New Year, New Normal

January is a great month, at least I feel that way. While I may strongly dislike the weather this time of year, the fresh start that a new year brings is what I love. A new planner (you can find mine here by Emily Ley) color coded with birthdays, appointments, travel, and to-do’s is probably my favorite part of a new year – does that make me a total nerd?

This year though, brings one of the bigger changes to my life. I had my son in June of 2016, and my husband and I have decided that me staying at home to raise him is the best decision for our family. Various factors play into this decision, and when it was made I felt a huge sense of peace – that’s when you know you’ve made the right choice! My last day with my current company is a week from tomorrow, and it’s going to be bittersweet since I have worked there for 5 years.

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I’m looking forward to more time with this cutie!

So what does this mean? Well for starters, I won’t be driving an hour to and from work. Getting that time back and being able to do things like work on Bennett’s baby book, organize my closet, cook dinner (what??) is huge! Since weekends are so precious while working full time and we leave at 7 am and don’t get home until close to 6pm, those extras just fall to the side. I’m a huge lover of organization, so I’m very much looking forward to getting our house back on track while my son naps like a champ.

The even bigger thing this means is that I’ll be able to spend more time growing My Simple Soiree. Coming up with larger business objectives, new marketing materials, an improved business structure and everything that owning a small business entails are all on my plate for the this year! Expect blog posts from me as well – although I can’t say they will all be event focused as I’d like for this blog to be relatable to a larger audience 🙂

If you have any tips on how to stay productive and/or how to spend your time while being a stay at home mom & owning a small business at the same time, I’d love to hear them!

Thanks for reading,

Erin

Welcome Lauren!

We are SO excited to welcome Lauren to the MSS team! From the moment we met Lauren, we knew she was the perfect fit. MSS is not only a business but a group of best friends and really a mini family. So bringing someone new into the fold was a bit nerve racking but Lauren fell right into sync. It felt like she had been there from the beginning. 

Lauren also brings a wealth of small business knowledge. We are excited to utilize her skills for Warsaw Vendor Network, Non Profit and Corporate clients. AND to help us grow the MSS brand!

Read on to hear from Lauren more about her story and excitement about serving the clients of My Simple Soirée…

Throughout my life as a descendent of a family of entrepreneurs, I have developed an intense love for business and its continual growth and development. I love finding new ways that allow me to grow and learn in a new and exciting way while bringing my skills, experience, and expertise to the environment that I am in. There is nothing that I enjoy more than sinking my teeth into an objective and investing my time and effort in to seeing it grow successfully.  
I graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology Pre-med and after working in a hospital for a few months realized that the business and organization behind the science of Medicine is what I was more interested in. That experience led me to get by MBA. Since that time I have worked for family businesses helping grow and develop their strategy, organization, and development.

Utilizing these talents and gifts guide me through this new and exciting adventure I have embarked on with My Simple Soiree. I am so excited and honored to take part in this organization and begin to learn and grow with the incredible ladies that make it all happen.

-Lauren Martzall

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We’re Hiring!


My Simple Soirée is adding to our team! We are thrilled to open the position of Associate Event Coordinator and find our newest member of the team. Please see below for more details and job requirements. Deadline to apply is July 5, 2016. 

Job Description:

My Simple Soirée is looking for a detail oriented and creative individual to join our team. Our ideal candidate is teachable, flexible, professional and highly self-motivated. The candidate understands urgency in the fast-paced event world, but can remain calm under pressure making appropriate decisions based on the facts available while maintaining the highest level of customer service. MSS is searching for an individual with similar values not just in business but in life. We believe in a firm foundation of family, faith, and hospitality which enables us to serve our clients. 
Position Responsibilities:

* Coordinating Wedding Rehearsals/Days

* Creating and Editing Event Timelines

* Managing Client Communication

* Vendor Liaison

* Representing MSS with the highest level of professionalism and detail

Requirements:

* Warsaw/Ft Wayne local

* Skype or FaceTime capabilities

* College Degree or completion date in May 2017

* 1 Year Customer Service Experience

* Proficient in Office Suite

* Understanding of Wedding Etiquette 

* Organized and detail oriented

* Creative thinking when problem solving

* Anticipate upcoming challenges

* Devoted to self improvement and development

* Team player and open to direction

* Ability to work weekends

* Ability to stand for long periods of time

* Ability to lift 40 lbs+

* Personal transportation, laptop and smartphone

Non requirements, but preferred:

* Prior Event Experience; portfolios available for review

* Photography Background 

Hours:
* Variable per event but up to 25 hours, primarily Fridays and Saturdays

* Yearly forcasted need up to 8 events per year. *This is a seasonal/part-time position

* Per event rate + commission pay based on experience

To Apply:

* Email resume and cover letter to: mysimplesoiree@gmail.com

* Must apply by July 5, 2016

Please no phone calls and limit 1 email per applicant. 

