ESI members join wedding industry


Kacie Orgera

Second-year entrepreneurial studies student Sara Gray-Foreman arranges flowers for weddings.

Kacie Orgera, Reporter

Members of AACC’s Entrepreneurial Studies Institute are venturing into the wedding industry.

ESI students said they have taken an interest in helping happy couples prepare for their big day.

Though these students have businesses geared toward specialties such as makeup and hair, they help brides on the side.

“I didn’t want any part of it,” Martha LeDoux, a sixth-year event planning and catering management student, said about entering the wedding industry. “But then I had somebody ask me to do a cake for them. That’s how it happened; but now that I’m in it, I love it.”

LeDoux said her favorite wedding was with a couple married at a local vineyard.

“They were just so much fun to work with,” LeDoux said. “They were just so creative.”

Stephanie Goldenberg, the adviser of the Entrepreneurs Club, said over the summer she had students in the wedding planning, makeup and hair businesses.

“We jokingly said [to the students], ‘Oh my goodness, you can all come together and help a bride right now,” Goldenberg said. “What’s really great about the Entrepreneur’s Club and the Entrepreneur Scholarship is that all of our students can network with each other and they can work together for a project.”

Other students hope to become caterers. One plans to open a stationery business that will help couples choose their announcements and invitations, Entrepreneurial Studies Institute Program Assistant Tarsheka Thompson said.

“We do have a few event planners that specifically do weddings; most of them do additional events,” Thompson said.

Sara Gray-Foreman, a second-year entrepreneurial studies student who does floral design, said she has noticed brides like to collaborate with small businesses.

“People are trying to … support their local economy,” Gray-Foreman said. “So there are a lot of future brides that want to kind of collaborate with small businesses and really want to support small businesses.”

Gray-Foreman added: “And [in] each kind of small business [there are] so many different parts going into a wedding … there are all these different moving parts, so being able to find someone who is local or find someone who specializes in that particular area will help you get that Pinterest type of wedding.”

She said that working in the wedding industry can be hard but rewarding.
“The wedding industry is pretty tough,” Gray-Foreman said. “But I love providing that experience for a couple. It’s very sacred, very sweet, and it’s … something that makes me happy … to provide that beautiful experience to them.”

ESI students said they like working in the Hatchery, where they use free resources such as a button-maker and 3D printer, and network with other students.

“Sometimes they’re doing marketing aspects,” Thompson said. “Sometimes they’re just networking with each other and talking about different ideas.”

The Hatchery is “definitely a good place to come in, get inspired [and] meet people who have different business[es]. … It’s good to have access to that and teachers and other resources,” Gray-Foreman said.