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

Hi Morgan, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
The idea behind our event rental business came to me in late March of 2019, soon after I threw my first bridal shower for my cousin. All of the guests who came through, both family and friends alike, could not stop telling me how great a job I did putting it all together, and were amazed at the lengths I went to to perfect every little detail. This was such a compliment to me, because as I’m sure many know, hosting can be quite the stressful event! At the time I was also in school studying interior design, and so you can imagine how happy I felt to have so many guests from the event, the bride to be included, tell me how beautiful everything was and how special it had all turned out. Who I really have to thank however is my cousin Kym, who suggested the idea of an event planning business, saying how “right up my alley” it would be. That idea sat with me for a bit, and as I really started to process it, I got to thinking, “Maybe this could be a reality.” From there I introduced the idea to my brother, who to my surprise, took to the idea rather quickly! We decided that with his carpentry/business skills, and my design and people person skills, that we could create the perfect business together. After a few months of planning and discussing came A La Mode Collections! It’s now a year and a half later, and we could not be more ecstatic with the success we have received so far – from assisting customers with ideas for their events, to building and acquiring unique and specialty pieces for our collection, which we believe is truly the key component in setting us a part from other rental companies. It has been such a joy celebrating in people’s life events, and we can’t thank our customers enough for allowing us to be a part of their biggest and happiest moments. We can’t wait to continue growing, and we look forward to what 2021 has in store for us! 

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
A La Mode Collections represents all that is boho & chic in design. Over the last year and half, we have carefully curated our collection to include a variety of unique and specialty items, many of which are vintage in nature, and many of which bring forth a statement to the events we service. Our collection today includes almost a dozen wicker peacock chairs, beautiful handwoven macramé backdrops, bamboo chairs with backings that fan out in the shape of daisy petals, and many other specially selected pieces that we feel encompass the upscale bohemian feel we’re after. We believe that it is these specialty items that have set us apart from others, and that has contributed to the success we’ve experienced thus far. While we were incredibly excited (and quite honestly surprised) at how well our business came together initially, how well it took off and how well received it was by people, it was not met without its challenges. Like many others out there, our business came to a screeching halt when COVID 19 hit in the middle of March this year. Starting your own business takes a lot of courage, as there are always thoughts that ensue like, “What if it’s all a total failure?” So it is difficult when it seems that all the hard work and energy you put into pursuing your dreams and building up your own business is beginning to flounder. Worries and concerns aside, we took the initiative to shut down and quarantine for the recommended two weeks, and had to endure the many cancelations and postponements from customers who were booked with us thereafter. It has been a challenging year because of this, however, with a little brainstorming and re-working on our end, we have been able to maintain and secure business by way of offering contactless deliveries and placing proper protocols in line such as wearing masks as well as enacting deep cleaning measures between parties to ensure the safety & protection of both our customers and ourselves. Through all of this, we have learned of our great resilience when it comes to weathering the COVID 19 storm that has impacted not only our small business, but countless others as well. The biggest take away we have learned from this year in our business that we would like to share with others reading is to remember your strength in times of uncertainty. What is meant for you will always be, and if you succeed in rising to meet the challenges that are set before you, you will arise a stronger person, filled with more gratitude and appreciation than ever before because of your own tenacity & perseverance. We look forward to the next set of challenges 2021 may have in store for us, as we plan to add more beautiful pieces to our collection and continue on in the service we provide to those looking to add a special touch to their life events.

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.
Orange County can be quite the adventurous place to live. With access to both the beaches and the mountains, and with both LA and San Diego being in such close proximity that you could easily visit whenever you’d like, it is truly a wonderful place to be. Home to us is the city of Santa Ana, the center of Orange County, where we’ve grown up and where we’ve had the fortunate opportunity to locate our business. There is so much to be said about Orange County and Santa Ana especially, and when friends come to visit, we first like to have them start off their stay by making themselves at home and enjoying the comforts our peaceful community brings, before heading out for some dinner and drinks. Downtown Santa Ana is always a preferred first option as the restaurants, bars and scenery are plentiful. Establishments such as the Wursthaus, Vacation Bar, Playground, 4th Street Market, and the Arcade Bar, also known as Mission Control, are all places we love to take our friends. Perhaps one of our favorite places to dine here would be at our friends and neighbors outdoor restaurant, Benchmark, where the food is incredible and the service is amazing! Another great entertainment option is of course The Packing House in Anaheim. Here you can experience a multitude of eatery options, with culinary artistry ranging in different cuisines such as Indian, Japanese, American, Thai and Syrian. With all of this are options of various desserts to enjoy and live music to listen to, not to mention the really cool hidden speakeasy accessible only to those who know how to find it 😉 As mentioned, with LA being so close, it is always great to have those visiting us experience one of our favorite places, the Row in Downtown LA, where retail stores, restaurants and pop-ups galore reign. The best of days come at the end of the week, when Sundays call for enjoying a late brunch by the beach, followed by walking or biking along Newport peninsula, perhaps to Balboa Island for some frozen bananas at the all popular Sugar n’ Spice, wrapping up the day soaking up the last rays of the sun in the sand. We love Orange County & we hope all those reading have been able to get a taste and sense for what makes our home such a delightful place to be!

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?
It is truly unbelievable to think how far we’ve come in just a year and a half. All of the success we’ve experienced so far exists because of those in our family & friends who have supported and encouraged us, vendors and venues who have recommended and collaborated with us, and most especially our customers, who have allowed us to take part in their special events, which is the greatest privilege and an honor, and whom without them none of what we have today would be possible. So thank you for giving us the incredible opportunity to service you every day, and for continuing to share your positive experiences with us onto others! We are so grateful and appreciate it all more than you know!

Website: www.almcollections.com
Instagram: @alamode.collections
Facebook: www.facebook.com/alamodecollections-901104943560555
Yelp: A La Mode Collections

Image Credits
Sam Payne Joy Theory Mike Yoon Tony Castaneda

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