We had the good fortune of connecting with Cindy Arenas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cindy, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I have to be honest here and say I really didn’t have a “thought process”. I was working at The Walt Disney Company when I coordinated my first unofficial wedding. It was for a friend of a friend and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was thinking…”Sure, this can be fun! I assist a President, EVP and VP. How hard can this be?” I planned this wedding from start to finish and the day itself was one of the hardest days of my life. My husband asked me. “Is this something you’d want to do full time?” and I thought for a moment and said “Heck yeah!”, My mind went into fantasy mode and I was really seeing a future filled with weddings. I thought of a business name and even asked my coworker to introduce me to her sister who had just gotten engaged. I was ready for my next wedding, and a year later I quit my full time job. I really dived into this career head first without a clue of what I was doing. I gotta say, looking back, I was a little insane for doing that. So, to answer this question, my thought process came as I learned my new career and new industry.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business was founded in April of 2018. I never thought I’d be a wedding planner but back in 2009, I became obsessed with weddings while planning my own. I think what sets me apart from other planners is my confidence, take charge demeanor and backbone. I can pretty much handle anything or anyone that comes my way. I worked for executives at The Walt Disney Company for 17 years so I like to call myself “classily trained”. Working at Disney could be very challenging and I almost didn’t make it through my first year. It can be a very challenging job, especially when working for high end executives. I learned very fast that I could not show weakness and had to be strong and stay sharp at all times. My business is where it is today because of networking. Yes, networking. I have met some amazing people along my journey and I have learned something from each and every one of them. Because I jumped into this business head first, I wanted to get myself out there and just meet, collaborate and have fun! A hard lesson learned? Know your value. Don’t sign on a new client just because you want to work. Make sure you are being valued and being paid your worth. I want everyone to know that we love animals and we love to give back. My company donates 10% of all fees to a local animal rescue. We also donate wedding coordinating services to a deserving couple once a year. Why wouldn’t we give back? So much has been given to us and we are so grateful.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Let’s say this is during a pandemic free time…I would first take my best friend to a fine dining restaurant for a lovely dinner in downtown Los Angeles (restaurant TBD) followed by a movie at the local luxury movie theatre. I’d then take her for a 3 hour road trip into wine country (Paso Robles to be exact) for 3 days and do some wine tasting, massages and a fine meal at The Hatch located in downtown Paso Robles. I’d then finish up her trip with a visit to Disneyland! You can’t visit Southern California without a fun trip to see Mickey and Friends, right? Oh! And a fun girls week isn’t complete without a trip to Trader Joe’s, Target and Costco to just hang out. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Gosh, there are 3 people I would like to dedicate my shoutout to. I hope that’s okay. Lisa Clark – Owner of Saint-Clark Bridal Suite in Monrovia. I walked into her store about 3 months into my new career and introduced myself as a wedding planner and asked if she wanted to collaborate. She had NO idea who I was and did not have to give me her time at all. But, she asked me about my business and experience and introduced me to a few wedding Facebook groups that changed everything for me. She has been there for me since that day as not only an amazing industry professional but as a friend who I see forever with. Karen LaForteza of Bella Dia Weddings. Karen had an ad out for a wedding day assistant via Honeybook. I applied and she hired me. Since that day, I have worked with her a numerous amount of times and she even assists me on my weddings. She is someone I can depend on and someone who understands me and supports me. Soltana Mulhearn of Velvet Alley Events – Karen was so impressed by my work ethics that she introduced me to Soltana since she was also looking for a wedding day assistant. Soltana has since trusted me with many weddings on my own under her brand. I like to call Soltana my unofficial mentor. I can call her for anything and she will always be there and give me advice and information that I like to call a “secret sauce”. Soltana never thinks twice about lifting me up and guiding me. Honestly, this goes for both Karen and Soltana. I am beyond blessed to have these woman in my life and ask myself everyday…”How did I get so lucky?”.
Other: Wedding Wire: https://www.weddingwire.com/biz/ink-rose-events-pasadena/994055e2e2f9d8ff.html Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/400441422
Michelle Sobel Photo Jessica Hickerson Photography The Hearts Haven Wildflower Photo Co.