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Community Highlights: Meet Kari Condel of Crisp Events & Design

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kari Condel.

Hi Kari, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
When I was younger, I was always the “party planner” of the family, planning surprise milestone birthday parties among other family and friend gatherings. As I grew older and many friends and family members were getting engaged and married around me, I had the chance to be involved in planning weddings!

The shift toward weddings really solidified when my sister got engaged at the end of 2019, and I got engaged shortly after in the summer of 2020. I have loved every second of the planning process and knew it was my niche and something I can help many others with. So, this company is run by a true DIY bride herself, which makes me very relatable to my couples as I have tried my methods of planning on a real-life wedding – my own!

Crisp Events & Design is named after my soon-to-be last name (Crispo) and as a tribute to my sweet soon-to-be husband whose, never-ending love and support pushed me to finally start my own business after talking about it for years. Crisp, by definition, describes something that is clear, effective, concise, and to the point. I strive to be all of these things and more.

I think you’ll be surprised to know this business officially launched in September 2021, and I couldn’t have asked for a better first few months as a new business owner. I have poured my heart and soul into making others’ dream weddings come to life, and have worked with/am working with about a dozen couples at this point in time.

The goal always remains the same: to make the day as stress-free as possible, fun, and beautiful for the wedding couple so they can enjoy knowing I am essentially their safety net for the day.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I don’t think anything about starting and running a business is “smooth”, so to speak. Any new venture will have hiccups and you’ll make mistakes. But, that’s the best way to learn – is by making mistakes! Each mistake made tells you something that may not have worked, so you can pivot and try something new. It’s never a true mistake, but a lesson learned.

When I started, I knew nothing about how to price my work/services, how to write a contract, none of it! I did many hours of research before ever officially launching the business, so I was well-prepared. And even then, it was still risky to start. For the Design Store side of my business, I knew nothing about shipping. The first sale I had on the Design Store, I was so excited! I quickly realized the price set was too low and I had to come out of pocket for the shipping, which was a hefty bill to ship an 8×10 frame many states away.

It has never been easy and you most definitely work many long hours, especially when working for yourself. It becomes addicting, and this is something that was initially a struggle. One thing I have become a lot better at is living in the moment and appreciating both people and things around me. It sounds cliche, I know, but being able to press pause and understand that answering an email or text message in 1 hour instead of 1 minute will not break your business.

Owning a small business is difficult – but it is absolutely worth it.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
There are two sides of Crisp Events & Design that I will cover briefly. One side is Planning, which includes everything from a la carte services to full-service planning. Whether your need is big or small, there is something for you. I have created different packages with my couples in mind. The other side of the business is the Design Store. I create anything from invitations to place cards to signs to gifts/apparel. The Design Store is mainly focused on wedding décor but has cross-over into home décor and sweet gifts. The majority of these orders come from “commissioned” work – individuals reaching out with an idea for me to bring to life.

What sets me apart from others is the design piece of it. There are many wedding planners/coordinators, and there are many wedding designers that make custom pieces. I have not seen many that encompass both. I work with couples not only on their vision for the day as a whole but their vision in terms of the details so I can execute on this described vision.

What am I most proud of? Everything! I have learned so much and grown so much throughout this journey. I am proud of the little community I have built in such a short amount of time – both friends, families, and strangers! I have constantly put myself out there and interacting with others so they can get to know both the business and the face behind the business. I am proud of the growth in terms of business, clients, and orders that I have seen in the past two months. I look forward to continuing this pattern of growth, continuing to network, and continuing to put myself out there.

In terms of offerings and services, the design store is mainly commissioned work as I mentioned before. But, for planning packages I offer:

– Consultation, if you need help creating a game plan to get started but don’t need someone at your actual event.

– Day-Of Coordination, if you have all of the details planned and just need someone to help pull it off.

– Month-Of Coordination,  if you need help with the last-minute details to help you relax on your big day.

– Partial Planning, if you have a vision of what you want your big day to look like but need a little extra help.

– Full-Service Planning, if you don’t know where to start.

– A La Carte Services, if you need something a little extra (i.e. wedding favors, wedding invitations, out-of-town guest bags, decoration of hotel room for the wedding night, etc.).

There is a lot I offer and a lot that comes with each package. Anyone who is interested in my services, we have a sit-down or phone/FaceTime meeting to discuss your expectations, the package I think would fit your needs best, and everything that comes with it! I am here for you, and I would be honored to be even a small part of your special day!

We’d love to hear about how you think about risk-taking?
Risk-taking, in my opinion, is essential. Without risk, there’s no reward; but the key is taking calculated risks. Everything I have done has been a risk, to some degree. It has also challenged me – challenged me to do better, be better, and grow.

I don’t remember which article I was reading, but I read something one time that said, “So rather than spend time trying to decrease your fear about a risk, put your energy into increasing your chances of success”, and that always stuck with me.

Risk shouldn’t be something you’re afraid of – embrace it and if nothing else, at least you’ll learn something to be better for the next risk you will take.

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