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Conversations with the Inspiring Shayna Chapman

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shayna Chapman.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Shayna. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
While in college, I had the opportunity to work with an event planner for a brief period, and I absolutely fell in love. But as fate and my degree would have it, I graduated with a bachelor’s in education and found myself working the next several years in elementary classrooms across Georgia. Although I loved my students and the profession, I found my passion for event planning and design growing more and more, and I began to wonder if I could really turn my “dream job” into a reality. Over time, I started taking on more planning jobs in the late spring and summer when I had time off from teaching, and then I began getting inquiries for events year-round. I won’t lie, it was tough managing my full-time job and growing hobby, and I found myself praying for guidance as to which path I should continue.

In the fall of 2016, I was offered a position to become an event manager for a local wedding venue. I felt that this was my chance to take a step out on faith if you will and give my dream job a try. I accepted the position, and in the year that followed, I not only learned a lot about the world of business, but I also made great relationships with amazing vendors in the industry. During 2017, I planned and coordinated over forty events and I quickly realized that I not only loved every moment of event planning but that I might just be able to grow my passion even more. I found myself once again stepping out on faith and in January 2018, S. Chapman Designs was established.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My journey has not been a smooth road, but I would not trade it for the world! Instead, I would say it has been one filled with lots of learning “stops” along the way that has molded me into the creative person I am today. While I have had my moments of frustration and even confusion, I have also had those of triumph and success. As I mentioned, I graduated with an education degree, so, unfortunately, I was (and sometimes still feel) completely green to the world of business (hello taxes, marketing, and social media). Over the past several years, I have learned a lot about the business side of things through research and asking others in my field for help and insight.

My advice for other women starting on their journey is two-fold. First, I would strongly suggest finding a mentor. I have been extremely blessed to have several close women entrepreneurs in my life to help me along this journey. They have not only given encouragement but also helped me reach the potential I didn’t know was possible, not to mention it is just nice to have someone cheering for you in your corner when you need it most! My second piece of advice – learn when to politely say “No.” When I first started out, I felt as though I had to accept every single client and project. Sure, like most new entrepreneurs I needed money, but at the end of the day, I was running myself into the ground. Little did I realize that my crazy workload was taking a toll on my health and even relationships with my family and friends. After about a year of working 80+ hour weeks, I realized that I had to work smarter, not harder. I was so concerned that people would view me differently if I simply said no, but it was quite the opposite! By giving myself one day or even weekend to spend with my family and friends, I found myself being not only a happier person but able to think more clearly and creatively.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
As an event designer my mission is to create not just an ordinary event, but one that reflects my clients and their personal flair. Not only can my team and I work alongside clients to achieve their dream wedding or event by providing floral designs and unique decor, but we can also help with coordinating planning, and other management services. I think what sets my company apart from others is that I have spent countless hours finding ways to make unique and intimate events that are budget friendly for today’s bride.

Do you have a lesson or advice you’d like to share with young women just starting out?
You get out what you put in. I know, I know, that’s not really a very profound statement, but it is one I believe. It takes hard work, long hours, and at times, blood, sweat, and yes…. many, many tears, even ugly crying… but it is so worth it. Don’t forget to set goals and surround yourself with a good team of cheerleaders who can pick you up when your down and celebrate with you when you reach success.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jason Walls, Nathalia Frykman Photography, HLG Photography, and Katie Sutter Photography

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