For Maryland Plumey-Marin, owner of Amore Events Venue and mother of five girls, throwing birthday parties, sweet sixteens, baby showers and even weddings was a pretty common occurrence. What wasn't common was Plumey-Marin's knack for making it look easy. "I've always been very crafty and creative," she said. "My kids always told me I should get into events planning and interior decorating. Eventually the idea came to me to open a venue that I could rent out to people looking to have a party, wedding, meeting or other event."
A few years ago, Plumey-Marin started buying things like decorations, props and other things that people used at their own weddings and putting them in storage. At the same time, she was attending Daytona State College, pursuing a degree in Business Management. She was also working full-time as an administrative assistance for a real estate company. What came next was a plan to turn her idea into a reality.
"With the help of a friend, the first thing I did was clean up my credit," she said. "After that, I put together a business plan with help from The Small Business Development Center at Daytona State College and SCORE. Around this time, my husband lost his job and acquired the balance of his 401(k). Seeing that I was getting serious about starting my business, he told me to start looking for a spot because he was going to give me the money to make it happen. We found a great spot and worked out a deal with the landlord to delay our rent if we put money into fixing up the space."
In January 2018, Amore Events Venue officially opened for business. The response from the community has been great. According to Plumey-Marin, people can relate to her and she's building a reputation as someone who's willing to work with her clients. She's currently advertising through social media and just applied for a Google account to allow her business to receive Google reviews. Her reach has even extended to Orlando where she recently appeared as a guest on Rumba 100.3, a popular radio station broadcasting Reggaeton, Latin, pop and Salsa music.
Local competition includes the Deltona Civic Center and a local women's center. These are great venues, but Plumey-Marin explained how she's able to compete. "The Civic Center is beautiful, but it's expensive," she said. "I'm a low cost alternative, without sacrificing quality. My packages start at $1,000 and that includes five hours with ice, room design, center pieces, tablecloths and someone keeping the venue clean throughout the event."
Plumey-Marin is in business to cater to her clients and serve local families. She's focused on building relationships and networking within the community. She's done presentations for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and spreads the word with every opportunity she gets. Looking ahead, she envisions needing a bigger space and finding someone else to help with events. She already knows of a 4,000 square foot location but admits that finding a piece of property and building out her own venue is something that excites her.
What advice does Plumey-Marin have for aspiring entrepreneurs? "If you have someone that can back you 100%, take the leap," she said. "You'll never know if you can make it if you don't jump. It's especially important to take the jump if it's something you know you want to do and you think about it all the time. No one will be more passionate about your idea than you are. You'll do whatever it takes to make it happen. Also, don't get mad at family when they don't see your vision right away. They'll come around eventually."