Welcome to our “Day in the Life” series! We feature wedding and event planners from around the world with many different levels of experience. If you would like to be featured, download our questionnaire here and email your responses and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are excited to feature Dallas, Texas wedding planner Leslie James today!
Name: Leslie James
Business Name & Location: Leslie James Events, Denton and Dallas, Texas
Years Working in the Event Industry: Off and on since 2008
Years Owning Your Event Planning Business: 2 years
Business Facebook Page: Leslie James Events
What is your typical day like?
My day starts at 5 a.m. I usually wake up early so that I can have some calmness and quiet time before I wake up my babies. I have twin daughters who are 17 and two boys who are 12 and 13. How we make it out the house with everyone dressed appropriate for the weather and with all their things is nothing short of a miracle.
I like to review my tasks both professionally and personally that I make a list of the night before and make sure I have them prioritized. It usually consists of confirming appointments, working on outlines, or evaluating what future plans I need to make. I have found that I am most successful when I am prepared and ready for the day.
I have an 8-5 job that I work at as well. I work for a Pediatric Home Health Company and spend most of my day scheduling nurses for pediatric patients. I usually keep fruit, water, nuts at my desk to give me energy throughout the day. I sometimes spend my lunch calling clients or responding to emails. I must say that although I have that job and event planning, I am fueled by my passion to serve and help others. This drive and motivation allows me to have the strength and confidence to handle both and to not be defeated when challenges come my way.
Once I have left my day job for the day, my brain transitions into mom mode or client mode. I usually have family meetings on Sunday nights with my kids so they know ahead of time if I will be home for the night or if I am out pursuing my dreams. They especially like when I bring leftovers home from a cake tasting.
Once I make it home for the evening, I am all about my kids until they get ready for bed. Balance is the key to it all. If I could, I would plan parties and weddings all day long because that is what I truly love doing. I have learned that in order for me to provide good quality consistent work for all of my clients, I need that time in the evening to recharge, reassess and reconnect with my family and prepare for what the next day brings.
How did you get started in the industry?
I started out in 2005 when I started making my kids birthday cakes instead of buying the store bought ones. I wanted uniqueness to their cakes. I found that I loved doing that and the feedback I received from it. Through that, I knew that what I loved even more than making their cakes was planning their parties and so this was the starting point for me.
I slowly started planning parties for families and friends. I took a course in 2008 and received my program certificate for wedding and event planning. I didn’t start my event planning business professionally until this past year. I knew that planning events was my passion but I was not willing to start until I knew that I would have the time and energy to devote to all of my clients. Family is super important to me and when my kids became older and more independent I knew I could no longer put on hold my passion. It was time to believe that I can achieve and do anything I put my mind too.
What inspires you?
My inspiration comes from several different things in my life. I can find inspiration in the simplest of things such as nature, trees, and client conversations about how they fell in love. When I was a young mom to my daughters, I started watching the Martha Stewart Show and to this day I seriously think I am her biggest fan. I have every magazine she has ever come out with (thanks to me hitting the jackpot at a garage sale years ago and a lady had every issue to date of Martha Stewart. My mind is constantly thinking of what theme could I do next that has never been done before.
I am also inspired by the many talented woman and men in this industry. A few sites and Instagrams accounts I like to browse through are Melissa Andre Events, Kathy Romero, and Darcy Miller.
What are your favorite online resources for your business?
My favorite online resources are Engage Summits, Planner’s Lounge, and Bloguettes.
Aside from wedding and event planning, how do you spend your time?
I spend a lot of my free time with my kids and going to their activities. I love hosting friends and family at my home. I usually have some type of classical jazz music playing in the house or I watch my favorite oldie but goodie T.V. shows which are The Donna Reed show, Bewitched, or any Cary Grant movie.
In a perfect world, I would have dinner ready by 6 and all of the laundry done. Ultimately in this industry and in my personal life, my biggest goal is to enjoy life through every party, wedding, event, or trial that I encounter. I strive to live with purpose. Loving and believing in yourself that you can accomplish anything can open doors you never dreamed of.
Loving and believing in yourself that you can accomplish anything can open doors you never dreamed of.
Leslie, thank you so much for taking the time to share your story and a day in your life. If you are an event planner and would like to be featured, download our questionnaire today and email it to us along with a photo. If you aren’t sure about being featured, take a few minutes to read how it can help your business.