We had the good fortune of connecting with Debrah Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Debrah, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I feel that much of the time we allow our anxieties and fears to convince us that taking risks in life and in our careers is just not worth it. Anxiety and fear are liars! Some of the most beautiful moments in our lives occur outside of our comfort zone. It would have been very easy for me to stay in my comfort zone, which was working for “the man” (corporations) that provided a decent salary, benefits, their idea of success, and so many rules that kept me in their box. It was restricting, but it was comforting. Letting others conform me to their idea of what I was suppose to be became “normal”….just what we do, or so I thought. As I entered my late 40s and into my 50s, I started dreaming of a different way. Dreaming of a successful career that I create. Setting my own schedule and making my own rules was so appealing. Deep down in my soul, I knew that I would get there; however, I had no idea how. All I knew is that there was more to life than how I was living it. There was more to myself than I was allowing. There was a different way, and I was hellbent to find it! I love people. I knew that the many jobs I worked along my career path, along with the skillset I gained along the way, were preparing me for my “something more”. Indeed, I jumped out of my comfort zone (and convinced my family to take the plunge with me) and found something beautiful and rewarding. I found myself and I found success while doing it.
What should our readers know about your business?
Anyone can purchase a piece of land, design and construct a beautiful structure, but providing a beautiful experience (which looks different to each and every client) is where I feel we thrive. Owning and managing an event venue is all about customer service, which is our JAM! There is nothing that makes me happier than helping couples bring their vision of their perfect wedding day to life. Celebrating life’s most special moments and events is what drives me. When I booked our very first wedding about one month into construction, I knew this gig was my sweet spot. I walked the couple, Jacob & Bailee (I will never forget them), around the grounds, talking through our vision and dream with only exterior framing beams and a concrete slab complete, and they fell in love with The Wildflower and booked on the spot. That was the moment the spark became the fire and the dream a reality. That was the beginning of this beautiful journey. We booked 42 weddings before we completed construction, which was so amazing, but then the reality hit that now we had to learn how to pull them off! I was really surprised and how natural and organic it felt. I knew that everything I had learned about business, people, myself and life thus far was all coming together. This was it…..my time to shine and it felt so good! With a passion for providing an amazing experience with every event we host, offering top-notch customer service, and doing our very best to make it as stress-free as possible, I quickly realized this is what sets us apart from most……the passion. If you can’t do it with passion, then just don’t do it. I firmly believe this. If you are not doing what you love every day, people know because it reflects in everything you do.
We rolled through the first few years like rockstarts, and then BOOM…..the unthinkable hit! A freaking pandemic! Who saw that coming? Certainly not me! Within a week, we were shut down. What??? It was Spring wedding season! How do you not do weddings during some of the busiest months of the year? What now? My phone and email were blowing up with hysterical brides and their mothers wanting answers, which I didn’t have. So, after talking myself off the ledge, I took several deep breaths, spent time with myself in meditation and prayer, and came back to the basics…..customer service. We had to reschedule about 25 weddings, but we did it! It was certainly a challenge, but we overcame it. We got our couples married (eventually) and kept our cool, which was so very helpful to our customers and other vendors. We all worked together and navigated through the hardest business year yet. We did it with grace, compromise, patience and that one secret weapon….passion. It was a difficult time for everyone, but a time that we realized a renewed beauty and perspective for the celebration. We all realized what we had taken for granted….each other and ability to come together to celebrate life’s special moments with those we hold most dear. Life and love looked different, and we were hear for it.
Our business continues to grow, and we continue to make plans for improving the experience we provide our customers and their guests. I know that we will continue to be successful, because there is no other option for me. I will keep dreaming because that is the beginning of all things beautiful. I will keep working hard because that is the only way to be successful. I will keep providing amazing experiences because that is what is important to me. I will continue to be grateful for it all.
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 support system includes a host of beautiful people. First and foremost, my husband, Kevin Jones. He is absolutely one of the best humans and partners anyone could ask for! He works so hard managing his own construction company, but also spends endless hours working beside me growing The Wildflower Wedding & Special Event Venue. Without him, I am 100% sure I couldn’t have grown our family business into such a successful and rewarding venture. He is simply AMAZING and I am so very grateful for him! As we began this journey to becoming venue owners, we gained four other wonderful business partners…..family. Our son and daughter-in-love, Tyler & Cher Jones; and our brother and sister-in-love, Bryan & Lisa Carter, completely shared our vision for what we wanted to create, and so willingly and whole-heartedly jumped on board. It was only for the ability to pull all of our resources that the dream became The Wildflower, and for that I will be eternally grateful. They believed in me and they believed in the dream and vision. They all reside in other areas, so we knew from the beginning that Kevin and I would create and build our family business, which is exactly what we did! In the course of the five years we have been in business, we have also created the most amazing team of little wildflowers there ever was who work just as hard as we do, share a passion for what we do, and make all the magic happen! To our staff, especially our oldest daughter, Devyn; and long-time family friend, Rachel, know that you guys are beyond FABULOUS and we are so thankful for and love you guys so very much! Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do to ensure the success of this beautiful business we have all grown to love. To everyone that has played a role in helping me become the woman that I am today (parents, grandparents, former bosses & co-workers, friends and family), just know that you created this confident, self-assured, brave, opionated, and successful piece of work and I am eternally grateful for you all! Last, but certainly not least, thank you to all the couples and families that have trusted us, and continue to trust us, with their most special milestone moments. You believed in us and the vision from the day we broke ground on The Wildflower and you are the reason we do what we do!
Rhonda Lee with Lee’s Photography – Debrah headshot David C. Allen :Photography – couple photo and interior photo Lucy Krodell Photography – interior with wall florals by Willner Weddings