Jodi Everts went into 2015 with the intention of scaling back on work and ended up starting two businesses instead. When her daughter was born, Jodi and her husband Chad were very conflicted about the amount of time her advertising job would take from their balance at home. They spent months trying to decide if they could afford to dramatically upset their financial balance by 50% in order for Jodi to be a stay at home mom. Jodi got business ideas from sites like Inc, Fast Company, Linkedin, and Grit & Virtue and the rest is history.  Like many entrepreneurs, they ended up taking a calculated leap of faith.

Working from home

Being a stay at home mom doesn’t mean walking away from a career.   Keeping her business career alive was an important consideration along with taking care of her daughter.  “Knowing that I can’t sit idle, and fearing that a hiatus from advertising would affect my future ambitions I chose to put my corporate event planning and advertising experience to work and started an event planning business. But… in doing so my husband and I identified and even better business opportunity”. They now run – a local wedding planning blog that features all vendors and venues, plus relevant wedding articles and real wedding galleries.

Jodi and her husband launched the event planning business in January, identified a need for a resource for wedding vendors in February, starting on Love, Madison Weddings in March and launched it in June. (With a seven month old at home too!) Since then they have seen awesome site traffic, significant social media gains and have begun to sign on vendor advertisers.

It’s not always easy

Their escape from the 9 to 5 has not been without challenges.  A lot of their success was dampened by focusing instead on their mistakes. “When you pour your heart into your brand, mistakes just feel so personal. I had to realize that I need to grow with the business too, and not let fear of failure keep me from moving forward”.   Jodi also fell into the comparison trap.  Most of us have heard the phrase “compare and despair”.

It’s easy to look at what your competition is doing and get focused on what you aren’t doing.  “You need to clearly identify your brand and your objectives and then go after that. Don’t get sidetracked trying to be something you’re not. In the beginning I’d often look at national wedding blogs and get discouraged that we aren’t this or that in comparison. But then I reminded myself that we created our brand with intention and we need to be patient while we build it”.

Like many start ups, their first year has been a roller coaster.  Lots of excitement, fear and a mix of emotional ups and downs.   Through the late nights and tired days, the reward is being able to have a business and raise her daughter at the same time. “Hands down, the best part is having so much time with my daughter. And because I am so passionate about the business my husband and I are building, it doesn’t feel like work”.

Jodi is continuing to grow her business in new directions.  She recently began consulting other small business owners in branding and marketing.  Jodi and Chad love to see the vendors they work with succeed.  They also get to learn from their clients and apply what they learn to their own business. “I am excited to see where this extension of our business goes. It has been incredible to see that partnerships that have developed since we launched our business, and that is the most rewarding part”.

You can follow Jodi and Chad at: