For the January 2017 edition of "Entrepreneurs Heart Greater Hartford," we spoke with Meredith Newman, owner of Meredith Lee Events.
Tell us about Meredith Lee Events
Meredith Lee Events is an event planning business based in CT specializing in mission-driven events and occasions. I started the business this past year, about two years after I finished my MPA at UConn. Event planning for small businesses and non-profit organizations allows me to combine my background in the non-profit industry with my experience in food service and hospitality along with my passion for community involvement and improvement. Check out the Facebook page here!
Why did you decide to start your own business in Greater Hartford?
If you want to work with non-profits in CT, Greater Hartford is definitely the place to be! There is such a wealth both of organizations and of committed, driven individuals determined to improve our community. I think it’s a really exciting and inspiring place to be. I hope to be able to better integrate my business into the larger network of organizations in the region.
How does your business impact the community?
My business is a part of the community in that I am able to help a local business or organization increase their own impact and become more successful. The more clients I work with, the more community members I am able to reach. When a client hires me to plan an event, my goal is always to create a unique, creative experience that will help them to further their mission in a new and interesting way.
What wise words of wisdom would you give to an entrepreneur who may be hesitant to take the plunge into entrepreneurship?
I would say to do it!! But don’t be discouraged if you’re not immediately flooded with clients or customers. Persistence and a positive attitude is key. Keep putting yourself out there – talk to strangers in a cafe, make cold calls, whatever it takes, just keep reaching out. Then don’t be afraid to follow-up; make sure people know you’re serious and that you have a unique product or service to offer.
What is it like being an entrepreneur in Greater Hartford? What difficulties or challenges have you faced?
I think Greater Hartford is a great place to be an entrepreneur. There is a very welcoming spirit; every time I meet another small business owner they are friendly, encouraging, and generous. I would say one of the challenges is that there is so much going on here, it can sometimes be hard to stand out in the crowd. It certainly takes an effort to make yourself known and to make useful connections.
What is your vision for your business venture over the next five years?
I would love to become the go-to for organizations in Greater Hartford who are trying to expand their impact in creative ways. Ideally, Meredith Lee Events will be synonymous with exciting, dynamic events that are expertly executed. I would like to be able to focus my energy and efforts on fun projects and work with a large variety of organizations and businesses. I’d also like to incorporate some green and sustainable business practices.
This blog series, posted in partnership between HYPE and reSET, offers a platform to showcase the commitment that the Greater Hartford Region Entrepreneurs have for their work and this City. It will examine how young entrepreneurs have chosen their work, and give examples of the ways in which they are having an impact in their communities.