Journey to Business Partnership - Part 1

“How did you become business partners?” Our industry partners, clients and new friends inevitably ask this question of us at some point after we meet. The truth is the answer isn’t short because there is a long story to share. Becca and I both had careers and plans that led us to be together today.  Over the next three days, we want to share our story of how we ended up as business partners.

Nancy Ray Photography

Nancy Ray Photography

My story begins like this….  From a young age, I knew I wanted to have a career in hospitality.  Last week, I shared my throwback story of how I got started in hospitality with some insight into my heart from over ten years ago. After I graduated from college, I was recruited to work for Hyatt Corporation in San Antonio, Texas. I work for Hyatt for six years, at two different hotels and four different positions all within Food and Beverage Operations.  I’ll spare you most of the details and save the stories for my Chelsea Handler style personal memoir (seriously!). Silliness aside, working for Hyatt was a great experience for me that I wouldn’t trade for anything.  I learned so much about management, finances, and myself.  Working for a big corporation right out of school didn’t hurt either, as I made a pretty darn comfortable living for a 20-something. 

In 2009, I met Becca at the Hyatt Regency San Antonio on the Riverwalk. I had just accepted my third position with the company as the Director of Banquets of Convention Services.   Becca was a Sales and Catering Manager responsible for all social events and bookings. In short, Becca would sell all social business, turn the business definite, work with the clients to plan their events and communicate all details about menus, room layouts, etc. by inputting data into our hotel's systems, then ultimately turn each event over to my department so that it could be executed by the operations team.  The hotel had over 55,000 square feet of meeting and event space and was one of the top revenue producing hotels in the company at the time. We both had very tough jobs, to say the least.   

Becca and I became fast friends as we both had the same work ethic and “get it done” attitude.  There were many late nights and early mornings we would see each other in the parking deck or by the copy machine, long before (or after) anyone else had arrived or long after they had left.  I can honestly say I had no social life outside of work at this time in my life (and Becca would probably say the same). 5:00am mornings and 2:00am “nights” weren’t uncommon for me. I worked weekends, holidays, and 7-days a week. I pushed myself...very hard. Hindsight is 20/20, but I wish I would have known then that becoming an Food and Beverage Director before I was 30 wasn’t everything.  Oh well, everything happens for a reason and I’m sure glad it did.  

In the short year that we became friends, Becca and I shared lots of thoughts, hopes, and dreams with each other. Not only do Becca and I share the same work ethic but we also share a love for an occasional cold beer or smooth tequila (come on #alittleroseinmay, hurry up little one so we can again celebrate with a margarita!).  Every once in a while, we would escape the office to share drinks and dinner. I told Becca that I always thought I would start my own food shop (just like my mentor Cyd), but had learned from my positions with Hyatt that I really hated working in restaurants and bars. I told Becca how much I loved the catering and special events side of things, in particular social events. She and I shared this feeling to the core. Becca told me about her dream to open a wedding planning company and I said, “You get it started and then I’ll come join you.”

In a heartbreaking turn of events, Becca and her husband Jarrod left San Antonio pretty quickly and unexpectedly to move to Winston-Salem.  This is a big part of her story and the reason our home base is here in North Carolina. You don’t want to miss this part of her story (ust one of many reasons to come back to the blog the next two days!).   

Amanda Castle Photography

Amanda Castle Photography

Stay tuned for part 2 of my story tomorrow! Until then... 

XXOO, Betsy