Name: Joy Proctor / Age: 32 / Current Company: Joy Proctor Design / Title: Owner / Years in Business: 8 / Education: Bachelors in Political Science from University of California at Santa Barbara
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grow up? Funny enough from about middle school on, I wanted to be a lawyer, and later in life a Politician. I had a strong desire to work in immigration and human rights law. In college I worked as a courier in a law firm to get a sense of what the legal world was all about – needless to say, I learned quickly that the world of law wasn’t necessarily the best place to help people.
What was your first job after college? After starting as a courier for a law firm in College, I moved up to be the firm’s Paralegal. It was a pretty darn fancy title, and I was proud.
When did you know that you wanted to move into the wedding industry as a profession? I spent a lot of time working in the legal world and wishing that I had a creative outlet. I had the opportunity to assist a wedding designer a few times and after planning my own wedding, decided that I needed to give wedding planning a try.
You have been in business for 8 years! What keeps you inspired and motivated to plan beautiful events? Being based in Santa Barbara, I have the opportunity to work closely with some of the very best vendors that the industry has to offer. Being surrounded by such beautiful venues and such an amazing group of vendors keeps me constantly challenged creatively. The pursuit to bring my dreams alive through design constantly pushes me and motivates me.
What is one thing you wish you could go back and tell yourself in the early days of business? In the beginning I took on a huge number of weddings per year to make up for my low prices. I found myself working in situations where I would take every project and client that came my way, some of which didn’t fit my business and brand. I think in retrospect, I wish I would have stayed true to myself as a designer.
You have built an extremely beautiful and elegant brand and all of your weddings speak to your style. How has your style developed over time? I’ve always been a huge sucker for vintage elegance. To me vintage is something that is older than 100 years, anything newer is still modern in its own way. My personal taste is influenced by the Edwardian Period – over grown gardens, soft linens, polished silver. But it is also influenced by more modern things, global influences and contemporary simplicity. Most recently it has been the marriage of these influences that really speaks to me.
What advice would you give to an artist who likes it all and can’t narrow down their individual style? For me, style is anything that you love. Its something you love so much that anyone who sees it can see that its yours. Style doesn’t need to be one thing, but rather a true and honest reflection of who you are and those things that you are drawn to time and time again. In my case, there are a few of these things – and they don’t necessarily live in the same design worlds, but they certainly are all me: vintage elegance and global and ethnic art is a perfect example.
In a world full of pinterest, instagram, and blogs, how do you stay true to yourself and create authentic work? To be totally honest, I think it does us all a dis-service to believe that we as designers are not being authentic or true to ourselves if we are inspired by anything we see on Pinterest or Instagram. The truth is that inspiration lies everywhere. Having the work of others so easily accessable on the internet is actually very inspiring. It challenges me, and excites me. I love to see the designers whose work I admire. They are my peers and my teachers. The challenge is to take the inspiration you find, no matter where you find it, and make it yours, make it something different, take that spark and light a fire totally your own. Never feel bad about being inspired, no matter where it comes from.
What has been your career highlight? I have been lucky enough to work with so many talented vendors and have been featured in so many amazing publications. I think the very biggest honor I have ever received was having an Editorial I designed and spent months dreams up featured as the cover of the one and only Style Me Pretty book.
What are your future goals for your brand and what can we expect to see from you in 2015? For 2015, I very much want to focus more on developing myself creatively, and challenging myself to try to new things – work with new mediums. I am excited about collaborating with new vendors and finding new ways to create beauty.
Currently watching: Portlandia, Downton Abbey, The Mindy Project
Currently planning: The Moda e Arte Spring 2015 workshop in Paris
Currently inspired by: Family
Currently dreaming of: White sand, clear water and lots of beer
Photography by KT Merry