Each week we will be sharing a look into our amazing WPIC instructors’ lives, so you can get to know them better.
This week we are introducing WPIC Instructor, Janis Martinello of Brocade Events.
Janis is the owner and Principal Event Planner for the wedding and special event planning company Brocade Events which has been making moments happen since 2010.
In addition to holding certifications in wedding planning and destination wedding planning, Janis also has a diploma in Business Management from SAIT Polytechnic and has experience as a Manager in the corporate sector. She also works with The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada as a course instructor for the Toronto area WPIC Certification classes where she contributes to creating a more professional wedding industry.
Janis stays up to date on wedding trends, and continues to expand her knowledge and expertise by attending seminars, conferences, training courses, and networking with wedding and event industry experts,
She operates Brocade Events on a full-time basis, and not as a hobby business or side project.
She is a busy Mom, cappuccino addict, and wine lover who will never say no to a charcuterie board. She loves to stay active and can be found at the gym rocking a TRX, HIIT, Anti-Gravity or Spin class.
Above all else, she loves people! The best part of her job is helping her couples feel at ease and confident no matter the circumstances, their wackadoo family members, or whatever else that may be going on behind the scenes at their wedding or in their lives. Her clients love her for her humour, professionalism, and just enough whimsy and realism to make their events memorable.
She has had her work featured in Elegant Weddings, Today’s Bride, Weddingbells and The Wedding Ring magazines, as well as many online features. She has been interviewed for articles by The Huffington Post, Toronto Star, and Wedding Trends Magazine. She has been named as one of the Best Wedding Planners in Toronto and GTA for 2020 by BestForBride.com
How long have you worked at WPIC inc?
I have worked with WPIC since 2015. I started out as a Regional Representative Manager, and am currently an instructor for the Toronto Area WPIC certification course. I love that I get to contribute to creating a more professional wedding industry!
Tell us a funny story about one of your weddings
One of the funniest stories from one of my weddings is when a chipmunk got into the reception tent. It hopped up on the cake table and started picking away at the bottom tier of the wedding cake. We moved the cake table and turned the cake around so no one would see the hole. Once the cake topper was flipped, no one could tell that anything was ever wrong. The couple only found out about it 3 years later when I shared the story on Instagram, and they thought it was hilarious.
Tell us about a difficult situation at a wedding that you overcame
There was one wedding where a group of guests at a table were doing (a lot of) drugs in the bathroom at the reception. The situation escalated quickly when one of those guests started acting aggressively
when approached about it, and the venue threatening to shut the whole wedding down. I worked with the MC to pull the groom out of the dinner without the guests knowing that anything was going on so we could let him know that his friends were putting his wedding in jeopardy. I talked the venue coordinator down a little, while the groom sent his largest and most intimidating groomsman to straighten out that table. Funny enough, the aggressive guy showed up as a guest to another wedding I worked that summer. He was wearing the same shirt and everything, so he knew that I knew who he was, and wasn’t about to let anything go down that night.
What do you wish that you did differently when starting out?
I spent a lot of time and money on things that I thought were important, but didn’t really speak directly to my ideal clients, or connect me with my ideal professional network. Looking back, I would have created a much more precise marketing plan, and not let myself get distracted by what other people were doing.
What were you planning to do as a career before getting into the wedding industry?
My childhood plan was to become a Psychologist. Before starting my business, I was working as a manager in the corporate sector, and was working towards becoming a police officer at one point.
How did you get into the wedding industry?
This is kind of a two part answer:
In college, I ended up taking an entrepreneurship course only because it looked like the easier of the two option courses listed for that semester LOL. Prior to taking that course, it had never occurred to me that I could own my own business, but I LOVED the idea of working on my own terms and not having a boss ever again! I knew then that entrepreneurship was the path for me, but had no idea what that business would actually be.
Years later, as I was planning my own wedding, a lot of my vendors commented on how organized I was, and how I was doing more for them than many professional planners they had worked with. I thought there might be a void in the industry that I could fill, and began looking into wedding planning as possible business. The more people I connected with in the industry, the more sure I became that I had found my path.
Two weeks after my wedding, I took the WPIC course, put together a business plan, and then opened Brocade Events.
Advice for those just starting out
Spend some time planning out your business model, pricing, and end goals to ensure that every dollar you spend, or decision you make, is in line with your goals.
Find a business mentor who can guide and advise you.
Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses, and start working on your weak points. No one is amazing at everything that goes into running a business, so plan for your own development and outsourcing needs.
Best business tip
Align yourself with a network of people who reflect your values, goals, style, and personality. You want a supportive group of amazing “friendors” around you. These are the people who will inspire you, and give you honest feedback. They will refer clients to you because they love working with you, and you make each other look good. They are the ones who will help you out of a jam (I had someone drive chair covers to my house at 10:00 pm on a Friday night because the church that my couple was marrying in the next morning had ugly chairs and no covers). They will work with you on creative projects like styled shoots, and be your cheerleaders as your business grows. As the saying goes “You are the company you keep”, so always be mindful of that.