Running a Successful Wedding Planning Business as a Young Entrepreneur: Interview With Tanya Costigan of Bowties and Butterflies

by / ⠀Entrepreneur Interviews Entrepreneurship / September 18, 2013

Tanya Costigan

Interview with Tanya Costigan about starting her wedding planning business bowties and butterflies.

Hiscox-Small-Business-Insurance-Logo-600This is part three of the ten part series. Follow the Starting a Business as a Young Entrepreneur interview series and don’t miss an interview! 

Interview Series Sponsored by Hiscox Small Business Insurance.  Hiscox  specializes in protecting IT/technology, marketing, consulting, health and beauty, photography and many other professional services businesses, tailoring coverage to the  specific risks in your industry.

Significant life events can bring meaning and change to our lives.  For Tanya Costigan, a health scare made her realize how important it is to do what you love.  Tanya was tired of a boring office job and wanted something fulfilling that would give her creativity an outlet.  “I really wanted to do something that I love.” Several months later, Bowties and Butterflies was launched as a full service wedding and event planning business, which services the Massachusetts and Connecticut markets.

Although she has been able to break into the market successfully, every young entrepreneur is bound to run into an infinite number of hurdles and difficult situations during their journey.  For Tanya, the hardest challenge so far hasn’t been finding customers or dealing with the stress of planning for a wedding, it has been pricing her services. “I was so eager to start a portfolio that sometimes I would pretty much work for free.”  After exploring different models, Tanya has settled on a flat pricing structure that takes her time and effort into consideration instead of only trying to price her services to please her customers. “I have to be fairly priced for the client, but I have to also be fairly priced for myself.  I’m not trying to run a hobby, I’m trying to run a successful business.”

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In a crowded marketplace, Tanya has been able to separate herself and her business through creativity and her dedication to networking.  Even during the cold and snowy offseason, you can find Tanya at wedding related networking events and photo shoots with her branded materials and business cards. Outside of keeping her name in the minds of customers, Tanya also focuses on protecting her business from a legal standpoint.  Asked what the most important thing to protect her business is, Tanya replied, “Having a great insurance policy in place that is specific to what you’re doing…just knowing that you have it in place is key.”

Q: Is it an advantage or disadvantage to start a business at a young age?

A: “I definitely feel like it’s an advantage.  It gives you an opportunity to do what you love for more years.” 

After years of doing jobs that haven’t been enjoyable, Tanya is focusing on something she loves.  The one thing that Tanya is currently striving to achieve is shedding her day job completely.  In addition to running Bowties and Butterflies, she continues to work a full-time 9-5.  She hit the ground running with the company three years ago, but still has yet to take the leap and quit her day job.  Tanya believes that in the next year or so she will be able to leave her day job and focus primarily on Bowties and Butterflies.

Want more on Tanya Costigan’s Story and Bowties and Butterflies? Listen to the full interview below!

Interview Highlights

– Why she started Bowties and Butterflies.

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– How she decided the right pricing structure for her services.

– “Social media is great for making connections and marketing, but it’s also great to physically walk into a business and meet people and learn about their business.  Let them see you live and in-person – it makes more of a human connection, which is really important.”

– Be clear in communications!   “Even if I have a verbal discussion, I always send a confirmation email.”

– Best piece of advice for people under the age of 30 to do right now: Do research on the industry you want to get into.  Find industry related networking events in your area.

Listen to the full interview here:


About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.