We had a chance to catch up with WEDTECH Academy Intern Brittany James, after her internship with Kevin Lee where she helped with a 2 million dollar wedding in Los Angeles.
– We just need to do it once and all the audio should have caught it. Oh wait, let’s move that off of the thing. Hi guys, thanks for joining me today. I’m here today with Brittany James.
– We’re here all to talk about how she is discovering her own Lovegevity. So Brittany, thanks for coming in today.
– Thank you for having me.
– So, I really, usually I like to start off with sort of just giving a little background. You know, introducing yourself. I know you, but some of the people listening may not. And so, just sort of tell us a little bit about yourself and then sort of your journey of what lead you here today.
– So yeah, my name is Brittany James. I just turned 30 and my life has been interesting. It’s been a ride. I’ll kind of take it back to when I was younger, just so you can get a good scope of what I am, who I’m about and what I’m doing. So when I was younger I was diagnosed with a learning disability. ADD and ADHD and so I always had this thought process that I needed medications to be smart and to do the things that I was supposed to be doing. And that carried out throughout my jobs, throughout how I showed up. And when I turned 18, I had a really hard point in my life. And I had told myself this story for a long time of, you know, you’re not smart enough, you’re not good enough. I never thought that I could be anything really big. I just, again, like I had just told myself this story until I hit rock bottom. And it was, I hit a turning point where I knew that I needed to take a look at myself and I needed to fix some things. And I did a lot of self-reflection and slowly my confidence started to build and I now work for a corporate company, which I never thought would have ever been an option for me. I always thought I would just go from job to job. Now I’m very grateful I have an awesome career. I do events for a living. And when I first got my job, you know, I thought of it as a job. I didn’t think of it as something I’m gonna do for the rest of my life. Something that I love with all my heart. And it was a year ago I did a grand opening for one of our stores. And it was a Christmas event and we were gonna have Santa and Santa needs a super cool chair. And I was not gonna have him have like no plastic chairs, so I do a lot of DIY. I love crafting, I love creating things that I wish existed. So, I could not find a chair anywhere. So I said, screw it, I’ll just make one. And through that process, I loved so much the creative process and really making something mine, and I found myself in that. And really fell in love with the events. Fell in love with transforming a space and through that process too I really started to figure out who I am. What are my big goals, what are my big dreams? And this last year, I did so many things that scared the heck out of me. Things that you would only dream of. I got to go to New York Fashion Week this year, and not only do that, but I got to work side-by-side with the CEO of Style Fashion Week. And their team. Then they offered me a job the last day that I was there, which was even more mind-blowing to me.
– And so that took me then to do a Kevin Lee Wedding and I just realized that life is so much more than what I had told myself growing up. And so now I’m in this space where I’m like if you can dream it, it’s real. And, now I’m in this process of let me see how far I can take it and let me empower others while I do it.
– You know, you’re absolutely right. It’s really thinking about how far can you go. And not only denying yourself saying oh, that’s not gonna happen for me, not only does that hold you back, but when you do get to that point where you realize things can happen for me, if you take action, then you sort of get to a level where it’s like, okay, well, I really need to think about what is the next level and how do I take myself even further. And it sounds like you’re sort of on that journey as well.
– Yeah, it’s interesting that you say that because you know, when I really started looking at what do I want to do, I started looking at people who have already done it. Who are the successful women?
– But that’s what we’re supposed to do, right?
– Well, right!
– Look at the leaders.
– How did they get there?
– And then study them, and so that’s kind of what I’ve done. And so I’ve found that through that journey, I’ve adopted the same mindset. And so it’s been, I had an a-ha moment, and I’ll share this with you real quick. I had a leader of mine and he asked me one day who told you, you weren’t good enough? And, I’m a big, big, big fan of Tony Robbins and Tony Robbins says that in 10 years span, you can do, you can have like a major life change. It’s not the 10 years, it’s one moment that changes it for you and that was the moment for me when he asked me who told you, you weren’t good enough. I realized that I had been living in that story and from that day forward, it’s been don’t even get in my way, here I come. Like, let me see how far I can push my life. And, again, empower people along the way.
