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Meet Tracy Dapp of Inked Events in Salem

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tracy Dapp.

Tracy, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I never dreamed of being a wedding planner or even owning my own business, but after planning my own wedding I was hooked and wanted to learn more. Being the type of person who loves/needs to learn about something, I set out on the journey to educate myself about how to become a wedding planner and running a business. It’s more than one might think and not for the faint of heart.

It began when I found the Association of Bridal Consultants and attended my first event where I learned they offered a Professional Development Program to become a Certified Wedding Planner. I immediately signed up for the online course and graduated with the “Distinguished Graduate” designation.

I knew it was more than just completing a certification course to “be” a wedding planner, so I again set out to learn what I needed to know. I found an online forum that was specifically geared towards planners and allowed newbies and seasoned planners all around the country to communicate freely in a private space. I asked a lot of questions and I can say the ladies within that group had a hand in who I am as the planner I became and where I am today. They were open, honest and forthcoming in helping me develop my own skills.

My journey began when I started my own business in 2008 under a different name then partnered up with another new wedding planner/designer about a year later to combine our talents. I continued to learn what I needed about wedding planning, but also how to run a business, as well as working with a partner. I later found a local Massachusetts based wedding planning company that was looking for an event assistant. Both myself and business partner were so excited to have the opportunity to work under an experienced planner to gain more knowledge on running a business and how weddings run on event day.

From the beginning of my journey, I worked a full time non-wedding related day job and my future goal was to run my own business full time without the financial support of another job. I was excited when the full time office/event assistant opportunity arose at the local wedding planning company I worked for. With my administrative background, I quickly jumped on that opportunity and left my other corporate job! Unfortunately, that office/event assistant job was short lived due to the company having financial difficulties and had to lay me off after only a few months…..

….Inked Events was then born.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No, it hasn’t been a smooth ride, not even a little. There have been bumps, potholes, tears, twists and turns. There was no step-by-step book on how to run a business and what you had to do. I had to navigate through learning and figure out how and what to do and do it on my own terms.

After getting laid off and dissolving my partnership in 2013; which both in itself took an emotional and financial toll on me and left me wondering if I even wanted to continue. Oh, I had my doubts, but being a believer in “everything happens for a reason” I felt I wanted to continue in this industry, I just needed to figure out how.

I was fortunate enough to work a few part time jobs after getting laid off to be able to build my business and reputation. I needed to stand out in a saturated market, so I began working with a business coach who helped me figure out the type of couples I wanted to work with, what type of service(s) I wanted to offer and the brand I wanted to have. I had to get comfortable in my own skin with my business, planning skills and allow my personality to shine through.

Even though my business name represents tattoos (they are a huge part of who I am), it wasn’t the market I was targeting. I don’t ‘look’ like the type of person who has as many tattoos as I do and sadly, have encountered the stereotypical feeling from narrow-minded people. My couples may or may not have them, but they have the appreciation of the creativity/artistic meaning behind them. What they see is my fun, caring personality, professionalism & killer organizational skills.

I honed my planning skills, learned how to run a successful business by reading business books and blogs, developed business processes, attended conferences and workshops, built a solid reputation and grew my network all the while working a full time job again.

Very excitedly, I kicked off 2017 working solely in Inked Events as my own boss & haven’t looked back!!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Inked Events – what should we know?
Inked Events is an award winning New England full service wedding and social/corporate event planning company that specializes in Wedding Management, which in the wedding world, you may be more familiar with the term “Day-Of Coordination”, but honestly, and that doesn’t really exist since so much more goes into the actual day.

We love to help couples from the moment the ring is on their finger or that have already successfully planned their wedding, relax, enjoy & let go of the logistics of the day. We want them to fully enjoy their wedding day and the months/weeks leading up to it without any stress or worry, so they don’t feel overwhelmed on their wedding day. We don’t want their wedding to feel like another day at the office. We want them to be worry-free when they walk down the aisle.

What makes us unique from other wedding planners is our ability to anticipate our couple’s needs and see the big picture of their wedding day vision without neglecting the details. Because of this, our clients get to see everything we/they planned come together exactly the way they imagined without having to shoulder the burden of coordinating it themselves, so they can take in their moment first-hand instead.

We love the couples that want to have a “Self-Expression” wedding; whether it’s a traditional, non-traditional, contemporary or rustic, they don’t want a cookie cutter type wedding. Their wedding is sprinkled with their own unique, personalized, out of the box details.

We’re fun, organized, quirky hopeless romantics, who truly love what we do!

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I feel like I have two distinct characteristics that have contributed to my success.

First, I’ve stayed true to myself and allow my personality to shine through, I’m honest and don’t sugar coat anything. I attract the same type of people; whether they are potential clients or vendors that I truly want to hang out with and I do. I put a lot of love and caring into each one of my clients since it’s more than just a job to me, they truly become part of the family.

Second, my keen sense and knowledge on what it takes to run a profitable business comes naturally to me. I love spreadsheets so creating business documents is second nature even though it may not be the ‘traditional’ business way, they work for what I need in order to run my business the way I want.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Black Thumb Studio, EAS Photography, Brendan Coughlin Productions, Eric McCallister Photography, Casey Durgin Photography, Tmrw Photo, Sean Hagwell, NH Images

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