2021: A YEAR IN REVIEW
We are about a week into the final month of the year, and despite the pandemic not slowing down for anyone, I must say, this year has been pretty busy for TGA. We have a few weddings left to close out 2021, but I decided to take this time to briefly reflect on all of the amazing things that have happened.
The first thing we did this year was launch our sister company, Wedcycle Hawai’iin February. After working weddings for a few years, I noticed the amount of waste created during these events and how much money is spent on wedding decor that we only use for one day. I had an idea at the end of 2020 to take some of the excess decor we collected and create a decor rental company that was an affordable and sustainable option to the normal wedding approach (a.k.a buying new). It was a slow start at the beginning, figuring out what we were doing, but we now have Wedcycle fully up and running with new drops every week!
The next thing we did was throw our hat into the picnic game! I realized, I was low-key depressed not doing anything wedding related. Things were still pretty up in the air regarding when we were going to be able to have full events again, so picnics were my creative outlet (on a smaller scale) and a way to make a little extra coin while I waited for events to come back. My first few picnics I used items from around my house and literally depleted my living room to decorate the tables. Now, we are able to do full on picnic events (living room staying in tact) hosting two people all the way up to 55 people (our biggest picnic in July).
The pandemic did not die down in 2021 and, in fact, got pretty gnarly mid year. We sadly had to postpone and cancel a few events in 2021, but despite that we still walked away completing 15 projects! My goal this year was to do at least 12 events, so we beat the goal by three. Pretty impressive if you ask me. I am excited to say that we have already blown past that number for next year, making it our busiest wedding season yet. Something fun, was that I was the maid of honor for 2/15 of those events. Let me just say, being a MOH and the wedding planner, NOT EASY, but I was happy to be there for my best friend and cousin. I learned a lot this year about wedding planning and it gave me the push to begin restructuring my business for 2022 to allow more of a work life balance.
Speaking of business growth, we hired some help! For the last 3 years of TGA, I was pretty much doing this business thing on my own. I had my wife, who is still one of the biggest helpers, but I knew that I needed a few more hands if I really wanted TGA to boom. We started with a hiring call in March and brought on two assistants, followed by a social media manager, and an accountant. Our team is filled with other Native Hawaiian, Wahine, and Queer folk. It has been one of my biggest flexes this year, because we are creating a collective that represents who I have always wanted this business to be for. I am excited to say that we are hiring more hands in 2022 to help with our busy season!
In August of this year, we also launched our TGA merch line. I love graphic design and wanted to create a few pieces that represented our brand. We did a super fun launch called the ‘Olelo Pride Line, a collection of merch for the month of October featuring well known pride slangs in ‘Olelo Hawai’i. This is still such a fun project for me and I am excited to
release new pieces next year.
Finally, we launched this blog! I have always loved writing and I wanted a space where I could write my ideas, thoughts, and share with you all a more detailed look into what it is that I do. I also wanted to create a platform where other writers can share their take about the wedding industry. In July, I wrote TGA’s first piece and since then have released a new blog every Thursday. It has been a great experience that I hope to one day look back on and see how far we have come as a business.
Writing it out like this and seeing each accomplishment one after another, I have to say that this year has been an amazing time for TGA. Don’t get me wrong, it has come with it’s downs too. I hit a pretty hard wall at the end of summer this year feeling depressed, lost, and honestly over the wedding industry as a whole. I felt like I could not get out of my funk and it took the love and support of my community to remind me why I do, what I do. Remembering how much we did this year, encourages me to keep setting goals while also taking pause to enjoy the moments of success and hardships. In the moment, my accomplishments seemed small, but in the macro view, I can really see how far we have come. I am excited to close out 2021 strong and even more excited for what is to come in 2022!
Photographers featured: Kenzie Kate Photography Iwalani Photography Megan Moura Photography
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