For most brides, planning every detail of their “big day” can seem like a full-time job—that’s why Amy Grace Collins has made it hers. With a background in finance and technology, Amy brings a fresh perspective to event planning with her quickly growing company, Amy Grace Events.
Amy began her business as a side hustle as a student in 2002 and has since grown it into a high-end wedding and event planning service serving clients in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, California, as well as Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, Michigan. With her training in information technology and finance, Amy brings a unique combination of creativity and pragmatism to the event planning industry. “My clients come to me asking for a party, but I look at everything asking, ‘What’s the intent?’ Is this going to generate you revenue or create a unique guest experience? I look at it from intentionality; showcasing the client’s personality, company’s mission or non-profit’s need is the most important goal I have,” she says.
That approach has allowed her to support clients during the planning process to get the most out of their budgets. “Money means a lot to me, so I’m not about to spend it in frivolous ways,” she says. “I want my clients to understand the impact each dollar can have when placed with extreme intentionality inside a signature event.”
Amy also leverages technology to keep her business nimble. “We are always looking for the cutting-edge thing for planning needs,” Amy says. “We can remotely plan with vendors and our clients.” She notes that technology tools have helped to keep the planning process extremely organized and have even led to referrals with vendors. As a younger entrepreneur, Amy says she has encountered challenges, but is proud to be a part of the “Next Gen” business cohort. “The good thing about being Next Gen is that we’re so connected. If I have a question about anything, there is someone in my network who will get me the answer,” she says. “We know how to leverage this, and we’re all in this together.”
As a past president of NAWBO-Santa Barbara, immediate past public policy chair of the Central Coast California chapter and currently transitioning to the Detroit chapter, Amy has found a huge support network in NAWBO. “I came for the networking and business connections and stayed for the sisterhood,” she says. “NAWBO members have supported me and they understand what it’s like to balance a family and a business. They do it without reservation or judgement.”
Looking ahead, Amy Grace Events will be expanding to the Midwest marketplace. Amy is also excited to launch a one-of-a-kind online bridal program called MasterBrides, which will help women to plan their weddings together in an online cohort in a mastermind-style format.