- Meet Wedding Academy student and wedding planner Sonya!
Earlier this month we interviewed one of our wonderful graduates Ayla Toyokawa. And today we want to introduce you to another talented member of our Wedding Academy community, Sonya Uribe.
Sonya is one of our students on the Advanced Certificate course and last year she launched her wedding planning business, Evenio Weddings & Events. Despite launching during a global pandemic Sonya has produced a stunning styled shoot (featured throughout this post) AND booked a handful of weddings! All within months of launching her wedding business.
You launched your Melbourne wedding business at the end of last year. Tell us more about who you are, what inspired your business, and the Evenio experience you offer your couples.
Evenio Weddings & Events launched Nov. 26 of 2020. A challenging time for weddings, but I strongly believe that a quality product will always be sought out, so I used this time as an opportunity to introduce the company, prove myself and get noticed.
Who am I? That is a very convoluted question. Where do I begin? I guess since we’re talking business, my work life would be a good start…
I began my professional career as a runway model in New York City where I worked for the highly acclaimed Haute Couture designer Oscar de la Renta. While prancing the catwalks of the major Fashion Capitals of the World, I developed an interest for the behind the scenes and thus, collaborated on and gained experience planning numerous fashion shows.
After several years in the industry, I decided to follow a career in Media, where I could hone my obsession for perfection and my passion for style, presentation and planning.
I joined NBC Universal where I wrote and produced content for globally televised TV shows, as well as styled, planned and project managed in house events, presidential debates and town halls.
After 15 years of perfecting what goes on behind the camera, I took another career leap and used the move from NYC to Melbourne to plan my new direction – Event Management. I launched the first incarnation of Evenio mainly focusing on events for not-for-profit organisations.
The experiences, though, were very corporate and lacking the intimate and personalised aspects I craved. Not only did I want to connect more with my clients, I wanted to have more freedom of design and the ability to transcend beyond functionality.
So, what else would allow me to use my skills, have constant interaction with clients and exercise my creativity? Weddings was the answer.
All of my past experiences have shaped what is now the Evenio experience, which can be summed up in these few words…Style, Glamour, Knowledge, Professionalism, Reliability, Empathy and Taste neatly packed up and delivered with a personal touch.
You drummed up lots of attention around your launch with a gorgeous brand reveal and website launch. Do you have any tips for our readers who are yet to launch their wedding business?
I guess my background in Media and Fashion helped with this. I love styling, telling visual stories. Furthermore, I’d like to think I have a good sense for aesthetics and transforming spaces. But I also have to give credit where credit is due and praise my web designer Luxe Co. who did a magnificent job.
My advice for those who are yet to launch is three-fold:
- First, don’t try, just do. The time is and will always be now!
- Second, don’t get discouraged or slowed down by your own mind (impostor syndrome), what others say or do, or even by failure. I’ve been there, still am at times, but I’m more conscious now of not letting those negative thoughts distract me as I’ve finally realised it is all a huge waste of time and I’ve got work to do.
- Lastly, take the leap. Do what must be done, what fills your heart – even if it’s difficult – and do it the best way you can, always.” As Jim Rohn wisely pointed out, “Discipline (and I must add risk-taking) is the bridge between goals and accomplishments.”
Within a couple of months of launching, you’d signed your first 3 wedding clients. In these more challenging times, this is an amazing achievement! What’s the secret to your success so far?
Networking and personal drive have been big catalysts. I’m an introvert, but a very friendly one who thrives in social engagements. I also love learning and strive to improve myself each day. So I’m constantly in the lookout for new opportunities to expand my knowledge and by default, my possibilities.
I’m also very intuitive, which helps when dealing with people.
Lastly, what I gather from speaking with clients, now more than ever, is that they want the planner they choose to be able to handle sudden changes and navigate challenging situations rapidly, effectively and compassionately, which all are Evenio’s strong suits.
You’re an active member of the Wedding Academy student group which we love. How has being part of a community helped you in these early days of your new business?
Oh gosh, the teachings, guidance, support, encouragement and inspiration I get from the community (Kylie Carlson, mentors and fellow students) is priceless. I’m a junky for education and there is not a lack of it with the Academy. I get on as many zoom and live calls as I can and always participate, ask questions and provide input. When I joined, I never expected to have such a great experience that would last beyond my studying period.
Seeing our students and graduates find success is why we love what we do. What’s been a highlight for you during your Wedding Academy journey so far?
Definitely the live sessions, being on FB or Zoom. I’m old fashioned and much prefer face-to-face interactive sessions where you can share not only knowledge, but anecdotes and circumstances that make for a much richer and rewarding discussion. I believe it gives us all more of a sense of belonging, responsibility and accountability.
Ohhhhhh, and I cannot forget the superb templates and list of resources which Martha and Kylie have put together for the community. My Lord, they are beautiful and undoubtedly efficient.