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Hidden Gems: Meet Marquette James

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marquette James.

Hi Marquette, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Marquette’s Creative Parties is a perfect example of turning your passion into profit! Years before I even thought about starting my own business, I volunteered to host and plan several events. I started out hosting all types of family functions. From Thanksgiving dinners, to Christmas parties, and even birthday parties. I truly enjoy serving. I like to take the ordinary and transform it into extraordinary! Over 13 years ago, a former co-worker asked me to help with her wedding. I took over and ended up planning and decorating the entire wedding. Little did I know, this was the beginning of my journey as a fulltime event planner. Over the next few years, I would receive multiple request to plan and assist with several family and friend’s weddings. The arrangement was for me to shop for the decor with their money, and sometimes even keep some of the items. I was solely doing it for the enjoyment. I hadn’t even thought about turning a profit.

For years I had been asking God to show me my talent so that I could start my own business. I never thought event planning was my calling because it was just too easy; it did not feel like work. I also had not charged anyone for any of the events that I had already done, so I never put two and two together. It wasn’t until my job of 18 years offered me early retirement in November of 2016, that I realized God had already showed me my path. I just needed a little push to take it on full time. I talked to my husband, expecting him to tell me that we wouldn’t be able to afford for me to retire early. To my surprise, he thought it was a great idea and assured me he would have my back the entire way. So, I did it! I made the best decision of my life: leave my corporate job to become my own boss!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Absolutely not! I enjoy the creative freedom, but the struggle is real! I would love to work with everyone who contacts me about a service, but that is just not possible. Not everyone wants to pay you what you are worth. The sweetheart in me wants to lower my price to help, but the business side in me is learning to know my worth and being able to accept that not everyone can afford me.

Of course, there are the extremely long nights that sometimes has me second guessing my own decisions. There are several different moving pieces that you must address when starting your own business, and I am continuously learning about them all. I have made some mistakes along the way, but I never give up. I am constantly taking courses and shadowing other event planners to ensure that I am perfecting my craft. There is only one thing that is constant in the event planning world, and that is change. The trends are always changing, and it is up to me to keep up with those trends. I never want to be the planner designing 2020 weddings in 2021.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Marquette’s Creative Parties is a locally run Event Planning Service that specializes in bringing your dream event to reality! We are a small business that produces big business results. Our specialty services include: Weddings, baby showers, corporate events, all age birthdays, graduations, and so much more. We are partners with the Arlington Black Chamber of Commerce and have helped plan their Annual Juneteenth Celebration at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

MCP ensures quality work and service. We pride ourselves with our professionalism and excellent customer service.

What matters most to you? Why?
Family is the most important thing to me. I am blessed to have a loving husband who believes in me and helps me no matter what. My mother is my biggest cheerleader. She is always rooting for me to succeed. My children are also a huge part of my support system. They are always there to help with whatever I need. I am so blessed to have such an abundant amount of help and support from my family and friends. My family is my motivation. I work so hard because I want to set up generational wealth for my children, their children, and so on!

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