, and Sparkliatti.