We had the good fortune of connecting with Christie D. Van Paepeghem and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christie, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I never thought I would start my own business. There are many risks and doubts that come with it, and you begin to question yourself, asking yourself “Are you sure? Is this the right thing to do right now?” It really all came down to one quote that helped me and keeps me motivated to this day. “Don’t quit your daydream.” I took the opportunity to shadow Joanna Chong, owner of J.Soiree Event Coordination & Design. She asked me to assist her at one of her events. Was this really what I wanted? Yes, this is exactly what I wanted. Today, I work full-time for USC as an Alumni Relations and Events Associate while working as a part-time wedding planner for my own business, Sweetest Love Moments. I am where I am today because of my networking, risk-taking, hard work and of course my passion for the event planning industry.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I work full-time for USC as an Alumni Relations and Events Associate while working as a part-time wedding planner for my own business, Sweetest Love Moments. One of the biggest challenges is maintaining a balance between my full-time job, my business and personal life. Taking on projects and exerting all of my energy into them to execute amazing events is great. However, in the process I have learned that taking on too much all at once can really take a toll both physically and mentally on your body. Sometimes it requires me to step back and remind myself to breathe, relax and slow down.
Sweetest Love Moments was created not only to build exceptional bonds and trust with my clients, but also to create a stress-free planning service that fits their needs. Being able to see family and friends come together to celebrate love is priceless. I am dedicated to create and give my clients the version of their perfect day that allows them to share their “sweetest love moments” with those they care about the most.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is a tough question because my area isn’t too exciting. However, where I’m located we can either drive to the Los Angeles area for a day and go south to Orange County another day. There are so many hidden gems in these areas. I love hiking so I would definitely take them on one of my favorite trails – The Wisdom Tree trail or Sturtevant Falls. I’m also a huge dessert person. Who doesn’t have a sweet tooth? I love the Cauldron Ice Cream in Costa Mesa, I Like Pie in Claremont and I can’t forget my donuts from Birdies LA. There are so many other dessert places I’ve been to, but I never get tired of these places. 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?
There are so many people in my life that deserve recognition for everything I’ve accomplished up until now. First, I’d like to thank my mentor, Joanna Chong. She was my beginning for event planning and I owe it all to her for guiding me through the process. I also want to thank my family and friends for supporting me, taking a chance on me to plan their weddings and referring me to others. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Jack Rodriguez Photography, Lauren Stockton Photo, Stephen Anthony Photo