Join the Created Lovely Team

We’re Hiring Decor Stylists!

We are looking for four décor stylists to join the Created Lovely Events team!

We believe in creating weddings that are as beautiful to the heart and mind as they are to the eye. Décor stylists are an amazing asset to our team, ensuring every beautiful detail from set-up to teardown has been thoughtfully placed to create the most memorable experience for our clients.

A typical wedding day shift is from 9am-1:30pm and 11:30pm-1:30am. You are expected to attend every wedding set-up and teardown and will work closely with the rest of the Created Lovely team.  There will be a total of 16 weddings you will be required to work including long weekends. While the day will be filled with excitement and a whole lot of pretty, don’t underestimate the work that goes in to creating beautiful spaces. Décor set-up and teardown requires extended periods of time on your feet (often outdoors in summer heat), working under pressure, and exceptional attention to detail.

Just as every couple is unique, so is every wedding. We strongly believe in treating each wedding with the care and attention our clients to deserve—a day that’s truly created lovely.

Duties and Responsibilities: 

Each wedding week you will be attending a one hour Created Lovely Events team overview meeting to review the wedding day schedule and all décor details

Décor set-up & styling from approximately 9am-1:30pm. Set-up may include:

  • Moving and unloading décor, signage, and chairs
  • Setting and styling tables in their entirety as per the design
  • Assisting floral designer with unloading and styling floral arrangements
  • Finalizing every last décor detail to perfection

Décor teardown from approximately 11:30pm-1:30am. Teardown may include:

  • Packaging all décor items including lights, stationary, candles, flowers, and any remaining styled items
  • Bagging and stacking all rented chairs
  • Bagging linens
  • Organizing décor items for rental and client pick-up
    Note: estimated décor teardown time is subjective to work ethic and wedding size

Qualifications:

  • You are organized, structured, and goal oriented
  • You work well under pressure
  • You enjoy going above and beyond for clients
  • You are very personable and enjoy working with a team
  • You are a quick learner and enjoy problem solving
  • Previous experience in the weddings or event industry is an asset
  • A certificate, diploma, or degree in the Events & Conventions or Tourism Management field is an asset

Requirements:

  • Must be interested in aesthetics
  • Must be available to work weekends and some week day weddings
  • Must have access to a computer, email, and cellular phone
  • Must have reliable transportation ranging from Penticton to Vernon

Compensation:

Set daily rate of $112-$126/day (based on experience)

To apply please e-mail all of the following to Nicole at nicole@createdlovely.ca:

  • Resume
  • A cover letter describing what creating a lovely life means to you
  • Two to three references
  • Weekend Availability (May-October)

Closing Date: Monday, February 15, 2016

Please note only short listed applicants will be contacted.

Welcome to the World Baby Nixon

20151108_Baby Nixon-1-2Two weeks ago Royce and I took our birthing class prepping for the little bundle of cuteness we were about to meet. It was a day full of information but one of the most important things that stuck out to me was when the instructor said, “you’ll never forget your birth story, whether it’s good or bad. So you might as well learn how to make it as good as possible.” You can’t deny that made a lot of sense. So I listened very closely to her instructions on how the heck I was going to handle this “impending doom” of labour. It’s safe to say I’ll never forget it but blogging does help me remember it in a much less scary way. Especially with our Nixon John-Parker snuggled up on my lap right now.

Our doctor had been telling us for a few weeks that it was likely I would deliver early so we were feeling excited and thankful on Friday night when I was officially “full term” at 37 weeks… Just in time for 13 hours of contractions at five minutes apart to sink in. I went on with my day as normal since our birthing class taught us that this first part can take a while. I actually carried on with a Skype consult through them so as much as they hurt, they weren’t progressing much. So I went to sleep at midnight and woke up to nothing. False alarm.

We were a bit disappointed on Saturday after getting so excited thinking he was coming so we just enjoyed our day, ran errands, and then played Disney Monopoly at home that evening. I drew one of the “chance” cards and it read “The stork finally delivers your baby. Collect $25.” I’m a big believer in fate so I smiled and instead of putting the card back in the deck I kept it out beside my money. I eventually got bored, as I always do with long board games and we went and laid down. We were laughing and talking about how excited we were for the baby to arrive and all of a sudden we heard this “click”. A sound that can only been described as flicking two fingers on the inside of your palm. “Did you hear that?!” I gasped. “What?! You’re scaring me.” He said and then I ran to the bathroom. Nothing. I came back and laid down and all of a sudden half yelled/half laughed “My water’s breaking!” “How do you know??” I grabbed his hand to put it on the bed and he quickly realized I wasn’t kidding. I’ll spare the details here but there’s no possible way you can confuse your water fully breaking with peeing yourself. Unless your bladder is the size of a supersize elephant that just drank a swimming pool.

