“A Woman to Watch” is an interview blog series focusing on women who are doing big things in their careers. Whether they run their own successful business or have a unique hobby, these women should be noticed for what they are working on. I suggest you start following them now so you can say you knew them before they “made it.”
I get tons of pitches for my blog, most of which are the equivalent of the poop emoji. So when I opened up my inbox and saw a friendly email from Jen Glantz, someone who I had already heard of for her work as a professional bridesmaid, I was thrilled. I had been reading about Jen quite a bit in the past year as her bridal-themed business got coverage on just about every news outlet.
When it comes to business owners (especially those who are a one-woman show and do their own PR and marketing), they typically fall into one of these categories: go-getters or pests. Jen falls into the former category.
Jen is the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire, a published author, a blogger, and a mentor for fellow aspiring women entrepreneurs in NYC. Best of all? She’s refreshing. She doesn’t promote herself in a way that feels smarmy, she has a great sense of humor, and she keeps it real. I get the feeling that if we met up in NYC (where we both work out of), we would get along swimmingly.
I caught up with Jen to talk about her business, her favorite books, and her advice for future entrepreneurs.
When did your passion for writing begin? Is it something you went to school for? What sparked you to start your blog, “The Things I Learned From?”
I’ve always loved writing but I started to use writing as my outlet to share what I was going through IRL in 2010, after graduating college. I moved back home with my parents, didn’t have a clue what to do with my life, and attempted to online date. I decided to start a blog to share those real, raw and difficult moments with the world.
How did the idea for Bridesmaid for Hire start?
I wondered if strangers of the world could use a bridesmaid for hire on their wedding day – to be their on-call therapist, personal assistant, social director and peacekeeper. I posted an ad on Craigslist offering my services to strangers and I received hundreds of emails from people all around the world who wanted to hire me. That’s why I started the business!
What are your top 3 tips for brides who are in the midst of planning their wedding?
- Stop spending money. Weddings are expensive and your vendors may be ripping you off. Be careful with how much you spend and see if you can find less expensive vendors.
- Don’t do what everyone else is doing. Wedding traditions are not mandatory. Cut out the traditions that don’t mean anything to you.
- If you don’t enjoy wedding planning, elope. Your stress levels will go down drastically.
What about your advice for bridesmaids and maids of honor?
Say no to things you can’t afford, don’t have time for and don’t want to do. You’ll be a better bridesmaid because of that.
What has been the most rewarding moment in your career so far?
I love the people I work for. The brides, their friends and families – it’s the best part of the job. I love getting to know people, especially people who are very different than I am. Helping people out during challenging times – which weddings are – is really why I adore the job.
What are your favorite wedding-related products?
You mention you’re an avid reader. What books have you been reading recently?
I just finished The Brooklyn Follies and fell in love with that book. I found the book at a bar. Instead of drinking and socializing, I sat in the corner and started the book – then took it home with me.
What advice would you give to fellow women who are looking to leave their 9-to-5 job and start their own business?
Start right now. Don’t listen to anyone when they tell you to give up. Aim for failures and cheers to your mistakes.