“And who am I? That’s one secret I’ll never tell…” JUST KIDDING. If you know what show that quote is from then stay awhile. I think we could be good friends! If you don’t know, let me fill you in- Gossip Girl (a fav)!
In all seriousness, bienvenue (welcome)! You’re either checking out my website for your wedding, interested in what I do, or got here surfing the web somehow. Either way, I am so happy that you are here and reading this. As a young entrepreneur/ small business owner, any support (whether it is just an interaction) is meaningful. The young entrepreneur that I am referring to is myself- Gillian at 19 years old. When I started my business, I was a freshman in college at Penn State.
I didn’t wake up one day and say “I am going to start a business today”. It was something that was a dream so many years down the road. My pre- college self was putting an age limitation on how old one had be to in order to start a business. That barrier was soon broken and did not stand a chance for what was about to come.
During my freshman year of college, my mother’s co-worker happened to know what I was going to school for and what I wanted to do post graduation. After the prior experience I already had (an internship at the Eden Resort), they approached me to coordinate their son and future daughter-in-law’s wedding. The couple happened to be considering a day-of coordinator for their wedding, but didn’t want to make the investment on a professional. After speaking with the couple, they decided to have me be part of their day!
During our 10 months leading up to the wedding, the bride was so encouraging! She kept telling me how I should build a website and put myself out there because I could really do this. Meanwhile, I was still going through my second and third semester of college. I thought she was so encouraging but also crazy for basically saying I should start a business (sorry Jess!). Little did I know I actually could do this!
The day of their wedding went perfect! It was the first time I was truly on my own, in charge, and “running the show”. I remember coming home that night after the wedding and feeling like I was on top of the world. I knew I really wanted to do pursue this!
Within the next month, I had created social media accounts, built a website, and listed myself on WeddingWire. The rest is history!
Fast forward a little through my journey…I was able to graduate college a semester early with my Bachelors degree in Hospitality Management (with an entrepreneurial option). Looking back, I would not change a thing. Going through classes and being able to apply what I was learning in real time to my business has been the best experience.
Penn State’s Hospitality program also has a graduation requirement of 1,000 hours of internship and work experience. This overhead also gave me some really great internship experience including Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Internship Program and working with Stylish Occasions, a wedding planning company in Lancaster, PA. I worked at the Hotel Hershey as a banquet manager intern running weddings, corporate events, prom, retreats, baptisms, family reunions, etc. Even though the internship officially came to an end and school was starting again, my managers invited me back to work when I could!
Over the years, I have also been the Event Coordinator for Lancaster Polo club. My love for this industry has me wanting to be involved in everything! Lancaster Polo Club is a significant part in my journey because I not only grew up there ( I have been involved since 5 days old), but feel as if this was the place I was “introduced” to hospitality.
I love what I do because I do what I love- it is that simple! Since graduation, my business has doubled and I am truly living my dream! Events By Gillian and Co. has evolved by not only serving our couples and their family with hospitality but creating a service and experience to make their life easier through this special time. We get to meet new people and work with so many great couples along with having a part in one of the most memorable days of their life! It is truly an honor each time a couples chooses my small business to bring their dreams to reality.