– That’s fantastic. You know, I’ve been listening to a lot of the broadcasts that you’ve been doing to empower others. And you’re very passionate. You, you know, I just sometimes watch it and I’m not only inspired by what you say, I’m also in awe of you and how it just comes out of you so naturally. Can you talk about that a little bit? Where does that come from?
– Honestly, that’s a good question. No one’s ever asked me that before. I think it’s just mad passion. Because I know what it feels like to not feel like I can do something, right? Or tell myself that maybe I’m not smart enough, maybe I’m not good enough. And I think the reason why I’m so passionate about it is because I’m living it now. I’m living in the story of I can do it. Watch me do it, and if I don’t know how to do it, I’m gonna figure it out and then I’m gonna manifest it and make it happen. And so I think that a lot of what you get from this, from the passion, is just pure I want everybody who is living and breathing to feel the way that I feel and to believe in themselves the way that I have taught myself to believe in myself. And I feel passionate because I’m living proof of it, so.
– You know, you mentioned something, manifest. You know, and a lot of people, a lot of people believe in manifesting and really sort of envisioning what they want their future to be like and the power of attraction, and all those things, but there’s a lot of people that don’t.
– So, walkthrough that process for yourself and how you manifest sort of the future that you want to step into.
– So I love that you said that not everybody, some people don’t believe it, and that’s okay, and I’m gonna raise my hand and say uh, that was me. That was totally me. And for me, you know, a lot of my research with those who I aspire to be like. I started to realize that all of them used the word manifest. They used the word law of attraction and then that made me dig a little bit deeper, and learn, okay, what is this? How does this work? And let me try it out. And so, that’s exactly what I did. And I started on some small things, you know, at work, little things, and those things started to happen. So I’m like, let me try this on something big. And so, New York Fashion Week, I live in California, never been to New York before. And never, I mean, I do big events for the company I work for now, but nothing on that sort of a scale. And so, I was like, I’m gonna manifest this. I’m gonna make this happen. And so every single night, I’m a big believer in visualization, too. This is like a key, key piece to this. And every night I stuck my headphones in, I put in like a high-vibe playlist. I close my eyes and I envision myself there. What am I wearing? Who am I talking to? What does my hair look like? How do I smell? All these things. And within three months I’d gotten a call from Cho and she was like, we want you to be there. This is what I want you to do. And at that moment, I realized, what if this wasn’t a coincidence? What if this was real? I wonder what else I could do. And so I think from that moment on, and it’s funny, because I walked into my boss’ office and I was like, I’m gonna find a way to play a part in New York Fashion Week, and he was like okay, Brittany, sure. And then I walked into his office and said I’m going, and he was like what! So, for me, a lot of it is the visualization and feeling it and really putting myself there and knowing that I have to think the good thoughts about it because the more I put out, I wrote it down, I visualized it, I did all the work and so.
– Do you have a mood board? Did you put it on a mood board?
– Oh yeah, I’m a big believer in mood boards. I actually just did one for this year, so. I don’t know!
– Will you share what’s on your vision board for the future?
– Ooh, so what’s interesting is I’ve had this vision to have my own podcast. I love empowering people. I feel like that is my gift. I feel like that’s what I’m supposed to be doing and connecting with people and empowering other people as others have done for me. So, I had this big dream of having my own podcast and now, I’m in January.
– I’m recording my first podcast. So, it’s crazy, because you didn’t even know that that’s what I was manifesting and that’s something that’s on my board. And so, you know, even having my own wedding venue. I have a couple that I’m trying to manifest now and I have big dreams of what’s coming in the future. So now, if you can believe it, it’s real. Like, you can bring it into your life.
– And make it real.
– 100%. But you have to follow the steps. So, I learned this is if you have a big dream, and you’re manifesting something, it’s kind of like a puzzle. The puzzle is gonna drop in front of you and it’s your job to figure out how the puzzle pieces all connect. And sometimes it doesn’t make sense, but if you give yourself some time, it’ll all start to align, and you have to make sure that you’re not only doing the work here, but you’re taking action.
– And that’s the key, taking action.
– Yes, that’s the scary part, do the scary things.
