We had the good fortune of connecting with Amy Abernathy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amy, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
While Flourish Event Co. was established 3 years ago, it wasn’t until 2021 that we took this business full time. We’ve received some concern from friends and family as we’ve stepped into planning events full time during a global pandemic … but we both knew it was the right thing to do. As eternal optimists – you could say it’s a bit of a gamble … but the fact is, we never saw it like that. People are still celebrating and needing help with the details and we’re here for it! As Christ followers we believe that sometimes God calls us into seasons that don’t make sense on paper. By taking the risk to step into this business full time we’ve filled our calendar to the brim with exciting events and celebrations and to be honest, it’s more than we could have ever hoped our first full time year would look like. Taking risks means there is more on the line to lose, but there’s also so much freedom to gain. Over the last 3 years we’ve both worked numerous jobs and managed Flourish as a side hustle to raise funds for our future adoptions. When we decided to take the leap and take this side hustle full time we’ve been met with incredible support, opportunities and the joy of getting to do what we love full time. Our encouragment to others that may be deciding whether or not to take a big risk – take the time to see what brings you peace, recognize that it’s going to be hard work and go from there….
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I’ve always been a party planner… The first “real” event I ever coordinated was for my parent’s 20th Anniversary. They were scheduled to celebrate in Hawaii when we found out that my Mom had a tumor. I remember vividly sitting in the back of my Mom’s Jeep Cherokee as she broke the news to my brother and I. We rejoiced. Can you believe it? After years of doctors visits and inconclusive tests, they’d found the thing causing her pain. That winter, my parent’s plans to travel were quickly canceled and 10-year-old me devised a plan to bring Hawaii to Oregon in the middle of February. I’ll never forget my parent’s faces when they walked in the front door and were handed outrageous (and probably unnecessary) Hawaiian shirts to sport during their party. My parents still smile when they talk about the party – the borrowed posters from a travel agency, the coconuts and tropical fruit on the counter and Elvis singing in the background… Since that time, I’ve been a coordinator in every sense of the word and for a variety of organizations. In my college years, I started helping friends get married, then it quickly became friends of friends until finally, I was assisting couples I had no connection to. I decided to take a chance and open up Flourish Event Co. officially in 2018. With nothing but passion and joy, I began booking clients, coordinating dozens of weddings, parties and events and loving every minute of it, all while working other full-time jobs. In 2018 (just as I launched Flourish) my husband, Caleb and I quickly learned through a series of difficult symptoms and pain that I have Endometriosis, as well as some chronic issues that will make it very difficult to have children of our own. While we struggled with my diagnosis, we felt that it was confirmation to adopt (something we’d talked about from the very beginning of our relationship.) Almost immediately, we decided that all the funds we raise while coordinating events will go towards our future adoptions. We were eager to start 2020 and felt certain that it would be a year of flourishing- little did we know that Covid-19 would impact events in almost every capacity. Thankfully for us, couples eager to get married and ready to do whatever it took to make their day (small or large) come together found us… and in doing so, we found our niche. I’ve always believed there is reason to celebrate – even during life’s difficult seasons. Whether the diagnosis of a tumor, the inability to have children or a global pandemic, there is always cause to celebrate – and that’s what we do. We continue to raise funds for our adoptions with the hopes that in the next few years, we will be able to adopt siblings, but we’ve also taken this once “side hustle” full time because life is short and we were created to celebrate people!
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?
I would absolutely book a room with my besties at Kinship Landing (a new boutique hotel in downtown Colroado Springs.)
We’d eat dinner at Shuga’s (order a cup of their coconut shrimp soup and one of their incredible mint spritzer mocktails.)
We’d hangout in downtown Colorado Springs – visit Rocky Mountain Soap Market for some customized soap or lotion and of course we’d hit up Lady Fingers Letterpress for the best souveniers and gifts. After that we’d head to the mountains!
A few of my other favorites: Building Three Coffee + their oatmilk honey lattes + baristas are the kindest humans Red Rocks Open Space to get friends adjusted to higher altitude with a more lowkey hike. Urban Tandor for the best Indian food in the Springs. Monse’s Pupseria for the best Salvadorian food in the Springs. Josh & John’s for the best local ice cream (+ they have great sorbet if you’re dairy free like me!) Loyal Coffee for the best atmosphere + chill space to just catch up
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We’ve been encouraged by so many local vendors, venues, friends and family. It’s impossible to name them all. We are most grateful for the incredible bridal vendors in Colorado Springs who desire to build a community that supports one another. In many cases it’s truly an example of women supporting women – there’s nothing else like it!
Laura DiMirra Photography Elan Photographie Studio Sydney Rezner Photography Function and Flourish Photography