Andrea and Carmen of Rosewood Event Design standing in front of wedding florals and event decor at a Fraser Valley wedding

Andrea & Carmen from Rosewood Event Design

by

Christine Coughlin

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Ladies To Know

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Have you ever wondered if event planning is a good job option for moms? Andrea and Carmen of Rosewood Event Design share how they decided to take the plunge and follow their passions, how they decided to partner up, and how they managed to start a successful event planning business during a pandemic.

Prepare to be inspired by these talented ladies who are leaning into their natural zones of genius to design lives they love, all while prioritizing family and wellness. Who says you can’t have it all?

Meet the Ladies of Rosewood Event Designs

Andrea Kellin of Rosewood Event Design in the Fraser Valley
Andrea Kelln of Rosewood Event Design

How Old Are Your Kids?

Andrea: I have 2 boys, they are 7 and 10.

Carmen: I have a 5 year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl.

Before starting Rosewood Events Designs, you were a stay-at-home mom, working moms or hybrids?

Andrea: Before starting Rosewood Event Designs, I worked in Finance for 12 years.  I worked for a great company and worked with some really amazing people. 

Carmen: Before starting Rosewood Event Designs, I had worked as a full-time youth worker for ten years but had always done flowers or other art forms since my youth. Since having kids, I have been a hybrid mom working as a floral designer for various companies. I have a diploma in textile arts, a certificate in floral design and a certificate in wedding planning. 

Carmen Williamson of Rosewood Event Design Pitt Meadows
Carmen Williamson of Rosewood Event Design

How Did You Know?

What was your first inclining that event design would be your business?

Andrea: My whole life, I have always had a passion for making things look beautiful.  I love esthetics and the challenge of making anything look good.  After my second son, I wasn’t excited about going back to work.  I knew I needed a change, a new challenge in life. 

Organically design was something that came easy to me.  I knew I loved the design. I also had a lot of friends and family that were pushing me to get into interior design. But the thing that pulled me towards event design was the theatrical nature behind it.  I love drama in design. It’s just so much fun! 

Carmen: Design has always been a part of my life, but Andrea is responsible for my interest in event design. Over the years, I have learned to follow Andrea’s advice! She introduced me to my husband married us (yup! She did that! Albeit not officially, but we did ask her to perform our ceremony to “seal the deal”!). She also encouraged me to take my floral design skills seriously, which is how I got my floral design certificate. And she was the one that made the suggestion I focus on events and later go into business together. 

Andrea and Carmen of Rosewood Event Design standing in front of wedding florals and event decor at a Fraser Valley wedding
Andrea Kelln and Carmen Williamson of Rosewood Event Design

How long did it take to go from dreaming about starting an event planning company to starting Rosewood Event Design? How did you decide to become business partners?

Andrea: I was doing event design for three years, and Carmen was doing floral design for a few years before we decided to combine forces and work as a cohesive team to offer our clients an all-inclusive service.   When we decided to chat about working together, it took 1 hour tops!  Carmen and I have always had this unexplainable magnetism towards each other.  We are very different but yet so very similar.  We get each other.  She is the best partner to have!

Carmen: Yup! We had appies at the keg in Maple Ridge, and by the end of our glass of wine, we had decided to take the plunge together, came up with a name, and part of our business plan! Ok – maybe I nurse my wine, but that’s still really quick! 

Andrea and Carmen of Rosewood Event Design, wedding flowers, event florals, fraser valley, pitt meadows, maple ridge
Andrea and Carmen of Rosewood Event Design

What obstacles did you face when starting Rosewood Event Design?

Andrea: Well, COVID has made a slower start for us, being that we officially started Rosewood Event Design at the beginning of the pandemic.  But it has been a blessing for us at the same time.  We have had time to put our roots in the ground with procedures and contracts and get to know each other from a business sense. 

Carmen: Yes, covid has forced us to take it slow, but that’s been a blessing in disguise. We have had time to really think about how we want to pursue our business and work out the details. We have had more time to invest in our website, social media, systems and policies.  And it’s given us permission to take things slowly and have an excuse to rely on when business is slow. 

