Meet Jennifer Reilly Kelmer, our very first Boss Babe Club interviewee and first Boss Babe Wednesday feature. The first time I met Jennifer Reilly Kelmer was three years ago at an open house I was hosting on behalf of a venue I was Manager of called CL Space. She was wearing a colorful jumpsuit and was the Creative Director of a local stationary company at the time. I’m so grateful to have met her, because she’s added so much creativity and community to my life by introducing me to The Rising Tide Society and the opportunity to be an assistant coordinator with her wedding planning & design business, Oh Hello Events. I’m convinced my life would look quite different had I not met Jennifer, and I know for certain that Boss Babe Club would be a different place as well considering she and Antoinette Jonas of The Weekend Creative designed our logo & branding. Jennifer is incredibly kind, funny, and talented. She’s also super stylish and has great taste in music. I’m so excited to share her video & interview with you. Enjoy her words & humor!
Tell us about yourself and what you do!
My name is Jennifer and I am the founder & principal planner of Oh Hello Events. I plan and design thoughtful, colorful, and FUN weddings for creative couples in the Tampa Bay area! I am also a graphic designer and I freelance design for other small business owners.
How did your business begin?
I began my career working for a social stationery company that sold personalized wedding invitations online. I started out in client relations and was often managing accounts. I fell in love with the design side of things and taught myself the Adobe Creative Suite and became Creative Director within a couple of years. After working for about 7 years, I was itching to build my own brand using all the skills I'd learned, so I launched Oh Hello Events!
What’s 1 challenge you’ve faced and 1 success you’ve had since you’ve created your business?
The most challenging aspect of launching Oh Hello Events was balancing it with my full-time job. I really, really hustled, which meant I woke up at 5 a.m. every day to commute my hour to work, work until 4:30 p.m. and then rush to meetings, networking events, or just home to work straight from the office. If you're in this position, try to keep your energy up and embrace that busy season in your life. Things will balance themselves out.
The greatest success I've seen has been all the positive reviews from my clients. When a new one pops up in my email, I'm so grateful that they loved their service so much that they had to share with others.
You're a new mom! How has this journey changed you?
Becoming a mom has been the most interesting journey of my life. My baby daughter, Marigold, flipped my world (& my lifestyle) on its axis. We spend every moment together and I watch her grow every day. Being a mom has made me so happy, more confident, determined, and sometimes a little terrified. It's made me realize the importance of maximizing my time and paying attention to the details. She changes so quickly & I don't want to miss a thing.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and has it come in handy for you?
When I was a kid, my Dad emphasized the importance of answering all the questions when you're working on something - who, what, when, where, why, and how. I think that piece of advice has made me a pretty effective communicator, which has been the most important skill throughout my career.
When are you at your happiest?
I'm happiest when I'm surrounded by my husband, baby, dog (Schmoopy), and cat (Frasier). When everyone is together, it's like our little world is complete.
What do you tell yourself when things get difficult?
I always remind myself to place mind over matter. As long as you can keep yourself grounded, you can think yourself out of most problems.
What’s one personal goal and one business goal you plan to accomplish this year?
Personally, I want to get my house organized! I tend to toss things around while I'm rushing to get things done. I follow so many gorgeous and inspirational design related Instagram accounts so I have all these beautiful ideas. It's time to make them happen! A professional goal I hope to achieve is to double the amount of freelance graphic design work I am doing. Design gigs are so fun for me, and they really help balance out my schedule with my event work.
Where can you be found on a Tuesday afternoon?
With my little girl being so young, you'll often find me on the couch working on my laptop while baby naps in her bouncer in front of me. There, or off doing some damage at Target.
How about on a Friday evening?
My husband and I like to go out to eat on Friday nights - always casual - and sometimes we'll pick up our two little nieces and make it a party. Favorites at the moment are Cappy's, Fodder & Shine, and Daily Eats. It's been a while, but pre-baby I loved concerts & comedy and would stalk Bands in Town just hoping for the perfect weekend show to pop up.
A Sunday morning?
Sunday mornings are for watching the previous evening's Saturday Night Live (if it was new), going for a walk, and brewing a GIANT pot of coffee.
Finish these sentences:
I love: anyone or anything that can make me laugh!
I’m always looking for: my keys. For real. Have you seen them?
My inspiration is: my baby girl. I want to build her a beautiful childhood.
I’ll never: stop believin’.