District Boss Interview: Sarah Campbell
Sarah Campbell is the Founder and Executive Planner at Pollyanna events, an event planning service based out of New York City, Washington, dc and connecticut.
Meet Sarah Campbell, founder of the multi-city event planning service Pollyanna Events. Every detail from big to small, Sarah has got it covered. Her creativity and positive energy shines through in everything she does, and her clients praise her for her experience, accessibility and professional but warm demeanor. We love the beautiful events her team creates, read on to learn more about her journey!
1. Tell us about your business!
I'm Sarah, founder of Pollyanna Events, a bespoke DIY wedding and event planning business in New York City, Connecticut, Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia. We offer a variety of customized packages, from larger contracts to month-of coordination, and tailored DIY services to fit our client's needs. And, for couples who may not be looking for a wedding planner, or do not have room in their budget for a planner, we offer our Pollyanna Planning Kit. This is basically a planner in a box and provides couples with the tools my team uses to plan their wedding successfully and stress-free!
2. What led you to where you are today?
I fell into this industry completely randomly. I studied law in undergrad, was a paralegal for four years and had planned to go to law school. In the midst of planning my future, I got engaged and began planning my wedding. At that same time I had some friends who were also planning their weddings so I was helping them with things that I thought were simple common sense things. My friends brought it to my attention that maybe this is the career path I needed to go down. I completely brushed it off and then one day I realized I was not going to change the world by becoming an attorney so I asked my soon-to-be husband "what if I dropped everything I went to school for, quit my job, and started my own company." Without any hesitation, he replied "If that is what would make you happy, I'm fine with it." At the ripe old age of 25, with an unrealistic expectation of what this really meant, I quit my job and set out on this journey of creating my own business. With no business, or for that matter, event coordination background of any sort, I knew this would be an uphill battle. Which, looking back now, was an understatement.
3. What brings you the most joy when meeting with clients and creating beautiful events?
I love meeting with my clients to get a true understanding of how they envision their wedding day. Seeing their faces light up when they go into detail about everything is such an exciting feeling. Knowing that we can help make this vision become a reality brings me incredible joy. And the wedding day itself! When I see my couples’ faces once everything is complete and their guests begin to show up, is a priceless moment -- such a tear jerker!
4. What’s the best part of being an entrepreneur? The most difficult part?
The best part about being an entrepreneur is that I determine my future and what that looks like. I would say the most difficult part about being an entrepreneur is the business side of things. I did not go to school for business so I had zero experience when I started Pollyanna Events. I am a very organized person, which I feel like may have slightly helped but the amount of work that goes into the business side of running a small business is so much greater than you would imagine. Over the years I have taught myself a lot making this difficult part a little less difficult.
5. How do you stay motivated and continue to grow, personally and professionally?
I stay motivated by having a routine, staying organized, and exercising. I feel like if I have a plan going into my day, that sets the tone. I find that generally being organized helps me stay focused. Exercise increases my desire to kick ass day in and day out. Being my own boss can be hard some days so I need all the energy I can get, and exercise does the trick!
6. What’s your nighttime routine?
I'd like to say I read a book and cut down on screen time but that's just not the case :) Since I get up early, beginning work usually by 6:30-7:00am and do not really take breaks (unless I am eating or working out), the evenings are my time. This usually means I put on a TV show, something I can just unplug and not think much about or go on my personal Instagram account and just look at photos. It is definitely inspirational fuel to me to look at fun photos on Instagram. My theory is that I will be inspired when I go to bed and ready to put those inspirations to work the next morning. Sometimes that works :)
7. What’s one piece of advice you would give to other entrepreneurs in the event planning industry?
Hustle and stay true to yourself. When you are creating a business, you have to understand that there is a lot of competition, so you have to work smarter and harder every day. It's important to stay true to yourself and what you want for the company you are building because although there a lot of “yous” embarking on this entrepreneurial journey, there is only one you. So if you stay true to yourself, that will help your company stand out among all the rest.