– Hold on, one second. You know, and that’s where you have the control, right? ‘Cause people can sit and dream about their future for years and never really take a step to do it. I was just chatting with one of our students recently and it’s the thing that I say, the number one most regret that everyone I talk to that takes that step to be an entrepreneur or do something they’ve always wanted to do is that they waited so long to get started. And again, that’s the same thing. She was explaining this morning. You know, I’ve finally have done it and I love what I’m doing and my only regret is I didn’t do it sooner. And that really, life is marching forward. Like, it doesn’t stop for anyone. And so if you’re thinking about doing anything, you got to sort of change your mindset, right? Everything starts right up here. – 100%. And it’s interesting that you say that too about, you know, starting earlier. Because sometimes we get so caught up and I’ll do it tomorrow. I’ll do it next month. I’ll do it, I’ll do that next year. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. – Or it never comes, actually. – Yeah. – ‘Cause it’s always today. – 100%, and so I think that, and there’s that saying, forgive me if I say this wrong, but, let’s say you envision your life in 10 years from now. Even if it takes 10 years to get to that point, wouldn’t you rather start now and work towards whatever that mark is in 10 years, or I mean, the time is gonna pass anyways. You might as well do the things that you’re super passionate about. Because that fuels you. I’m a big believer in fuel. The more you fuel the things that make you happy, I’m also a big believer in like what makes you happy. That’s your purpose. You need to do more of those things, ’cause it’s gonna fuel you to keep going. – Right, right. – So, start.
– Hold on, one second. You know, and that’s where you have the control, right? ‘Cause people can sit and dream about their future for years and never really take a step to do it. I was just chatting with one of our students recently and it’s the thing that I say, the number one most regret that everyone I talk to that takes that step to be an entrepreneur or do something they’ve always wanted to do is that they waited so long to get started. And again, that’s the same thing. She was explaining this morning. You know, I’ve finally have done it and I love what I’m doing and my only regret is I didn’t do it sooner. And that really, life is marching forward. Like, it doesn’t stop for anyone. And so if you’re thinking about doing anything, you got to sort of change your mindset, right? Everything starts right up here.
– 100%. And it’s interesting that you say that too about, you know, starting earlier. Because sometimes we get so caught up and I’ll do it tomorrow. I’ll do it next month. I’ll do it, I’ll do that next year. Tomorrow is never guaranteed.
– Or it never comes, actually.
– ‘Cause it’s always today.
– 100%, and so I think that, and there’s that saying, forgive me if I say this wrong, but, let’s say you envision your life in 10 years from now. Even if it takes 10 years to get to that point, wouldn’t you rather start now and work towards whatever that mark is in 10 years, or I mean, the time is gonna pass anyways. You might as well do the things that you’re super passionate about. Because that fuels you. I’m a big believer in fuel. The more you fuel the things that make you happy, I’m also a big believer in like what makes you happy. That’s your purpose. You need to do more of those things, ’cause it’s gonna fuel you to keep going.
– Right, right.
– So, start.
– So I know and I’ve heard that you’re quite the crafter. And so, can you tell me a little bit about sort of your, that crafty side of you, the artsy side, because you have this empowerment side. You have this bright, shining light. All this motivation. And then you have this little talent. Tell us about that.
– So, I’ll kind of give the backstory about how I started on this. A couple years ago I hit like a pretty hard point in my life. You know, people were falling out of my life and I was questioning like why did this all happen. And so I started to realize that I was putting my happiness in other people’s hands, and I had told myself, I need to start doing the things that make me happy. And one of those things is being creative. And for me there’s so many different sides of creativity. I love it all. But one that I found the most, I upcycle furniture.
– Did you say upcycle?
– Upcycle. So, it’s not recycle.
– Upcycle. I like upcycle.
– So, define upcycle.
– Upcycle would be if you had a kitchen table that was really sad.
– I have one. Okay, well next time we get together I’ll have my kitchen table in the room.
