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Lessons Learned from the Wedding Wire Professionals: The Experience: Dreams, Determination, Hard Work and Team Work

“Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good. It's the thing you do that makes you good.”   - Malcom Galdwell, Outliers: The Story of Success

At the March 7 Makilala TV taping of the episode on "Filipino American Wedding Trends and Tradition", my co-hosts and I had the pleasure of meeting three young and successful entrepreneurs:
·         Ivie Joy of Ivie Joy Floral Arts and Events
·         Glenn Maningas of MPW Media Group
·         Amable Yalong of Events by Amable Key Music Group and Y2 Collection (luxury clothing for men)

The trio, who has been working as a team since 2009, are consistent Wedding Wire Bridal Choice awardees. We learned that to win the Wedding Wire Awards for five consecutive years means that your business has to be in the top 5 percent of wedding service providers in the country.

Staying humble and down-to-earth, these three design professionals consistently earned positive reviews online. They stressed that in analyzing customer reviews, people should read not only the 5-star comments.
“A 2-star rating can also be a positive review if it highlighted the exceptional service and professionalism,” said Amable. “Sometimes, you just lose out a little on the pricing, which has nothing to do with the quality of service.”

Our conversations with these three energetic and fun-loving friends reminded me of what our parents taught us, and what I am now trying to pass on to m y children:  Dream BIG, be true to yourself, work hard, value team work and give back.  

(Amable Yalong, Glenn Maningas and Ivie Joy)

Ivie Joy has an exotic background. She was raised in the lush Hawaiian countryside which propelled her passion for the floral arts. She started as an Associate Designer of a floral retailer and quickly became General Manager before launching her own business, Ivie Joy Floral Arts and Events. She’s the go-to florist of top corporations, celebrities, fashion magazines, Broadway show premieres and award ceremonies.

Glenn and Amable have just as interesting career paths before venturing on their own.

Glenn Maningas has an Engineering degree from the Philippines, worked as a Computer Consultant before creating “My Pinoy Wedding” offering photography and video services. Hence, the name of his company “MPW Media Group”. His passion is to reinvent the way weddings are captured.
Amable Yalong worked in accounting and finance before he founded “Events by Amable Key Music Group”, a boutique entertainment production company that provides music to weddings and other celebrations. He’s known as “The Maestro” and dubbed as the Filipino version of Ryan Seacrest when doing his DJ duties.  He recently launched Y2 Collection, a Luxury Men's Clothier that offers Sartorial Modern Classic Bespoke Garments for the Gentlemen who seek tailor-made suits.

Dream BIG. Do what your sets your heart on fire

As parents, we try to encourage our children to follow their dreams. When I put together my kids’ lunches, I leave short notes in their lunch bags to remind them how wonderful they are, how they can do whatever they put their hearts and minds into, how to dream big and keep smiling – daily inspirational messages that I hope would brighten their day.

Amable embodies someone who seizes opportunity.  He dreams big and is passionate on branching out from hosting events to launching luxurymen’s wear and oversized leather tote bags. His  Y2 Collection had its debut at NY Fashion Week on February 17. He described his journey as,
"I left Corporate America to follow my Passion. My goal is to always inspire others to never give up on their passion and dreams. I'm living a dream and someone else can do the same."

Be Unique and Authentic

Set a goal, a purpose and identify what makes you different from the others.

Glenn followed this adage with another: “Know your niche.” That’s how he grew his photo and video business. He knew he wanted to be in the wedding industry. However, in starting a business, sometimes you have to start small – take baby steps, he said. His MPW Media Group offers a variety of services including the Same-Day Edit video where the couple and their guests get to view a video of the entire wedding toward the end of the reception.

“No need to wait for weeks or months,” Glenn said on Makilala. The tab is slightly higher but worth it, he said.
Hard work

A dream doesn’t magically become real just because you imagined it to be. 

In my conversation with Ivie Joy, she emphasized that dreams and passion are nothing if you don’t work hard – and she meant work really hard.  Three things she emphasized people should remember:

1)      Be punctual.  There is no excuse for being late.

2)      There’s no room for sub-par performance. You have to be accountable to whatever product or service you put out there. 

3)      There is no such thing as “free internship”.  How can you hold someone accountable if they’re not getting paid? How can you punish them for being inefficient if they’re not compensated?

Learn from your mistakes

Last week I was reminded that "We are where God wants us to be at this very moment. Every experience is part of His Divine Plan."

However, sometimes the path we take leads us to a detour.

As a mother, my heart breaks whenever any of my four children is unhappy and frustrated. We give them wings to grow but sometimes they break. We can't walk their own journey for them, but we can be around when they need a hug, reassurance and an objective voice when they are on the wrong paths.
Mistakes do happen. Not every path we take leads to success or happiness. But if we're true to ourselves, we can stand up from the fall and rise again - and yes, it's true that we need to surround ourselves with people who believe in us.

Reach out. Connect. Make one another blossom.

Some Filipinos are known to have the “kanya-kanya” or “If I can’t have it, neither can you” mentality.

However, this dynamic Trio debunked such stereotype.

They compliment one other and are not known to credit-grab whoever brings in the connections and business opportunities. They appear to work well as a team, saying that they are out to give clients the complete package of services or what they call “The Experience.” It’s such a pleasant sight to see them joyfully praise one another’s hard work, expertise and creative professionalism.

Just don’t call them wedding planners. “We are more than that,” they said. While they are there for the moment, they offer a breadth of insight and experience on what makes a matrimony live in one’s memory long after the wedding album has been put away.

(MakilalaTV's guests, cast and crew)

The Makilala episode on “Wedding Trends and Tradition” will be available online at in May. The episode will air at QPTV Time Warner cablecast on the second week of May and will air at Manhattan Network Neighborhood in the following months thereafter.

Article published at The FilAm : "We are not wedding planners"


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