If you know anything about me, you know just how much of a small business advocate I am. I will be your number 1 hype girl and help anyway I can. You need more IG followers on your new page? I got you. You need some photos to launch that new website? I got you. During COVID quarantine, I helped several struggling business and gave the gift of product photos so that they could stay alive just a little longer while upping their marketing and websites. COVID has impacted us more than some realize and I felt as though it was the least I could do while not doing sessions or wedding and using the talent I have been given. (So I’m told 😉 )
Being a small business myself, I know the struggle it brings sometimes. We get beat out by cheap big box stores that provide half the quality in a lot of cases! The Saturday following Thanksgiving is known as “Small Business Saturday”. While I think every Saturday, and every day for that matter, should be Small business day, let’s embrace what we do have 😉
In this blog post I want to highlight, recognize and promote a few small businesses who provide products and services either in the Central Florida area or virtually. Some of these I have used personally or I know the owners personally. Some I have not used personally, but have heard great things about them. As with anything else, be sure to always do your due diligence when hiring someone for a product or service!
Stefano’s Trattoria is a locally owned Italian restaurant serving authentic Sicilian food owned by Alejandro Martinez. Anyone who knows Alejandro knows he has a passion not only for food and the industry, but also for people. He is involved in many local fundraisers and events and is always giving back to the community anyway that he can. Alejandro and his team have won several awards and have been recognized multiple times for the community work that they do. I am lucky to consider Alejandro a friend!
MEANING OF TRATTORIA:
noun: trattoria; plural noun: trattorias
An Italian restaurant serving homestyle comfort food. Here at Stefano’s Trattoria we offer Time, Quality, and Passion, the best ingredients for an exquisite meal. Quality and Passion we do have. Time you have to give us. We are very delighted to have you as our guests. We hope our love and dedication to this restaurant will add to the pleasure of your meal.
Stefano’s Trattoria is a dine in restaurant and offers take out, delivery, online ordering, catering, bar service, dessert and more. They also have live music on the weekends and during special events. Stefano’s hosts many business meetings and parties, such as, birthdays, rehearsal dinners and even small weddings! They also cater weddings, business meetings and lunches and so much more. Offering affordable catering is one of the things they are most known for, besides their Tortellini di Stefano of course! Stefano’s has done catering for my office events and it’s always a big hit.
I have personally been in their kitchen and can tell you it’s the CLEANEST I’ve ever seen. Alejandro and his team take great pride in the cleanliness of their restaurant, especially now during a pandemic, but always have.
We all know Alejandro has the heart of gold. If you are in need of somewhere to host a small-medium sized party, someone to order catering for your work teams or parties, or just looking for a nice place for date night, Stefano’s is definitely a solid choice.
My Sicilian Grandmother-in-law can vouch for the authentic taste of their food. She insists on going for dinner anytime she comes down to visit us!
About Wedding Venue Map:
Wedding Venue Map is a print and digital resource that connects engaged couples at the very beginning stages of wedding planning with local Central Florida venues and vendors. At Wedding Venue Map, our mission is simple: We give anyone searching for a wedding venue one place to go to find EVERY ceremony and reception location in the Orlando area and be able to sort by over 40 different specific criteria.
The Wedding Venue Map is the print version of Google, offering both engaged couples and professionals visual access to the finite assembly of all 380+ wedding venues and their geographic location. Our companion website WeddingVenueMap.com offers the ability to search venues with the most comprehensive datasets found online.
The printed Map and website offer wedding professionals the ability to affordably market their services to the thousands of couples using it to secure their venue in the early stages of wedding planning. Wedding Venue Map also believes in helping to connect our venues and vendors to each other to grow deeper referral relationships.
We have created a unique resource for brides, grooms, and their families that saves them a ton of time and energy during wedding planning. By helping the end-user with a unique service (brides, grooms, and their associated families), we are able to help wedding pros drive leads to their company from couples in the very early stages of the wedding planning process.
Wedding Venue Map provides our venue and vendor partners with brand awareness, directly connects engaged couples to their website, SEO linkbacks through their listing, blog and features, social media sharing, and better connection with other wedding pros.
About Shannon Tarrant:
My wedding industry career happened by total chance. I was a restaurant server when a friend opened a door to being my career in catering. I started at the bottom and worked my way up into managing weddings and social events. I dove in, head first, reading wedding & industry magazines, taking classes, and learning from mentors.
I honed my sales skills, built lasting relationships, mastered outside-the-box marketing and executed flawless events. Ready for a new challenge, I entered the world of venue management. This was the second time I elevated a lesser known company and put them on the map.
After ten years of working with engaged couples, my passion shifted. I got more excited about sharing coffee and tips with a fellow vendor than signing another wedding contract. It was time to try something different so I left my comfortable job for a new challenge – educating and elevating wedding and event professionals.
My goal has always been the same. Use the knowledge and skills that I’ve perfected in the areas of sales, marketing and operations to help wedding and event companies build sustainable success. My business includes providing help for wedding pros through one-on-one coaching, business evaluations, group learning, and speaking engagements.
I’m not the coach who hasn’t been down in the trenches with you. My reputation comes from years of creating amazing memories for my clients and proving to my local wedding pros that I know my stuff.
Oh, did I forget to mention that as a consultant, I met my now business partner, Derek Berge, and founded WeddingVenueMap.com? The goal didn’t change. We created a unique print and online resource for every venue in Central Florida.
It helps couples search through all the options and provides wedding professionals affordable advertising. Wedding Venue Map allows me a daily conversation with today’s engaged couples, which are insights I share with wedding pros who work with me.
The road to get here has taken some twists and turns, but I get the chance to live my passion every single day!
