It's been awhile since I have interviewed a Pittsburgh small business and I couldn't be happier to start back up today with Sapphire and Lace Event Design. Sapphire and Lace is a full-service design company - meaning it's a one stop shop for everything from florals to rentals to calligraphy and most things in between. The team will take your theme and vision and help you to create a cohesive and gorgeous event. What makes me really love Sapphire and Lace? It's run by a super talented sister duo! I first met Bethany many years ago when we were working for the same event planning company. Bethany absolutely knows the business and has friends and connections all throughout the Pittsburgh event planning community. Coupled with her sister, Julie's, creativity and eye for design - this pair is unstoppable! I am so happy to see their business flourishing and I hope that you will check them out for your next event.
Meet Sapphire and Lace!
Give us a brief history lesson on Sapphire and Lace. Who are you? What do you do? When did you get started?
We are two sisters who have always had a passion for weddings. What started out as a hobby for us quickly turned into a venture when we brought together each of our skill sets and interests. We offer floral design, specialty rentals and styling services to Pittsburgh area Brides & Grooms! We started our floral and event design company two years ago and are so excited to be entering our third wedding season full time!
I think people understand what a florist does – but what is “event styling”?
Event styling is all about the details. We take the couples design inspirations and tie them through each element of the day. Creative signage and display of signature drink menu, a unique way to display guest seating arrangements, etc.. For brides wanting to incorporate some of their own items, we help make those items work cohesively with the rest of the design elements.
What were you doing before Sapphire and Lace?
Our lives looked so different just a few years ago! Bethany was working at a wedding planning company as the office manager, learning more about the industry and building relationships with local vendors. Julie had a job in banking, but was always finding creative outlets outside of work to practice her craft.
What has been the biggest challenge of owning your own business?
Owning your own business and being your own boss is an amazing thing, but it definitely has its challenges. When you do what you love, it never truly feels like work- so it can be hard to turn off “work mode”. Trying to balance operating your business and being available whenever something comes up while also maintaining your personal life is one of the biggest challenges!! We’re so lucky to have a supportive network of family and friends behind us.
What has been the biggest reward / compliment you’ve received?
“You created the wedding of my dreams!" Anytime a bride is brought to tears when she walks into her reception venue is the best feeling!!! It is why we do what we do!
Now that we are in the thick of wedding season, what do you see as the big trends in styling and design?
Loose centerpieces and bouquets, running greenery and rose gold/mixed metallics are everything!
Do you have an absolute favorite event that you have designed?
We’re definitely biased to our own weddings! haha! Although it was a major challenge to create our own florals and design the day before our weddings (we would never recommend it)…it was definitely worth it! The best weddings though are the ones where the bride and groom have an inspiration or theme they want to carry throughout the day- especially one thats meaningful to them and their relationship.
What makes Pittsburgh the most unique place to get married?
We love the 'Burgh! Pittsburgh offers venues that fit any style- from rustic barns, to chic downtown ballrooms with a city view. Of course the most unique aspect to a Pittsburgh wedding is the cookie table!!
What’s the business goal for 2016?
Our goal for 2016 is to book up May-Dec and to offer each of our clients a personal, boutique experience with attention to every detail!
Meet Bethany and Julie!
What advice would you give to someone thinking of taking the leap to owning his or her own business?
Stay positive and get ready to grind! Know yourself, and your brand so you have the confidence to make decisions and to know when to go outside of the box and try something new!
Between family and running a business, I am guessing you have limited free time. If you do have a night to yourself, what are your favorite things to do in the city?
Anything that includes good drinks, good conversation and good music!
I know you offer floral workshops – anything else coming up that you want to share?
We’re so excited to be offering another workshop this fall focused around floral jewelry - rings, bracelets, necklaces, hair accessories. We will announce the date this summer so stay tuned!