Today we’d like to introduce you to Chancee Proctor and Christen Janik.
Chancee and Christen, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Our story begins over 20 years ago when we met the first day of 4th grade. We quickly became friends and that bond survived through divorced parents, distance (living in different states during our teenage years), growing pains, heartbreaks, and college. In 2016, we were reunited when Chancee moved from Albuquerque to join Christen in Dallas and we were roommates for 4 years until the end of 2019.
Christen is always thinking about new business ideas. We would be sitting on the couch watching Pride and Prejudice or White Chicks for the fiddy leventh time and she would call out business ideas (most Chancee would shoot down lol). Then she said what if we opened a wedding venue? Chancee said now THAT is something she could get down with! Soon after Christen comes to Chancee with market research and a business plan and we set off to find an event venue!
After looking for the perfect venue for THREE YEARS, pure grit, determination, (and maybe fate) led us to meet the incredible owners of The Schoolhouse and we signed our lives away (aka a lease) in January 2020….just in time for COVID and the craziest time ever for the wedding + event industry!
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
They say hindsight is 2020, and looking back now it’s easy to see that January 2020 was about the worst time ever to start an event venue. Our first month as business owners was a blur. It was better and harder than we imagined. We spent countless hours on the phone bouncing ideas off of each other, crafting marketing materials, a website, learning about SEO and social media strategies, and refining our business model. In February and the first half of March we booked several events, did happy dances, and had high expectations for the rest of the year.
Then COVID hit and we had to reschedule upcoming events. We experienced this as business owners and also as clients as my (Christen’s) wedding in April 2020 was rescheduled to November. We’re not going to lie, this was such a scary experience as first-time business owners. But, we are stubborn, hardworking ladies and we used this time to strengthen our business by making improvements to the venue, updating our website, upping our social media game, and partnering with other wedding vendors to offer smaller micro weddings and elopements so couples could still get married. Through all of our hard work, we learned a lot and we survived. Fast forward to today and man, what a WILD ride we have been on during our first year in business! We’ve learned a lot and are so grateful for the events we’ve hosted so far. We’re looking forward to a “normal” year in 2021!
We are complete opposites in many ways (if you’ve heard of Briggs-Myers personalities, Chancee is an ENTJ and Christen is an INFJ), but our skill sets are complementary – Chancee is the people + events guru and Christen loves spreadsheets + finance. Building this business during a pandemic has been the most challenging and rewarding thing we’ve ever done. But it has put a big strain on our friendship as that’s taken a backseat to running the business. We’re hopeful that as the events industry gets back to normal, our friendship will too.
Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
The Schoolhouse is an event venue in West Dallas that hosts weddings, corporate events, and parties. We’re known for being a refreshingly different venue. A hidden Gem of Dallas. Our space is a nearly 100 year old Dallas Historic Landmark with white walls, fun vintage details, unique architectural features, and plenty of natural lighting. Photographers love shooting here!
Aside from the unique building itself, several things set us apart from our competitors. The Schoolhouse is a venue located in Dallas with reasonable pricing and flexibility. We give clients the freedom to pick their own vendors (catering, bartenders, etc.) which is a huge cost saver. And of course, we go the extra mile for our clients and are there each step of the way, from inquiry to planning to day-of their event.
Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs or other resources you think our readers should check out?
Christen – I’m a little obsessed with podcasts and listening/learning from successful entrepreneurs. A few of my favorites are: Skimm’d from the Couch, The Two Percent, Boss Files, and How I Built This. I’ve also read a ton of books written by entrepreneurs and they are so motivating! Shoe Dogs, In the Company of Women, and Good to Great are my favs.
Chancee – Networking events! I have learned so much from going to networking events and just talking to other business owners especially in this industry! The Venue Rx, TikTok for marketing tips!
- 2021 Friday $4,750
- 2021 Saturday $6,750
- 2022 Friday $5,250
- 2022 Saturday $6,750
- Email: CHANCEE@THESCHOOLHOUSEEVENTS.COM
- Website: theschoolhouseevents.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/schoolhouseevents/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theschoolhouseevents
Kortney Boyette Photography Julep Photo Mr and Mrs Archer Photography Brittany Gilbert Photography Elisabeth Carol Photo