Inspiring Women: A Family Affair
This blog post was originally created by Madeleine Villa.
Inspiring Women is a series on our blog dedicated to sharing the stories of women that we have had the pleasure of working with here at Henkaa. Inspiring stories are all around us and it’s our privilege to share a few of ours with you!
This Inspiring women blog post is a little different. Instead of focussing our attention on just one woman, this blog will divide the spotlight between three wonderfully inspiring women!
Meet Michelle, Amanda and Aubrey, a mother-daughter trio all working in the wedding and event industry. Henkaa has had the wonderful opportunity to work alongside these ladies for styled shoots including our most recent Garden Party photoshoot highlighting our Spring/Summer 2019 Collection.
Continue reading to learn more about this inspiring trio!
A Little About Michelle Leroux
Michelle is the mother of Amanda and Aubrey and also has one other younger child. She is the business owner of White Rabbit Events, a wedding and event planning business focussed on elegant and whimsical events!
It is hard to believe that Michelle has only been an event planner for less then a year, as her work is beyond impeccable! In June of 2018, Michelle made the transition from the corporate world (where she spent two decades as an executive assistant) to the wedding industry when she started her business!
She said the draw to the event planning industry was in part a desire to work alongside her daughters, who were already established.
“I love seeing them in motion and following their respective passions. We all have our unique talents and I may be biased, but I honestly feel that together we are able to create true ‘magic’.”
Prior to launching White Rabbit Events She obtained her Wedding Planners Institute of Canada certificate which allowed her to reach a level of professionalism in the short period of time she has been in the industry. “It isn’t enough to have attended numerous weddings or having planned your own. You have to understand the various customs, legalities, and etiquette that come into play for a myriad of cultures and religions, as well as be on top of current trends” says Michelle about the complexity of the job.
Michelle, Audrey, her youngest daughter and adorable cat Franny are on the move later this year as they leave Cambridge for Kitchener to start anew! Though there are many things to look forward to in the upcoming year, one of them: a saloon-themed wedding - we can’t wait to see pictures!
A Little About Amanda Arnason
Amanda is the eldest daughter of Michelle’s. We often think of her as one of the busiest women we know. Besides being a wife and mom of two, she also runs two businesses and a lifestyle blog called Amanda is Bananas!
Her first business was Amaros Media - a wedding and event videography business she started in 2013. Amanda went to Humber College for Media Communications and Videography and admits that videography was the part that she ‘dreaded most’. However, it ended up being her favorite course and after interning with a very successful wedding videographer, she knew this is what she wanted to do.
After shooting a few weddings she realized that to make her business work she needed to bring on another camera operator - in came husband Kevin to the rescue! She described Kevin as “super creative and techy” and taught him everything she knew! Now the duo works together capturing all the romantic moments of their clients big days.
Change is on the horizon for Amanda, as she and her family will be moving to Kelowna British Columbia this year! With the move, another business venture - this one with Henkaa as a Mobile Retailer! She will be our only retailer in Kelowna and we can’t wait to see all the wonderful things she does!
A Little About Audrey Mills
By the quality of her work, you would never suspect that Audrey was only 16 years old - you read that right… 16. The youngest of the trio is in grade 11 and has already been published in: Strictly Weddings, Elegant Weddings, Wedluxe and Wedding Bells amongst others. Even more impressive, she has only been taking photos for two years!
She says that she got into photography when her sister Amanda started taking her to weddings to help shoot. She took to it quickly and became passionate almost overnight even admitting to Amanda that this could possibly be a career for her in the future! After much coaching from Amanda and Kevin, she decided to go for it and start her business, and that was the beginning of Audrey Mills Photography!
She says that besides introducing her to the industry, and encouraging her to start her own career, that Amanda continues to help her in all aspects of her small business. “I’m so thankful that she pushed me to start a business,” said Audrey just a year after the launch of her business.
Currently Audrey is focused on finishing high school and continuing to develop her portfolio so that she can “go full force into it after high school!” This means that on top of her busy course load she is also shooting weddings as well as styled shoots!
Though they are all in the same industry, they don’t get to work together all the time. Styled shoots are one opportunity that they do.
Styled shoots, for those who don’t know, are vendor photoshoots. Usually, one vendor is in control of the shoot, directing the overall vision, then each vendor will bring their piece to the puzzle. In this case, Amanda would shoot video, Audrey would handle the photography, Michelle would style the shoot and use her planning skills to get the right vendors involved and Henkaa would provide the dresses for the models. These shoots are great for all involved as it allows their work to possibly get published and gives them assets to share.
Amanda says that styled shoots are one of her favourite parts of the industry because “I get to meet so many others from the industry and it’s so exciting being published in so many magazines.” In fact, she has been published in over 10 different wedding publications including WedLuxe twice!
Audrey says she loves doing styled shoots because of the opportunity to “meet new vendors and seeing how all the efforts come together to create amazing creative projects.”
About styled shoots, Michelle says: “It has been an exciting time to meet and collaborate with other creative and talented folks in the industry in addition to my daughters.”
Henkaa has had the opportunity to work with all three ladies on styled shoots and cannot speak more highly of their work!