Have you ever thought of doing something that feeds your soul, allowing you to live the life you’ve always dreamed of?
The owners of Aster Weddings and Events sought to create that kind of ideal lifestyle for themselves when they started to build their small business.
Shannon Pratten dreamed of working with brides and their families during what she recalls as “the happiest time of her life.” Jessica Nagy wanted to give couples the opportunity to create a personalized outdoor experience for a day that they would always cherish.
Together, sisters Shannon Pratten and Jessica Nagy knew that they had to make their business showcase the beauty that Skaneateles and the surrounding areas had to offer.
With the support of Richard Pratten and Steven Nagy, (their husbands, business partners, and carpenters) the sisters started to plan the overall look of their event space. But, they soon hit a roadblock. Although Shannon and Jessica had dedication and vision, they needed funding to get their small business off the ground.
In September of 2017, they turned to the Onondaga SBDC (Small Business Development Center) for assistance. While working with Business Advisor Keyona Kelly, they were able to create a business plan that clearly defined their business’s vision. From there they created an action plan with specific strategies, market research, statistics, and financial projections. With their plan in place, Shannon and Jessica finally started to see that their day-dreams were going to become a profitable reality.
Aster is appropriately named after a wildflower that blooms in late-summer and early-fall, as their first wedding in the space was held in September 2018. And business keeps booming and blooming. They are completely booked for the upcoming season, now booking into 2021, which proves to be a 400% growth rate.
This venue is situated on 3.7 acres of land just 4 miles outside of Skaneateles Village. They take pride in supporting the Skaneateles community as a small, family owned business. While they currently have no employees, many local vendors have profited from collaborating with their unique event location.
At Aster Weddings and Events, clients have the freedom to choose their own vendors and create the event that they have always dreamed of. Aster is a blank slate. Whether they want simple elegance, natural garden, artsy bohemian, or sheik rustic, Aster is the space for any event. Shannon, Jessica, Richard and Steven work just as hard to make their client’s dreams come true as they did for their own. After all, they are in the business of creating memories that last a lifetime.
Article published in the BJNN on September 2, 2019
Keyona Kelly is a NYS Certified Business Advisor at the Small Business Development Center located at Onondaga Community College. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org