We had the good fortune of connecting with Courtney Gerhardt and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Courtney, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Making Monarchs out of Caterpillars

Oh 2020, the year that kept on giving! My name is Courtney Gerhardt,
owner of Monarch Creatives. I believe Lyfe is a Soirée, and I create products
to make your events, mainly weddings, more beautiful. The name, Monarch
Creatives, is in honor of my mom who passed away in 2010.

We like to think of her as a Monarch Butterfly, which was how I came up
with my business name. Over the past 10 years, I have done everything in
my power to make her proud of me. I excelled in my career as an Event
Manager and helped thousands of people celebrate special moments in
their life. When quarantine hit in March of 2020, I was immediately
furloughed after spending March 14-17th, 2020 (think about those dates for
a moment) at the largest Event Convention in the US with thousands of
event professionals walking into a mass exodus.

I realized over the next few months that I put a ton of my self-worth into my
career, and I was depressed. I really needed a creative outlet, so I decided to
buy a Cricut and Monarch Creatives was born. In December 2020, I opened
my Etsy shop with an idea for custom Mom Lyfe Hoodies. The concept for
Mom Lyfe is that on the back of these custom hoodies are 8 characteristics
that describe how you deal with Mom Life. A few of the more popular
characteristics include: Coffee, Wine, Retail Therapy, Boss Babe – basically
whatever you want it to say that best represents you. Underneath your
custom characteristics it says: BEST MOM EVER with a tiny heart after each
word. On the front of your hoodie, it says Mom Lyfe in cursive over a big
heart. This world of business was completely new to me and as I began to
find my way, my business organically started to expand as I offered custom
creations on new, fun products. I had to get a seller’s permit and register my
business name – Monarch Creatives. In the beginning, there was a large
learning curve.

Since July, when I decided to expand my product line into the
bridal/wedding sector, I am beginning to see a difference in my sales and
engagement. Since Event Management is in my blood, I’m able to add an
educational component to my content, which has been extremely helpful in gaining a following. I have about 11k followers on Tiktok
(@monarchcreatives) where I share wedding planning tips from my venue
experience and swoon-worthy inspiration!

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
With over 10 years in Event Management, it was not easy to walk away from
that career. My brand is still very small and young and I have no idea where
this journey is going to take me but I am extremely proud of what I have
learned so far & I’m definitely not ready to walk away from my business now
that the event industry is booming with job opportunities.

The past year and a half has been a series of challenges & learning to
overcome them. I’m still discovering to work smarter not harder. I have kept
an open mind and just continue to follow the path in front of me. I strongly
believe in manifestation and have been working hard on creating a life that I
enjoy!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m a Southbay Girl, so if a friend is in town we are definitely staying at Shade Redondo Beach. Dinner would be at the Strand House, Manhattan Beach for an incredible menu & craft cocktails. I love the farmer’s market in the Riviera on the weekends followed by beach & happy hour on the Hermosa Pier.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my best friend of over 30 years, Monique Cocco, owner of Sunset Social, Inc. She started her own business years ago when social media & influencer marketing was brand new. Watching her tenacity and success has been very inspirational to me. She has been by my side, guiding me through this incredible process. We take these walks where I pick her brain for different marketing strategies and techniques. Her experience and assistance has been so valuable to me, as well as her support that she offers me on a daily basis. When I get down, she isn’t the person in my life that is coddling. She tells me to stop with the pity BS and start focusing on the big picture. I am so grateful to have her in my life and have no idea where I would be without her.

Website: www.Etsy.com/shop/monarchcreatives

Instagram: monarchcreatives

Linkedin: Courtney Gerhardt

Facebook: Monarch Creatives

Other: TikTok @monarchcreatives

Image Credits
Callie Laquidara @callielovephotography for some of the professional photos

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