Written By: Jaime Valdes-Riench, owner of Travel & Events with Style
Photo credit: Kamp Photography
Well, first off, I think I should apologize for the title and pay credit to Madonna who really made that title distinctive. I simply wanted to get your attention and finally write what I am often asked as a business owner of Travel & Events with Style and With Style Designs.
First off – who am I? Well, I am one of those people who knew from day one that every minute we spend learning something is never wasted and should never be put on a shelf (seriously ask my parents, I was quite the ambitiously artistic little girl who was obsessed with Wonder Woman – who knew I would be her one day?). I would like to elaborate on that for just a minute and explain why it is pertinent. A lot of people throughout their lives have a career change. I on the other hand believe that every time I feel a career change coming on, I would challenge myself to learn something new and I find away to take my new found education and apply it. This was a great way to give my clients even more!
Right out of high school I jumped into the hospitality industry. With my mother-in-law as a cake decorating mentor, and new entrepreneur, I learn a lot from her and found my new love of weddings. (No, I am not a wedding cake decorator, and you’re welcome. I am sure most of you appreciate that I gave it up after my lack of skill). After a few years I put it aside to jump into travel education and start as a travel agent. I was fortunate to get onto the federal government account where I learn more about the world and conventions in matter of 7 years than most regular agents would learn in 14yrs or more. I am not tooting my own horn; I am simply saying it was sink or swim at its best. Thank goodness I learned to swim quickly.
After my son, I knew my passion where with weddings. I also have always been an artist, so I took graphic design part time. Somehow everything came together. Within the year of 2004 we opened the doors to our companies: Travel & Events with Style and With Style Designs. I made a point of being educated in every area of the company and even went out to get my designation in wedding planning from WPIC (http://www.wpic.ca/) which was unlike any travel agent in Winnipeg at the time.
Even though this post is supposed to be more about me, it is also about our companies’ growth as it is my pride and joy. It is important for you to know before you hire us as a company, and in turn me, that we are boutique and very specialized. Even though we have been around as a company for 6+ years (7 in October), we still feel we would rather be a smaller team that works on every detail. This way our clients clients walk away feeling that were understood and that we made their dreams a into reality. We are not that company you send an email off to for a quick quote. We are the company that sits with you first to meet to see if we are the right fit for you, simply because we care that much. Now don't misunderstand, we do offer quotes of course, but with care and knowledge of you individually. The word couture is starting to be used a lot, but we feel we can be bold by stating that as we are boutique, tailored and educated in our respective industries. This in turn gives our clients the best services with actual style. Most of all, we care!
So who’s that girl? Someone who cares, loves, and is deeply passionate at what she does. Staying grouned and appreciating everything is so important to me. I know there is always something to learn and have a hard time being around those who don`t feel the same. Anyone who's ego has grown out of control really as no business being in business with me. Reason being, they no longer care about you the client. It is about them and their "business". Over time, finding great colleagues and vendors that have the same qualities, ethics and personalities makes for the best team anyone could ask for! I enjoy being approachable and “human” with a touch of class. So if you are in Starbucks, take a look over your shoulder. Chances are it may be me sitting at the table next to you, having a coffee with a client.
Thanks for reading this very long post and Salud!