We had the good fortune of connecting with Sahar Whitley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sahar, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
Other than deciding to work for myself, the single most important decision I’ve made that contributed to my success was being consistent in everything I do and truly, holding myself accountable!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I initially began my career as a family law paralegal for about 9 years! The turning point for me was when I became engaged and started to plan my own wedding that I knew this was what I wanted to do. I also was obsessed with the movie, The Wedding Planner, that didn’t help either. So, I went from divorcing people, to marrying them! One would say that’s going full circle. I popped out two beautiful children during the end of my paralegal career and once they were old enough, I jumped into wedding planning full time. Needless to say, it definitely was NOT easy. The wedding industry is huge and highly competitive. Its kind of like high school. Everyone has their cliques. When you’re the new kid, you have to prove yourself and your worth and that’s exactly what I did. I jumped right in and made a huge effort to make myself unforgettable. I worked really hard (and still do) and did a lot of networking. I started out by doing smaller events for friends and family and they referred me to their friends and the rest is history. It is still difficult to this day! I mean, it gets easier in a sense of your workflow and your process (which took lots of hard work and many lessons learned), but it never gets easier because I am constantly trying to be better than yesterday, think outside the box and be everything my clients need me to be and more. That’s why I think I stand out. Because I’m not just a Wedding Planner and my clients are not just clients to me. Its not just a job, its my passion and I believe that’s what makes me stand out from others. Where there is passion, there is drive! 2 years ago, I started from nothing and grew my business to what it is today. Lots of hard work, humbling experiences, lessons learned and networking got me here and I’m still learning and growing. Its always a work in progress. I always strive to be better than yesterday and someone you WILL remember. If its easy, you’re doing something wrong!
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
If my best friend was visiting the area and I wanted to show them the best time ever, this would be our itinerary for the day: We would have breakfast at Cici’s Cafe in Tarzana for the most decadent pancakes! We would then take the scenic route to Malibu from the canyon and hang out at Zuma Beach. Lunch would be at Paradise Cove because its absolutely beautiful, delish and nostalgic. We would have a couple drinks, people-watch and just hang in Paradise Cove. Then for dinner, I would take them to Moonshadows in Malibu. My friends and I are the type of people who love the beach and a relaxing day. If it was a week, I would suggest the following: – Melody’s in Reseda for the best tacos in LA. Its a small hole in the wall, but nothing compares to those tacos. – Cineopolis Theater in Westlake Village for an upscale dine-in experience with good food! – Al Italiano in West Hills has really good authentic Italian food and you’re dining al fresco which is so italiano! – Wine tasting at Malibu Wine Safari and you can even meet a bunch of their animals and famous giraffe! – Malibu Wines in West Hills is a unique and hidden gem in the valley. You feel like you’re in a courtyard in Italy and you can hang with your friends while drinking their wine or beer on tap, eat some yummy fresh made pizza and gossip until they close. – Definitely go people watching / walking at Venice Beach. Its fun and hey, maybe you’ll get a cool henna tatttoo! – A cool experience would be going to The Magic Castle as long as you have a connection! The food is delicious and the experience is fun and unforgettable.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Life’s successes ARE all about the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement from others! Where would we be today without them?! I’m dedicating my shoutout to my best friend, partner in crime and the best assistant money can’t buy, my husband, Sean Whitley!
Shadows & Co. Photography, Brooke Borough Photography, MTH Photography, Intuitive Images Photography