Get to know Christine Greenberg, owner of Urban Set Bride, Queen Bee at The Hive Collective, and all around Boss Babe.
What do you do?
I'm the co-owner of Urban Set Bride, a bridal shop in Church Hill. I've owned that for 4.5 years with my mom. I'm also the owner of The Hive Wedding Collective, a group of four full-time wedding planners. I've owned that company for 7 years and starting growing the team in 2014 when I left my full-time job to become an entrepreneur.
I'm also the founder of the 5,500 member Facebook group, Boss Babes RVA. I created the group in 2014 as a resource for women business owners in Richmond and the surrounding counties. It's something I needed when my mom and I felt really lost as we worked on opening up our brick and mortar location, and I'm thrilled it has grown into a huge network.
How has your business evolved since starting it?
The event planning business started as a fun hobby/side hustle. I noticed a huge void in the bridal market in Richmond + DC for an intimate, cozy bridal shop that is welcoming to all kinds of brides, sold high quality, designer gowns, but wasn't bougie or too conservative. That's what lead us to open up the bridal shop.
After I left my full-time job, I was able to take on more event planning clients and hire more planners to work under the umbrella of my company.
Both the event planning company and the bridal shop have gone through growing pains;
In the bridal shop, my parents, brother and I did all of the renovations to the commercial space ourselves. So aesthetically we've made alot of progress over the last 4+ years as our finances matured. We used to carry vintage gowns and bridesmaid gowns, but we noticed it wasn't our true passion, so we scrapped them after the first two years. I've seen so many bridal shops (and retail businesses in general) by doing TOO MUCH. Do what you love well. Don't get too cocky and take on more than your passion and drive can handle.
In the event planning company, we've slowly adjusted the kind of client we attract. When I started out, I was the queen of the DIY, budget wedding. But as our team and experience has grown, we take immense pride in being practical with our clients budgets while still teaching them how to invest in a beautiful event. We rebranded the company at the beginning of 2018 from Wood Grain & Lace Events to the Hive Wedding Collective.
Alot of wedding planners name their company after themselves and they hire a team of assistant planners to help. Or it's two planners that work every wedding together. We are truly a collective of different strengths, passions and personalities. We lean on each other for advice and guidance but we are our own business owners within the family of the Hive. Each planner takes 12-15 weddings a year.
Whats one piece of advice you would give someone looking to start a business?
When you are ready, own it. Being a small business owner is a beautiful experience, but you cannot be afraid to make your business who you are as a person. Once I knew I wanted to open the bridal shop, I would shout it from the rooftops. I'd share my elevator speech with anyone who would listen to me. This is not a time to 'play it cool' and keep things to yourself. Share your idea, ask other business owners questions, research, and don't stop pushing. Ever.
Do you have a favorite family chill spot in RVA?
ArcPark is our go-to chill spot for nice weather. If the weather is being disrespectful, you'll find us at the Children's Museum or the Science Museum.