We’re down to our last Feature Friday: Staff Edition post
and it’s a very special one! Waterford would be nothing (literally!) without our fearless leader and ultimate boss lady, Alyse! Many of you know her quite well as the woman who runs the Waterford show, but check out her interview below for some in depth
information about how this crazy Waterford journey started!
Name: Alyse Lorraine Conyers
Age: Ummm really??!! Young…VERY young. 🙂
How long has Waterford been in business?: Since March 22, 2011
College/Major: Degree in Business Management with a concentration in Human Resources from Old Dominion University
Did you always plan on starting your own business, specifically in the wedding industry?: Never! After college I worked for a mutual fund company for a few years then accepted a position with Norfolk Southern’s Human Resources department. At NS I helped coordinate training events for hundreds of employees that came through weekly and also helped with recruiting. I loved that job, however after I had my daughter in 2010 I had the opportunity to be a “stay at home mother.” Well, it wasn’t long before I found myself desiring more – don’t get me wrong…my kids are my #1, but there’s just something about being a business woman and a true entrepreneur that makes me extremely happy (I must get this from my father).
So — I found myself wanting more, so what did I do? Gosh, I don’t think many know this… I started selling my old stuff on eBay, haha! When I got instant gratification from having this “business” I knew I better start coming up with a better life plan (after about 2 months I was out of stuff to sell – haha). I knew I loved events from my previous position at NS, and knew the wedding industry fascinated me (as it does to most women who have been a bride before). So I began to brainstorm with a friend (and the co founder of Waterford Event Rentals), Hollie Albright, of businesses that would involve events, and even better…weddings.
Hollie and I are extremely detail oriented and find passion in design. We appreciate the details. We notice the details. So when it came time to come up with an aspect of the wedding industry to start a business in, we knew it had to be something that was a fine and luxurious detail. We thought chair covers and sashes would be that perfect detail.
We never thought this would be a full time job, rather something to keep our minds stimulated and for me – a way to get out of the house a bit. Well…it took off…it took off FAST. I could go into great detail about the struggles around having to be the product purchaser, cleaner, ironer, person that delivered & set-up, and broke down events etc. but this is already far too lengthy. Even through all the struggles and constant growing pains, I knew Waterford Event Rentals was the something missing in my life.
If you had to pick, what’s the most exciting change WER has had since it was established?: GETTING EMPLOYEES! I can’t even begin to explain the sleepless nights prior to having a wonderful staff. Imagine a mother with a brand new baby…TIMES 5 MILLION!
Where do you see Waterford in the next couple of years: Honestly, I can’t even believe Waterford is where it is today. We are expanding daily (literally) and in the next couple years I foresee new product and new designs…always keeping up with trends and fresh approach to business. Who knows, maybe even delivery jets! We just got another warehouse…I never thought that would be possible, so why not jets? We could totally purchase jets in a few years.
Favorite WER Memory: The moment I stopped and looked around the “A Crystal Clear Vision” event this past March and realized that I (with the help of MANY others) put on an event of that caliber. I still remember exactly where I was in the ballroom. Surreal.
Favorite Employee (just kidding!): Bahaha… Gosh – I love my staff! I often stay up on weekend nights waiting to get a text that everyone has arrived home safely. Waterford employees are like family to me!
Describe yourself in 3 words: Ambitious, Compassionate, Responsible
Describe WER in 3 words: Invincible, Inspiring, Brilliant
Favorite Linen: Way too many to choose…gosh if I had to pick one…a classic Shantung Silk in a soft color.
Favorite Sash Tie: Four Corner Knot with a chiffon sash
You’ve been a part of hundreds of weddings providing linens, is there any particular linen or trend you would incorporate in your own wedding if you could go back?: I loved the linens for my wedding, but I would have done a different sash tie. Back then (aka pre Waterford) the only tie option you ever really saw was the standard bow.
We all know that running a business is a 24 hour job, but where would we find you on a rare day off?: Spending time with my sweet girls (Ella & Ronni) and my husband Steve – usually out and about. We love to shop and go to dinner with family.
Craziest experience: I’m laughing out loud thinking about all of the staff meeting at the laundry mat and looking around and realizing we were taking over the whole place! The people there must have thought we were crazy! I don’t miss cleaning all of our chair covers!
What is the most significant thing you’ve learned from owning your own company: That change is inevitable and there will never be a set of processes that will remain the same. In business things are constantly evolving…you can choose to persevere or be a thing of the past!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in the wedding industry?: It isn’t always roses and butterflies- myself as well as other vendor friends work LONGGG hours and have to do some unrewarding things sometimes to keep our businesses going.
Top 3 things you look for in an employee: Someone who is flexible, enthusiastic, and responsible.
Don’t forget to check back with us each Friday as we feature new specialty linens!
To “meet” previously featured staff members, click below:
Rebecca Norfleet // Office Manager
Alivia Urquhart // Blogger
Kendal Hersh // Lead Event Staff
Hayley Hightower // Lead Event Staff & Intern
Hannah Burmeister // Lead Event Staff
Stephanie Laria // Event Staff
Brooke Webster // Event Staff
Ariana Spencer // Event Staff
Aidan Waters // Event Staff
Morgan Rushin // Event Staff
Madi Say // Event Staff