Keep Dreaming! How This Event Planner Turned Her Passion Into a Magazine and a Womens' Conference
Sometimes your purpose is not always planned and you’ll stumble upon what is meant for you along your journey. It was not always in the cards for Sabrina Seymore to become a serial entrepreneur, but after realizing that she had a knack for event planning, the former social worker started to take her party planning hobby seriously and turn it into a full-time business. “I had no idea was going to be an entrepreneur. I went to school to be a marriage and family therapist. That was my goal. I was a social worker for years, and I did private practice for years, but I got pushed into it,” she explained.
The push was a natural transition, as Sabrina was a go-to person for party planning among her friends and peers in North Carolina. “In college, I was the go-to girl for all the parties. Whatever was going on I had something to do with it if there was an event. Several friends are married and having children and things of that nature so they just started reaching out to me about assisting them with their baby showers and weddings,” she shared. Her work started out with friends and family as clientele, but eventually, the calls started to roll in including her line sister’s wedding that led her to consider starting an events company.
Sabrina and her line sister decided to become business partners, but they quickly realized that managing the business would be difficult. “Well, it started to become a lot. We really weren’t prepared. She was in a very pivotal point in another entrepreneurial goal that she was kinda of strving for, so I started to step up a little bit more because I had a little bit more of an interest and flexibility for it. From there she kinda decided like, you’re great at this. You have a passion. I’m going to walk away and let you do your thing,” she shared. Sabrina rebranded and launched Sabrina Seymore Events in 2011. She immediately experienced business growth based off of the referrals from friends and past clients.
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In order to grow Sabrina had to have people around her who understood the time commitment that must be made as an entrepreneur and one person who understood is her husband. “I have a very supportive husband. I know I have a rare breed, because I have a lot of friends that do what I do and they’ve had to walk away because their husband just didn’t understand why they were gone so much,” Sabrina recalls. As her husband stands firm in his support, Sabrina has had to cut ties with other people who just could not understand how demanding her business can be.
Cutting ties with people and keeping a strong support system around her isn’t the only lesson she’s learned. She’s made a conscious effort to balance her time as a wife, mother and entrepreneur. “One lesson I learned is that you need to actually attempt to balance your life. A lot of times people have this thing like I have no balance. If it’s not work, I don’t care, then the self-care won’t happen. The balance won’t happen. The family time, the friend time and so forth won’t happen,” she explained. Sabrina’s life hack for self-care and life balance has been the use of her planner. She even writes down reminders to call her husband during the day just to check in with him. Sabrina broke down a typical day: “I literally write out every single day, the night before everything I need to do. From 12:00 to 4:00, I’m a wedding planner. Then from 4:00 to 6:00, I’m an editor-in-chief and then from, 6:00 until 9:00 I’m going to be the mommy and wife, which means I’m going to be cooking dinner, getting clothes ready for school and so forth.” Life happens and she understands that she won’t achieve every goal each day, but she finds that when she’s intentional with her time, her goals for the day seem to pan out.
One thing that has helped her manage the demands of her businesses has been her staff. Sabrina planned ahead for anticipated growth by hiring staff instead of searching for volunteers to help execute client events and by year five she had a team of eight. “I’ve pretty much consistently had the same team of eight people, because I knew early on that I was not going to want to do everything that I was doing in the early stages and that I needed to have people with me during the growing process so they can truly understand the workflow,” she shared. This early investment in staff helped her retain her employees and give them raises as the company acquired new clients and expanded their services. “You have to bring your team up when you go up to because they’ll start to feel unappreciated,” she explained. The faith she has in her team to produce while she works on other entrepreneurial endeavors lead her to create a digital and printed magazine, The Prevailing Woman in 2017.
Starting an online and printed magazine is risky business as the media landscape continues to change with subscriptions on a decline and click-bait headlines distracting readers from purposeful content, but Sabrina was confident in launching The Prevailing Woman. After not seeing much content featuring women at every stage in their lives and not just at the height of their success, Sabrina saw a void in coverage and wanted to change it. “We all know that the early stages of entrepreneurship are the absolute hardest because not a lot of people are paying attention to you, not a lot of people may or may not even believe in what you’re doing,” she explained. She wanted to bring women with all different backgrounds and at all levels of their career an opportunity to share their journey. Since her launch, she’s had Olympian Gabby Douglas on the cover of her printed issue as well as Sherri Shepherd and Soledad O’Brien.
Now Sabrina is taking her magazine and bringing it to life with the inaugural Prevailing Woman conference in Durham, North Carolina. “I wanted the opportunity for the women that have been featured in the publication to be able to come to the conference and directly that with the readers,” she shared. The conference will create a live discussion around some of the magazine’s content topics that will leave attendees with tangible information and make true contacts with other “prevailing women.”
As Sabrina prevailed with her transition into entrepreneurship, she’s taking her lessons and learned and offering a platform for other women to share their journeys to help inspire upcoming business and career women.