Lynzie Kent of Love By Lynzie
Meet Lynzie Kent: Founder and Creative Director of both Love by Lynzie Events & Design and the Pop-Up Chapel Co. Lynzie has been an integral collaborating force with two major Atelier events (The Founder Series in November 2019 and the upcoming Niagara 2020 taking place at Ravine Vineyard!) and we wanted to shine a light on this creative power in Canada!
Tell us a little bit about your background and your company!
Love by Lynzie is an Event and Wedding Planning and Design agency focusing on creative and immersive events, installations and activations. We are foremost known for planning out-of-the-box weddings—anything inspired by festivals, travel, colour, you name it. Our clients come to us for exciting ideas around micro weddings, elopements, tent weddings and more. We also plan corporate events, brand and product launches, social celebrations and design activations for brands and companies. After working in the event industry for over 15 years, I decided that the wedding planning process needed evolution and so I started The Pop-Up Chapel Co. It’s a shared wedding concept that gives couples a sustainable, simple and socially responsible way to get married. We marry up to 10 couples in one day for an incredibly affordable price and raise money for local charities.
Can you tell us a little bit about your journey leading up to today?
I started as a singer in my parents cover band when I was 16. We played resorts mostly, but also corporate events and weddings. My passion for performing allowed me unique exposure to the industry—I was able to attend hundreds of events as a teen and into my early 20s. Organically, this led to me working as an entertainment coordinator in the event industry, managing large teams at mostly corporate events. After my own wedding in 2011, I began offering event coordination, planning and design on top of my entertainment services and it snowballed from there. My background in performing was paramount in landing two TV shows centred around event planning and design. I hosted Post my Party for one season and Crazy Beautiful Weddings for two seasons—both shows have aired in over 50 countries worldwide.
Between Love by Lynzie, The Pop-Up Chapel Co. and my event band, Electric Blonde, I’ve literally seen hundreds and hundreds of couples get married. In 2015, I welcomed my first son, Archie, into my life and this has really been the catalyst for me falling in love with business and wanting to evolve the wedding planning experience. Because of my children, I’ve become incredibly attuned to our impact on the earth and how the event industry contributes massive amounts of waste and consumerism. I also have realized that my biggest goals lie in running a socially conscious business that give me the freedom to spend time with my family and employs some incredible, diverse human beings. This is why I’m currently directing a lot of my energy to The Pop-Up Chapel Co. and growing a team of incredible planners/designers within Love by Lynzie.
I’ve spent a lot of time travelling. I quit my life three times to backpack with my friends and husband and have visited places filled with colour, culture and design and that has always provided ignition for the events we create.
What has inspired you over the years?
I’ve always been incredibly inspired by ideas and opportunity. Nothing gets me going more than plucking an idea out of thin air and working to bring it to fruition. I’ve spent a lot of time travelling. I quit my life three times to backpack with my friends and husband and have visited places filled with colour, culture and design and that has always provided ignition for the events we create. Turning creativity into profit has been something that has inspired me since my father convinced me I could sell my rock paintings or charge admission to my theatrical debut in the basement. I think it’s so exciting to look at how your unique ideas can bring value to the world in a tangible way. Now more than anything, I’m inspired by my children and the example I want to set for them. I’m inspired by our incredible planet and the idea that the work I’m doing can impact it both negatively and positively. I’m inspired to engage in work that contributes to the latter. I’m incredibly inspired by love—and I don’t give a shit who you love. The fact that we now live in a world where I am helping to marry inter-racial couples, inter-religion couples, gay couples, trans couples—this is beyond inspiring to me. Ask my team; I’m often found weeping in the back of our chapels… Also flowers. I love flowers.
Have you had any mentors?
