An inside look at the creative mind of Niche Events, Maria Schollen. Details on why she started her business, to what the future holds for her growing company. Read more.
8 Sideways: Why did you start your business?
MS: I am an entrepreneur by nature. I started my first business in college designing swimwear and fitness-wear . The company never took off but I was always destined to work for myself. After several careers, I went back to school for event planning and met a wonderful mentor whom I worked with for over 5 years. I quickly learned that the not-for-profit industry was not the right fit for me. Although, meaningful, it didn’t always pay the bills. While working, I discovered that I had a flair for design and floral so I decided to start my business in the fall of 2011.
8 Sideways: What did you want to be when you grew up?
MS: I actually wanted to be a fashion designer. I went to school for 4 years at Kwantlen College and graduated with a diploma in fashion arts and marketing. I have a very European style, classic and timeless. That style also appeals to a very broad market in the wedding industry.
8 Sideways: What is the best thing you learned over the years?
MS: My company finally opened it’s very first studio in November 2015. It was one of the happiest moments in my business life. You need a great support team. I have been very lucky to have my husband support me through all of my crazy business ventures. My parents were always there for me and for the last three years, my assistant, Jeanine Wilk, has been my rock. One of the most profound things I’ve learned, though sometimes the hard way, was that if you try to compete on price you will be out of business very soon.
8 Sideways: Where does your inspiration come from?
MS: Wow, everywhere! There is so much inspiration out there. I love anything to do with history or with Europe. I design a lot around the flowers that I love. If you get stuck creatively, start at the beginning and examine what you’re trying to design. Work on one problem at a time. It usually works itself out.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]