I am excited to share this month’s Inspired Women profile with you on Heather Dwight, owner of Calluna Events. Calluna Events is a boutique wedding planning company that she founded back in 2004. Heather has grown her business over the years and now leads a dynamic group of women who plan the most gorgeous weddings and special events. You may have seen their work in Martha Stewart Weddings, Style Me Pretty, BRIDES, The Knot, and many more. I am a long-time admirer of Heather as a creative woman and entrepreneur in Denver and I am excited to give you the opportunity to learn more about her and her business.
For more inspiration, follow Calluna Events on Instagram.
Read our full interview with Heather Dwight below.
Inspired Women: Heather Dwight
Tell me about your background, both professionally and personally.
I started Calluna Events in 2004 after I had been working in non-profit and corporate events for six years. After a few friends asked me to help them with their wedding, I saw an opportunity and niche to create a wedding & event planning business. We are now in our 15th year in business and our team continues to grow and expand into new projects. Planning weddings can be the most challenging, yet rewarding work there is and I love the variety of my work every day!
What inspires you to launch Calluna Events?
Calluna Events was born out of a night out with some girlfriends who urged me over drinks that wedding planning was my calling. I honestly never saw myself as a business owner or an entrepreneur but I saw the need for a wedding planning company in our area. At the time there was only one other planner in Boulder and several in the Denver area and throughout the state. I’ve always had a desire to do work that positively impacts people as well as work that is inspiring and dynamic.
Tell me more about Calluna Events, from concept stages to today, including major triumphs, things you have learned, milestones, growing pains, etc
Oh gosh – this would take a long time – how much time do we have? This would be a better conversation over a glass of wine – or three! Owning a business, especially a wedding planning business, is not for the faint of heart. Throughout the past 15 seasons, I’ve learned so much. We’ve had so many triumphs and continue to grow each year into a bigger and more successful event planning business. I’m awe-inspired and feel grateful for where we are today and our milestones. We will celebrate our 15th year in business next year which is huge. Over the years I’ve learned so much about myself and others. Mostly all good lessons… but some really hard. Each lesson learned was an opportunity to make a change, move forward and to be better! All the good and bad lessons don’t define me but have made me grow and evolve. In fact, I’m the person I am and Calluna is the business it is because of those invaluable lessons. To be a successful wedding planner you have to work extremely hard, but honestly, there is no challenge you can’t overcome with a little grit and tenacity.
Tell us more about your own home, the design direction, and inspiration, as well as your favorite in-home details and preferred décor designers.
My home right now is a work in progress. We moved in four years ago after my Mom passed away and after having our 2nd baby and we honestly haven’t done anything to it. Our office, on the other hand, was a collaborative effort between myself and Liz Finkelstein of Mile High Style. We wanted the office to really speak to our brand the moment you walked in. We wanted it to be calming and yet have an understated sophistication that would give our clients a sense of our style and also make them feel comfortable. My favorite color is grey so we incorporated many grey elements throughout the walls, carpet, couch and other furniture. I also am drawn to modern, clean lines but love the feeling of warmth and comfort so we had custom pine beetle kill desks designed. I love high-end touches and moments when designing a wedding and our office has a few of those in a crystal chandelier, two custom art pieces from Sarah Kinn and purple Lucite chairs.
What inspires you on a daily basis?
Each and every one of our couples is different and unique and I feel truly grateful they entrust us with the biggest day of their lives. I’m inspired to help, create and make their wedding a true reflection of them. My ultimate goal is to have the bride and groom’s guests walk into their wedding and say, “this is so them”.
I’m also oh-so-inspired by the Calluna team. Our team right now, affectionately called the CallunaCrew, is our best team we’ve had – they are incredible women who I feel fortunate to have on our team – the kind who will roll up their sleeves to get the job done, who are friendly, fun, energetic and inspiring!
I’m also inspired by my husband, Brandon, and our two children Maggie and Grey – becoming a mother makes you re-prioritize what’s important to you and I feel like having kids made me work not only harder but smarter.
How do you find the balance between being a business owner and a mother?
I’m not sure there is a key to this and I think balance is different for different people. I’m still looking for the answer and often don’t get it right. When work is busy and I’m very stretched I feel like the worst mother in the world. I work all day and then again most evenings after the kids are in bed. There is a lot of guilt around traveling for work at the weddings, being gone in the evenings. But when I’m with Maggie and Grey I try to be 100% present with them. We try little things like no phones in the kitchen during dinner and have been carving out more time to travel and go on longer trips where we can. Sometimes I feel like this is the most important time for me as a business owner to make my mark as well as I feel like it’s the most critical time for me to be a mother. It’s a constant struggle – but honestly, I would choose to be a business owner AND mother than one or the other. Both fill me up and make me the person I am. If someone knows the magic to the balance please let me know!
What would be your dream wedding to plan?
Right now I’m traveling a lot to explore destinations for our couples and to visit places I’ve never been. I’d love to someday plan a wedding in Scotland because I’m half Scottish. I love the countryside and the Scottish people. It could be on a private estate or at a historic castle with incredible highland views.
What is your favorite part about being an entrepreneur?
I love being my own boss and the creative vastness it provides. If you had told me when I was younger that I would own my own company I would have laughed. I didn’t take one business course in college. I used to crave structure and predictability and now I love the constant challenge of new projects, and continuation of evolving, changing, learning and growing. I’ve also realized I’m a pretty driven and competitive person so I’m not happy with the status quo and always want to do something each day that expands on the day before. I love that each workday is different and I embrace the diversity and richness of my shared experiences and work I’m doing with our couples and our team.
Could you please describe your personal style?
My style is very much like our office – a mix of modern, comfort and understated sophistication. For work, you’ll see me wearing mostly neutrals like black and grey but I also mix in color or patterns. My wardrobe is mostly smart casual but I enjoy incorporating some edgy, structured and sometimes artistic pieces such as a jacket, shoe or jewelry. I love Olivia Palermo’s style. When I’m home I have a completely relaxed style – oversized sweaters, jeans, leggings. I love to be comfortable. I’m also fairly low maintenance when it comes to my hair and makeup.
What does contemporary bohemian mean to you?
In terms of style and design, contemporary bohemian might involve textiles, international elements, large graphics or bold colors mixed with modern elements and clean lines. In terms of living, it means community and bringing us together to appreciate and celebrate our differences.