We're Elevate

What started as a side hustle for two creative, driven sisters has now become one of the Midwest’s premier event planning and design firms. At Elevate, we find pure, unbridled joy in celebrating all aspects of life - big moments, small gatherings and anything in between.

Elevate Analysis: 2022 Q1 Recap

Alright, sure, this post title isn’t nearly as sexy as the sound of a beautiful summer wedding or an exciting new project – we know!

But since this space is our own, and a place we get to deposit our own memories, triumphs and setbacks, we wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on the year thus far, review the goals we set, and hold ourselves accountable for the things we’re continuing to work on. It may not be sexy, but reflection and analysis sure is important. Read on as we share some wins, some upsets, and some even bigger things in store for Elevate!

Goals for 2022

We’ll be honest, last year felt like a bit of a kick in the teeth, no?? It was an absolutely INSANE year for our calendar – filled with 30+ postponed events from 2020, as well as new clients who were SO ready to celebrate. Because we were essentially tasked with squishing two wedding seasons into one, we either needed to get our act together and deliver on our clients’ expectations, or crawl into the fetal position and, well…give up.

Spoiler alert: thankfully, we chose the former, and are not only still standing, we’re diving head first into this season bigger, better and stronger than ever before! (Because as if the chaos of 2021 wasn’t enough to handle, we also had some sudden and unexpected team losses right in the thick of things, which left us making some significant staffing and internal adjustments just as we were about to begin work on our “off season” projects!)

Like pretty much every circumstance, however, losing staff when we did ended up being a blessing in disguise, because we were challenged to evaluate, analyze, and ORGANIZE in a way we have never had to before. Beyond that, we also set some pretty lofty goals (some may say downright crazy!) for the new year to keep things fresh, exciting and, as always, comprehensive. Read on and let us know how we did!

01. Launch a Course!

WOOOOOOO! This little passion project has been on our hearts for a LOOOONG time. Quite honestly, it felt like SUCH a daunting task that it basically lived on the back burner for many, many months, but with some support and guidance from our website and branding friends at December Oak and Rhema Design Co and a new and incredible friend in Sarah Jaya Collective, we were FINALLY able to bring this tiny idea from a baby concept to a full-blown, immersive and educational experience for our TPP students!

We developed this course as a bit of tough love for the early-years versions of ourselves. It’s a comprehensive, detailed framework of absolutely every single step a newer planner should be taking to ensure they are fully prepared for a successful, prosperous business – complete with lessons, actionable takeaways and workbooks, and trainings direct from the experts! Basically, it’s what we WISH we had access to back when we were first starting out – would have saved us HOURS of headaches and mistakes.

As we’re putting the finishing touches on our beta launch of this course, we can’t help but feel even MORE energized for our next round of students. We’ll be re-opening enrollment this fall and are SO excited to help even more budding planners achieve clarity and take those major steps toward prosperity!

02. Project Management Buildout

If the world’s most unpredictable, unexpected year of off-the-charts celebrations taught us anything, it’s this: when clients are depending on YOU to keep them organized, there is truly no amount of emails, Zoom calls and site visits that will bring you calm and clarity quite like a bulletproof project management system. And as professional planners whose careers depends on being pillars of organization and a sense of calm, we knew early on that we needed to give our team a tool which would allow us to fully collaborate and communicate between our team, OUTSIDE of our already flooded inboxes.

While we already have a client-facing project management tool that we absolutely adore, we knew that we needed to really build-out an internal project management tool that would take the guesswork out of our day-to-day workflows, ensure that our leadership could keep tabs on the hundreds of projects we have underway at any particular moment, and allow us ALL to maintain a healthier work-life balance, knowing that we had complete control over our workdays and a healthy grasp on every single project.

This Asana buildout was an ENORMOUS undertaking (one that Kirstie and our leadership spent literal months on to complete), but now that it’s done, we are already seeing incredible results, and an even happier team! In our course, we focus a LOT on growth and scalability with our students, so we knew that seeing this project through to completion would mean incredible results for our business. We are SO proud to have finally completed this major project!

03. Complete a “Non-Wedding” Project

After many, many years in the wedding industry, we felt a really strong pull to put our energy toward something that had absolutely nothing to do with them. Don’t get us wrong, we still absolutely LOVE weddings and everything that goes into them, but with this year being the one in which we fully stepped out of our comfort zones, it just felt right to see a “non-wedding project” through to completion. And hey, we love personal style and fashion, so curating a clothing line really felt like a beautifully synergistic project to explore.

We shared allllll of the details and inspiration behind this project in a dedicated post, so we’ll let you explore more there if you haven’t already. To summarize this beautiful partnership, however, we will simply say that 1) you had better believe we’ll be continuing to explore projects just like this for many years to come, and 2) if it feels risky, you should probably just go ahead and go for it. 🙂

04. Continue to Empower and Educate

Full disclosure, this dream feels like it still needs some follow-through. There is SO much we still want to share with our fellow industry professionals, clients, and followers, and only so many hours in each day! Let’s just say that our intentions for Q2 and Q3 have a lot more in store, particularly with respect to this larger goal of ours, so stay tuned for a whole lot more from us!

Let us know – what have YOU thought of all of these projects? Is there anything else from us you’d love to see? If there was ever a year for us to unabashedly GO FOR IT and give it a try, this is the year, so drop us a line and let us know – we’ll probably be willing to give just about anything a shot. 🙂