Heather Balliet is the founder of Amorology in San Diego, California. Inspired to tell the love stories of each of the couples she works with, she and her team do so in their own special way. Heather is a working mom of four (that deserves an applause!) and is building a future that is exciting and full of amore. We sat down with her to hear her story.
What was your path to becoming a wedding planner? How did you first get interested in the wedding industry?
I grew up with a mother who worked in interior design and who had a love for beautiful things. She nurtured those interests in me as well and from a young age I learned to have a passion for creating and planning parties. Whether it was a Halloween haunted house in our garage or a themed birthday party, I loved it all at an early age.
But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that it was something I could make a career of! I really feel that this career chose me. After planning my own wedding, guests that had attended began approaching me and asking if they could hire me to help with their weddings. Word quickly began to spread and what started out as a favor quickly grew into a career that has blessed our family greatly for the last 12 years!
What is the Amorology signature?
We are a detail driven design and coordination company and love creating personalized weddings that tell a story. We work hard to weave each of our couples’ stories with elements of romance and often a touch of playful! We’re most often known for our backdrops and escort displays that we dream up. We love art installations and focal points that set the tone for our events.
With so many weddings underneath your belt, you’ve seen trends come and go. What do you think 2016 will bring?
We have so much fun up our sleeves for 2016! We are definitely seeing brides turn away from busy DIY design to a clean and streamlined look—we are loving it!
Your background is in counseling. How has that helped you to build Amorology?
Counseling is all about relationships and listening. The work I do now is such a crossover from my past since I work so closely with each one of my clients and their families. It’s still about building relationships. Transitioning from counseling to wedding planning hasn’t changed how I work with people, it has only changed when I work with families. I love that we’re on the happier end of relationships and families forming.
What’s the one thing you miss about your old job?
Normal hours! Sometimes I miss that 9 to 5. As much as I try to balance things by taking Sundays and Mondays off, I’m never completely turned of! I’m often chatting with brides and dreaming up ideas until the wee hours of the morning.
Your other job is being mom to four “little crazies” as you put it. How does your role as mom influence your business process or priorities?
I love my job but my kids are always my first priority! I choose to work out of my home so that I can still be involved in their day and tie their shoes when they need me to. Lucky for me I have a wonderful, supportive husband and team who take the reigns when my emails get overwhelming!
What do you hope to instill in your children by being an entrepreneur?
Something I hope my little ones will learn is the value of hard work and doing what you love. While I definitely take the time to be with my family, I clock a lot of time in the office which happens to also be our home. Oftentimes being an entrepreneur means never being able to leave work at the door. Our oldest boy, Finn, already has big plans to be an entrepreneur. We love getting our kids involved in the process and they are the best helpers when we need extra hands!
We’ve heard that you have a fabulous team! What do you look for when bringing people onto your team?
We so do!! I feel so blessed to call them mine! Something I look for in new team members is someone who is as excited about weddings as we are and has creative vision with attention to detail. Everyone on our team are professional and well written, but also fun. It is also important that they fit within our culture here at Amorology, have a similar design aesthetic and don’t mind little people often crawling on to their laps in the middle of the work day!
What do you feel is the key to successfully managing a team of assistant planners, designers, and interns?
Aisle Planner! It’s the ultimate to do list! We can’t say enough good things about how Aisle Planner has helped to shape the way we do business. We often feel like it was customized just for us!!
I can only imagine that you have some amazing goals for Amorology! How do you organize your days and collaborate with your team so that you can keep making progress towards achieving them?
Working with a large team (with some being across the ocean!) we have to stay very organized in the Amorology office. We love being able to so easily collaborate with all of our vendors as well as our clients from one main location. I think we can all agree that one of the best feelings in the world is when you get to cross off several tasks on a client’s to do list on Aisle Planner! We’re constantly adding to and checking off what’s next for our clients and that keeps us on task! It’s also no secret that the days we have chocolate in the office are 100% more productive.
As you continue to create unique and defining events for each of your couples, what are you most excited about for the future?
There is so much to be excited about! We are expanding into different locations this year and are very excited to start our new venture in Italy and France! We can’t wait to show you what we’ll create for our clients across the pond. We also have recently opened up our backdrops and installations to other planners through the new company my husband has created—Back Up Backdrops—which has been keeping him quite busy these days! We love being able to share him and his amazing talents with our fellow wedding planners!
See more beautiful wedding stories from Heather at amorology.com