When I think of an Atlanta Wedding Planner Raven Joiner comes to mind. We officially met in Barbados at the Coterie Retreat back in December. We didn’t get to have a one to one until after we returned back home. I am normally the one to ask a lot of questions but she took control of the conversation and started asking me questions. It was the first time someone did that to me. I was very impressed with her assertiveness and knew we’d become great friends over time. That alone told me I had to also interview her. From what we discussed, she’s an interesting and passionate wedding professional.
Q. Your Business name and website address
Raven J. Events www.ravenj.com
Q. If you had only one word to describe yourself, what would it be?
Q. When have you failed? Describe what happened and what you learned from it.
I honestly don’t believe in failure. Every time that I thought that I made a bad decision or went in the wrong decision, it all worked together for my good!
Q. What’s the one accomplishment you’re most proud of? Why?
At this point I am most proud that I have continued to follow my dreams of being a wedding planner and entrepreneur. I say this because when I first approached the idea of starting a business, many years ago, I was excited, but quickly became overwhelmed and intimidated at the idea of making it happen. I became paralyzed by fear and convinced myself that I did not want to do it. Thankfully, God said otherwise. After getting a great mentor to help me get things kicked off, my business took off in the right direction.
Q. What qualities in the industry bother you most? Do you appreciate most?
I appreciate the “community over competition” movement that’s wading through our industry now. It’s amazing to see so many people be open, collaborative and helpful to one another in growing their businesses. At the end of the day, their truly is no such thing as competition, because no one can duplicate you! I hope this attitude of helpfulness and community is here to stay. What bothers me would be that brides of color are still not showcased much in the mainstream wedding media. I”m looking forward to seeing this change over time.
Q. What changes have you made in working with others to be more effective in your business?
I’m definitely more proactive about building relationships with vendors that I admire and would like to work with. It’s actually been quite fun getting to know so many others in the industry because I discover that we share some of the same pains as well as joys.
Q. What do you think are the most important attributes of successful people?
How do you rate yourself in those areas? Persistence, relationship building skills and a willingness to learn. I enjoy learning so that part is easy for me. I read often and like to participate in educational webinars pertaining to business or weddings in general. I definitely had to learn how to build relationships in the wedding industry, but my “learning” in that area has thankfully paid off. As far as persistence, I’m determined to continue to build my business, because there is no failure until you give up.
Q. How do you make decisions?
I like to carefully analyze the best options for the situation at hand, and then make my decision.
Q. If you were limited to just one person to get advice and help from, which person would you choose? Why?
Oprah without a doubt! I love that she’s always had a clear sense of who she is and “ whose” she is. She loves to give and has used her platform to bless so many people which in turn blesses her. Oprah emphasizes the importance of trusting your “gut” and I live by that advice as well.
Q. Describe the client who would get the very best work from you.
The client who would get the best service from me would be a busy, career driven, bride to be. She is trusting of her wedding planner and basically wants to turn the planning over to me and enjoy her engagement. We have mutual respect for each other which in turn makes for a great working relationship.
Q. Where do you see you and your business in the next 5-10 years?
I’m looking forward to continuing to cultivate a rock star, go to vendor team and wedding planning staff. As a planner, you are only as a good as your team! I definitely see more travel in the future for Raven J. Events, so I look forward to doing more events outside of Atlanta. I also would like to mentor high school kids about entrepreneurship so that they are aware of the many business opportunities before they even start college. Lastly, I am very passionate about contributing to the wedding scene in my hometown of Macon, Mississippi. It’s a small town, so the wedding resources there (rentals, linens, venues, etc.) are minimal. I’m not sure exactly how God is going to use me there, but I have some great ideas, and at the right time I will bring them to light.