All Things Posh Events & Design was created to provide chic and unique gifts, events and services at an affordable price. “It’s about creating special moments as you celebrate different times in life with family and with friends. And a lot of us are on a budget because it’s only one day, so you want it nice, but you don’t want to spend all your savings trying to make it nice, so we exist to provide something nice, upscale for all price points,” says shop owner and Chief Creative Officer, Ulanda Terry. She continues that she has compartmentalized her business into four categories which she refers to as the “four P’s.” Planning, which typically consists of weddings, showers and other occasions; Party rental space for onsite events at the storefront; Petals and other floral arrangements for décor; and, finally, Presents and other one of a kind pieces located in the gift shop that make All Things Posh more than just a party planning service, but a one-stop shop for all of your party planning essentials.
Personalized gifts available at All Things Posh
Ulanda explains that she has been in the field for years, dating back to college when she worked as a consultant for David's Bridal. She recalls the planning process of her own wedding 14 years ago, which enabled her to have a unique perspective on her bridal clientele. Having certain elements of distaste on her wedding day, Terry hopes to ensure that her customers only have pleasant memories of their special day and not worry about the components of the event.
“You want to be able to have a day where you can just call a person and they take care of all the details, so you can enjoy the day.” – Ulanda Terry of Posh Events & Design
While event planning has always been a dream job, it was not always Ulanda’s primary source of revenue. For eleven and a half years, she was employed at Tyson Foods, Inc., working her way up the corporate ladder of success. Having started as a recruiter in 2004, Terry demonstrated the skills that would lead to her becoming the Director of Diversity, Inclusion & Engagement. It was there that Ulanda had the opportunity to fulfill what she calls her “personal mission” of connecting with people and making a difference in their lives. She has a specific interest on women and people of color. “I feel that it is a part of my responsibility to help others who are trying to come up who look like me,” she adds, “Because that’s what I had, so for me, it’s about paying it forward.”
Ulanda is continuing the work of her personal mission as an entrepreneur. She states that she believes in “doing the small things with good intentions in hopes of making a difference.” As owner of an event planning service, Ulanda is not simply in charge of planning parties for a day, she’s in the business of making memories that will last a lifetime. When it comes to monumental occasions, it’s important to entrust someone who is capable of leading you in a direction that you’ll be happy with. Ulanda comes highly recommended from her clients, as well as her former colleagues that understand the knowledge and professionalism that she brings to the table.
After more than a decade of service with a company and having achieved a level of success that many people aspire to, I asked Mrs. Terry about the day she decided to leave her six-figure salary to pursue her dream. She states, “The reason it took me so long was because I had not heard from God. I had not gotten that official ‘it’s your time’ and I wanted it to be definite. I didn’t just want to walk.” On this particular day, while on her way to visit a former co-worker, she ran into a chaplain. She says they struck up conversation about how work was going and the conversation progressed. Then she remembered the chaplain asking her, “If you could do anything without fear, then what would it be?” Her immediate reaction, of course, was that she would pursue her party planning, full-time. Then she says the lady asked her one last question that ended up serving as her confirmation, “So are you holding your breath or are you breathing?” In that moment, Terry declares that she realized she wasn’t breathing, wasn’t truly living because she wasn’t living in her purpose. She confessed that the reason she wasn’t fulfilled was because she was waiting on the perfect time. But when is it ever the perfect time? When God says it’s time, the shop owner revealed. Two days later, she submitted her resignation.
Becoming a Boss
“So you submit your resignation, two weeks go by and you wake up on Monday morning and you don’t have a job, what do you do?” I asked. “You do Posh,” she responds with a chuckle. She says during that time, she realized that her success was completely in her hands. I can only imagine the transition from working for a boss, to becoming your own, must be somewhat intimidating.
“It’s all on me now to get it going so you hit the ground running. You’ve got to hustle,” she comments.
But her business was not an overnight success story. Her advice to women who aspire to entrepreneurship is preparation. She credits her transition to planning, saving and dedicating time to her passion, even while working her nine to five. She also reflected on the importance of having patience as it may take time to see a return on your investment. Fortunately, the store owner says that she saved money, while investing into her business so that she and her family didn’t go into financial distress. However, she does mention that sacrifices have included some cutbacks in luxuries and time, as she builds her brand. One thing that the businesswoman says she doesn’t want to cut back on is time with her family. Her daughters, ages seven and nine, are at an impressionable age where they need her most. She disclosed that it’s important for her to still be a wife and mother, first. She elaborated on the fact that while she is in the business of helping to create memories for her clients, she doesn’t want that to come at the expense of losing her own. Therefore, she mentioned that she’s relied on the support of her friends and family to help with some of the dealings of the business. Additionally, she revealed that she has outsourced help on certain projects in order to better manage her time and ensure that operations function smoothly.
Inspirational and custom tees available at Posh.
Holding a Masters degree in Agricultural Economics, Marketing from the University of Arkansas, Terry is also the recipient of the 2016 Crowning Achiever award by the PAO Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., for which she is also a proud member. With a host of other accolades underneath her belt, Terry says that she is most proud when she hears her daughters talking about their mother's store, when they don't know she's listening. She stated that she wants to instill the value of hard work, rather than entitlement in her girls. She declared that coming from a family of entrepreneurs, she saw both of her parents working from the ground up to build their businesses in Pine Bluff.
In a world where success is measured by social media posts of ostentatious displays, I asked Ulanda what success means to her. Having visited her home in Fayetteville, I know personally that she could easily put many to shame, but for her, that is not how she defines success.
“I had gotten to the point where I just didn’t feel as excited about what I was doing. So for me, it’s not about the financial gain. Six months of happiness is priceless.”
Ulanda says that on days when she questions going back to corporate America, she is encouraged by women who have been inspired by her courage, success and faith. She recently had the opportunity to see one of her role models, Oprah Winfrey, at the Essence festival in New Orleans, earlier this month. She said she left the seminar feeling so motivated and that one of her goals in life was to have a similar impact on others.
I knew her when she was Ulanda Arnett, a cheerleader at Jack Robey Jr. High School, who went on to become Miss University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. She has since transformed into a prominent businesswoman who is well-respected in the community, an entrepreneur and a woman of faith and integrity. She's come a long way from her humble beginnings as a server at Bonanza, but the lessons she's learned have carried her to where she is today. Ulanda is the personification of hard-work and humility. I walked into All Things Posh admiring the bling and all the beautiful trinkets that aligned the store. I walked out feeling inspired, admiring the woman behind it all.
All Things Posh Events & Design is located at 2907 Joyce Blvd, Suite 7, Fayetteville, Arkansas 72703. For more information, call 479-799-1332.
(Photography by Ebony Blevins)
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