Author: Derick DaCosta, BSU student
Earlier this week I had the pleasure of interviewing and speaking to a very intelligent, strong, and persistent owner. Her name is Elizabeth Leitao, and her business is event decor and design. Ms. Leitao and her team sets up and decorate events ranging from weddings, baby showers, bar mitzvah, sweet 16’s, and more. Since she has always lived in Massachusetts, she can also help clients find venues and halls near them, if they needed.
Liz, as she prefers to be called, chose this business of design and décor based on her love for designing and turning nothing into something spectacular. She always loved designing parties, but what was holding her back was concerns about the profitability of such a business. She thanks her friends and family for plating the seed in her head that she can pursue this career and make money from it.
Once she had her children she decided to leave her corporate job as a network engineer for an investment firm and take a chance on herself. Her first event was for her own child on April 3rd, 2010. At that event she received high praise from people attending and through that first event she was able to gain clients who would be interested. From that initial party she was able book a party for the next month. And from that point on Liz never looked back.
These times weren’t always easy for Liz though. She did not realize at first that she needed a good amount cash to start with so she could purchase the equipment for the events. She relied heavily on her late husband Tiki Leitao for financial support, along with financial support from her mother and cousin. Her persistence showed true during these times because she took steps to ask for help when she needed. She says before opening up a business it is mandatory to have some capital. Now, her inventory is huge and she does not have to worry about any big events. The business she works in works on “Net 30’s” which mean she does not get paid for an event until 30 days after, which can be tough and inconvenient for payroll purposes. She admits to struggling in the beginning with this, but she has learned new ways to budget and adjust so that her employees are always paid and she has always has cash in cash something comes up.
A client would choose Simplistic Charm over a competitor for many reasons. One reason is because it is a business, as opposed to people just doing it for a hobby, with all the requirements of having a business. Secondly, her business not only sets the event up, but once the event is over her team comes back and takes it all down and cleans up. Most other businesses like this will only set it up and leave the cleaning to the person throwing the party. She likes to describe it as a full-service company. Her best method of bringing up new clients is word of mouth. She thanks all her previous clients because they help her bring in new clients by spreading the word. She also thanks free advertising such as Instgram, Facebook, Linked in, Twitter for being an easy way to bring in new clients.
She currently employs 28 and takes pride in trusting all her employees to get the job done flawlessly when she cannot supervise. She believes that this method is a lot more effective than micromanaging, but at the same time still being responsible and organized when something isn’t perfect. She talks about building up her team’s confidence and gives all the props to her team. Liz is also prideful and being able to employ people and provide extra income if needed. She currently employs an entire family, and could not be happier to help them out. In my eyes, not a lot of employers care about their employees and for her to say that is honestly incredible. Liz Leiato is an incredibly strong and ambitious woman, whose business will only continue to grow.
Simplistic Charm is located at 247 Washington St., Suite 21 in Stoughton, MA. Office consultations are by appointment only.
Contact them via:
Phone (office): 781-341-3600
Phone (direct): 508-967-5755