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Balance: The Purple Unicorn

  Photo by Jaci Forshtay Photography

I am (Jeri) wife of 11.5 years to Matt, my high school sweetheart, and mom to 4 beautiful girls ages 7, 5, 2.5 and 1. When we started this business 3.5 years ago. I had 2 littles and wanted a way to get back into working part time and using my creative side for more adult ventures. Life was busy but manageable and frankly being able to have a few hours a month out of the house, talking with adults and using the part of my brain that I’d shut off for 3 years was a welcome change of pace. 
Then life got real. My husband was going back to get his MBA (Go Irish!) while traveling very frequently for work, I was pregnant with baby #3 (and had a very difficult pregnancy), business was growing and so were the needs of my family. In true Jeri fashion, I put my head down and managed a grueling schedule. I mean that’s what you do right? You just make it work because this is what I signed up for. 

Business continued to grow and we were so thankful for the people that believed in us and for the sacrifices our husbands and families made to see our little dream grow. Then I got pregnant with baby #4. Game changer! After thinking I was going to loose the baby, being on modified bed rest and being incredibly sick I had to say no. I had to realize that doing it all was not possible, nor was it healthy for my body, family or emotional state. 

God has a way of whispering the direction you should take. Unfortunately, I see those as suggestions and must learn the hard way. Learn from me, listen to the whispers. I was not only dealing with my physical limitations but my family was sick literally and figuratively. We were worn out and paying for the decisions of busy that we had been pushing through. Something had to give. 

  Photo by Jaci Forshtay Photography

2015 was a crazy year. We welcomed our 4th daughter and we were full of weddings and people depending on us. In my mind, I knew after I delivered the baby things would get moderately better. I knew how to handle baby & work and would have my “normal” body back but I was dreading the cycle of busy that was coming. 

After discussing this burn out feeling with Erin and Ally, we knew that we had to start making changes to our business. Setting boundaries, clearly defining our roles and getting back to the why of our business. 

First, we set business hours. Sounds so simple but it was huge. I’m the type of person that feels like when I get an email, text or request I need to deal with it now. So this gave me the okay to say no, it can be handled when I’m back in office mode not when I should be sleeping, in the moment with my family or on a rare date with my husband. 

With office hours set, I decided I needed to dedicate 3 mornings a week to business. Meaning I needed help with the kids. This was the hardest. The guilt of leaving my littlest girls when I didn’t do this with their older sisters made me feel like a bad mom. I felt guilty that I needed the Martin’s Starbucks to draft client paperwork, timelines, schedules and contracts and those mornings to schedule client meetings. The whole reason I started my own business was to stay home with my kids, right? Yes, but here’s the lesson I had to learn. If you want to be a business, then treat it like a business otherwise you have a hobby. Don’t get me wrong I sneak in grocery shopping and the occasion hair cut but I needed dedicated time to focus and to really be present for my clients. This also gives me the freedom to really be with my girls when its not my business days. To say no, this is my day with my kids and show them that mommy is reaching for her dreams but also caring for her family. So important as I parent 4 girls, I want them to dream big but know that they are and always will be my greatest gifts. 

 All of this to say that balance doesn’t exist. I love how Jen Hatmaker describes the “balance unicorn” in For the Love

  
“I’m not doing it all. Who could? I can’t. You can’t. I decided what tricks belonged on my beam and dropped the rest or figured out a way to delegate.” Chapter: Worst Beam Ever

Jen put into words the feelings I had been having for almost 2 years and validated my feelings that the guilt of not achieving it all was destructive. 

Take this away on how to juggle it all. Don’t. Simple, but so hard to implement. Figure out what’s stressing you out. Is it worth the space and energy you’re giving? Do you need to set limits like business hours or have a few hours a week or month out of the house to focus on your business? Map out your typical day or week. Really look at what needs to stay & what needs to go. Be honest and be willing to let go of things that just aren’t working for this season of life (see more on how we are do this in New Name, Same Faces). Giving it up for awhile doesn’t mean no for forever. It means no for right now and may bring opportunities you’d never imagined because you gave them the space to develop.