– So, let’s say your table is sad. Well, let me make it happy. Let me brighten it up. So let me upcycle that. So, I’ll have a vision. I’m a big Pinterest girl. Most DIY crafters are. And so I’ll find things that inspire me on there and then I’ll try to recreate it but put my own spin on it and so for instance, what was the first piece I did? Oh, my mom gave me, I’m also like, I love design. I love creating really fun spaces. So my mom gave me this photo table just to like put some photos on, and I was like, this does not match my house so let me try to make it match. So I went out and I bought some Annie Sloan chalk paint. Big fan of Annie Sloan. And I completely redid the whole thing, and now my mom comes over and she’s like, where did you get this table? And I was like, Mom, that’s the table you gave me. And she’s like, no, it’s not. So she like, did not believe me for a long time. And I’m like, yes, and she noticed the knobs. So, I mean, I’ll go to the local flea market and I’ll find furniture that’s just like sad and it just needs some love. And I’ll find them for like 20 bucks, and then I’ll upcycle them and I’ll put some like really cute drawer liners in them. And so I started chalk painting and I started selling them and so people have these one-of-a-kind pieces in their home. And for me, it’s also really cool because I just created a story piece for somebody to tell a story about who did that. You know, what did it look like before? So, it’s a big part of what made me, that’s what fuels me. So whenever I feel myself out of alignment, I go and I do my chalk paint thing and I just love creating a vision and transforming pieces.
– And now you’re transforming rooms and spaces for events.
– Yeah, so I even chalk painted, so again, the Santa, the Santa bench from the first event that I did around Christmas time. I went to the flea market and I took a headboard, footboard and I turned it into a bench and then I painted it red, and I think I made the Santa bench for under 50 bucks. So, yeah, little crafter over here.
– I love that, love that. You know, and I was just thinking too recently that times are really changing with the way that technology is evolving. The way new apps are making our lives more efficient or easier. And we’re all getting so used to the convenience of things. Right? And as an event planner, I also think that we have to evolve, you know? You have to evolve, because as you know, there’s that DIY bride who wants to do everything on her own. And you sort of have to sort of pivot or acknowledge that sort of trend. And, you know, you can’t beat them, join them sort of a mantra, right? So, you sort have to start strategizing. Well, you know that that DIY bride is out there but maybe, in your case, you would attract a DIY bride because you have this skillset of transforming antique furniture pieces into stories that are very personal to that person. And wouldn’t it make it even more personal to a bride if she learned how to do what you learned how to do for her own space or transformation of her own wedding. And so, I think as event planners, you also have to be a business strategist in regards to what are your strengths and your skillsets and how do they align with where the market is going?
– Yeah, 100%.
– You know, so even doing that, you know, doing DIY, anything with chalk paint could attract you to that DIY bride you would never have gotten before because she’s gonna do it herself, right? And of course, that leads you into building a bond and building rapport and being best buds and helping her with all the other things. So I think, you know, and the reason I brought that up is because for me, when I work with so many event planners, I look at sort of their businesses as well. And how they can sort of evolve or need to evolve based on where they’re at. And lately, I really feel like you need to have some skills. And you know, a long time ago, because you know, I’ve been doing this for 20 years, I was, I know, we used to say, well, you’re an event planner, you’re coordinating. You’re the conductor of the orchestra. You don’t have to play all the instruments, you just have to know how to conduct them all. And that is still true for many. But I think it’s important to still have something in your back pocket. Something that is a skillset that you have, and if you’re a crafter, then perfect, right? Pick what it is what you love to do and really make that into, maybe it’s invitations, you know? There’s a lot of invitation people. Or maybe you’re an event planner who loves to DJ, you know? Go DJ! I don’t know what it is, but I think that, we’re moving into a time where having a skillset, in addition to having the knowledge and the project management organizational skillset along with the knowing of everyone in the industry and having your team put together all the things that an event planner needs to know is sort of that extra thing that would help you attract maybe a new type of client that you wouldn’t have gotten before.
– Yeah, 100%.
– You know?
– It’s interesting that you say that because I think that’s a big reason why I do what I do. Because, it is a skillset, but we’re also coming into an age where people want to be original. They don’t want what everybody else has. They want the next best thing. And so for me, every single piece that I do is original. I change out the knobs.
– Unique, one-of-a-kind.
– 100%, and so I’ll never do the same project twice. Even if I tried, it would never come out that way. And so I think that that’s a big one for me. Because, I’m giving people and brides something that’s very unique, and then allowing them the space to even take that home with them.
– Creating heirlooms for them.
– Yes, 100%. So, there’s so much, so much to be said about having a skillset like that. Because you’re providing more than just, here, let me put together an awesome event for you but let me give you something that you’ve never seen before.
