Woman Crush Wednesday.
We love to celebrate female movers and shakers who are successful locally, nationally, internationally, and most importantly, personally.
This week, we are so excited to highlight Feyisola Ogunfemi, owner of Statuesque Events, a luxury wedding planning and floral design company based in the greater Washington, D.C. area.
We asked her to share with us her story and her thoughts on success.
How did you get started in your field/career?
I spent the majority of my teen/tween years finding ways to be “better than the boys.” It was kind of my life’s mission. I would play football with the boys, get in fights with the boys (hides face) and this all played a large role in how I ended up pursuing engineering.
But once I got the engineering degree from the University of Pennsylvania and the prestigious engineering consulting job and “proved myself,” I found myself wondering, what’s next? I entered and ended up winning a beauty pageant called the Miss Nigerian Independence pageant, and decided to throw a fundraising event as my service project. It was a great event but once it was over, I didn’t know what to do with myself.
For a while I didn’t realize what I was feeling, but with the help with some coaches and friends, I finally realized that I’d found something that I really love to do – and technically had been doing forever for family parties and conferences that I planned through college club events. I realized that I really missed event planning. I was afraid to pursue it because I figured it wouldn’t pay, but some members of a coaching circle that I participated in encouraged me to learn more. I enrolled in NYUs meeting and event management program, offered to plan a few charity events for free in exchange for promotion, and everything kicked off after that.
Tell us about your biggest "break" and roadblock thus far.
My biggest break and roadblock so far has actually been the same event – which is transitioning to the DC/Maryland wedding market. This area is far more saturated than New York, where I’m from, and is even pretty saturated with people in my original niche (Nigerian weddings).
Breaking in was extremely difficult, but I learned so much during that period – the most important thing being that you can change your life by using what’s in your hands. I spent years studying online marketing techniques, mostly for fun since I don’t sell online products, but then found ways to transition what I’d learned about the digital marketing world to get the word out about my off-line wedding planning services in a way that very few others were doing at the time. Once I got a few clients, word got out and I have finally found a spot for myself!
Do you have a mentor? If so, how did you find him/her? If not, who do you model your professional goals after?
I don’t have a mentor at the moment, but there are many that I look to for inspiration. One of my major goals has been modeled after my friend, Nafa of Judah Avenue who built a photography business with photography staff, rather than a business that only runs when she is there. Watching her do this has really inspired me to do the same, which I started working on last year, and I now have 2 other lead planners on my team who I coach to lead their own events.
Another person that I look up to is Sarah Campbell of Intrigue Designs because she is an excellent teacher and encourager and does a great job of teaching what she knows in ways that really help people. Both of these women are phenomenal and give me something to aspire and plan towards!
If you could tell your younger self one thing to jumpstart her career, what would it be?
The best thing I would tell myself is to expect setbacks. So many times, we see others “doing it” and we think everything is perfect on their end. So when we face setbacks, or maybe an event we planned didn’t go perfectly, we question if we are good enough or if there is a point in trying again. But the truth is that every failure taught me something, and I got better every time I wrote down how I could have done better, and turned it into a process. I would tell myself to focus on turning my failures into process improvements instead of sulking over them to get to where I want to be faster.
Feyisola Ogunfemi is the lead planner and designer at Statuesque Events, and loves everything about weddings! She has over 5 years of wedding and event planning experience, and is a graduate of New York University’s Meeting, Conference & Event Management Program.
Prior to starting her business, she earned a BSE in Computer Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, then moved on to IT Project Management, obtaining a PMP certification for her love of logistics! She combines all of these experiences to train her other planners and to create an easy to use process for busy brides who would prefer to do the bulk of their planning online, and leave the rest to their planner.
Fey is also a sought after speaker and panelist, and is passionate about teaching other event and creative professionals. Her weddings have been featured in publications including The Knot, Washingtonian Bride & Groom, Wedding Wire Online Journal, Munaluchi Bride Magazine and more!