Sage Wedding Pros empower event business owners to build stronger, smarter, and more profitable businesses so that they can have the life they want. Led by Michelle Loretta since 2009, Sage provides event business coaching, financial strategy, and an arsenal of courses and tools for entrepreneurs who want a more robust strategy, full of intention and purpose.
Michelle Loretta is a strategist for the wedding industry and creator of Sage Wedding Pros, founded in 2009. She blends her past as an accountant for Deloitte, a sales and marketing manager for DDLA, a merchandiser for Coach, and a wedding stationery entrepreneur to help entrepreneurs better their businesses.
Sage Wedding Pros produces Be Sage Conference, a master-level event for wedding professionals nationwide. Michelle has been asked to speak at a number of industry conferences, including Wedding Wire World, NACE Experience, and The Special Event. She was named to the TOP 1000 Event Professionals by BizBash in 2019.
What are 2 trends in the event planning industry that you’re excited about?
I love how technology is being integrated into events to give guests a very unique experience!
With conferences, producers are moving towards loving on their attendees with more surprise and delight, and stronger touchpoints.
What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?
We are expanding our courses offered to event business owners in 2020 and working on rebranding under the Be Sage Consulting name. Our business conference for event professionals, Be Sage Conference, has become such a mark for what we do. And, more and more we are branching away from only working with wedding professionals to service all event professionals. Our new name is a great fit for the brand we have grown into over the last 11 years.
What inspired you to launch your own company in the event industry? How long did it take from initially having the idea to setting up and starting to attract a client base?
In 2009, not many people were talking about the ‘business side of events’. I took my expertise in financial strategy and marketing development and started teaching people how to apply those lessons to their own small event businesses. We were the first consultant to talk about the importance of a business plan. And, our popularity grew quickly within that first year.
I’m still one of the few (if not only) consultants to specialize in financial strategy in the industry. That makes me very unique to guide my clients in developing a very well-rounded business.
What are some things you wished you knew before starting your businesses?
With my first business, a wedding stationery company that I founded in 2004, I wish that I had been smarter with some of my marketing decisions. There are things that you test when you first try out that can be very costly.
I also wish I’d been smarter with my maternity leave in that business. I think when we are young business owners we think that taking a few months out will ruin our reputation. The reality is that people really respect someone who can step away for a while and come back to the business. Those first initial months of being a new mom were rough trying to be good at everything – and failing miserably. I always tell new moms to take the time off – their business will be there when they return!