Frequently Asked Questions: When is it time to reinvent yourself or your business?

Wedding cake

An example of a floral screen– a signature Preston Bailey Design.

You do not want your product or service to become boring. My goddess of reinventing herself is Madonna. Whether you like her or not, she has managed to keep reinventing herself and her brand at least three or four times a decade for over 25 years. Fashion designers are also expected to come up with a brand new collection of designs every season.

The only way to keep ahead in this or any business is to consciously make a choice to work diligently in reinventing your business. Keep the essence of who you are, yet express it differently.

I think it is time to change or re-think your product or services when…

  • Other folks start copying your ideas or design. I know some can have a hard time being copied, however, think about it this way (aside from being a great compliment to you) you know you are doing something right when you are being copied.
  • You are not making any money. I have had tons of ideas or designs I thought were fantastic on paper, except no one else thought so and they never sold. (My next book should be: Preston Bailey’s Bad Designs.)
  • You have a design everyone loves and you do it more than three times. If this is the case, it is time to get rid of it or do it differently. Yes, I have been guilty of repeating the same design over and over until my clients say not again.
  • Last but not least, if you are designing or giving a service that you find boring, even if it’s selling, it’s time to change it. We should not be in the business of boring ourselves.

What has kept me going for so many years is the excitement I get when I am trying out a new design, new book or new service. My new creative outlet is writing these blogs. I have never written before and even though my grammar is not sometimes the best, I am having a blast every morning for two hours keeping in touch with you. Thank you very much for reading my thoughts.

If we were sitting having a casual talk, what would be one question you’d like to ask me? (This could be business or personal.) Also, I want to know: How are you currently reinventing yourself or your business?

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  • Alexandra Jusino

    First of all, I wanted to say I’m glad you are writing these blogs yourself. I was just wondering two days ago…. does Preston really write these posts. So keep it up, trust me I’m reading and taking it all in

    As far as questions….. I would love to know how you produce events outside of NYC, and I don’t mean in Chicago. I mean in Dubai or in a far away land were things, customs, floral wholesalers and so different from the usual. How do you prep flowers, etc. As far as personal, when do you find time in your day to work out?

  • Aleah + Nick

    As always, this advice is invaluable. I came across a quote someone Tweeted last week {though it was posted as anonymous} – “Be true to who you are. Everyone else is already taken.” Reinventing yourself should be fun and an extension of who you are.

    We reinvented ourselves by creating a Southern California branch and currently reinvented by starting our new blog, Valley & Co. Sharing our inspiration with clients and readers is a great creative outlet.
    If we sat down for coffee we’d love to hear more about where you get your inspiration from and how you guide your clients to harness their vision, while staying true to who they are.
    Aleah + Nick Valley
    The Good Life Special Events

  • Keisha Siggers

    Hello Preston.Let me just say I am such a fan of your work.I would so work for you for free just to intake your fabulosity.My question is this though;I am a minority event planner that is looking to open an event facility,where do I turn to for funding besides a bank?…I do have a solid business plan but just do not know what agency or intenty to give help,capital,dinero to my vision.

  • Eliana Terrazas

    Gracias Preston por compartir con nosotros parte de tu espacio, de tus emociones. Te has convertido en una gran inspitacion para mi, para seguir adelante, para reinventarme y para continuar pensando en este bussiness as the best one. Me identifico a ti cuando expresas que las emociones vuelven con los nuevos retos, con los nuevos proyectos. Actually I’m planning my first Bridal expo “ExpoBODABolivia” y esto me trajo nuevamente the ecxitment I used to feel in my beginings 8 years ago. My question: I guess if you would be interested to be the guess of honor of my wedding show?
    Its going to happen on august 4 – 5 – 6 of this year and its going to be in the best hotel of the city. Thank you again!!!

  • La Dona Carmen

    I am so very happy to know that you “personally” write your blogs. It makes me feel genuinely connected to you and not a liason. Thank you for taking the time. It shows you truly care…. If I had the honor of sitting down face-to-face with Your Royal Highness, I would ask you to teach me, mentor me, guide me & be my friend for life…….

  • Elena Emma

    Preston, thank you for your inspiring and artistic work!!! My question is simple: I am a novice event designer, and I strongly believe in learning from the best of the best. I would LOVE to learn from YOU eye-to-eye and possibly become your apprentice on one or more projects. How can we make it happen?

