Mompreneur Rockstar Interview with Crista Tharp, founder of Blissfully Simple, the world’s first wedding planning brand
Wow. I can’t believe how fast this year has flown by. 2013 has been a remarkable year and I know 2014 is going to be even more superb. What are your plans for 2014? I hope Mompreneur Media has inspired you to start your own business or even take you current business to the next level. Maybe you have even been thinking about starting a second business? If so, my next guest is going to really inspire you to continue to follow your dreams.
Meet Crista Tharp. The founder of Blissfully Simple ™ Wedding Planning and the author of Becoming a Wedding Planner is now Blissfully Simple. Now if anyone has told you that you CAN’T be a mom and run a business they are 100% wrong and I will be the first to say so. Crista is the perfect girl to let you know this as well. She has not one, not two, but 10 (yes, TEN) children and has managed to run a successful business of her own for many years. Read on to learn how she started her business and how you CAN too!
Welcome to Mompreneur Media, Crista! Please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am blissfully married to my high school sweetheart & stud, Chad; and we have 10 beautiful, crazy and fantastic kids’ age 16 to 2 years old.
I started my business when baby #4 was just 6 months old. I was searching for something to do other than wipe noses, butts and changing diapers. Not that that isn’t the most important job in the world – it is! I just needed something to flex my creative muscles.
Since then my life has just exploded with incredible opportunities and experiences. I have written 11 books, have spoken at various conferences and workshops across the country and have met amazing people. But the best part of owning my business is that I get to help my peeps (stay at home moms) to use their creativity, follow their dreams and live their passion all while raising their kids. Life doesn’t get any better than this!
How did you get into wedding planning?
I started a gift basket company first and most of my clients were corporations. So I would put together baskets for a corporate retreat and they would have me do additional coordination with the hotel. I fell in love with it and found that I was really good at it as well.
I started my event planning business and sold the gift basket business to a local florist. Ever since then I have been listening to my intuition and following my heart. I am lucky to wake up every morning loving what I do.
Tell us a little about your new book?
This book tells my story. I share with readers how I started my business, where I was in my life and how I created Blissfully Simple ™. Wedding Planners by nature are very competitive and are reluctant to tell their techniques and knowledge to any other planner. But I look at it a different way: Blissfully Simple ™ is 100% about the experience; both for the client AND the Planner. The more we share the more we get in return and it is my vision to spread the Blissfully Simple ™ Philosophy while empowering women to live the life of their dreams. Simple. Actually, it is Blissfully Simple!
Can you offer any advice/tips for those wanting to start their own Wedding Planning Business?
Absolutely! First – if a woman with 10 kids and a degree in Voice Musical Theater can do it – YOU CAN DO IT! But the reason I was able to succeed was that I took action and DID IT. That is really the key to success – ACTION.
Second, I would say become a Blissfully Simple ™Planner. This is why I created the Blissfully Simple ™ Wedding Planning Business System; for women who want to do what I did – but without the trial and error, wasted money, fear and worry. I took my years of in the trenches experience and wrapped it all up in a step by step business model that ANYONE can follow and succeed with. I hope that doesn’t sound like an infomercial but that’s how passionate I am about it.
How long did it take for you to complete “Becoming a Wedding Planner is now Blissfully Simple.”?
It was always a work in progress, so ultimately it took 15 years to create the book because it has all of my years of experience wrapped up in one little book. However, it took about two months to write it.
I have always been very good at creating products. It’s what I enjoy doing now – helping my fellow planners out whether it be with a book on beginning business etiquette or a t-shirt promoting wedding planners. It is my mission to help other planners succeed so I create what they need.
What kind of an investment does it take to start a wedding planning business?
If you do it the wrong way – a lot of money. At the beginning you are just throwing money at things you THINK you need. But later on, when you realize what you ACTUALLY need, you have already spent thousands of dollars. I heard somewhere that you need about $5,000 to start a business, and usually much more. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
If you choose to become a Blissfully Simple ™ Planner you can start & run your business with $500. That includes the entire system with extra money to get your domain name, business cards and other essentials. Seriously, you can start planning events and making money on that. With your first wedding you will at least double that (which is an inexpensive fee for a wedding) and start making a profit. It is really that easy.
You have won numerous awards, what was the most exciting?
Other than “Mom of the Year” award (presented by my Kids yearly), I would have to say the “Mompreneur Award” in 2009. I was selected as one of the country’s top 200 Moms in business (#51 in fact). Awards are always exciting but this one is close to my heart because it proves that a woman can choose to be a great mom AND an entrepreneur.
We as women have the incredible power to create our own destiny. We also have a big responsibility to empower other women with that fact. I feel so blessed that I get to use the talents that God gave me to help other women realize their super power and use it for good.
Everyone asks, “What is the meaning of life?” I realized the answer years ago and shout it from the rooftops whenever I get the chance. The meaning of life is to BE HAPPY! That’s it. When you are happy you live the life you were meant to live. Straight-forward, uncomplicated, effortless and Blissfully Simple ™!
About Blissfully Simple ™
Blissfully Simple ™ Wedding Planning is the world’s first wedding planning brand based on my successful event planning business, Blissfully Simple ™ Events. After just a short time in business, I realized there was a real need for a product to teach other women how to do exactly what I did – no matter what their experience. I developed a licensee program where anyone could create their own successful event planning business using the proven systems and techniques I have perfected throughout the years. Now, Blissfully Simple ™ Planners across the country all work together with a consistent method, purpose and mission. We all help each other to achieve success.
Connect with Crista!
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