We had the good fortune of connecting with Allison Keasal and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Allison, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
For my wedding planning business, I was stuck in a job where I was so unhappy. I wasn’t able to enjoy the location I lived, my hobbies, or in general life because I was working all the time year-round in the event industry for a ski resort. I had to take a really hard look at my life & decide what my next step was. Sometimes things just don’t seem to fit in life & for me, working for someone else was one of those times. I could never figure out why I was so disappointed in my employment until I finally started working for myself & it all clicked. I was meant to be running a business, making decisions, building a team & having a much larger stake in the work I was doing.

When it comes to my photography business, it was a year of COVID & my other business had completely halted for the near future. I was. missing the ability to create & also wanted to pivot a bit for the year to keep cash flow running. I had always been photographing but took this time to really dive into the nitty-gritty & start to learn the ins & outs. Before I knew it I was charging for my photographs & I fell in love with the art.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I own a photography business that focuses on fine art photography & I also own a wedding planning business that focuses on high-end, adventurous weddings in Tahoe. My approach to each business is to take my clients’ stories & authentically represent them whether that is through images or creating an event that incorporates special details that represent their life together. I think one of the main things that sets me apart from others in my industry is my drive & willingness to learn so many different parts of the industry. I have managed venues, catering staff, now photography & wedding planning. It really gives me a full picture of everything that goes into executing each small piece of a big day.

I am always up for a challenge & never turn away from a new opportunity. This has really helped me to get to where I am today because it has shown me that with hard work & the drive to say “yes” I can really overcome many obstacles in my life to be successful. It hasn’t always been easy & a part of being an entrepreneur is navigating the ins & outs of truly running a business including the not so fun stuff like accounting, taxes & human resources but I have tried my hardest to look at it as a cornerstone to running a successful business.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned through being a serial entrepreneur is realizing when you are out of your lane & allowing people who are more specialized in those areas to step in or hiring people to handle tasks that aren’t your strong suit (hello bookkeeping).

If there is one thing I want the world to know about my story & brand it is that with perseverance, kindness & compassion you can truly achieve greatness. There is enough success to go around so spend more time lifting up your fellow entrepreneurs, colleagues & community members rather than competing with them.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One of the neat things about Tahoe/Truckee is there is an endless number of activities to do as long as you are down to try them out. To start out the week we would start with some low key activities to warm up to all the adventure that is about to ensure. One morning we would start with an early morning SUP session on Donner Lake when its complete glass out to catch the sunrise & after we would visit my favorite local coffee shop, Drink Coffee Do Stuff. We would spend a couple days exploring some of the most epic mountain bike trails & then dine at some of my favorite restuarants like Pianeta’s & Truckee Tavern. Another morning we would head out to Pyramid Lake to catch some of the world famous Lahontan Cutthroat Trout while kayak fishing & then finish the night out with a bonfire & camping on the shores. To finsih out the week we would hit up one of my favorite hikes to overlook Lake Tahoe & possibly pop a bottle of bubbly to celebrate the time we’ve gotten to spend together.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have a few people who were instrumental in my big step of running my own business. First is my husband George. When life was tough, he stuck by me & when I first started talking about quitting my full-time job he really helped me crunch the numbers to see if it was feasible. He gave the affirmation that I was ready to do this & without that, I am not sure if I would’ve been confident enough to make the leap.

My team! Without the girls that have bent over backwards to make my events happen this wouldn’t be possible. Especially in this COVID rebound year for weddings. There is no night too late or task too small. They are there WHENEVER I call.

My good friend Corey Fox. When I was first starting photography he reached out & offered to give me guidance. He is my own personal hype man & encouraged me to start charging for my photography which has taken off. I can’t thank him enough for his friendship, guidance & wisdom. It is pretty amazing when you are able to find people in the same industries as you to support you, vent to, bounce ideas off of & simply just be a community.

Website: https://farrphotography.pic-time.com/portfolio and https://forgetmeknotevents.com/

Instagram: @farr.photo.co & @forgetmeknotevents

Other: Farr.photo.co@gmail.com hello@forgetmeknotevents.com

Image Credits
Some photos by Kay Kroshus

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.