It is not often that you meet young couples who successfully embark upon couplepreneurship. But entrepreneurs, Brandon and Brandi Carson, 31 and 30 respectively, of Houston-based Posh & Private Event Design prove that couples who startup together, stay together.
The Carsons started their event planning company in 2013, and have since created a name for themselves throwing lavish birthday parties, to invite-only product launches. The couple credits their success to a key philosophy behind their mission and affinity for creating memorable events – legacy.
Love and Business
College sweethearts, Brandon and Brandi were initially following their own distinct and successful career paths. Since their paths merged, the Carson’s have shared a passion and vision for building a thriving and viable family business.
Brandi Carson, Employee to Entrepreneur
While attending Spelman College, as an economics major, Brandi sought-out event planning internships, and found she enjoyed the line of work. She soon realized she wanted to break into event planning full-time.
Upon graduating Brandi took a job working in project management and communications. Brandi knew she wanted to move into event planning, so she decided to attend George Washington University and pursue a Masters degree in Tourism Administration, with a concentration in Event and Meeting Management.
For Brandi, obtaining a Masters degree would give her the industry validation she needed. Using her consulting work to finance her graduate program, Brandi was able and ready to make a career shift.
Feeling the time was right, Brandi quit her consulting job in January of 2012 to transition full-time into event design and planning.
Brandon Carson, C-Suite to Couplepreneurship
A graduate of both Morehouse College and Carnegie Mellon University, Brandon studied computer science as an undergraduate. After graduation, he went on to pursue a Masters degree in cyber security, and worked for the Department of Defense for six years.
In his former role as Chief of Marketing & Strategic Planning for the DOD, Brandon enjoyed organizing ceremonies and special events. Considered a rookie on the team, having only quit his job about a year ago to join Brandi, he now devotes his full attention to the management of Posh & Private Event Design.
Like most couplepreneurs, the Carson’s knew they had made the right decision. “We just knew that event planning was what we liked to do… The truth is, we were both doing event planning on some level even within our previous jobs, and we both enjoyed that aspect of our jobs. We always knew we liked this. The business was just more of a formality because we both knew we wanted to do it,” says Brandi.
Rewards of Couplepreneurship
As soulmates and business partners, the Carsons quickly learned that “in entrepreneurship: you get out of it what you put into it”. Brandi acknowledged that, “I really, really enjoy knowing that if I’m up at 2:00 a.m. giving my best on a project, I am going to see something great in return … I see myself learning so many skills, and that makes me happy.”
The rewards of becoming couplepreneurs were evident. Since starting their event planning business, Brandon notes: “An expected reward for us is the freedom. Although entrepreneurship is a lot of work, there is a certain level of freedom that comes with it that you don’t get within a corporate structure. We make own hours, we take a break if we need to, we are able to do things throughout the day that if we were in an office, we wouldn’t be able to do.”
“Also, an unexpected reward is: I like meeting people, so being an entrepreneur, I’ve been able to network in a way that I wouldn’t have been able to do sitting in an office and confined to the people sitting around me,” he asserts.
With this newfound freedom, Brandon no longer endures long commutes; he works with his wife; and he genuinely enjoys the projects he and Brandi manage.
Brandi recalls why she felt such a strong urge to become an entrepreneur.
Prior to starting Posh & Private Event Design, Brandi vividly remembers waking up some nights and saying to herself – “I just can’t do this [work outside of her passion] anymore.” Like many wantrepreneurs, at the time, she wanted to do what she wanted to do – on her terms. These days she does exactly that and more.
Leaving Corporate America Behind
Looking back on their entrepreneurship journey, Brandon and Brandi attest to learning many valuable lessons. For would-be entrepreneurs thinking of making a career pivot, and staring a business the Carson’s offer three sage tips:
- Plan and plan some more. When you think, I want to start a business” immediately start saving money to get you through the inevitable days when money is not coming in. Figure out what you want to do, after you have your idea. The success of your business is nearly 100% dependent on marketing to get it up and running.
- Connect with others in the trenches. Seek to build relationships with people who are going through the same experience as you; you can really relate to the challenges you are both facing.
- Remember your why. Get clear on why you want to start a business. Truly be able to articulate your ultimate goal.
Though Brandon and Brandi exude a lighthearted perspective, business is not a game to them. The foundation they are laying, brick by brick and client by client, is to them – their legacy.
“When the time comes, we want to be able to financially provide for our family. If our kids want to start a business, we want to be in a position to financially support their endeavors. We want to see the fruits of our labor, and have that serve as a concrete lesson on ‘working for your money’ for our children. We’re working so that we can create an opportunity for our children to contribute to the business to learn the skills needed to go out and successfully pursue their own dreams.”
Shaless Peoples is the creator of the Da Capo Careers Project where she listens to, writes about, and shares the stories of 20, 30, and 40 somethings who have started their career paths from the beginning in order to experience a more passion-filled, meaningful, balanced, and happy work-life.
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