  • Emmanuella Jean-Baptiste

    As I was reading your blog, I realized that in many ways I am that kind of a person. Costantly trying new things. Always wanting to reinvent myself or anything that I do. No matter what I do in regards to jobs or career my heart, my mind always point me to one direction Event Designer. I guess if we were sitting face to face having a conversation, my one question to you would be how did you do it? I don’t have a business yet but that’s my dream one day preferably soon. I welcome any advice or suggestions that you can give me. This is what I believe I was meant to do. I have very little experience. My wish is that, you can give me some advice on how to start.

    Thank you for your time.

  • Pingback: Wedding Titans: Preston Bailey on his Favorite Flowers

  • Bibliana Bovery

    I’m a bit late on responding…but this post is relevant to me at this time in my life. Just celebrated a birthday… I have got to reinvent my STYLE….somehow I’ve lost it and now on a quest to re-do and get it back; wardrobe, hair, attitude, activities, etc. We are revamping everything over here :) and it feels great. Renewal is good for the soul!

    Mr. Bailey…you are originally from Panama…do you speak Spanish? and do you think it is a necessity (essential) to know another language as you work internationally/

    Mr. Bailey…what is your favorite room/space look like, feel like, express your personal style and how often do you redecorate it?

  • Tamie Myers

    Mr Bailey, You are amazing. I just love how you push the limits with your design. Must be an island thing, i am Jamaican and saw what you did with Sandals OMG :)
    It is because of you why i got into this business. I am just starting out and am taking it day by day learning and growing. I studied interior design, I was a model, i designed clothing and even painted but it was not until i started arranging flowers that it just clicked, this is it my destiny :)
    I am always reinventing myself/my work, not for the sake of standing out/ego, i push the limits to see if i can really make it happen. one thing i am proud of is that when i design stuff in my head it usually turns out exactly as I envision, that to me is satisfying :)
    I just started accepting that i must have some skills when i see people copy my art lol.

  • Tamiko – All Things Simple

    Preston, this was yet another great post. I am truly inspired that if you are sitting down and personally writing your blog posts, so can I. Thank you for that:)

    In terms of reinventing myself, this is something I am currently going through. I am reading the book “Excuse me, your life is waiting” by Lynn Grabhorn and it is truly changing my mindset, which I believe is a great help with my reinvention. Understanding what I truly want and keep that good feeling vibration will bring that same good feeling vibration back to me. Visualizing myself planning an over the top event, taking my business to the next level, and working a mentor.

    Thank you Preston for your wonderful insights.

  • Navjot

    I think a creative designer has to reinvent three to four times a year. One thing I have noticed is that no one can copy the design as it is. Preston is known in the present for his consistent effort in designing unique designs. The way you choose the colors and create harmony and balance with timeless glamor, makes a statement. Quest is the key to reinvent and another factor has been critically examining my own designs, this leaves the room for improvement. I never compare myself with other designers as this will only limit my growth.

  • Doyin

    The first question is if its easy planning and designing at the same time. I’ve been plannign for a while and now im beginning to like designing as well.

  • http://YOURWEBSITE Jan Mazzone

    I have always wanted to ask what happens to all the thousand of flowers when your events are over? For about two years I seriously considered going into event planning. I believe I have a great talent for creating top notch designs using ordinary items, flowers, vases, etc. and reinventing them. I have designed three weddings, from head to toe. But also, as you said the warehousing is almost impossible. After much soal searching, I decided being truthful, I want to have full rein. So I decided to go anothe direction. And I have to admit, I feel like a weight was lifted off my shoulder. But, I am still dying to know the answer to my question. Thank you Preston Bailey.

  • Teri

    Hi Preston, I am reinventing myself more now that I’m in my 7th year of business. I’m recognizing a lot of things that I wanted to do or have in my heart to do I wasn’t able do to lack of knowledge and clientele. Now I’m taking a leap of faith trusting God, the creativity in my heart and searching for the clients to do it with I’m excited. So I have begun taking more event & meeting planning classes, networking with like minded people and reading your blog. I have tons of books now in the area of special event; meeting planning and books by you and David Tutera. Staying on top of the industry is a MUST in our business.
    If I was sitting in front of you right now, my questions would be –How do I go after celebrity clients? I have always wanted to work with Queen Latifah and others. Also, how do I promote myself to work with clients who are willing to pay more then $5000 on an event instead of $2000 or less (lol) please tell me, what the secret is!!!! (lol)