All three of us Small Biz Start Up Guide authors agree that small businesses are the future. We think that our blog is a great place to showcase successful small business owners, and ask them some questions about how they got to where they are today!
Without further ado, meet Katelyn McCullough of Elwynn + Cass. We got to ask Katelyn some questions about how, when, and why she started her small biz! Here are her answers!
MEET KATELYN MCCULLOUGH, ELWYNN + CASS
Elwynn + Cass, llc
You wouldn't plan a wedding or event without an event planner, so why would you plan beauty without a beauty planner?
When did you start your small biz?
We (my mother and I) started Elwynn + Cass about three and a half years ago, six months after I graduated from the University of San Diego.
Have you always wanted to be a Small Biz Owner?
Oh definitely. I grew up with my parents owning and operating their own law firm, so I think I always knew that working for anyone else but myself wasn't in my future.
What is your background in? Past jobs?
What experiences did you have that encouraged you to go out on your own?
My background is actually in business, as I studied International Business, but honestly what prepped me most for the business I am in now, was my time in sorority life. I am in the business of people and making memories, as I work primarily in weddings and events, and understanding/communicating with people is key.
I was Panhellenic president in college (i.e president of all the sorority presidents) and that was a great experience in multi-tasking, as well as people management. Being the president of a large organization on campus, just solidified the fact that I was meant for bigger things and owning my own business.
What are some of the biggest small biz lessons you've learned along the way?
That everything is a long game. Along with working hard, you have to be patient, since nothing happens overnight. All of the "overnight successes" took years to build and to solidify the brand name, so not to pressure yourself and the thought that you need to be at a certain level in your career by a certain time.
What's something you wish all small biz owners knew?
That the worst anyone is going to say is "no" and that it isn't that bad. If someone says no to you, it is bringing you one step closer to the person who will say yes to you and it will be at the right moment. When you are ready for it.
Is there an aspect of your small biz that you think you do particularly well?
I am really good at time management and details, as I work with clients on more than 300 events a year, and I need to be super organized to keep all the details correct for each individual artist and client.
Also I pride myself on my communication. I will always get back to someone within 24 hours and keep in contact with them throughout the process. No ghosting on my part no matter how busy I get. I hate when someone does that to me, so I am aware of that and doing it to others.
Is there an aspect of your small biz that you wish you were better at?
Technology and branding aspects. I wish I could do what Michelle does and be able to do more things on my website and in branding (i.e. materials, media kits, etc.), but then I would be doing 100+ things at once, so I'd rather let the experts handle.
What makes your small biz unique?
What values do you bring to your client/customer that your competitors might not?
It's all about the experience in my business and curating a unique and personalized experience for each and every client. This means personally matching hair and makeup artists that suit the clients needs (style, budget, etc.) no matter where they are located in the US or for destination. My job is to take the stress out of the beauty process and attempting to find someone on your own since we all know that doing a google search or Instagram can be overwhelming.
Where do you see your industry going in the next 3 to 5 years?:
I've never had an end goal for my business as I like to see where it goes on it's own and where my clients steer it, but I can tell you that within the next few years, I will be expanding more into other cities/states and helping more clients nationwide + destinations. More and more we are turning to personalized experiences, so I am excited to see how that pans out for my business and those of my colleagues too.
Ready to get your small biz idea off the ground like Katelyn?
Start with the Small Biz Start Up Guide to get your small business planning, legal and branding on point.