Part Four of the Sunday Series is with Justina Michaels of Fitting Fêtes. Fitting Fêtes is a boutique business in planning and design that started in Paris and is based in New York City.
Justina began her career in the art world. She takes inspiration from her hometown of New York City to the streets of Paris and beyond. Every piece of architecture, fashion, and fine art is a chance to create a unique story for her clients and evolve as an artist.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business:
I am Justina Michaels, the owner of Fitting Fêtes. We are a wedding planning & design company based in New York City with clients over the country and spanning the globe. We specialize in full service, highly customized weddings for couples that want their event to feel warm and inviting. But also high touch and thoughtfully put together! I come from an art background which means I use those skills every day when putting together a client’s big day.
How has the COVID19 pandemic changed your life? How has it changed your business?
As someone in the events industry, it’s been surreal, to say the least. My team and I went from full steam planning to halting and reassessing. And then postponing. I’m happy to say that throughout the challenges of unknown conditions and disappointments, my couples have remained focused on protecting themselves and their loved ones. It’s been inspiring to witness.
How have you been able to adapt your business to the new “way of life?”
I’ve been able to adapt fairly well as I used to work from home frequently before I had an office space! That being said, as someone who loves running around the city from floral meetings to venue walk-throughs and table mockups – it’s incredibly odd to be at a desk for most of my day. I’m powering through with all the support I can offer everyone. As we know, circumstances change daily in NYC as well as in many other parts of the world.
Will you start doing business differently, once all of this is a distant memory?
I don’t think it’s a matter of doing business differently. We need to be listening to government guidelines and assisting clients in making decisions that are best for them. I’ve always been in their corner cheering for them and making sure they feel confident and excited. As their wedding day approaches, that will never change. We still care about each and every one of them and that will continue. My hope is is; anyone who is newly engaged or hesitant about planning a wedding right now will realize that weddings are a team effort. This is an important time to find the support you need to move forward with your plans. If it takes a few months or more than a year, we’re committed to the journey and your love story.
Have you felt your community rally around and support your business or similar businesses?
110%. The wedding community is truly amazing. I’m constantly humbled by the support a lot of small businesses are receiving right now. From past clients offering to write reviews to vendors reaching out to touch base and make sure my current clients have what they need; it’s been a daily reminder that anyone in “the business of love” truly understands that missing out on these moments is a big loss.
What are your biggest takeaways from dealing with COVID19 as a business owner? What about as a human in general?
As a business owner, it’s forced me to carve out time to think about new ways to address unforeseen challenges. I’m asking myself, “What I can do to improve what I already offer?” It’s a reminder that we’re all human! Even as a planner who typically has a Plan A, B, and C for all situations, Plan Z is not one you see coming. We’ve all had challenges we’ve had to face but it’s much harder to take them on alone. As a result, I’m so grateful to have other people that I can provide support to and care for. We all need to rely on each other even more than usual. Calling a friend to let them know you are thinking of them means so much more now. I am going to try not to ever take that for granted.
Where can our readers find you?
*The above images are supplied by the vendor, and not taken by Jenny Fu*