We couldn’t stop laughing as he rushed to call the doctor at the hospital and ask what we should do. They told us to come in to “confirm” and then they’d likely send us home until labour progressed. These first time labours can take a while. I showered and was shaking so bad I starting throwing up. I think I was just so excited and scared because this was it.  There was no potential false alarm, we were having this baby. I asked Royce if we could slow down and just enjoy this process so I took a hot shower, slowly got ready, we grabbed our bags, we played our wedding music in the car while he held my hand to the hospital, and then we waited in assessment in the maternity ward. My contractions were hardly painful and 20 minutes apart so this was my favourite part of the experience. The doctor confirmed my water had in fact broke… it was and I quote, “The most positive test he’d ever seen.” By then It was 1am so I asked if we should wait at the hospital or go home and the doctor said to come back when contractions were 3-5 minutes apart or the pain was too much and I wanted morphine. They also said that if nothing happened by morning they’d likely induce me around noon. Alright… so this was gonna take a while.

I had an extremely strong contraction as we left the hospital but as we drove home the contractions were still only 14 minutes apart. We live 15 minutes from the hospital so I was a little nervous knowing the next time I got in the car it was going to really hurt but I’d been told so many times that being at home is the best place you can be in early labour because you relax better for labour to progress naturally and then there’s less chance of medical intervention (which is what I thought I wanted…). Contractions were getting really strong and painful but still no closer than 12 minutes apart for 3 1/2 hours. I couldn’t labour on my knees and with a ball anymore and decided to get in to bed to try and sleep between the contractions since really that’s like 9 minutes out of every 10. I had one contraction on the bed before I was writhing in pain and told Royce I needed to go get morphine. I felt like such a baby at the time thinking if I can’t make it through these at 10 minutes apart, how am I ever going to handle it at 3 minutes apart. Little did I know… So Royce called the doctor and of course they said it’s okay to come in. Well, I stood up and bam, there was another contraction. I walked 10 feet to the bathroom (which took me 30 seconds) and bam, another contraction. I started panicking and felt like I had to sit down… nope! Abort, abort!! I quickly paced to the kitchen and bam, another contraction. I went from contractions 10 minutes apart to 30 seconds apart all from standing up. Why did no one tell me the pain is Not just in your belly?! My hips were DYING. “Just keep moving. This is normal. This is supposed to happen. Just keep moving. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6…..10, 9, 8, SEVEN, 6….!!!” Alright, nothing was working anymore. This baby was coming and quick. Royce tried to dress me, which we can all imagine how that went… and then he realized there’s no way I was getting in the car. He called the hospital and they told him to call 911. Royce has his medical first responder training and is beyond calm under pressure so I was in great hands though he wasn’t so excited to be told to get me on my back and put towels on the floor… I did Not oblige no matter how kind his “Nikki… I really need you to get on your back please.” requests were. I was petrified and hyperventilating. Not only had I never experienced labour before, I was in my condo, trying to be quiet out of embarrassment of waking the neighbours, on my hands and knees unable to move from the pain, and feeling so close to having our baby without anyone but Royce to coach me through it.  I’ll spare many of the details in between but two ambulances, a fire truck, a lot of nitrous oxide, and a screaming ambulance ride to the hospital later, we had made it to the delivery room. I hadn’t opened my eyes since getting on the stretcher in our condo to getting into the delivery room so I was a little disoriented, temporarily drugged from the laughing gas, and naturally scared/traumatized that it took me pleading with the nurse for about 5 minutes to “not make me do it” before I let myself start pushing. Evidently doctors and nurses don’t let you just not push… Couldn’t hurt to ask right? …”She’s almost there! You’re doing great!” I could hear the nurse beside my head. Wait, did she just tell me I’m having a girl? “Keep going. You’re doing it! She’s coming. Keep going!!” “AHHH just get her OUT!!!!!” I begged. The doctor and nurse laughed, “How do you know it’s a girl??” “Because you keep saying ‘her!” I said back. And so soon after…  “It’s a boy!!” Wait, what. Royce was crying and looking at me and then did a double take. “What?! It’s a boy?!” Yep, it was a boy. We were in complete shock. After just 20 minutes of pushing our perfect little Nixon John-Parker was born at 6lbs 6oz.

