This months Courageous Entrepreneur is Wenalyn, owner of aneW, an event planning, interior design and consulting company. I’m so happy to have Wenalyn be a part of this series. A friend recommended her and when I saw the photos of her work, I knew I had to contact her as soon as possible! Continue reading to learn more about Wenalyn, her company aneW and how courage has played a role on her entrepreneurial journey.
1. Briefly tell us about yourself and your business.
A small, hard-working consulting and event planning firm based in NC. Established in 2005, we hit the ground running with our unique approach to making your dreams come true. We relaunched with a rebrand in March of 2015.
The vision of aneW is to assist any persons or organizations that are in need of a unique touch of ambrosia and ambiance, using all areas of expertise. We plan to do our share in the community by producing various service projects, activities, and performances that peak the interests of the community. We are establishing a wide base of corporate backers from which to draw funding for our projects. We are also establishing relationships with companies in all areas and fields in the event and entertainment realm. With the rapid growth of this industry, we are hoping that these relationships will not only provide funding for our projects but support in staying up to date with current advancements in different entrepreneur fields.
2. What made you decide to be an entrepreneur?
My angel, my mother was a woman before her time. I have a number of gifts from her. Through aneW and God’s guidance, it is my goal to help people from every avenue that God has given me. These gifts from God are only gifts when we share them with others. Make your dreams come true. Make it great. Make it aneW.
3. What made you decide to venture into this particular field (fashion, food, photography, etc.)? Is this field your passion?
I have worked in education for around 15 years and I am actually pretty good at it. I love helping people, which is my passion. Service to those that want it. When I come home, I want it to feel like my whoo-sa` spa, if it doesn’t feel that way, I change it! (Ask my husband!) That special place is what I want all of my clients to have. Through Pinterest and social media, people can do just about anything they want to do now but everyone doesn’t have creativity. That is what I bring. That is what I am passionate about, freedom to be who you are and being expressive in any form that your heart will allow you to be.
4. In what ways has courage played a role in you starting your business?
I believe the true courage has come from my clients. They have taken a chance on me to transform their homes into something more than they could do. I didn’t go to college for this, I have no training in this, and it is just my happy place.
5. What have been some challenges for you on your entrepreneurial journey?
My biggest challenge has been life vs. my passion. I still work a full-time job. I have to! Bills! I am the wife and the mother of a 7 and 2 year old. I also have a part-time job. With that being said, I stay up after everyone is asleep to build websites, social media posts, sketches, and just explore. I would love to do aneW full-time but until that time comes, balancing my life with my passion has been and continues to be my biggest challenge.
6. How did you overcome?
If I can be completely honest, I haven’t. I am still struggling to manage having a full-time job to pay the bills, a wife, and a mother of two sports playing boys. My husband has become my right hand man in making decisions and supporting clients. He has been wonderful through this process of growth for our family.
7. What and/or who inspired you to become a business owner?
Well, I have a few co-workers that also have started small businesses (Nicole Rose Boutique and DJDeeCan). We were on lunch one day and were talking living a wealthy life and our next steps. Together, we all started writing business plans, built our own websites, and went through the needed requirements to acquire licenses. Them, along with my mother still are my inspirations.
8. What advice (5 tips) do you have for anyone thinking of starting his or her own business?
• OCD is a gift not a curse! Plan!
• It cost money to make money.
• Decide what your why is? (Why are you starting this business? What do you want to get out of this? Is there something else you would rather be doing?)
9. In what ways has networking helped your business?
I believe that networking so far has been my business. Most of my clients have come from word-of-mouth.
10. What resources (local in your community and/or outside of your community) have you found to be helpful for you as a business owner?
Because I work a full time job during the day, it is often a little difficult to push into the resources of the community but I can say that I have started doing small things here and there at my church like the Christmas decorations at Mount Zion Baptist Church of Greensboro.
11. Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?
I am not sure. It is growing daily! My #makeitaneW Blog should launch by the end of the month at makeitanew.com. This will host my behind the scenes projects, mistakes, and fixes. I would love to have a storefront as an office. I would love to be able to hire some employees. I want to start doing more things in the other areas of aneW like event planning and educational consulting.
On August 5th, 2017 alongside The Monica Walker Agency and Intertwine, we will be hosting the 1st Annual Carolina’s Finest Music Festival (Mark your calendars!).
12. Where can people contact you for business inquires?
13. Where can we find you on social media?
Instagram @anew_ce @anewevents and @anew_home
Facebook- AneW Consulting and Events @anewce
Be sure to show your support of aneW by contacting Wenalyn for your interior design and event planning needs. Also, spread the love by following aneW on social media.