Graduate Feature: Melissa Nault
With a background in Illustration and Fashion Design, Melissa never expected to find her calling as an event planner. After organizing her own wedding in 2011, she missed the rush and excitement of the planning process, so she signed up for an event & wedding planning course at QC Career School and is now a certified IEWP. Melissa has since planned her fair share of parties; bridal and baby showers, engagements, anniversaries, event décor coordination, and more recently, organized her first full wedding as a professional.
When her son was born in 2013, Melissa adopted the Work-at-Home-Mom lifestyle and started her own business; À Thé Souhaits, Event Planning & Design. Inspired by tea parties, old fashion romance and vintage decor, Melissa uses her artistic talent and attention to details to create beautiful moments of timeless elegance. You can check out her blog here. We interviewed Melissa to get the skinny on what it’s like to be a recent grad from QC.
Did you always see yourself as an event planner?
I actually wanted to be a fashion designer – more specifically, a wedding gown designer. Weddings have been my passion for as long as I can remember. I always had a pencil and a sketchbook wherever I went and would usually draw princess gowns. I was 21 when I had my first planning experience. My sisters and I organized a surprise 25th wedding anniversary for our parents at a restaurant with 30 guests, a professional cake, invitations, the works! But I only discovered my true love for event planning after I got married in September 2011. Afterwards, I felt my wedding had come and gone but something was missing. A month later, I signed up at QC Event Planning. Best decision EVER!
What did you enjoy most about your course with QC?
What I enjoyed most was the tranquility and ease of doing the course at my own pace. It was a great thing for me because I gave birth to my son halfway through being finished, so my attention was a little diverted (to say the least!)
What is the most valuable thing you learned from QC?
Confidence and determination. As I did my course, it just felt like second nature. I discovered something I was really good at and just ran with it.
What has your most successful project been as a graduate thus far?
I’d have to say that starting my business, À Thé Souhaits, was definitely a huge deal. I was also hired to plan a wedding a few month before graduating. It was a full-A-Z job, but it came in handy during the final project. It was really great, hands-on experience. The wedding was this past August 2014: a sweet, urban-chic affair right here in Montreal. I have it featured on my blog.
What is the most challenging thing about starting out in the industry?
Not knowing where I stand amongst my competition and setting my prices fairly. I’m still working on that.
What are some things about event planning that you find tedious or trying?
Sometimes it is difficult to keep track of time and budget. I know it’s important, but sometimes you get so involved in the creative process that you lose track of the business side of things.
What do you think is the next big thing in event planning?
ME! Haha! Actually, I think that social media will make the DIY bride more popular and donation registries instead of gift registries will be all the rage
What does the future hold for you?
Greatness! I want to collaborate with friends, family, and new businesses and build from there. I am most inspired by tea parties, old-fashioned elegance, and vintage décor. Right now, I am turning my living room into a tea parlour to receive my clients. Eventually I would love to open a tea shop and have it be a meeting place for my clients. It would work well with my husband’s culinary delights (he would like to start a catering business to complement my event planning business when the time is right) After that, who knows. Maybe I’ll be the next Maddy K! The sky is the limit!