It took us two hours to pick a name just because we were so set on it being a girl, even though we had nothing but gut instincts and old wives tales telling us so. Nixon gets his middle name, John, after Royce’s late father. And then Nixon we heard at a friend’s house over dinner and Parker we just liked for a boy or girl.

Labour was quick, scary, and excruciatingly painful. It wasn’t the best day of my life but from 7:09am on Sunday November 8th onwards, every other waking moment has been. I absolutely love being a mom. And Royce is the Best dad. It kind of feels like the getting the world’s best gift that you never have to give back, you don’t have to share, and you never get tired of. Even when he’s screaming he grabs my face or hands and I just melt. But he rarely screams… he’s got the temperament of his Dad which means he’s beyond patient and perfectly content just to “be”. Life could not be more lovely.

Oh and I never collected that $25 but I did get my baby bear.

Nixon, you’ll never know just how much I love you but I promise to spend the rest of my life trying to show you how.

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xox

Creating a lovely life

I hate to be rushed places.  I hate chaos.  I hate trinkets and spaces that feel cluttered.  I hate when people make excuses for their life.  I hate fighting with people. And I hate thinking I’m the one that ruined someone’s day.  There’s a lot of things that make me feel negative and icky inside.  When I left Saskatchewan to move to British Columbia for school I was pretty miserable.  I had a lot of ideas of what I wanted my life to look like that felt more like dreams than possibilities.  I had big ideas of a business that made me feel excited to work each day and I wanted to love someone, so badly.  My problem was that I was stuck in this horrible realm of negativity.  I think I cried almost every single day from September to January.  I didn’t have many friends, but how could I blame them? I wasn’t trying to be friendly or positive.  I wasn’t doing anything that fuelled me.  It’s exhausting being around someone that just takes.

It was in January 2010 that I realized I needed to start creating a lovely life.  I joined an event management group on campus I later became president of and went to a conference in Texas where I was able to meet more friends in my program.  I started applying myself to my classes to make the most of the diploma I wasn’t about to quit on.  I chose to wake up and enjoy my mornings.  I created a feel good playlist for when I was at the gym that made me feel empowered.  I made an effort to be happy even when I didn’t feel it.  Slowly but surely I was creating a life that I wanted to live.  I’ve never shared this with anyone, I don’t even think I’ve read it to Royce. But on January 15, 2010 I was having this really good day and I came back to my dorm room and pulled out a journal that my sister had given me when I graduated high school that I had never written in before and wrote, “Don’t forget what it feels like to be happy being you.  Don’t dwell on what could’ve been. Love who you are, who you have, what you have, and go for what you truly want… Never ever hold back on love and be scared. I owe it to him and myself to trust fate and the life God planned for me. Love yourself so that you can truly love those around you. Be happy and grateful. xo” The next week I met Royce.

I believe that we get out of life what we put into it.  That’s what creating a lovely life means to me.  Creating moments, experiences, relationships and spaces that feel lovely on your heart, mind, and eyes.  I associate coffee with walking down the streets of character homes in Saskatoon in Fall with a latte in my hand and feeling at home and the night I met Royce at a coffee house night while drinking a caramel macchiato (my favourite drink to this day).  I associate going to Chapters with going to my favourite book store back home with my mom every time we went on vacation where she’d buy me a new book for the trip and how she’d send me a $10 bill in the mail when she knew I was flying home so I could buy the Martha Stewart Weddings magazine for the plane ride.  I still go to Chapters before every trip and look forward to the day I eventually flip through the pages of Martha Stewart Weddings on a plane ride and see one of the weddings I planned in it.  I associate being by the ocean with this feeling that “I made it”.  That I pushed myself out of my comfort zone back home to do something that scared me and continues to empower me to keep pushing.  And I associate our wedding playlist with a feel of contentment, a playlist we put on anytime we’re road tripping and don’t feel like talking or we’re excited about something great happening in our lives.

What associations do you make that make you feel truly lovely from the inside out? How do you pour those associations into your daily life?  Your associations will be so different than mine because we all need different things to feel happy.  Maybe you experience joy through travel, music, food, wine, exercise… the list could go on forever.  Find what fuels you and start creating what a lovely life means to you.

