We had the good fortune of connecting with Blanc Canvas L.A. and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Blanc Canvas L.A., what was your thought process behind starting your own business?

There is always a great amount of fear and a little bit of doubt before deciding to start a business – especially when you think you don’t have what it takes to start one. We’re not going to lie, we had a pretty long journey before deciding to start Blanc Canvas L.A. Here is our story…

Hey friends! We’re Karen and Alicia, cousins, and founders of Blanc Canvas L.A. We’ve both always had an eye for design, art, and decor. We also love creating and DIY’ing. We knew we wanted to have a business together someday – we just didn’t know what exactly it was going to be.

The idea of starting a business came about one night when making a birthday card for a friend. When we finished the card, we wanted to add our own “copyright” on the back to make it “legit”. We thought, “What would be a good name?”. CRAK was the winner – it was a funny acronym of our first and last initials combined. However, making birthday cards was not something we were passionate about.

There were various other things that we made, created, and had an interest in, but nothing ever really spoke to us enough. We became the family cupcake makers, sign makers, and the go to people for planning baby showers. Still, nothing came out of that. We were too young and focused on school to ever start anything.

Years later,  one of us (Karen) got asked to be a cousin’s maid of honor. With experience in event planning (sorority formals, baby showers, etc.), planning and hosting the bridal shower would be an easy task. The struggle would be finding a way to make the cousin’s vision come to life without spending too much. We had to get creative, and DIY, DIY, DIY! A flower wall was made, e-vites were designed, centerpieces were created, sugar cookies were baked, signs and paintings were painted, table settings were styled, and there was even a custom bridal shower “Loteria” game created (Latin bingo). There were also a couple of things that were purchased that would later come to serve us for not just our respective weddings, but for Blanc Canvas L.A. events, too!

We both got engaged to our now husbands in the middle of the pandemic in 2020. The pandemic meant we would have to elope first, and have a bigger celebration later. Neither of us wanted to spend too much on our elopements because we always thought we would have a bigger wedding in 2021. We purchased things that were cheaper to buy than rent, built an arch, and created our own dried floral installation, centerpieces, and boutonnieres. Let us tell you, it was not easy! It was very time consuming and required a lot of math, designing, and brainstorming.

While secretly planning one of our bridal showers (Alicia), the thought of a picnic at the park seemed like the perfect idea as the pandemic made it difficult to have too many people gathered together indoors. Planning the bridal shower on a budget led to finding some great inventory that we would later use for our business.

After the elopements and bridal shower, we both had a myriad of things that we were no longer going to use: charger plates, goblets, vases, table cloths, candle holders, charcuterie boards, picnic baskets, rugs, an arch, and more. That was when the idea of starting an event design and rental business came to life. The items we gathered were already a great start towards inventory! All we had to do was talk business, logistics, and decide on who our target market was.

Our thought process towards creating a small business always revolved around one thing: catering to people like us who had expensive taste without breaking the bank. It was a common theme in our lives with all of the events we hosted and planned. The creation and talks of business actually took some time to flourish. We always mentioned starting the business, but no action was ever taken. It wasn’t until a bride-to-be reached out to one of us (Karen) to ask who she had hired to style their elopement. That was when the light switch went on. That bride-to-be ended up becoming our very first client.

Coming up with our name was probably one of the hardest tasks we had to do. And you can’t really start a business if you don’t have something to call it. After much brainstorming and thinking about what we love, the name Blanc Canvas L.A. was created. Every thought, idea, and inspiration starts with a blanc canvas. Every table set up or ceremony design is a work of art. We don’t think of ourselves as just designers and stylists, but as artists as well. Afterall, art comes in many different forms. We get to play with color, texture, shades, and shapes. Let us create your art and help your event vision come to life!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.

Blanc Canvas L.A. provides event design, styling, and rentals for small scaled events. We style, design, and set up for events such as elopements, proposals, bridal and baby showers, and picnics. I think what sets us apart is our affordability, the fact that we build everything ourselves, and that we look at our setups and designs as a form of art. That is what inspired our name, and that is also what has inspired the naming of some of our packages.

