We had the good fortune of connecting with Jenny Preston and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jenny, putting aside the decision to work for yourself, what other decisions were critical to your success?
Networking and joining a creative coworking space. Working for yourself can feel very lonely and isolating at times, even overwhelming when you’re forced to be inside your head day in and day out. Networking gave me something to look forward to whether it was a coffee date with a vendor I fell in love with via instagram, or a group cocktail hour gathering with like minded vendors in my industry. In addition to putting a focus on networking and meeting with other creatives, joining a coworking space that was focused on providing a space for creative business owners was the most beneficial thing I did for my mental health and business. Through joining, I became a preferred vendor for private events hosted in the venue, I was in front of other vendors constantly, my social life came back to life, we all shared ideas, struggles, laughs… everything. It was inspiring and kept me motivated. My business grew exponentially in a very condensed amount of time and I’m now lucky enough to find those vendors I met through networking and coworking, some of my closest friends.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m constantly asked if I can send over a list of packages. As much as I’ve tried to create a more streamlined “package” structure, it just never feels right. I love that I’m able to continuously create custom proposals that feel unique to each couple and client. Getting anywhere in a creative endeavor is never easy. It is always riddled with plenty of self doubt, long hours, stretching a dollar as far as you possibly can, trying not to compare yourself to other creatives … the list goes on. I’m constantly learning how to overcome all of it, but I think it is honestly part of what makes it all so fulfilling and keeps us as creatives creating and moving. You need friction and tension to create true passion. A few of the lessons I’ve learned along the way: don’t say “yes” to everything, set boundaries, hire people to help and work that into what you’re charging, ask for help. Find a part time job to alleviate some financial stress even if its slinging lattes, working as a nanny, serving with a catering team – it takes a bit of the pressure off when you’re getting started or dealing with a slower season. What I want the world to know: I’ll travel anywhere. Traveling is a true passion of mine, I love experiencing new places, designing in new spaces and working with the local product, collaborating and problem solving with people outside my home-network. I’ve designed weddings in New England, Oregon, Florida, and the Bahamas. Each time it was an adventure and they each stand out as such unique and inspiring experiences.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My stomping ground is Delray Beach. I was raised there so my favorites are all within a 20 mile radius.
Visit: Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, The Norton, Delray Beach, Arts Warehouse
Food: Brule (literally anything on that menu), Sandwiches by the Sea (their tuna salad after a hot day at the beach is the most refreshing snack), Beg for More (the dumplings are addicting), Grangers (so sentimental for me and the Reuben is perfection), Senor Burrito (the steak salad is the first thing I eat when I come home), Lemongrass (the Sex on the Moon roll with eel sauce on the side)
Cocktails/Nightlife: Sweetwater (best cocktails and bartenders), 3rd and 3rd

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Laura McGlynn, Desiree Oftedal, and Francesca Dunham (and their husbands): They truly kickstarted my career through hours of listening and advice, exposing me to opportunities that never would have been feasible on my own, providing true companionship, and even a place to sleep when I needed refuge.

Website: http://portandpalmco.com/
Instagram: @portandpalmco
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennyl-preston/

Image Credits
Kallima Photography Coviello Photo Hunter Ryan Photography Erica J Photography Joshua Kane Photography

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