We had the good fortune of connecting with Ariana Ustynik and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ariana, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I am a wife first, then I’m a mother of two beautiful children and then I am a business owner. I know for others this may not be the same mentality; but for me my family will always come first. Which is why I strive to make sure my couples feel like family, not clients. Having a good work life balance helps minimize stress, and makes sure we don’t get burnt out. In the wedding industry that’s easy to do. As a small business I’m always available for my couples and I mean always, unless I’m on vacation, then it’s family time. And I make sure to let all of my couples know at all times what is going on. I am never not available, but there are times when may take longer than 10 minutes for a response. Over time, we’ve grown and learned that business comes and goes, but when we form friendships we create memories.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
U & ME Events, we are an event planning and rental company that opened in 2018. We started with just myself, Ariana as the lead coordinator. We started this business after planning our own wedding, and realizing how much I enjoyed the process. I’m a very meticulous, type A person. So when it came time to finding vendors doing research and planning, it was all so fun for me! Meanwhile I was also helping a friend plan a wedding and the same time and I never got overwhelmed. I remember thinking man I was like love to do as a side job, and we’ll that’s what we did. After those weddings, we opened the business, our first couple of events were for dirt cheap. And I can tell you I learned so much. From remembering to look up what county we were in; for the purpose of the marriage license, to creating our own emergency kit for the couples; one less thing for them to bring. To coordinating rehearsals. Every wedding is so unique and it’s amazing to see all the planning we do with these couples come to life. Over the last couple years we’ve grown so much, from only have ten events a year to close to 40; and still looking to grow. We are a team now, of 6! 3 coordinators and 3 decorators, we strive from referrals and take our jobs seriously. Something to know about us is, we aim to be affordable, while providing quality services, we go above and beyond for our couples, we aim to form friendships not just one time clients.
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.
Welcome to Houston! Home of the food, fun and drinks. Our trip would start with some food! First stop Mi pueblito! Colombian food at its finest. We love food and when there is a chance to eat we take it! We love movies, and would definitely have to check out Rooftop Cinema Club in uptown. We would definitely do a night out on Washington street and water days in the summer at typhoon texas! Houston has so many activities from kid friendly bars to restaurants. There is so much to do. Our favorite being anywhere there is, drinks, food and somewhere for our kids to run around.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My partner, husband and father of my children! Without this man’s continue support this business wouldn’t thrive. He handles all of the decor aspect of the business. From building backdrops and marquee letters. To setting up for events. He helps me brainstorm, oversees my designs, drives inspiration and grounds me. He pushes me to keep going when times get rough and encourages me to move forward.
Other: Tik Tok @undmeevents
Emily Michelle Photography; Tecla Productions