– True, true. And that’s if you lead as an event planner. I think you might even look at the other side of letting your skill lead. Because, you know, if you’re putting out something that’s unique and an heirloom and I’m like DIY person on Pinterest and I’m seeing all these images of this beautiful chest or something, a chair, something that you’ve made, nowadays the whole game in marketing is content, right? So if you’re putting out beautiful images of your work, that might actually be what attracts you to that client first and then you say, this is what I do. You know, versus the other way around. And so I think if you have a craft or a skillset in a craft, that if you’re not using it in that way, you’re not marketing that skillset as your leader in maybe attracting that DIY client that shouldn’t really be a DIY because, you know, we all know we shouldn’t be planning our own events. At least plan them, but not on the day of. We all know we need someone there to run the show, right? So, from a strategic standpoint, I think not only having that skill, but also marketing that skill and letting the skill lead the way with your content would draw you maybe a new clientele that you wouldn’t have before.
– I love that.
– And you know what else though? It’s a woo. It’s not a pushy sales. They want what you have, so you’re woo’ing them by your craft and your talent and that gives you that opportunity to build a relationship with them, right?
– Yes, yes, I love that.
– What are some other crafty things you think event planners should be doing? I mean, you’re doing this furniture stuff, what are some of the things that you see in the industry that might be opportunities for others to maybe think about what they’re good at as far as a skillset?
– I think that if you’re an event planner, what’s your favorite part about an event? Think about that.
– What’s your favorite thing that you love and then how can you make it your own? And I think that’s kind of like, right now I’m learning how to do like the flower walls. Because I think they’re beautiful! So I’m thinking to myself, how can I take this to another level? How can I put my own spin on this? And I think that number one, trust yourself. The creative process is interesting, ’cause you have this great idea, and then halfway through you’re like, this is a horrible idea. But, when you keep going and you trust yourself, it turns out exactly how it’s supposed to be. And it’s, no matter what, it’s a masterpiece, because you created that. It started here, you’re taking it out. So, I think that if it’s, you know, the buffet part of it, if it’s the food, how can you present that in a more beautiful way? Or authentic? Whether that’s, you know, a candy bar, a donut bar, what chairs do you have like surrounding that. How can you take that to another level? I’m always that person. So like, how can I do that bigger? And so that’s just kind of, I would just say pick your favorite part and start there and see how you can put your own spin on it.
– Yeah, from a design perspective, too, you want to maybe even walkthrough the whole event experience. So, is it something with the entrance, like you said? A candy bar, maybe you want specialize in candy bars. Or some sort of art instillation. Like, you even just mentioned the flower wall, which, I didn’t know that. So, I can’t wait to see your next project!
– Yeah, super excited!
– Maybe we’ll have to do one.
– Yes, I’m about it!
– So, yeah, so I think, you know, what’ll be fun is maybe we could follow this up with some other DIY crafting things and maybe for those that haven’t really thought about a craft or a skillset that they could embrace as part of their business model. And the other part that I don’t want to leave out is content in the making of that DIY project. Not just putting it out, the finished product, but actually the whole journey to get there is more content that you could add to your content marketing strategy as an event planner, right?
– On what you’re doing and behind the scenes and putting that out there as well. And so because that’s the name of the game nowadays, right, putting out content I think this really helps come up with, well, what are we gonna do?
– You know, what could I do?
– Yeah, and it’s interesting because I didn’t know who Leah Williams was. And if those of you who don’t know she is, go check her out. Her stuff is amazing. But I found her through Lovegevity and I started watching some of her videos. She probably doesn’t even know who I am, so. Yes, I lurk you. But I started following her and she does these, she shows you how she does these beautiful, beautiful floral bouquets and so I kept telling myself I want to find an opportunity to do something like that. Because again, I work for a corporate company and so I’m trying to integrate more of my style into the corporate side of things, and I finally had a chance to do it. And so, so grateful that she had posted that content about how to do that because that then helped me and so I love that piece because you’re inspiring more event planners and then you’re even opening a door for them for another business, so. Yeah, I love that.
– I love it, too. I love Leah.
– Oh, she’s so inspiring.
– She’s awesome. Well, I appreciate you coming in today.
– Thank you for having me.
– It’s really great to hear all about your journey, and we will stay tuned to hear more of what’s to come. And thank you for coming.
– Thanks for having me! Thank you so much.
– That’s a wrap.