Celebrating New Beginnings with The Celebration Society

Today our company announced some big news regarding The Celebration Society over on the official Occasions Media Group site.  You can read it here.  I’ll wait.

Okay you’re back.

Yes!  You read that right, we’re growing, but we’re not doing it alone.  We’ve partnered with Nei-Turner Media Group out of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin to take the mission of The Celebration Society nationwide and I couldn’t be happier about the serendipitous sequence of events that led to this new arrangement.  So I thought, for our friends and family who’ve been following our business for the past 10 years, you’d like to hear a bit of the backstory of how this came to be and what it means for the future.

Here goes…

When God births a burden in your heart, lean into it.  – Andy Stanley.   I read this quote in my favorite book “Thirty One Days of Prayer for the Dreamer and Doer” and it has been burned on my memory every since.

If you read my previous post about Remembering Why I Started you may have sensed that my heart has changed a bit since becoming a mother.  It has.

The best way I can explain it is to quote Kristin Pidcock of the Limelight Theatre from her recent feature story in St. Augustine Social.   She said “You know that moment in The Wizard of Oz when the movie turns from black and white to Technicolor? Well, that’s what happened to my life when I had my kids. My life changed to technicolor.”

It did for mine too.  Before Asher, I had no idea what he would do to my schedule, but my heart was craving a way to replace relationships of convenience (mostly business related) with FAMILY.  And he has.  Now, my days of networking events, business meetings, and being glued to my computer at the office to gain the slightest popularity advantage over my competitor have been replaced with tickle sessions, cannon balls in the pool and seeing all of God’s glory in this earth through the eyes of a three year old.

Heather Vreeland and Andrew Vreeland

Okay, okay that’s very sappy – it’s not always rainbows and unicorns.  That dude makes me crazy most days, but he’s my crazy.  😉

Being a mother brings a whole new meaning to the term work-life balance that I wasn’t prepared for.  Not only do you balance working and being a mom, but add in being a loving wife too and I’m like… “can I get an assistant up in here?!!” Or a stunt double.  That would be helpful.

Managing it all – business, marriage and parenthood – made my new technicolor world a little dull though.  How could this happen?!!  2016 was a hard year for us while we adapted to working more and more together, managing the uncertainty of business and the multiple personalities of a 3 year old. By early 2017 we both knew we wanted to change our lifestyle.

After some serious soul searching, Andrew and I realized we’ve been chasing a goal, that doesn’t fit either of our personalities. The bigger we got, the more disorganized and out of control we felt… not to mention absent from Asher’s life.  And because we never stopped to identify the goal we were shooting for besides “paying our bills” we just kept selling more and growing more only to feel like we ended up with a net zero (mostly emotionally) in the end.  So we stopped and started asking ourselves what is the ultimate goal we’re after?  Turns out, we both just want to be financially secure and provide for our little Florida lives. And we want to be present in Asher’s life.  I cannot say this enough!  I’m not trying to buy jets here people.  Just juice boxes and maybe a new pair of jeans each season.  We don’t want to be media moguls, we just want to manage the media we have in the most efficient, simplest way possible and without unnecessary stress.   If the past three years have taught me anything besides how to raise another human being, I have learned that contrary to what I have been working towards for the past 10 years, I actually don’t want to manage a big staff.  I want to be a mom and the time I spend away from my family I want to be spent working alongside a small, trustworthy team of people who have common career goals and who look out for each other.

Heather Vreeland and Andrew Vreeland

That was a ground breaking discovery for us personally and one that we knew would limit where our products can grow from here.

We had to make a decision about what we would say “no” to so that we could say “yes” to a more balanced life.

So I asked for help.  I prayed long and hard about how I was feeling as a wife, mother and business owner and I knew I needed relief.  Over and over I asked God to unveil to me his plan for my life and his plan for our business.  And mostly, as those things started to become apparent to me, please let me heart be at peace with that plan.

And then one day I said to Andrew  “We should sell The Celebration Society.”  My baby. Our baby. The brand we invented from thin air.  At that moment, I knew that we alone could not lead the The Celebration Society anywhere beyond its current status.  It deserves more.

But something so much better happened.  Through a mutual industry connection and an extremely divine interaction, I met Nei-Turner Media Group.  I made an off-the-cuff remark to a vendor about finding a partner to help take The Celebration Society to the next level and that same day Barb Krause, the publisher at Nei- Turner Media Group mentioned to that same vendor that they were looking for new projects.

What are the chances?!!  

After an email introduction we immediately clicked and began devising a plan of partnership to satisfy both of our interests.  The long and short of it is: The Celebration Society won’t be run, grown, managed by just me and Andrew anymore.  Hallelujah!

The team at NTMG will manage the day-to-day transactions of accounting, bookkeeping, sales, and production and I will remain as creative director and strategizing with the team on growth strategies for new markets.  Together, we are taking The Celebration Society coast to coast!

Meet your main point of contacts at The Celebration Society.  From left to right – Dena Frisch, Advertising Sales Manager,  Barb Krause, Publisher and Heather Vreeland, Founder and Creative Director (that’s me!) Super, extra double bonus:  Nei-Turner Media group brings a team of 25 to the table so there are many more faces behind-the-scenes too!

dena frisch barb krause heather vreeland the celebration society

Not only are these gals experienced in the publishing world, they are quite the tour guides too. I had so much fun visiting Lake Geneva, WI.

The 2018 Annual Weddings Issue is already in the works.  The advertising deadline is November 10, 2017.  The editorial submissions deadline is September 15, 2017.  If you want to be featured, submit using your “My Events” dashboard on TheCelebrationSociety.com (we’ll be picking from published events there) or by using Two Bright Lights.

If you are a current advertiser of The Celebration Society, you will notice no interruption in service, other than more people serving you and a different address to mail your checks to. 😉

St. Augustine Social, our city magazine for St. Augustine will remain independent from this partnership and run by our Occasions Media Group team in St. Augustine.

Disregard my bandaid – I smashed my thumb in the car door on my first day in Wisconsin!!! ;-(

10 years ago this January, I decided I wanted to quit my job and start a business. And while being an entrepreneur does come with incredible perks, it does have an alternate effect of making a business owner feel very isolated, like living on a deserted island at times.

I’m happy to report that feeling has all been entirely replaced with peace and I know, this is truly what is meant to be.  I’m so excited to see where we take The Celebration Society from here!