From friends to sisters-in-law to business owners, Graciel Rubio-Diaz and Carmen Gerardo-Rubio of Sweet Inspirations Events have quite an interesting story to tell. The event planners channel the energy of their Latino community to create magical and beautiful weddings and parties. Despite the stress of motherhood and nine-to-five jobs, the two Latinas have managed to grow their small business and become two shining stars in their Queens, New York community.
We chatted with Carmen Gerardo-Rubio about the challenges (and rewards!) of owning a small business, the power of the Latino community, and what comes next.
Tell us about a day in your life as the owner of Sweet Inspirations Events:
We both have full-times jobs, but we make it work. Event planning is mostly a weekend job, so we work Saturday and Sunday and sometimes on Friday. We have had the honor doing corporate events after hours, as well. We have a major support group: our family, our mom, our sisters, our brothers. They make our business a possibility. Anything that we need -- they help us out.
We are super busy. Planning an event is not just a "day of" event. Doing a wedding takes months and months of planning, meeting with the bride and groom, checking out the venue, and making sure everything is appropriate.
We have our hands in a lot of different things. In the upcoming weeks, we have two weddings back-to-back. Grace and I feed off of each other. When she's busy, I'm there helping her. If there's a time that she needs to have off, then I'll have our family chip in. Whatever else we need, we usually work on together. We just work better that way. We've been a team for a long time, and we work together and we get along so well. If I didn't have Grace, I would be overwhelmed with the amount of parties coming in.
How big a role does your family play in your business?
A huge role! It wouldn't be possible for us without them. We're committed to our family. When we were starting out, no one would extend a hand. No one would tell us what we were doing wrong. Look back, we've grown so much. All of that has been possible because of our family. My my mom and mother-in-law babysit our kids. Had we not had the Latino sense of community, we wouldn't have been able to build this business.
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