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Harmony Walton: I Think My Resiliency Has Gotten Me Far. And My Ability To Be a Connector

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Harmony Walton of The Bridal Bar.

Tell us about yourself?

I’m the founder of The Bridal Bar, a marketing and public relations agency for luxury wedding professionals and companies seeking to connect with couples.

What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?

I think there’s some glamour to the idea of a startup but it’s certainly not all glamourous. There’s no fast track to easy money when starting a business.

It takes long hours, dedication, creativity, contacts, strategy, trial and error, and resiliency. There are so many highs and lows to face and while sometimes it can be glamorous, more often, it is not.

If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?

I would tell myself to invest more in myself and more in people around me that are better at different things than me. Investing in people pays off and investing in people smarter than you, really pays off.

What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?

I think my resiliency has gotten me far. And my ability to be a connector. I love to connect people together, engage with people and get to know people and that has served my career well.

But I’ve also boot strapped when I’ve needed to and hung in there when others might have quit. Those times certainly prepared me for the Covid shutdowns and helped my company through them.

What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?

Flexibility is a new habit for me that has helped in recent years. I don’t naturally love change but in a Covid era, everything is about change and adaptation and that flexibility has been very important to nurture.

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Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?

I started The Bridal Bar in 2004 when nothing like it in the wedding industry existed. It began as a concierge service to help couples find reputable companies and to help those companies market their businesses in an era without social media to aid them.

I had the experience and the tools to promote small businesses in the ways they couldn’t do for themselves and I loved the wedding industry and my little experience in it, so I started a company that leaned into my strengths and passions.

Where do you see your business in five years?

I see a team that is growing and nurturing the people currently on my team to grow.

I see my company growing to service more and bigger brands that want to face the wedding industry and connect with couples and I see more business development services and products expanding in our client offerings.

We produce a lot of brand photo shoots and I see that division becoming even more of our core in addition to the other marketing services we offer.

What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?

I think the biggest upcoming challenge is the recession in the US and how couples and companies will react to that and whether or not they will dramatically pull back spending, which of course, would impact my business.

Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?

I don’t think there’s one story that I would consider my biggest. My career has been roller coaster of big highs and lows and they have all contributed to where I am today.

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I think one story that helped put us on the map early on in my career was getting to work on the wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.

The global media attention we got from having The Bridal Bar associated with the biggest celebrity wedding of the time period certainly impacted the opportunities that came my way.

How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?

I’m a terrible salesperson for myself, that’s why I do it for other people.

And for others, I’m good at it. So most of our clients come from other client referrals, word of mouth, or audience members in speaking engagements I’m a part of.

I meet a lot of new clients at conferences that I speak at and a lot of current and old clients recommend us to their friends.

What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?

One tip I would give other founders it always costs more than you think but less than you have. Essentially what that means is when there’s a will, there’s a way to get it done.

Don’t let a small budget stop you from getting creative and making things happen, especially when you’re starting out. And always expect it to cost more than you think in the beginning!

And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?

I hope the future brings me increased peace and prosperity. I have a toddler now and wealth has a whole new meaning for me.

I look at money and the need to grow it differently as a mom. I also look at peace and quality of life differently and how much more important that is to me now too.

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