We had the good fortune of connecting with Katie Willis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katie, putting aside the decision to work for yourself, what other decisions were critical to your success?
I love this question, because it is an antithesis to itself! The single most important decision we made that has contributed to our success, is realizing that this business is not for me, but the people we serve. Is it nice to work for myself? Absolutely. Most of the time – ha! But at the end of the day, that really only leaves me feeling empty. It’s in serving others, loving others, and looking outside of myself that the real joy comes from. I mean it. You should try it!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We began as a business, but have morphed in to a nonprofit when we realized our story was more than just transactions. It was relationships. I think when people hear “nonprofit event venue and catering business” they may hesitate a bit. What does that mean? Will the quality be “less than” because it’s a nonprofit? The quality of our product stays superior, but with a nonprofit the heart changes. It’s not for us, but for you. The guest. That’s why we are here!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would easily spend the entire weekend in Fort Worth! What a beautiful depiction of Texas. A little bit sassy. A little bit country. That is Texas! We’re not just sprawling countryside like Montana (hello, Yellowstone), but we do have that! A beautiful mix of just raw countryside and also the beautiful, crazy people that live on said countryside.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There is a nonprofit called Embrace Grace that is literally saving lives on a daily basis. The founder and her husband have taken Mom and I (we co-own At The Table) under our wing since day one. They saw and even currently see where we are going, even when we get so caught up in the day to day that we can’t. You can’t own a small business alone – it takes an army!