Meet the Planners :: Susan SanfordFriday, October 24, 2008
Name: Susan Sanford
Location: Greenville, South Carolina
Company Name: Willrich Bridal and Special Events, Inc.
Number of Years in Business: I planned corporate events for nearly 20 years and 4 years ago I opened Willrich Bridal and Special Events, when I decided to move out of corporate life and into planning private events.
Blog or Website: My website is willrichbridal.com. My blog can be found on my website.
How did you get started in wedding planning?
I had been doing corporate events for many years setting up meetings, conferences, and Christmas parties, etc. and friends were always asking me to help plan their events. Along with birthday parties and anniversary parties I did several weddings and then in 2004 I started planning my own wedding and began to think maybe this was what I should be doing for a career. At this point, I was only dreaming about going out on my own, but as usual fate had a plan of its own. About this same time, my corporate job became one more causality in the world of “lay offs and downsizing”, so the decision to change careers was made for me. It became a matter of now or never and I chose now and jumped in with both feet.
If you had to start over what one thing would you do differently?
With the help of my husband, he handles the financial end of the business; I had a pretty good idea going in what was needed and involved. I already had a background in the business and I had done extensive research so there weren’t a lot of surprises. I might have chosen a different name rather than Willrich (which is my son Will and husband Richard’s names combined). I only say that because 1) Starting with a “W” we are always at the bottom of the lists of vendors and 2) Everyone assumes it is my last name. I now answer to Susan Willrich, as easily as I do Susan Sanford. In fact, my husband was at the bank the other day and someone said “thank you Mr. Willrich” to him. It was too funny.
What's your favorite item in your emergency kit?
That would have to be Shout Wipes or Tide Stick. I don’t think we have had a wedding yet, that we haven’t used them. Oh and my steamer. We have used that a lot too.
What is the best piece of business advice you've ever received?
I think that would be to not expect having your own business to mean you work fewer hours or have a better schedule. It actually means you will work more hours and crazy hours so the business better be something you love doing.
What two people (past or present) would you have as guests at a dinner party and why?
One would be my grandmother, everyone says we are just alike and I think she would be very proud of what I have accomplished. The other would be Myrna Loy, the movie star, just because I think she’s wonderful. She brought smart, classy, sassy women to the silver screen and made the public love them. I think she would be a fascinating woman to know.
What are your three favorite blogs besides thesmartplanner.com?
Besides yours of course, I enjoy Snippet and Ink, Sparkliatti, and The Brides' Cafe.