By being aware of what fuels me and makes me feel happy to move through each day, I’m able to be a better wife, friend, planner, and boss to those around me.  And there’s really no better feeling than going to bed being excited to wake up each day.

xox

Priorities

I saw a quote yesterday that read, “How you live your day to day life is a direct reflection of your priorities.” At first I was like, well obviously. And then I thought about it a little longer and realized how prominent of a quote that is in my life right now.  Think about that for a second.

How you live your day to day life is a direct reflection of your priorities.

I’ve been struggling with priorities lately.  Whether to let myself nap on the couch guilt free at night or finish those last couple to-do’s in my inbox.  Whether to take another wedding inquiry during a busy month or pass up the money for more time with our future baby.  Whether to double book more wedding weekends to keep my assistants busy or do more with less.  Whether to save for a house or a studio first.

I’ll be honest, it’s been much harder than I thought to balance the fears and excitement of having a baby while continuing to pursue Created Lovely.  Up until now, Created Lovely has been my baby.  Royce and I’s relationship has always been our top priority, but I can say with absolute certainty that our businesses have taken precedent in the majority of our life decisions.  There’s a reason why instead of buying our first house this year, our money went to hiring assistants.  There’s a reason why we’ve left our closest friends and family in different cities to be in Kelowna.  And there’s a reason why no matter what vacation or date night we’re on that somehow we’re still talking about our businesses.  Owning Created Lovely isn’t something I “fell into” or a business to make me money in the meantime, it feels like an extension of myself.  Now that we have a baby on the way, finding a balance between wanting to be a loving and involved mom and keep Created Lovely flourishing, which is this beautiful extension of who I am, is all really difficult to process.

I don’t want my clients to feel “second” even though they will be and should be.  I don’t want it to feel that way on their end though.  And selfishly, I don’t want to feel second in my own life.  I don’t want lose my drive or commitment to Created Lovely as I’ve spent so much time and energy creating a business that allows me to be me.  That scares me the most, that I’ll hold our little Baby Sihlis and not even want to work anymore.  I love him/her so much already I can’t even imagine how difficult some days of working over being a mom are going to be.  So I guess I’m in for some really big adjustments as I learn how to be a mom and an entrepreneur and make it all work.

For any of you out there making it work, if you have any book suggestions or advice or struggles to share that would be amazing!  Even small ways that you make being a working mom work for you is so helpful to me at this time.  And maybe it’ll ease this feeling of the unknown I’ve got happening.

Wishing you all a lovely week!

Royce and Nicole preview xox

Four years later

Four years ago this week I started a wedding planning business.  If you would’ve told me four years ago today that I’d be sitting in my office in Kelowna about to go into my busiest wedding week of my career with a 20 week pregnant belly and my handsome husband working away on his two businesses right behind me, I don’t know if I would’ve believed you.  At the time I had just graduated from an Events & Conventions Management diploma and was laddering into my Bachelor of Tourism Management.  Not feeling satisfied with work I could get between school semesters and not feeling quite prepared to start a business from my diploma, I got certified as a Wedding Planner & Consultant and a week later decided to start “Events by Nicole Deanne”.  Lucky for me, Royce had three wedding photography clients that summer that let me tag along and run their day-of coordination for free.  I didn’t have any wedding planning experience… at all. So let’s take it back a few years…

I started in hospitality at age 16 working for a cute high-end French restaurant & bakery in Saskatoon called Calories.  It had a vintage door, window seats that were always that little bit too chilly in the prairie winters, creaky wood floors, and a pastry case full of freshly made cakes and sweets.  I started there as an evening expeditor where I was a barista and decorated/plated all the desserts before they went out.  (I still have a scar from hot sugar, a torch, and a creme brule that got the best of my finger on a Friday night.)  The restaurant was always busy but my favourite part was the late evening rush of customers that came in just for hot drinks and dessert.  I took so much pride in styling each dessert and pairing it with their blueberry tea or latte.  Looking back, maybe this was the job was where I fell in love with styling and creating atmospheres.  If I close my eyes I can still remember the sound of muffled talking, the espresso machine running, and chits printing while I drizzled raspberry sauce on the white chocolate cheesecake.  I later moved on to serving and then filled in on private catered dinners throughout the wealthier areas of the city.  My last event I did with them my supervisor I’d been working with for a couple years turned to me and said, “See you just get it.  You understand how catered events work.” That’s always stuck with me, I kind of wish I’d run into him again just to tell him in person that it meant a lot to hear that at age 18 where I was secretly dying inside to be a wedding planner.

