Jennifer Wood’s special event decoration rental business is about stories. She wants people to be able to create stories and have the right decor to tell their own story when they are planning for a wedding or other celebration.
When Wood was planning her own 2011 wedding, she searched the bridal magazines and found a vintage style she wanted to emulate in the decor. Getting the look required a lot of leg work in flea markets, garage sales and antique stores.
After a year and a half of searching to make her day perfect, she decided to help other brides and people planning special events by creating a rental company specializing in rustic and vintage pieces. It is called Brossie Belle. Wood explains why she started and gives advice for people trying to help tell their own story with decorations.
Q. What is your specialty?
A. I rent stuff that is going to be memorable and create a story for people. For my own wedding, I was really tired of the mirror on the center of the table and every table was the same. It just got boring. Nothing is the same in my inventory.
It is all very nostalgic. I want people to be able to see the decorations at an event and say they remember something from when they were a kid, or their grandmother had that tea set. The pieces I offer allow you to be creative and create a story for people who attend your event to look back and think about their own stories.
Q. How does your rental company work?
A. People can make an appointment and come see what I have and pick out the supplies they would like to rent. They can do it themselves, or I can do the event for them. Some clients like to have everything similar, but my inventory is not set up that way. You are not going to have every centerpiece the same.
I have a lot of rustic stuff. I have cottage farmhouse style. I have a lot of vintage stuff, which would be tea sets and crochet overlays. I’ve done mixes and matches of both rustic and vintage. Some people don’t know what they want, and I can mock up something for them.
Q. Where do you find your supplies?
A. I get a lot from flea markets and antique stores. When I first started I was looking for a certain type of style. I looked a lot on Pinterest to get ideas. What I rent is good for people who are DIY or Pinterest fans, who like that “Fixer Upper” style.
Q. If people are trying to get ideas for their wedding or big event, where do you suggest they start?
A. I would start by looking at magazines and trying to figure out what your style is. What speaks to you? What’s important to you as a person? Write down notes. If music is important to you, start there and budget your wedding around that. Spend money on your band or have music favors. Do something that is important to you. If you do like the vintage look, search on Pinterest and pin something you like and find the pairings that are most important to you or that you find the most appealing.
Q. How does someone take a great idea and personalize it?
A. Get advice from someone who has done it before. I can help them with ideas, be creative and find different uses for old items. Vintage is continually evolving, as we get older stuff from other decades. Technically vintage is 25 years ago, but it is really about memories from other people’s childhoods.
I like to help people find something that people will be sitting around at an event and think, ‘Wow, I used to have one of those.’ The greatest kick I get out of this is a lot of the dads who come and pick up stuff and are so shocked because they just threw something away and now they are renting it from me. The jaws are to the floor because they never thought it could look so beautiful at a wedding.