Yodit Gebreyes Endale
Founder, Favored by Yodit EVENTS & DESIGN
How'd you get into the industry you're in?
I always say that planning events have been in my blood at an early age! My parents have been throwing huge house parties since before I was born and when I got to the age where I could help set up the house, serve guests and entertain people my parents put me to work.In high school and college, I interned and worked at companies like AOL/ Time Warner, Ketchum Public Relations, 93.9 KYS Radio which then lead me to become a Senior Marketing Executive at an award winning international architecture design firm.
By day I worked at the same 9-5 job and by night I was the Co-Owner of TALK OF D.C. one of city's leading nightlife promotion groups hosting up to five events in a week at one time. After years of being the creative planning force behind the company and building a strong reputation of executing high quality events through brand networking and relationship building. I decided I wanted to see where my talents could take me in a new industry and that is what has lead me to a career where I plan social events, corporate events and weddings!
What woman has inspired you throughout your life?
My Mother. Oprah. Beyonce and Michelle Obama (in the order they came into my life).
What is one of the biggest challenges you have had and what lesson did you learn from it?
One of the biggest challenges I have had was to know my worth. Earlier in my career, I had a hard time asking for more money for my services thinking people would not pay, would try to get a discount or think hiring an event planner was not worth it.
After doing research and seeing what competitors were, charging who did not even provide half the amount of services as me but charging a lot more I decided to slowly adjust my service fees. I realized it was the only way I could grow my business and charge based off the scope of costs associated with not only planning a client's event but also operating costs.
At first I used to feel bad when people would say "your services are out of our budget" and go with other planners, but then I realized the people that reached out to me and did their homework, valued my expertise, my time, scope of services and my team were my ideal clients. And one the lessons I learned is that it’s better to focus on “Quality Versus Quantity" When I first started I personally would plan about 25 events a year but now it's scaled down to 10-15 amongst my team and I to make sure I have a good work + life balance while still being able to grow the business consistently.
Why do you think having a village of friends who supports you is important?
Having great friends is the first lesson of being a great friend. And in order to keep your circles strong you need to invest time and energy to important relationships that will teach you how to be a better all-around person.
Genuine connections are what you need to help you create tribe of accountability to call you on your sh*t when you need it and push you to see your magic when you may not be feeling it.
After family, my close friends are the ones who I lean on for advice, comic relief throughout the day via a group chat and support through the difficulties. I am blessed to have friends that are from every stage of my life (adolescence, high school, college, adulthood) who have become my village of girlfriends who I can call on for different things in life and they always have my back and come together to celebrate many of life's milestones.
What are your favorite ways to self-care?
I love to self-care by going to the spa (Red Door Spa, All Day!) Every month you can find me getting my nails done, getting a massage or trying some new skin treatment at home because it truly is the only time I can relax and I love getting pampered. Another favorite self care practice for me (usually after event days) is to unplug and curl up on my couch with a blanket and binge watch reality tv or netflix.
What do you love most about D.C.?
The fact that it is home (born and raised) and the diverse community.
I love that the DMV is truly a melting pot of cultures, cuisine and there is no shortage of young professionals that are grinding in their careers.
The mixture of corporate and entrepreneur hustle of the city is what drove me to take a risk on myself years ago and for that I will always love this area.
What is your ultimate goal career wise?
My long time goal is to become a world-renowned event planner & lifestyle expert with celebrity clients, brand partnerships and a possible product line.
All the work I do now is geared towards expanding my brand into the world of lifestyle to help my local, international followers and fellow event planners in their own pursuit of creating memorable events. The goal is to continue to create good work and continue to grow Favored by Yodit Events & Design to plan unforgettable luxury celebrations all over the world.
What do you want your legacy to be?
I want to leave a legacy of love and light! In addition, that I was someone that had the ability to bring happiness to others lives through service, kindness and having fun!