I later moved onto another restaurant and then the lounge in the Sheraton.  That was one of my favourite jobs too.  I served the day shift on Saturdays & Sundays where I was getting tipped around 40% every shift.  Since it was a hotel, most of the customers were businessmen and I had a knack for remembering their orders even if they had come in a month prior.  It was kind of a game for me.  It was there that I learned that people really do value good service and are willing to pay for it (or not, you can’t really have an “off day”).  I finished my first year of commerce while working that job and thought my heart might just explode if I didn’t at least try wedding planning so I applied for university in Kamloops (two provinces away) to get a diploma in event management.  I had only worked one wedding with a local planner and it happened to be an East Indian wedding of 400 people where we did an afternoon room flip in 2 hours and a second room flip from 2am-5am.  Needless to say, the hours have never scared me away from planning.  At the very least, I feel like my serving background taught me work-ethic, multitasking, customer service, and the hustle I needed to get started.

Obviously I got accepted into the diploma at Thompson Rivers University, met my now husband in the first four months of school, and decided to never move back.  I’ll be honest with you, the first year.. two years.. three years.. okay it all has been tough.  Every single year.  The first two were the hardest though.  I was a full-time broke student running a business with absolutely no experience and Royce was just as broke as I was.  Two businesses in the same industry under one roof.  We’ve never been on salary, we’ve never had benefits we haven’t personally paid for, we’ve never had loans to get our businesses going, we had nothing.  Like nothing.  I remember the first wedding I did for free I got tipped $100 and I literally thought I had won the jackpot.  I opened the envelope while walking downtown and almost started crying from being so excited to get paid for something I loved so much.  I made $6,000 total in year two, which isn’t a lot but I had to start somewhere and where I was living wasn’t exactly a wedding mecca.  By year three Royce and I were engaged, I had just graduated, he was working full-time in the camera department at Future Shop while running his business and we were still so stressed about money.  We counted pennies every. single. month.  I wish every struggling entrepreneur could see thriving businesses start-up days.  They were brutal.  If I had a quarter for every time I cried about money back then I wouldn’t have had to stress so much about my bank account!

It was that summer that was truly a make or break for us.  After some really serious life planning and dreaming, we knew we were going to have to do something pretty bold if we wanted to make it in the wedding industry.  We quit our second jobs (mine ended as I was campaign assistant for the provincial election) and Royce left Future Shop and we moved to Kelowna in peak season.  I flew to Santa Barbara the day after we moved for a one-on-one planning workshop with wedding planning extraordinaire, Jill LaFleur. We literally slept for 3 hours after unpacking and getting to the airport on time.  I came back completely inspired, pushed some creative boundaries, and somehow pulled off three major features/publications that summer.  By season four I had 19 weddings and one assistant and Royce was busy with ski photography contracts and wedding season.  And now in year 4 (season 5… since my first season technically was the 3 weddings I did for free) have been so fortunate to have received 20 publications to date, grown a team of six staff, hired my first Associate Planner, and am loving my job more than I ever have.  We still stress… a lot, but less about money and more about how to push each other to feel the most fulfilled in the paths we’ve chosen.

This post feels more like a journal to myself than for whoever is reading it (though I do appreciate more than you’ll ever know that you’re here listening).  I have days where I feel like I haven’t grown.  Where I’m stuck in the moments that used to scare me when I first started my business.  The moments where you fear if anyone will ever book you and if people think what you do is of any value.  Or you sit in complete worry of how you could ever compete in a market full of so many talented people.  Putting yourself on the line to run a business is down right intimidating let alone every other stressor that comes along with it.  And then you have these days of absolutely clarity where it’s like God literally shakes you and says “this is exactly where you’re meant to be.  Stop worrying.” Thankfully the moments of clarity overshadow the doubt the majority of the time.  But those doubt days will get ya.

So if this is you reading this today with a dream job in mind, an entrepreneur doubting if you’re the only one on earth struggling, a person wondering if you’ll ever find your path… you will. Dig deep and push a little harder.

This is just a piece of my story and how I got here.  You have one too.  And I know if you start looking back on yours, you’ll find that your dream job has matched up with everything that got you to this moment the entire time.  Maybe those nagging thoughts of yours are just waiting to be fulfilled too.

xonicole