"The wedding industry is booming! Minneapolis is home to one of the most successful bridal & vendor marketplaces in the country. Today we are meeting up with female entrepreneur, Ashley Hawks, to get the lowdown on Forever Bride." Watch the full video below!
Alexa: "We're here with Ashley Hawks, the Vice President of Forever Bride. Thank you so much for meeting with us! We'd love to hear about what Forever Bride is."
Ashley: "Forever Bride is a wedding community. We have a free wedding planning website and do a wedding show (The Forever Bride Market). But more importantly, it is a community for wedding business that are looking to grow."
Alexa: "You guys are leading the way in your industry! How did this get started?"
Ashley: "I grew up in a bridal shop. My mom owned a bridal shop here in the Twin Cities for 25 years. I grew up in the industry and I've seen a lot of things change over the years. Like how brides are getting their information and how businesses can get their names out there. I wanted to create a platform where vendors can really tell their story and sell their experience, not just their product. So that's exactly what we do. We have this beautiful blog where vendors can showcase their work. We bring in local businesses to be on our podcast (The Forever Bride Show) where we can talk about them and how they got started. It's really modern marketing."
Alexa: "You are such a powerful women and you do so much as an entrepreneur. What have been your biggest challenges as a female in business?"
Ashley: "I would say balance. I feel like as a female business owner you're being pulled in a million directions, especially with family and kids. It's definitely a balance of time and making sure you are putting your time in the right places and being productive not just busy. There's a huge difference between those two and I think a lot of young entrepreneurs mistake being busy with being productive."
Alexa: "So besides Forever Bride, what else are you doing in the community? I know you are hosting some events and doing some things to encourage others. Tell us about those."
Ashley: "We host networking events every month and on top of that we bring in guest speakers to teach. So every month I bring in a guest speaker to teach on different business topics. Topics like search engine optimization, social media marketing, building client relationships. Everything you can think of and these are my friends that I get to bring in and have teach! That's where my heart is - in the networking and education for these businesses."
Alexa: "What advice would you give other females trying to get started? That's sometimes the hardest thing. You have a dream, you have a vision, you're motivated, but how to get started?"
Ashley: "Do the work! I did a little Instagram rant the other day about how everyone wants the success but nobody wants to go through the pain of the work. The work is work. It's not fun, it's difficult. It hurts. But if you can push through the pain of doing the work and focus on the goal, the success is going to be so much more worth it. But do the things that are painful. Get up early. Read the books. When everybody is sitting around watching Netflix you should be on your computer watching a webinar or reading a really great sales book or digging in deeper to your industry. There is power in knowledge and there's no excuse for not doing the research."
Alexa: "What is your favorite part of the wedding industry?"
Ashley: Tune in to hear Ashley's answer and have a little laugh!
Alexa: "Where can people find more information about you guys?"
Ashley: "Best spot would be the website, foreverbride.com, or listen to the podcast, The Forever Bride Show!"