Wow, where do I even begin? There is so much I want to say! Julie, our fearless leader, head boss lady, and truly, our guiding mentor is simply phenomenal. I knew the second I met her things were going to be good. Like, really, really, life changing, good. She is a visionary, she is open minded, and she is humble. Not only that, but she has really, really good taste, is hilariously funny and who else can rock a short bob for over a decade and make it look that good? But seriously, only Julie.
Which brings to me where we are now. None of what we are experiencing as a small business would be possible without Julie. This is her baby and her dream, she is just kind enough to let us all play a small role. The amount of trust she has shown to us in letting us join her world is insurmountable. I’m pretty sure I speak for all of us when I say that I’m truly indebted to her for allowing me to pursue my passion alongside such a great brand.
In getting to know Julie over the past couple years I’ve come to admire her greatly. She is literally a younger, fresher version of Martha Stewart. Everything she does is effortless. Her hair. Her style. Her conversations. Her designs. Her visions. Her weddings. Just everything! She makes it all look so easy and yet, so perfect. And, just like Martha, Julie is the right amount of no nonsense, in your face, business woman combined with the soft, delicate, calming wedding planner and etiquette extraordinaire.
Basically, I want to be her. I mean, let’s be real, who could plan and execute a wedding such as Christi and John or Ashley and Kevin (coming soon) in less than 90 days and make it this beautiful and well orchestrated? Only Julie.
So, without further ado, I introduce you to Invision’s owner, creative director, lead planner, and my hero, Julie Bunkley. Cheers! … Courtney
How did you get involved with weddings? I always say that it was by accident. I had met some girls in Auburn who were simply directing weddings as a way to make extra money while they were in college. Being a recent college graduate (read: not sure what I was doing with my life just yet) and a newlywed, I decided to join in with them. I loved the process and particularly the logistics of making a wedding happen. The other girls in the group all graduated and went on to other things in different cities, but I decided that there was a need for this service and I knew what I wanted to bring to the industry. I’ve also always wanted to start, grow and manage my own brand.
How would you describe yourself? Tall and grateful for being tall, not fussy, lover of efficiency, self-motivated
What did you think you were going to be when you grew up, and did you ever imagine this is what you would be doing with your life? I always thought that I would work for my father’s company that he had while I was growing up. I never even considered a different path. When he sold the company my senior year of college, it put a serious kink in my career plans. Even if you had told me in college that this is what I would be doing, I would have scoffed.
What lessons has your work life taught you? Showing respect for others goes a long way to making your work easier. When people feel that they are taken seriously for what they bring to the table, you get a much better team effort.
If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently? I’m certainly not upset with where I am now. But, I probably would have spent more time thinking about the financial cost of starting a business. I was young with nothing to lose so I simply jumped in. I could have been a bit more prudent on some things in that respect.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful in wedding planning? Listening, being completely unselfish (nothing in a wedding is about you) and solid customer service skills which goes to both the bride and the vendors you work with.
How many hours do you work a day on average? All of the hours…
Describe/outline your typical day? I get up early to work out. I try to do something active every morning before starting the day. It clears my mind and honestly gets me set for the day. Then, depending on how my meetings for the day are scheduled, I could be at my desk and working by 9. From there, I’m answering emails, making a call list, looking at our marketing calendar (I handle all design and placement for our marketing), etc. I try to keep my mornings for me (or my business) and afternoons for meetings and errands.
What motivates you? I’ve always been the type that is in competition only with myself. I have never really used outside influences to motivate me to do better. I simply need to know that I have done something better than the last time. And I never feel like I am working hard enough or that anything is quite good enough. There is always room for improvement.
How do you generate new ideas? Simply being open to new ideas is the first step. When you have this attitude, things will come to you easily.
What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear? Failure is a huge fear. That’s not to say that I have never failed. But, it’s the constant push that balances your work.
What is your guilty pleasure? Pizza in bed, Apple products and having them all on and in front of me at the same time, sunglasses (it’s odd but I have way too many), all carbs
What has been the happiest moment in your life? Any time that my sisters and I are all together. This only happens once a year these days (if we are lucky). But, they are my favorite people in the world.
Who has been your greatest inspiration? Probably my dad. The sacrifices he made to begin his company, growing it into a successful business and being able to support his family and many others with it has shaped my view of business and career.
What is your favorite aspect of wedding planning? The clients!
What are you proudest of? The relationships that I have made throughout my career. People are what matter.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business? The fact that I’m still here. The recession was ugly and the fact that I’m still standing is no small thing.
What does your office or workspace look like? Always changing! I constantly want to find a better way for things to be set up to make it more convenient or to work better. So, I may be “in transition” for eternity.
Who is your role model and why? Beyond my dad, I would say Martha Stewart. Taking homemaking and turing it into an incredible business is mind blowing. I do, however, stay away from the stock market…
Who is your spirit animal? I’ll say a greyhound. 🙂
Who would play you in a movie? Katie Holmes, who isn’t exactly my favorite actress, but I get the comparison a lot.
What is your pet peeve? Snobbiness
One thing you never leave the house without. iPhone and Sunglasses (sorry, that’s two things)
Early bird or night owl? EARLY BIRD. I’m a natural morning person.
What is your greatest adventure? This business!