Here's the ninth interview in the #feminestchats series with the ambitious Laura Gardner. Laura is a wedding planner in New York City who recently left her 9-to-5 and shares with us how she did it and a bit more about herself.
How long have you lived in NYC?
This year marks 10 years! I moved here after going to school in Boston. I visited a few times with my college roommate and instantly fell in love with the city’s energy. It was unlike anything I’d ever experienced.
Fun fact we were both raised Mormon but no longer practice, what sunday school song comes to your mind first?
The baptism song! “I like to look for rainbows, whenever there is rain. And ponder of the beauty of the earth made clean again”.
I sang it at sacrament meeting a few times. It’s funny how I still know most of those songs, even though I stopped going to church regularity at 16!
What’s your favorite thing to do with your free time?
I’m trying to be better about taking a day off. It usually Sunday’s. I like to pamper myself: massages, facials, nails. Events are physical work, so I try and treat my body.
One thing I do try and do every day is a workout. It’s like therapy for me. Getting off my screens, breathing, and getting my brain in touch with my body is really important. Lately I’ve been really into reformer Pilates.
I also have a standing Friday night date with my husband. We love to explore all of the amazing food in New York.
When you’re indulging, what do you eat?
Cookies for sure. I love to bake and find it to be really relaxing. I’m not a big drinker, but I do love to indulge in a glass of mezcal or nice glass of red wine on Fridays.
What’s one thing you’re confident you’re better than me at? For example I can growl like a cougar and made my daughter cry from how fierce I sounded the other night.
Parallel parking! I can get my car into a spot with 1 inch on either side!
Remember how you quit your job so quickly? How did you do that?
Haha! Yes that happened quicker than I had planned. I had originally planned to wait one more year and have a larger amount of money in my savings before making the move to focus on Love, Laura full time. A few months into that plan I was getting really frustrated not having more time to focus on what I really wanted to be doing. So I decided to leave my full time job and basically just started working nights and on the weekends so they when I made the transition I would have a good amount of clients lined up.
Tell me 3 reasons why should someone go to you to plan their event over someone else?
I was a project manager for years so I’m very organized and like to move things forward and help people make decisions.
I grew up in the wedding industry (my grandma owned a wedding venue growing up that I worked at) and I have been to hundreds of weddings. I’ve seen it all and know how to deal with anything and everything that might come up!
I love being a part of such a special and fun part in a couple’s life. Some of the couples I have worked with have now become dear friends.
You’ve traveled so much in your life! What’s one place you’ve traveled to that you felt was under-rated? What about a place that’s over-rated?
Under-rated = Southwestern France. I once rented a villa with friends for a week in a town of about 100. We went to the local bar every night, played boules, filled our water bottles with vine at the local cavue, and toured vineyards that don’t usually show tourists around. I loved feeling a part of the community.
Over-rated = Mexico City! Don’t get me wrong, I loved it! The food was amazing, the architecture, but I felt like I could have been in Brooklyn, Berlin or even parts of London. When I travel I much prefer more quaint locales.
Fill in the blank, “I’m a feminist but_____” like any guilty feminist moments. Like I love to watch the bachelor once in a way even though it’s the most superficial and patriarchal show on the planet.
I also love The Bachelor! And I LOVE to watch Sex and the City. I’ve seen every episode at least 4 times. Some of the situations and characters make me cringe though. If it was on TV for the first time today wit the same story lines, I don’t think it would be as popular.
What’s one thing you’re super proud of in your work currently?
I’m currently planning my biggest wedding yet: 400 people and the design is going to be gorgeous. It’s a lot of work, but I’m so excited to see it all come together.
What’s your #1 fear?
Believe it or not, flying! I’ve been to over 30 countries but I still am so scared of flying. If the flight is smooth then I enjoy it, but the littlest bit of turbulence gets my heart racing and if it gets too bad I’ll start panicking. I have been better recently and have incorporated a meditation practice with essential oils on the plane, but it’s something I have to work at.
Do you listen to podcasts? Have a favorite one right now?
Yes! I love GirlBoss Radio and How I Built This. I basically love any podcast that gives a behind the scenes look on how companies were created.
What Instagram account should I be following?
I follow a lot of florists and event producers. Some of my favorites are: @putnamflowers @selvafloral @stefcoveco
What business inspires you?
I have loved watching Emily Weiss build Glossier. I was an avid reader of her blog Into The Gloss and it’s been incredible to watch her make such a mark on the beauty industry in such a short amount of time. Every little touch from the branding, to their pop ups, and even the florals in their stores, are so well done.
Who is your icon?
This one is fictional but I die for Olivia Pope in Scandal. She is such a badass, always knows how to get sh*t done, can maneuver just about any situation, and is always impeccably dressed. And just like me, most nights she’s tired from her long, but amazing day, and just wants to curl up on the couch with popcorn.
Laura, thank you for giving us an inside into your work!
Past #feminestchats interview:
Jamie Nugent, money mindset.
Graphic designer Lidia Varesco Racoma
On closing a yoga practice and starting a podcast with Andrea Klunder
Brand therapist Leisse Wilcox
Domini Marshall of Her Words
Elle Steele on giving yourself permission to do what you want
Whitney Lundeen of Sonnet James who recently got a deal on Shark Tank!
Amanda Jane Jones of Kinfolk and all her creative glory
Know of anyone that I should interview? I’m looking for strong feminist business owners that have a story to share!