This interview is part of the Entrepreneurial Women Series, a column published by Leila Lewis, to shine the light on the inspiring women making waves in the business world.
After feeling frustration at the limited options available for wedding planning during her own planning process, Mandy Connor founded Hummingbird Events & Design to offer up a solution for couples looking to plan their weddings with an emphasis on authenticity and personalization. Her philosophy is anchored by the belief that every event is different and should never be approached like a “one size fits all” situation, and she brings this mindset to events ranging from intimate celebrations to large scale affairs. Her work has been proudly featured on several top-tier outlets within the industry, and her brand has a reputation for creating exceptional experiences. We were honored to hear more of her story!
Interview with Mandy Connor, Owner, Hummingbird Events & Design
What inspired you to start Hummingbird Events and how has it grown since then?
Hummingbird Events was born out of frustration, in all honesty. When my husband and I began planning our wedding 13 years ago, the options presented to me felt formulaic and cookie-cutter. Weddings felt like they were based on outdated (and often strongly patriarchal) traditions and we felt a real lack of authenticity. Of all of the days in our lives, this felt like the BEST opportunity to create a day that felt completely authentic to us as we paid homage to those around us. So in the days following my own deeply personal and completely authentic wedding, I opened the doors to a company built on the foundation that no two weddings should ever be alike, because no two couples are ever alike. I now dedicate my time to helping couples create a wedding day that is completely reflective of their personal stories in every way.
In the 13 years since I started this amazing company, we’ve grown to a team of 10 and have expanded our wedding portfolio to host weddings across the country and soon, around the world.
What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned in business?
The biggest lesson I have learned is not to take anyone at face value. Everyone is complex and everyone is fighting their own battles. Good days and bad days and hardships affect everyone. I like to marinate on people – to take my time really getting to know others and trying to dial in to who they are and what makes them tick. In doing so, you create a sense of empathy for everyone around you and you are better able to understand those around you. Human connection and understanding is vital in my world.
What is your key to standing out in your industry?
I believe in authenticity in all ways – authenticity in myself and how I present myself to my clients, authenticity in how I operate, and in teaching my clients how to be authentic to themselves. That authenticity is the key to standing out.
What excites you most about what you do?
I love reinventing the wheel. Every wedding and every couple is an opportunity to start fresh and I love the excitement of beginning a new adventure every time I begin working with a new couple.
What do you envision for your brand in the next 5 years?
I’ve honestly created a life and career for myself right now that feels incredibly fulfilling. I’m very unapologetic about setting boundaries around what I want for myself, my career and my family. It’s hard to imagine that things could get better! I am trying to remain in the present as much as possible and to be surprised and excited if and when things do get better.
What’s something surprising that people may not guess about the work you do?
The number of hours dedicated to planning a wedding averages 400-500 depending on the complexity of the wedding. The level of detail and logistics that need to be considered and managed and planned in the course of an average wedding are staggering. I find that my clients are always shocked by the sheer volume of decisions and plans to be made for what many consider to be “a simple wedding.”
What is the number one thing you want people to know about Hummingbird Events?
My goal for all of my couples is to make the wedding planning process as fun and exciting as the wedding day itself. I want couples to know that wedding planning does not need to be an act of anxiety and stress – this should be the most exciting time in your lives!
What’s one thing you always start your mornings with?
Green tea. The caffeine sustains longer and more efficiently than coffee.
What are 3 words you’d hope clients/customers would use to describe your brand?
Authentic, fun, and elevated.
What’s your go-to inspiration source (podcast, book, Instagram account, etc.)?
I find inspiration in the amazing friendships I have forged within my own industry.
Favorite PM drink.
WRITTEN BYLeila Lewis