Today we’d like to introduce you to Jen Naye Herrmann.
Jen, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
What was your first job out of college and how did you land that position?
Since high school, I’ve seen myself as a marketer. I latched onto the idea of a career in telling stories about products that emotionally connect to a person, and they are visually bringing it to life with a marketing plan. Graduating from Indiana University, I landed my first job with Newell Rubbermaid in a brand management rotational program.
I fell in love with brand management from the start. It’s entrepreneurial and it keeps my interest by offering a little bit of everything. As a brand manager, you’re responsible for running the brand as a business. You do everything from understanding the inner desires of your consumer to knowing how your product is made at the factory and shipped to a store. For me, there’s nothing more gratifying than seeing your work on a store shelf or in consumer’s hands.
Why start your own business?
I come from a long line of entrepreneurs. In fact, my great-grandfather started one of the first grocery stores in Little Italy in Chicago. It’s been something I’ve wanted for as long as I can remember. As a little kid, I was always starting businesses. Do you remember hair wraps being all the rage circa 1996? I figured out a way to create them fastened to a hair clip so you could have a clip-in hair wrap at the ready. At 10 years old, I sold them for kids’ birthday parties making about $100, which I saved for a summer’s worth of slurpies. For me, it was never a matter of if, it was when.
How I jumped in:
After our wedding, I knew it was time. I initially started a wedding planning business, which I grew with two interns and a few in-and-out partners. However, I ultimately decided the business would be bigger than what I had created. I decided to re-start and began a blog, which has grown into an event planning business, home & entertaining styling as well as creative coaching in the last 12 months.
Has it been a smooth road?
I don’t think any entrepreneur has a smooth road – that’s part of the job. If it was easy to work for yourself, everyone would do it! Entrepreneurs have a grit and a never-ending passion that’s untouchable. I’ve definitely had struggles along the way. During my first year, self-doubt was constantly creeping up. I worried way too much about what others thought and felt so uncomfortable explaining my new business to friends and family. I also struggled because I was working my full-time job during the day and wasn’t sure if it would be appropriate to ‘come out’ to people at work. The first year, I hid it entirely and I felt terrible. I felt like I led two lives. Since my second year, I’ve been open about it, and it’s made a world of difference for me.
My best advice to people is to pay attention when someone’s supportive of you. Hang onto those people like lifelines. They’ll be your ongoing cheerleader and will give you the self-confidence you need to keep growing.
Aside from that, I’ve hit many of the standard entrepreneur struggles such as when to invest in your business, how to clarify your brand and where to focus your energy.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Girl Meets Party story. Tell us more about the business.
Girl Meets Party is a lifestyle blog offering services in planning, styling, and coaching. We strive to infuse inspiration, creativity, and happiness into any situation. We’re known for designing gorgeous tablescapes or making any event less stressful.
I’m most proud of designing this company from nothing. I look back to reading ‘The Art of the Start’ on my honeymoon to where we are today, and I burst with pride. What I’m most proud of are the two women that work for me. Suree & Paola were students when I met them. Both have grown to become successful businesswomen with full-time roles at major corporations. I’m so honored to be part of their journey.
What sets us apart is our flexibility. We break down the planning and styling process for any wedding or event to fit the needs or budget of our clients. We have a genuine desire to unleash our clients’ creativity and bringing their vision to life.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
In my opinion, the planning and styling industry will continue to grow. Pinterest and Instagram have unleashed a desire for people to beautify their homes and events. I believe we’ll continue to see that grow over time.
- Wedding Planning Consultant, starting at $500
- Planning & Styling for Events or Weddings, starting at $250
- Creative Coaching, starting at $150
- Website: www.girlmeetsparty.com
- Phone: 847-502-4075
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/girlmeetsparty
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/girlmeetsparty
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/girlmeetsparty
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/girl-meets-party-chicago
One July Photography, Charmingly Styled, Nicole Regan, Iron & Honey