Jade Ladson: ”I Dived into the Uncertain Waters of the World of an Entrepreneur”
Jade Ladson – a mother an advocate, and a #GIRLBOSS who combined her determination and passion for creating events into a business built with purpose.
With a background in Human Resource Management Jade spent 9 years of working in the Human Resource/Safety field, it took her a former supervisor pointing out that the only time Jade was happy was when she was coordinating training, parties, or new hire events. Once Jade stopped to thinking about it, there was nothing that compared to the joy she got from bringing people together.
Jade worked in a corporate setting during the day, and worked her dream evenings, weekends, and every other minute available to the human race! Later, after layoffs forced her hand, Jade decided to completely put her trust in her own abilities and dived into the uncertain waters of the world of an entrepreneur.
I was miserable and still planning parties “on the side”
‘’I’d always dabbled in weddings and events ever since I was a little girl. Once I was older, it became a hobby that I’d do for friends and family members. It wasn’t until after I missed my daughter’s first steps because I was traveling for business that I realized I needed to start my own company. However, as a natural instinct I opened an HR company for small business owners. I was miserable and still planning parties “on the side” but about 6 months in I realized just how much fun I was having on the event side and the HR business was literally draining the life out of me.’’
J. Ladson Weddings is a wedding boutique managed by Jade Ladson
J. Ladson Weddings is a wedding boutique managed by Jade Ladson, coordinating company featuring white glove service, expert day-of coordination, and destination wedding planning. J. Ladson weddings accepts a limited number of client events each year so that they can dedicate 100% of their team and creative resources to each and every event, regardless of size. J. Ladson Weddings takes care of even the smallest details. They partner with customers from ‘’Yes to the Honeymoon’’.
Q&A With Jade Ladson:
How did you become an entrepreneur? Have you always been entrepreneurial?
I think I was always destined to be an entrepreneur because growing up, my dad owned two business. It was the most amazing feeling ever to know that I was working for a company that was going to genuinely benefit me. I think the only reason I worked in corporate America for as long as did was for the security of a steady paycheck and knowing that I could provide for my kids. However, I quickly realized that while I was providing for them I was also missing out on key milestones in their lives. I will never be able to get that lost time back, but you can best believe that I’m out here making new memories.
What are your company goals currently?
We are more than a business. We are a professional, meticulous and imaginative wedding management company, aimed at offering impeccable customer service and a magical overall experience. We are collaborative partners to our clients, their families and our vendors. We position ourselves as a resource to support growth through the flawless execution of weddings, events, and meetings. We help create unique and memorable moments through creative planning and execution. We are governed by a set of Core Standards, one of which is Quality over Quantity. We concentrate our time and talent on fewer weddings booked by only accepting 12 weddings per year.
How do you get unstuck creatively?
I’m a pretty simple person and I enjoy simple things. I light a few candles, turn on some music and write. I don’t have to write anything specific, I just have to be writing. In fact, I can start out writing a grocery list and end up with a fabulous blog and all the plans for my vow renewal lolololol.
How would you describe your work style?
I’m very up close and personal with my clients. I want them to realize that their wedding is equally as important to me. We get to spend a lot of time together so we maintain a professional yet personal style of contact throughout the planning process. I’m hands-on with every one of my events. While my clients may work with my assistants from time to time, I will always be their primary point of contact. I also only book a limited number of weddings to assure that I can give EACH bride the same level of quality service and attention.
How do you want to improve yourself in the next year?
I’m not a huge fan of flowers. I guess I’m more of a logistical chic. While I enjoy all things pretty, I prefer to be a worker bee buzzing around. I want to be involved in making sure everything goes just right on and leading up to the big day. I’m the one that makes sure everyone is on time, information, and ready play a huge role in this production. However, this year I’m going to partner with one of my preferred florists to learn the basics of floral design.
Tell us about your proudest achievement?
Aside from being a mom, it would have to be winning the title of “Best Wedding Planner” from Best Self Magazine in Atlanta. I’d won awards before, but this is definitely the most memorable. It came only a few short weeks after I’d opened my first brick and mortar store. During this time I was experiencing buyers remorse, doubting my process, and ready to throw the whole company away lololol. In fact, I was logging on Facebook to throw myself the biggest Pity Party you’ve ever seen. Well, all of that stopped when I saw the ribbon sitting on my page. Despite all of my depression and self doubt, I saw that other people had never stopped believing in me. While I was over there driving myself in insane, they were out there being a cheerleader for my company and telling the world how amazing I was.
What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Being able to spend more time with my family and show them the definition of hard work and dedication. When I was in corporate America, there wasn’t a time when it was acceptable to bring them to work. However, now it’s an unspoken rule that when I have an event… we ALL have an event. My 9-year-old is normally in charge pf placing chargers on the table as well as the napkins. My daughter can pretty much handle anything that comes at her regarding an event, but she’s still a little shy and my oldest can do it with his hands tied between his back. Date night most often includes stuffing favor bags, tying ribbons, or cleaning up after an event. However, we still make the most of it with candles, wine, and some of our favorite love songs.
What popular entrepreneurial advice do you agree/ disagree with?
This is still a daily struggle for me, but you need to realize that you don’t always have to be busy. It’s okay to just BE sometimes. Yes, grind hard for your business. Yes, sometimes you have to burn the midnight oil. Yes, sometimes there are true “No days off”. However, sometimes you absolutely, positively, HAVE to take a day off and sometimes more than one.
How do your Mondays look like?
My Monday’s typically look like a rendition of that 80’s song by the bangles, “Manic Monday”. It’s my day off, but it’s also the day my daughter has cheer practice, I have to do the grocery shopping, and return rental items from the previous weekend. I’m getting a little better at pacing myself and actually having to sit still some time.
What do you do on a daily basis to grow as an entrepreneur?
I watch and listen. I bet you thought I was going to say I read, didn’t you? Lolololol, I do enjoy reading, but lately, I haven’t had as much time to dedicate to it as I’d like. Nevertheless, I watch and listen on a daily basis. I pay attention to everything around me. I pay attention to things like:
- how other businesses are treating their customers,
- How did working with them make me feel
- What are the winners doing and how can I do it too
- What does your store, website, boutique look like
- What are you and your employees wearing
I only shop places that make me feel good as a person and I want to provide that same experience to my clients. Therefore, I watch and listen to what other business owners are doing as well as not doing.