Starr Hamilton and Ethel Bonner met through a mutual acquaintance and after a few more chance meetings, worked on a birthday party together. Both ladies already pursued successful endeavors, Starr as a party planner and Ethel doing event decor and flower arrangements. After the birthday party, the two just clicked.
"We just had a great working relationship planning for the event," Ethel shared. "We started talking about our businesses and had a great time planning the party and we decided we just wanted to keep the connection going."
With Ethel's experience in decorating and Starr's background in planning, the two decided for form a partnership. Details2Décor is the result of that partnership, a collaborative venture since 2008. Together, they provide full-service event planning and decorating, initially for weddings, but now more for corporate events. They provide professional planning, logistics, working with vendors, and on-site assistance with events of all sizes.
About a year after forming their partnership, they discovered SCORE. Initially, they met with three partners to explore all that SCORE had to offer. The team advised them on the financial aspects of their business, as well as assisting them with creating an operations agreement.
Through these organizations, they receive invaluable information on workshops, events, and conferences coming to Cincinnati, as well as how to leverage RFPs into great opportunities.
Ethel related, "When we started getting corporate clients, they (SCORE) started working with us hand-in-hand to come up with a contract and all that you need to do to get a contract with the client. So, they were very instrumental in helping us formalize documents and services."
Jay Moore, one of the SCORE mentors who worked closely with Details2Décor, shared, "Ethel and Starr were full of energy, enthusiastic, and filled with a passion for people and their business. They did everything we asked of them and worked really hard to find success. I loved working with these ladies, and am excited to congratulate them on celebrating 10 years in business."
"We appreciate SCORE highlighting us over the years, and we're always referring new startups to seek out SCORE resources. It's great. We still depend on the newsletter that SCORE sends us all the time. All the resources and workshops, we're still a part of that. So it's still a part of our business," said Ethel.
Business Relationships & Experience
As their partnership grew, stabilized by the advice and encouragement from SCORE mentors, Starr and Ethel began forming other strategic partnerships with local business alliances. They are now members of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber as well as the Visitors Bureau. Through these organizations they have learned to get advance notice of events and conferences coming to Cincinnati, as well as how to leverage RSVPs into great contracts.
In 10 years of operation, they have added seven part-time staff to help at large events as well as a host of volunteers. Experience has taught them to preserve themselves for their own areas of strength, and add dependable members to the core team to lean on for additional help. As Starr and Ethel continue to meet and invest in the people and businesses of Cincinnati, the future seems very bright.
Looking to the Future
Coming soon, they will host an event designed to join women, startups, and established local businesses in order to foster good working relationships across their town.
The Phenomenally Woman Empowerment Luncheon will feature special guest panelists who are game-changers, unique networking/workshops, and special entertainment. Visit www.details2decor.com to learn more about them and stay up to date on upcoming events.