Andrea Kelln and Carmen Williamson of Rosewood Event Design standing in front of wedding decor at a Fraser Valley wedding
Carmen Williamson and Andrea Kelln of Rosewood Event Design

What advice would you give someone thinking about starting a business with a partner?

Andrea: Communication is key!  You need to communicate your feelings and also be respectful of their opinions.  It is really like a marriage. You both have to be giving 51% effort to make it work.

Carmen: Let go of the little details. You’ll disagree on so much, so get used to letting go of the small stuff – ultimately, it’s the big picture that matters, and you wouldn’t be partners if you didn’t agree on the big stuff. And just because your partner has a different idea, it doesn’t mean it won’t work.

Andrea Kelln of Rosewood Event Design setting up decor at a Fraser Valley Wedding
Andrea Kelln of Rosewood Event Design, decorating a Fraser Valley Wedding

Success and Boundaries

What does success mean to you?

Andrea: You know, honestly, it means so many different things to me.  I see success in many aspects.  I feel successful when my children are polite to someone. I feel successful when our baby lambs are born every year, and I feel successful when I have put a smile on someone’s face.  I see success when I set goals, and I achieve them.  That makes me feel successful.

Carmen: Ditto! In terms of business, we get much more excited about a positive review than we do about the financial aspects of the business when a client is moved to reach out to us with feedback that fills us with satisfaction! 

How do you protect your wellness and mental health?

Andrea: I believe balance is essential.  I think taking time for yourself is also really important to clear your head.

Carmen: Setting aside time to focus on one thing at a time, whether it’s Rosewood, the kids, or other interests.

Andrea and I are really good at telling each other to take a break or focus on what needs to get done in our personal lives… but we’re not so good at taking each other’s advice!   

Andrea Kelln and Carmen Williamson standing amongst the high tea baby shower decor and florals they designed for a special event in the fraser valley
Andrea Kelln and Carmen Williamson of Rosewood Event Design- High Tea Baby Shower Garden Party

The Modern Day Village

Who is part of your “village”? Do you have any support/staff that help you run your life or business?

Andrea: I am very fortunate to have lots of family around me to support us at any moment.  Also, my husband is always very supportive of me and my crazy ideas and adventures.  He is always by my side every step of the way.

Carmen: My folks are my biggest supports, my kids are my biggest fans, and my girlfriends are my biggest source of wellness.

Carmen Williamson and Andrea Kelln of Rosewood Event Design smiling at the camera

Women Supporting Women

What would you tell other women who are searching for their next chapter?

Andrea: Do something you love, we only one life to live on this earth so enjoy it.

Carmen: It’s hard for me to commit to a path because I’m always overthinking and overanalyzing, making it difficult to hear what my heart or gut is saying. So my advice is to take the first step, do step #1, then stop and see how that feels. Then take step #2, if it still feels right? Ok, then step #3…

Is Event Planning a Good Side Hustle for Moms?

Andrea: It is flexible; however, there are some barriers.   During the off-season, when you are doing office work, the hours are flexible, but during the event season, we need 2-4 consecutive days of childcare, depending on the size of the event.  And we find that vacation time in the summer is lacking.

 

Words to Live By

Finish this sentence, My life motto is…

Andrea: …to do the right thing and try your hardest.  If you always do both, you should have no regrets.

Carmen: …this day too shall pass. When times are challenging, remember it’s just temporary. When times are good, enjoy them because, yup, they’re temporary too.

To see more of Andrea and Carmen’s work in action check out the Rosewood Event Design website here.


You may also enjoy this interview with Kim McMullen of Girl In The Wild. She’s another inspiring lady who has stood up to self-doubt and is creating a life of service, fulfillment and adventure.

If you are a woman who has found her passion and would like to share your story, please email me at Christine@the-inbetween.ca to be featured.


Christine Coughlin blogger and writer
Christine Coughlin
@IAmChristineCoughiln

About the Author

Christine lives on the West Coast of Canada with her husband, their three kids and approximately one million plant babies.

She is in the exploratory “In-Between” phase of rediscovering herself after being a stay-at-home mom for the last decade. She loves all adventures on the water or in the forest and connecting with other open-hearted, lifelong learners.

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