We’ll always be super proud of our first elopement. It took up a whole day, we battled gusts of desert winds, and we were still able to create a great set up! Our couple was so happy! It was really what we needed to jump into the biz and never look back.

Right now we are really excited about our expansion to Seattle for this upcoming year! We are really getting inspired from the new scenery to try and do something new. We have so many ideas, but with the expansion and upcoming projects, we’re just looking for the time to start implementing them all.

We got to where we are really by just deciding to go for it. The idea of starting a business had always been on our minds, we just never got to actually starting it. One day one of us said, “Okay, I’m doing this. I’m starting a page.” and we never looked back. So far it’s been a pretty smooth start for us, but of course, there have been challenges along the way.

Our business has been growing at a slow pace. While that may not be a challenge in itself, the challenge comes from not allowing yourself to give up when you see that the business is at a standstill. Other challenges have involved getting over the mentality that you’re not worth it, or that you may not make it because you do not have the support of friends and acquaintances that you thought you were going to have. What really keeps us going is receiving our clients’ feedback after events, and loving what we do. Seeing the joy, satisfaction, and happiness in client’s faces during events is pure bliss! This is our first attempt at entrepreneurship, and it has definitely been a learning process. Building and running a business takes a lot of time and effort, whether it be responding to inquiries, drafting mock ups, prepping the day before an event, organizing and cleaning after an event, managing social media accounts, and more.

We know what it’s like to want a picture perfect event or celebration but not have the budget to make it happen. Blanc Canvas L.A. tries its best to accommodate its clients’ needs and budgets. We offer competitive and affordable pricing with tiered pricing suitable for everyone.

Joshua Tree elopements have been one our most requested services. We are always willing to travel to scenic and outdoor places, so we love when we get to do these types of events. We love the outdoors, and we would love the opportunity to continue to do outdoor events! Anyone want to elope in Utah? Hit us up!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?

Los Angeles is a place where you can find anything and everything. The important thing to know is that L.A. is not just about stars and fame. Go to the west side and ride the tram up to the Getty Center where you’ll get a great scenic view at the hilltop. Go into the museum to see the impressionist paintings, baroque, and french decorative arts on display. While you’re at it, make a stop for some delicious ice cream sandwiches at Diddy Riese. They are known for their ice cream sandwiches and their freshly made cookies that are worth the wait in line. Drive a few miles to the Santa Monica mountains and enjoy a hike at Malibu Creek State Park. If you’re a big climber, there’s a section around the canyon for sports climbing. End the night at Adult’s Only or Davey Waynes! They may be hard to find, but you know you’ve found it when you see the long lines. Trust us, they’re worth the wait.

You’ve got to visit the Last Book Store in Downtown L.A. (DTLA) where you can find a book or two and enjoy the artistic installation around the entire store. DTLA has great local eating spots, such as the Grand Central Market where you have so many options to choose from. Little Jewel in Chinatown is a must try spot with Louisiana foods like Poboy. Drive further west of L.A. and you’ll find yourself at the beach. You can get a great scenic view around Palos Verdes Estates. If you’re a hiker, download the All Trails app, and find one of L.A.’s great hikes! There are many to choose from – Runyon and the Hollywood Sign are not the only ones. At night, be a local and walk through Downtown L.A. at the Art’s District. Stop at places like Angel City Brewery and Art District Brewery for a brew and games. Make sure to stop and eat some delicious specialty hot dogs at Wurstkuche while you’re there – their fries with aioli sauce are delish!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?

We have honestly been so fortunate to have both of our husbands support and back us 100%! Starting a small business is no small feat, and it is very time consuming. We both have full time jobs and have to juggle our time between that, our husbands, families, and our business. Luckily, our spouses understand this and always make the time to help out in any way they can.

Our spouses are more than just our support system – you can also say they’re kind of like our non-official employees! They are often the muscles behind the business and never hesitate to help us with the heavy loading, packing, preparing a set up, or just providing another point of view. (Thank you Jordi and Jeff!)

Our parents, siblings, and cousins have also shown us support in their own ways, so we have them to thank as well!

Instagram: @blanccanvas.la

Facebook: Blanc Canvas LA

Image Credits
Apartment 3 Photography: AMDA6223, AMDA7022 All other images: Blanc Canvas L.A.

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.