As a kid, I would bike to the library and check out every bridal magazine
and book I could get my hands on.
Once upon a time Amy Collins wasn’t the little girl playing dress up, envisioning her own wedding. She was too busy planning yours! Fast forward 20+ years, and Amy left her job working behind the scenes in a hospital to found her very own wedding planning business.
“It’s a long story so I’ll give y’all the abridged version. I started my career in a hospital doing insurance and financial billing/HIPAA and all things computer tech. During my time there I started to plan weddings on the side because I needed a creative outlet and I’d always loved weddings and design. As a kid, I would bike to the library and check out every bridal magazine and book I could get my hands on. To me weddings were all about logistics and planning. It
wasn’t an obsession about planning my own future wedding as much as planning everybody else’s. Fast forward 27 years and I have a thriving wedding planning business and a newly launched online bridal course life is amazing and it’s only going to get better.
I created Teach Me To Wed for a simple reason; I want Brides everywhere to have access to sound advice that is simple, experienced and helpful. I set out to bring information that, as an experienced full-service planner, I give my clients and bring that sought out information to brides everywhere. I designed easy to follow templates, in-depth video tutorials and spreadsheets that follow a specific formula that I’ve created to help bridal couples stay in budget and maintain harmony in their lives and relationship through the wedding planning process. My dream is that every bride has the day of their dreams, while staying in budget, being highly organized, and creating a day their guests will never forget.”
I don’t know if I chose the entrepreneurial life as much as it chose me.
Claiming that she didn’t choose the entrepreneurial life, the entrepreneurial life chose her, Amy has been in business for 16 years now, and every year she sits down with herself to ask whether she’s going to move forwards. Thankfully she has a supportive husband who is continually pushing her to expand her business and think outside the box.
“I don’t know if I chose the entrepreneurial life as much as it chose me. I’ve owned my own company now for over 16 years and every year I have a sit down with myself and I make the choice of continuing to by my own boss. There are many days when a w-2 salary sounds like a lovely idea, but then the reality of a set schedule and a boss to report to bubble up in my head and I decide to stay the course! Being an entrepreneur is a lifestyle and isn’t for the faint of heart. Sometimes I feel like
my pragmatic personality can come off as a Debbie downer, but I’d rather chalk it up to experience and the understanding that I don’t own a business so I get time off; I own a business so that I can change the world and that I have the flexibility that I need to live my life to the fullest and support my family.
My husband is my greatest cheerleader. He truly pushes me to think outside the box and encourages me on the really hard days. My family is supportive, but it’s also really hard for them to understand what I really go through. As a new mom with a newborn, wedding season in high gear and launching an international online platform, along with my “normal life duties” I’m
always going a million miles a minute and that can be hard to relate to. A few years ago, my sister and I had a rough patch where she didn’t really want to hear about my struggles of maintaining my business and bringing in the bacon, which is a hard deal in the high real estate area that I live in. To her, I was unrelatable and it didn’t excite her. It wasn’t until she listened in on a business call when I was at her house that she grabbed my mom and they quietly listened to me in my environment. She was shocked to realize this wasn’t just my world, but rather the world of all entrepreneurs and that we all talk the same “speak”. After that, she has been one of my biggest fans and really understands how much work and passion I put into my company.”
Being a business owner is truly one of the toughest gigs on the planet.
Having had times where she’s wanted to give up, Amy has sought inspiration from her grandmothers. Two of the most powerful women in her Amy’s life.
“Of course I’ve wanted to give up ! Who in business hasn’t wanted to give up! Being a business owner is truly one of the toughest gigs on the planet. Especially a small female owned business. You are on an uphill climb daily and I think we are just intoxicated enough with the “what if” so we keep on plugging along. There is 0 reason why I should still be in business considering my path to get here, but there is an innate need to bring my craft and talent to the world and here I am bringing it to the world, living my dream, helping clients everyday and about to blow up an industry by storm with a new an inventive product.
My Grandma(s) Barb and Gloria. Grandma Barb was this tough as nails lady who always was put together and a fighter. She had breast cancer in her 40s, had 4 boys, was a hairstylist, and supported our family’s small oil business. She never complained, and she was the hostess with the mostess. My Grandma Gloria is my inspirational Grandma. She was a kid of a WWII generation and was smart, frugal and a bit of a rebel. She loved to challenge status quo and loved a good debate. She was also an artist in the way she looked at life. She could open her fridge and put together a feast with random items and I have worked hard to garner that skill. Both of my Grandmas have since passed and I truly work daily to honor their legacy and work to make them proud of their Grand-daughter.”
The minute you stop learning your business will stagnate or worse, die.
Read read read! A woman after my own heart. Amy said that reading is the best way to learn new skills and forever boost your business. Chat to anyone and everyone, get outside your comfort zone and forever keep growing!
“Never stop learning. Read read read. Being voracious about articles, trends, and keep conversation flowing. Ask people a million questions. You can learn something from anybody. I am able to speak with most business owners about their companies and find SOMETHING to chat about because I keep my learning diverse and relatable. The minute you stop learning your business will stagnate or worse, die.
I had a serious boyfriend dump me years ago because he thought I wasn’t driven enough. He felt that I was selling myself short and that I had far more potential than I was giving myself credit for. I think, like most humans, we have moments of doubt, feelings of failure and the scary realization that most of us are “faking it till we’re making it”, I can best explain it, I am many times watching myself from afar. During speaking engagements or moments of “power” I feel detached and continue to even surprise myself at what I’m capable of.
I’ve had to continually work on the fact that I am knowledgeable and an expert. My option and ideas matter and it’s up to me to voice them in an articulate and respectful way that can help to make this world a better place.”
In my career there has only been an 18-month period in which I haven’t had a coach or a mentor.
Mentoring with a coach has played a big part in Amy’s entrepreneurial journey. There was only a short period where she hadn’t mentored with a coach, and Amy says that this period of time was the most disconnected she had ever felt from her business!
“When I look back on those months, they were my most estranged and detached from my true purpose. Investing in quality coaching and masterminds is imperative for up leveling yourself and helping you launch into spheres of influence. You need a champion of change and a master of encouragement in your life along with a person who will call out your gaps and help you fill them.
Know what your industry publications are; read and follow them voraciously. I’m a Christian and I feel that when I need my compass realigned, I turn to the Bible for a great and poignant verse to help inspire me. I love following Instagram accounts that have inspirational quotes.
Once a day say a prayer of gratefulness and appreciation for life and continually think how you make that gratefulness manifest.
My business is on a straight trajectory to the moon. It’s crazy to see how in 12 months I went from thinking “how can I do more weddings” to how can I shake up the entire bridal industry and make solid wedding planning advice affordable to everyone!
My ideal client is a newly engaged or about to be engaged female, aged 25-34. She needs to be motivated to learn and be ready to plan the wedding of her dreams. She values community and sees the beauty in education and doing things the right way!
Be kind and grateful. Life as an entrepreneur can be stressful and hectic. We are stretched thin and burning the candle at both ends. Sometimes in all of the craziness we forget to appreciate those who do the most in our lives. Take a moment every day to thank somebody for something menial. It will make their day that you noticed the small things and help you realign your priorities. Life isn’t about how much money you make but rather what can you do with that money to make life more meaningful for others.”