Have you ever enthusiastically volunteered to help with planning an event for family or a friend, thinking it will be a fun and easy task on the to-do list? As you scroll through endless Pinterest boards of table settings, beautiful food arrangements, decorations and invitations, you channel your inner Rachel Hollis and imagine the beautiful event you are about to pull together. Fast forward and most of us find ourselves quickly overwhelmed in the amount of time, energy and money it takes to pull off the picturesque event you imagined – Lauretta and her friends felt the same way. Why wasn’t there a resource, a one-stop shop to make all of this easier?
Lauretta and Meghan met at an apparel vendor while working for different corporate companies and immediately hit it off. Their friendship grew as they talked through work trips, sky way walks and shared interests and values. As their careers continued to grow, the two met up for wine to catch up on life and both expressed their desire to one day own their own company.
Before one of their scheduled meetups, Lauretta listened to her friends explain the pains of planning bridal/baby showers and their desire for a one-stop resource to help ease the process. Lauretta thought up of a solution and pitched the idea to Meghan, who was not only intrigued, but thought through the intricacies of the business model and process within minutes – she was all in.
“Hosted is everything we stand for: supporting local businesses, reducing our impact on the earth as much as we can and making lives easier, all while having a good time and celebrating others,” Meghan explains. “It’s so rewarding to work on a business every day that we love and are passionate about.”
The online party planning platform is the first of its kind in the Twin Cities, which brings its challenges when trying to start and fund the business. The duo didn’t have a business model to reference so they are fearlessly paving their own path as they launch and continue to grow the company.
“Finding a concise way to describe our business to potential clients has been challenging,” Lauretta confesses. “A lot of companies denied us insurance coverage because they didn’t know how to categorize us – don’t worry, we figured it out and are insured!”
Not only were Meghan and Lauretta tasked with developing a business model from scratch, they also needed to meet with potential business partners and vendors, all while trying to develop the online platform that would host the unique business.
“We were certain we could develop the planning platform on our own,” Lauretta explains. “It only took us logging in and trying to code our first page to start reaching out to friends to find a developer. Thankfully we got matched with the most amazing web developer, Derek, and now we have a wonderful fully-functioning platform we love!”
Meghan and Lauretta launched Hosted with an open house celebration earlier this month at ModernWell and have been busy working on the business ever since. Both are excited to see where they can take Hosted beyond Minneapolis, with hopes to expand to other cities as well as expand to additional categories to better serve their hosts, including alcohol, hot food, venue rental and experiences including yoga, food trucks and more.
“The past few months have been a lot of late nights but more importantly a lot of laughs. We met with every single business owner to hear their story, share ours, and ensured we were the right fit; it is an even greater honor to connect these incredible entrepreneurs with our hosts.”
We are so incredibly excited for Meghan and Lauretta as they launch Hosted and can’t wait to see where this new adventure takes them. The two women have already utilized the ModernWell community to make connections with other members as vendors for their business, including Thumbs Cookies and Honey and Rye Bakehouse.
“ModernWell has been a dream to work with – the team is wonderful and supportive. Julie believed in Hosted’s vision from the beginning and has been such a cheerleader to us along the way.”
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