Vendor spotlight: The Shabby Chic Sisters
I am so excited to spotlight my dear friend Valerie from The Shabby Chic Sisters. I’ve had the pleasure to work with her on more than one occasion. If you are looking for wedding reception decorations or furniture in the greater Salt Lake City area be sure to check her out. She is so professional and the right furniture and props can really enhance the look of your wedding reception. She has lots of items that can jazz up your reception venue. Here is my interview with her and some photos of some of Valerie’s items that I had the pleasure of photographing.
Business: The Shabby Chic Sisters
Genre: Wedding Rentals
Location: South Jordan, Utah
Can you tell me a little about your business and what makes you unique? The Shabby Chic Sisters is a vintage, rustic and shabby chic rental company specializing in renting unique antique furniture and accessories.
I’d love to know a little more about you and what inspired you to start The Shabby Chic Sisters. I’m Valerie Pickard, the owner of The Shabby Chic Sisters. I grew up in Iowa with many fond memories of my grandparents and other family members that had a great love of antiques and everything old. My five amazing sisters helped me start my business by donating many antiques they had collected over the years. “The Shabby Chic Sisters” name has special meaning as they all came together to support my new adventure!
How do brides find you?: Many brides find me through word of mouth, Facebook wedding sites and online advertisements.
What’s your favorite part about being in the wedding industry? I love being in the wedding industry because I feel I have wonderful options to offer brides on a budget.
Why did you decide to do a wedding rental business? After my oldest daughter’s wedding, some friends wanted to rent some decor for their daughter’s weddings. So I jumped in my truck and drove to Iowa and collected many antiques from family members and antique stores to start my new adventure.
What are the benefits of hiring a professional to supply and deliver your furniture versus doing it yourself? You will have much more time and less stress on your wedding day if you aren’t worried about gathering items from lots of places. Also you won’t be making your family members transport all of your wedding reception furniture and decor items to the venue the day of.
How far in advance should a bride book/inquire about your services and why? It’s usually best to book as soon as you can if you know your date. Sometimes we book several months in advance and it is first come, first serve. We often have many last minute bookings but it seems that there’s enough to go around. Many times we book 4-6 weddings or events a weekend. I highly suggest booking early so you can have first choice of what you want.
What is the first question brides usually ask when inquiring about your services? They usually want to know if I have their wedding/event date available and when they can come see everything. I encourage the clients to come in for a consultation even if I have one or more weddings booked for that day because they still usually find great items to rent for their wedding/event. I’m very flexible with my schedule for consultations so I set appointments in the day or evening to cater to the client’s schedules.
What is a consultation/first meeting typically like? Who/what do you recommend they bring? I recommend bringing the bride, mother, wedding planner or whoever is helping with the decorations. We’ve had many clients Facetime the mother, bride, sister or wedding planner to show them our inventory right on the spot so we can all discuss different ideas. My business is out of my home so I usually invite them into our office area and have them fill out some contact info and we discuss what they are looking for. Then I show them around and take them to our three car garage area where we have most of our inventory. It’s all organized with shelving so that the clients can easily see what we have to offer.
What are some things that brides don’t typically expect to happen during a consult/meeting? I don’t think that brides expect it to take as long as it does to pick out decor. The consultations usually last about an hour or longer. Usually the brides are so excited to see our inventory and they want everything! It’s really important to bring a sketch or pictures of the layout of the venue so they can stay focused on what they really need like a sign in table, food tables, seating areas, gift table, etc. I help them with ideas using our inventory so they can visualize what it can look like.
How long is the rental for? The rental is usually for the day of your event. We deliver the morning of and pick up the night of. If it is at a personal residence then we can make arrangements to drop off the day before but we usually come to pick up the night of.
Do people have to use the delivery service or can they pick up and bring back the items? You can opt to pick up and bring back if it is in an enclosed vehicle/trailer and the items secured and protected properly so they don’t get damaged.
How can someone reserve the items/date? We require a non refundable 50% down payment which reserves the items for the date that you want. That means that we do not book the same items for other weddings or events on the same day. They are yours for the day.
If applicable, what is your favorite package/product/service and why do you recommend it the most? My favorite package that we offer right now is our new Farmhouse Table Package. We offer 10 (4 ft x 8 ft) Farmhouse Tables, 2 (3 ft x 6 ft) Farmhouse Tables, 1 (2 ft x 4 ft) Farmhouse Table, our new Donut/Dessert Wall, 3 Furniture (including the upholstered furniture!) plus 12 accessories for only $800. Most of the brides save between 25 – 30% off with this package depending on the items they choose. Brides want a simple wood and greenery look this year and with this package they can cover all of that and more.
Describe your dream bride/client: My dream bride is someone that knows what she wants and is excited to look at what we have to offer.
What are some fun secrets about your industry? I love my wedding rental business because with old vintage, shabby chic and rustic items it’s okay if there are imperfections because it just adds to the character of the item.
What do you wish photographers and other professionals knew about your industry? I would love photographers and others to know that we also rent our items for photo shoots, family shoots, senior pictures, quinceaneras, etc. Pretty much for any event. We have seen a huge increase with that part of our business. We don’t just rent to brides for the wedding day but we rent for their bridals and all other events.
What makes you stand out from your competitors, are all vendors in the wedding rental industry equal? I feel that our clients are very satisfied with our selection of inventory and the prices are amazing compared to other companies doing the same thing. We have been told over and over again that we are very easy to work with, have a great selection of inventory and have great prices. All of the local rental companies have great things to offer. I often refer other rental companies to my clients if I don’t have what they’re looking for. I feel that it is really important to support other small businesses and help each other as we grow. I still take pride in the satisfaction of our clients and love to see how creative they are with my inventory.
Event styling: Alexis Nicole Events
Wedding cake: Cakes By Elise