Living Her Dream – EC Alumni Spotlight on Kim Hawkins
When EC Alumna, Kim Hawkins ’99 started her business, Events Wholesale, her goal was to help support her family with a part-time income that would allow her to stay at home and raise her children.
“While working full-time, I started selling things on eBay to try and get my feet wet in 2006,” she remembers. “Quickly, I found a niche in the wedding supply industry. It seemed like those were the items selling the most, so I decided to start my own website to see how I did.”
Kim’s business boomed and quickly became more than a full-time job. Within two years, her husband was able to quit his day job to help with the company. Today, Events Wholesale has seven employees and is continuing to grow.
“We specialize in wedding centerpieces, and have a huge offering of tablecloths, vases, candles, event props, and more at budget-friendly prices,” she said. “Our customer base includes event planners, wedding planners, corporate event coordinators, caterers, the hospitality industry, event venues, and large corporations”
Her business quickly gained exposure through being mentioned in Brides Magazine and on My Fair Wedding by David Tutera. This led to large corporations like 20th Century Fox, Universal, Delta, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, and many others to take notice.
“The exposure has helped a lot because some of the high profile event planners notice us from our exposure with David Tutera and different magazines, so it has helped word of mouth spread,” Kim said.
Today, Events Wholesale has more than 25,000 happy customers and counting! A few notable clients include Disney, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, Mark Cuban (his Super Bowl party planner), The New Orleans Saints, Miami Marlins, Twentieth Century Fox, etc. Their products have been used in everything from television and movie sets to celebrity and red carpet events.
Kim believes her time at Emmanuel as a Business Administration student helped prepare her for starting and building her own business.
“I think the classes I took helped me narrow down what my interests were,” she said. “I took several Information Technology classes with Dr. David Jordan which caused me to become ultimately interested in web design and e-commerce.”
Several of the Business professors at Emmanuel helped fuel Kim’s passion for starting her own business by sharing stories of their business ventures.
“My professors helped me get interested in owning my own business and told a lot of stories about their business ventures that piqued my interest,” she remembered.
Looking back, Kim would say her greatest achievement as a business owner would be how quickly the business grew. She began her business with a goal in mind to make enough of a profit to stay at home and raise her family. Today, it has become more than she could imagine. She is truly living her dream.