We had the good fortune of connecting with Mackenzie Smith-Wuest and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mackenzie, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor behind my success, is the belief I had in myself that I could succeed. To be scared but to do it anyways. To recognize your worth and talent! I know this sounds silly, even trivial, but it’s truly been the most important factor. And don’t get me wrong, I struggled with this, especially in my first year, but I made a commitment to myself and I stuck to it! A support system is also very important, but at the end of the day the person that will have unlimited access to you, is yourself. Your inner monologue needs to be on point and ready to build yourself up at a moment’s notice! I knew from an early age that your typical 9am-5pm office/desk job wasn’t going to make me happy. After graduating college and not finding exactly what I was looking for in terms of my ideal job, I decided to create my own. Seeing it in writing, it sounds easy, but it was definitely challenging. I had two kids under four who required a lot of attention, my husband worked away from the home and I had zero connections in the industry I was trying to break into. I ended up reaching out to a photographer who had taken family photos for us. I knew she was getting into weddings more and more and wanted to know if she’d like to put together a styled shoot to help us both gain content, expand our client reach and give us a chance to show off our style and further build our brands. We quickly became fast industry and personal friends. Two years later, I have three businesses. Fable style + design – my elopement and wedding planning company, Fable custom designs + rentals – event rentals, specializing in arches and custom requests, and The Vow Creative – content days (carefully curated styled shoots local and worldwide) for photographers. The biggest lesson I’ve learned, which seems like a recurring theme in all of my responses, is assertiveness. I had to believe I could do it, believe I had something worth investing in, for myself and others. I want the generations that follow, or even just my peers to know, that even when it seems impossible, there is always a way. Don’t be afraid to reach out, to ask for guidance and to market yourself. You are most definitely worthy of anything you dream and it is your responsibility to see that through. Chase that dream! Ultimately, it comes down to being your own advocate and cheerleader! When it comes to the success of the brand, Fable style + design, investing in good content and continually educating yourself within your field is essential. Put in the long hours, spend the money and surround yourself with like minded people!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I have three businesses that I’ve founded/co-founded since starting this journey. We have Fable style + design, which is an elopement and wedding planning company that specializes in styling and designing the perfect day for our couples. Covid has changed the way that couples are marrying; Fable was ready for this, since we primarily plan and design fully styled and coordinated elopements. All of these styled elopements quickly lead to co-founding Fable custom designs + rentals – event rentals, specializing in arches and custom requests with my husband, Ryan Wuest and our business partner Travis Mino. Third but not at all least is The Vow Creative – content days, which are carefully curated styled photoshoots hosted locally and worldwide, for photographers looking to enhance and grow their portfolios and connect with industry peers.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Though I love our cities, I would probably start by immediately getting them into the mountains! I’d make a quick stop at the Taco Stop in Fort Collins, seriously the BEST Mexican food ever! They have the most delicious queso that I could live off of forever! Next we’d head for the mountains. I may be a bit bias because I grew up just a few miles down the road, but Estes has a bit of everything for everyone. You get your small mountain town vibe without being too terribly far from the bigger cities. One of my family’s favorite things to do is take a day and head to Estes to hangout and watch the elk, grab a caramel apple and taffy along main street and drive around Rock Mountain National Park looking for new trails to explore. Another amazing place to visit and well worth the drive is Telluride. I just styled the most epic adventure elopement there, and it is not to be missed. It has the most amazing mountain range that truly resembles the Swiss Alps. Aspen and Steamboat are also high on my list of mountain towns that I adore as well.
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 to thank my husband, my mother and my friend Kayla. They have always, without fail, supported me. It is a generosity I will never forget.
Snow picture – Foxtog, Dylan Fox All other pictures – Devoted + Wild, Kayla Dempsey