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

Hi Jalyssa, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
The thought process behind starting my own business I knew I wanted to be my own Boss and having a flexible schedule. Looking at other entrepreneurs and being inspired, I used to think, “wow I wish I can do that”!

Growing up I always loved the wedding and event planning industry. I was the go to girl within my group of friends that would always plan and host small events at my house and even during the holidays I couldn’t wait to decorate and set the table for my family. Something about bringing people together for a celebration always makes me happy.

What inspired me to start a wedding planning company is because I planned my own wedding in 2018 and I absolutely fell in love with it. Initially I didn’t have too much experience in the industry so I decided to test it out to see if I could really see myself doing this as a career. So I shadowed seasoned Wedding Pros, did an internship and got training with the Wedding Academy. Just going through that process alone it made me even more excited to start getting things going for myself. I just knew from there, I couldn’t wait for things to be perfect, so I took a leap of faith and just went for it!

I started my business right at the beginning of the pandemic and at the time my Son was about 4 months old. I had just lost my job and I remember feeling defeated but it only pushed me even harder to go after my dreams into becoming an entrepreneur. Later in 2020 I launched my business and that was the biggest accomplishment ever because I didn’t give up. The why behind starting my business is my family, they are my biggest supporters and they keep me going everyday. When starting my business I kept referring back to how I felt on my wedding day, joyous and stress – free it was. I knew I wanted that for my clients. My mission is to go above and beyond the client’s expectations and making sure their experience is exciting from start to finish.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
What sets me apart from others is that I’m personable, diligent and I’m a lot of fun to work with. I love being able to provide my clients with an experience and making sure the environment is comfortable. I am an organized freak, I have an obsession with notebooks and planners, it’s wild! I literally have a notebook and planner for every element of my life, when things are organized I feel most calm.

I’m most proud of myself, I can be so shy and always in my head most of the times. I tend to psych myself out a lot especially when things are going really well. I would always say “well what if this happens or this happens” but I’m learning to just continue to allow God to guide my footsteps and to trust the process.

I got to where I’m at professionally with going through a lot of training and constantly wanting to fuel my brain with so much knowledge on learning the ins and outs of the event planning industry. I didn’t have much experience and my background is in fashion. It wasn’t easy getting to where I’m at now because this industry is so saturated, I had to really dive really deep in trying to figure out what do I want and how can I stand out. I faced challenges with allowing fear to get in my way most of the times. The fear of not knowing if this is going to work, how am I going to be able to balance being a stay at home Mom and being an entrepreneur and how can I afford starting my business from scratch. It was a very tough process and there was a lot of tears along the way but I made it through with God and my family by my side.

The lessons I learned along the way, is not allowing the F word to get in my way (fear) I was too shy and scared to show my face on video to promote myself and the fear of being judged because I didn’t look like the other Wedding Planners. When I kept getting in the way of my successes I wasn’t seeing any results. One day I just said the hell with it, I don’t care I’m just going to be my most authentic self and who cares what people think. Trying to be something that I’m not just didn’t work for me. Once I let go that’s when things started to flow better for my business.

What I want the world to know about me is that I’m a Wife, Mother and Business Woman. I’m family oriented and a hard worker. My favorite things I like to do in life is spending time with my family, cooking, painting and drinking wine. As I continue to go along my journey as a Momprenuer the amount of growth I’ve seen in myself, I’m excited for all of the amazing things to come.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
It’s so many great places to go! First my Friend and I would head to Old Town Pasadena to have an early lunch at True Foods which is a vegan spot, the Korean Noodle bowl is so good! Then head to one of my favorite places to do some wine tasting at The Cellar Wine Library.

The following day we would hang out at the Arts District to try some exotic hot dogs at Wurstküche and to walk off all that food we’d head to Two bit Circus to play some games. After our food has digested and we are fully rested then we would head to The Perch for dinner. I love their rooftop area, you get a perfect view of the city.

Now for the next couple of days is all about a full day of fun and a lot of walking so we would visit Universal Studios and Disneyland. Just so we aren’t eating out all of the time I would schedule a night when I would cook my favorite dish Shrimp Etouffee (it’s similar to shrimp & grits) super good and spicy! Then we’d just chill out on the patio, chat and listen to music. Since it’s always hot down here in Socal, we have to make time to hit up Malibu Beach. The perfect place to take some nice pictures! Towards the end of my friend’s trip we would head to Glen Ivy for a spa day.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to shoutout my amazing family, they’ve been super supportive during my entrepreneurial journey. My Mother and Sister are two strong women in my life. They inspire me everyday to keep going and to never give up. My Husband is my biggest supporter of all time! Those late night and early mornings when I had to work on my business he held down the house. He is the one that encouraged and pushed me to pursue my dreams. So I will forever be thankful for him! Last but not least I’d also like to shoutout my Business Mentor, Patrice Vansickle. I connected with her during the pandemic and she’s just the best! Deciding to work with her was the best decision I ever made. Before working with her my business was all over the place because I was trying to do it all. She helped me reevaluate my goals and priorities in my business to really get a clear view on how to operate a successful business.

Website: https://lovelysoiree.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lovelysoiree/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lovelysoireeweddings

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/LovelySoiree

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