In the traditional sense, no. But three people have certainly shaped who I am in business and as a leader. My father, whom I think is a workaholic, was the first person to show me that my creativity had value. He always made me feel smart, able, and like I had no limits. I may not be doing the exact things he dreamed for me, but I do think that I’ve adapted the unbreakable confidence that he bestowed upon me and channelled it into my own ideas. He was always there for me when I needed a listening ear and didn’t make running my own business seem so scary since I knew I had him in my corner. Secondly, I once worked for an unholy tyrant who made me fall small and unimportant. He would yell and name-call in conflict and belittled my ideas. He led with fear and rage. Working for him has shaped my leadership because it showed me exactly how NOT to treat people. And lastly, Patricia, who owns Pearl Bridal House, was my boss for two years. She gave me two incredible gifts: trust and autonomy. Working with her, I was able to polish my skills, develop new ones and gain confidence in talking to people and clients. Her management style has informed how I endeavour to treat my own growing team.
What are your top favourite career/business moments?
Filming two seasons of Crazy Beautiful Weddings was a huge dream realized for me. I had a say in so much of the creative aspects of that show, I was able to hone my hosting skills and I worked with an incredible crew, staff and couples to make it happen.
Our first pop-up chapel back in 2017 was one of the greatest career moments of my life. It was as if the pearly gates opened and the light shone through and said “this is it. This is what you are meant to pursue.” Two incredible weddings stand out in my career, which I affectionately call the Orange wedding and the New Autumn wedding, where the couples trusted us so immensely that we were able to bring an incredible experience to life.
Finally, taking a real mat leave after my second son Lewis was born for six months in Australia was probably one of the most rewarding moments of my career. Building something to a point where I could take time off and watch my incredible team flourish was extremely exciting.
What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
I recently had to make a difficult decision about one of my businesses, my band Electric Blonde. Since having children, the profits had been falling as my personal commitment to the business waned. I recently made the choice to put the business on indefinite hiatus and accept that my multi-passionate entrepreneurialism had failed in one category. This was a hard pill to swallow. Aside from this, having my first son rocked my world and was hands down the biggest challenge I faced in my business. It was the turning point for me in how I managed my company and laid the foundation for what I have built today. Without Archie, I’d still likely be schlepping my ass off, doing everything alone and limiting my own growth as a business and person. Also, hiring is hard. I struggle with that.
The bottom line is that we all love living in our comfort zone and being an entrepreneur is going to challenge you to step outside of that comfort zone on the daily. If you don’t, you won’t grow. If you can’t pivot, you’re dead.
Do you think personal development has played an important part in your story?
Hundo P. The bottom line is that we all love living in our comfort zone and being an entrepreneur is going to challenge you to step outside of that comfort zone on the daily. If you don’t, you won’t grow. If you can’t pivot, you’re dead. I’d say one of my biggest strengths is knowing exactly what I suck at and not being afraid to ask for help. Over the years this has meant seeing a therapist consistently, working with a business consultant, working with a business coach, finding an accountant who can also act as a fractional CFO and more. PLUS, I believe its incredibly important to not only admit when you don’t know something but to also learn intimately that thing you don’t know and why its important to your business. Someone else can do the job day to day but you need to be willing to get into the trenches occasionally and you have to understand the content.
Take care of your brain and your body, whatever that means to you. Inside that thing are your magic and ticket to the life you want to live.
If you could pass along any words of wisdom to fellow ambitious women in business, what would they be?
Take care of your brain and your body, whatever that means to you. Inside that thing are your magic and ticket to the life you want to live. Women are expected to literally bear so much in our society, but I believe that with women in roles of leadership in all sectors, we can create responsible change across the board. We can’t do any of this if the vessel we have to work with is exhausted, depressed or broken. Learn when you need to shut it down and listen to that so you can approach your work and life with renewed joy and energy in the next moment.
What’s your next stop on your bucket list?
Hosting the next Atelier event of course! I cannot wait to introduce incredible women leaders like Sarah Nicole Landry (@BirdsPapaya) and Michelle Romanow and to learn from the amazing women in the room. Other than that, I am looking forward to growing the corporate clientele of Love by Lynzie and expanding The Pop-Up Chapel Co. to new markets including Vancouver and New York.