Email: [email protected]
You can catch me on the Wedding Venue Map myself as a preferred vendor and be on the lookout for the cover of the Spring 2021 Map to see the cover photo from yours truly! 🙂
I am Cortne Oser and I am the owner of LuBelle’s Cakes, a Central Florida custom cake and cookie studio. I have been in the baking and pastry arts business for a little over 10 years. After graduating Pastry School, I found that the art of cake was my passion so I pursued it with the creation of LuBelle’s Cakes. I am known for my particular attention to detail and I focus my time on intricate and elegant wedding cakes as well as custom decorated cookies. From small and intimate, to grand and elegant wedding cakes, I am determined to create the perfect wedding cake for my couples.
Furry Ventures Pet Care is a Wedding Day Pet Care company, we help couples who want to include their dogs in their wedding but just don’t know how. We handle everything pet related, from providing you with a licensed dog handler, round trip pet transportation, and coordinating with all your vendors before and during the wedding. We also assist with the ceremony and pictures, making sure your pup is looking at the camera. We provide black leashes, collars, or harnesses for wedding day use, and of course- all day love and care. We take them on a “Furry Venture” while we wait for their time to shine in front of the camera. Our number one goal is to make sure your dog is safe and is having the best day ever! We make sure its a stress-free experience for you!
HEY, EVERYONE! I’M REGINA
I grew up in a small town right outside of New York City. My love for animals started at a very young age, bringing home stray animals and begging my mother to keep them. I am a big advocate for adoption and volunteer my time at local pet shelters. After I graduated college, I moved to Tampa to pursue a career in Public Relations. I adopted a dog from a local shelter and his love reinforced my desire to work with animals.
I started a Wedding Pet Care Company after I got married and saw that there wasn’t much help with including your pets in your wedding.
I always dreamed of having my dogs at my wedding but didn’t want to put the responsibility on my friends or family. So, I quit my day job and started Furry Ventures Pet Care to help other couples’ dreams come true!
Hi, I’m Jay – Founder of Limitbreak
Limitbreak is a boutique web design, graphic design, branding, and digital marketing agency based in New York.
With nearly a decade of experience building start-ups from the ground-up, we know what it takes to make your business stand out from your competitors, resonate with your audience, and get results.
From logo and website design to SEO and digital marketing campaigns – we offer a more personal, one-on-one, approach to each project.
We have always found that the best results are created in an environment that promotes careful listening, creativity, and collaboration.
Working together, we will explore what makes your company unique and create a product that is 100% you.
Talk to us today to see how we can help elevate your business and break some limits.
You can see all about the website Jay made for ME here! (I’m obsessed)
The Tiny Creator – Afton Johnson
Hello friends! I am the creator of all of these babes and if you haven’t noticed by name and designs, I’m a little different! Pronounced af-tun, I still get Ashley, Ashton, and my favorite – Austin. My name matches my dynamic personality!
“But Afton, how did you get into florals?” Glad you asked! Craigslist! Yup – that handy dandy website led me to the person I refer to as my mentor. I saw the listing for a designer and figured, hey, I know the art world and color things, I could do this! Amanda (that’s my mentor) asked me to bring in artwork since I mentioned having an art background and I was uh…in a black and white phase at the time…didn’t really think about it when I showed up. She hired me and that was that! Sort of…
I learned a lot working under Amanda, but unfortunately she had to close her shop up. And then I stumbled upon an ad for an administrative assistant for a tattoo studio – insert all of my tattoos here. Sorry mom! I learned pretty much everything about how a business works, marketing and advertising from becoming the Operations Manager of Studio Thirteen. But I found myself taking apart Publix flowers and making them better in my free time. I wanted to create. My lovely bo (beau, not boo) knew this and would push me and ask me constantly, what do you want to with your life? Why not create? Why not open a shop? Why not start a business? Because that’s scary, duh. But – if you’re dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough!
One day he gave me a key, just some random key he had picked up while demoing a building. He said to close my eyes and tell him what my shop looked liked. I wanted big windows, so people could see what I was doing. But that’s all I had in mind. He told me to hang it in a spot I could see it every day and think about my shop, every day. So it hangs on my rearview mirror. He was the kick in the booty to set things in motion. I got down on one knee one day while my mentor was doing flowers for someone else and asked her, with a rose in my mouth, “Will you be my mentor?” She laughed at me, called me a dork, and said yes. My mom let me take over her house and garage and that’s how I started!
My little seed has grown into something amazing and my roots are spreading. I’m always up for travel and creating the unique and different things. I call it collaborating with my brides because we’re working together. You tell me your vision, I incorporate my style, and we’ve got amazing floral productions that take place! So let’s start cookin’, shall we?
Fern and Curl Designs
IG – @fernandcurldesigns
Facebook – Fern and Curl Designs
Mark Aria Entertainment is run by Marcus and Maddy Fulinara, a real married couple that understands what goes into planning a wedding and how important it is in picking a DJ that keeps the party going. They offer DJ services, lighting, officiant services and have two photo booths as well. Our team has two DJ’s and two photobooth attendants. Winners of Best Reception Entertainment in 2019 by Folio Weekly and top vendors with The Knot and Wedding Wire.
Follow us at @mark_aria_entertainment
Mark Aria Entertainment
Marcus Fulinara – Co-OwnerDj Mark AriaC: 904-999-0627
Madalaine Fulinara – Co-OwnerVogue To Go Photo BoothC: 904-999-0627
Winner of Best of Jax! Wedding Entertainment for Folio Weekly 2019
Winner of Best of Weddings for the Knot 2019 & 2020
TheKnot.com Vogue To Go Photo Booth
I’m Ashley! Professional makeup artist and licensed esthetician. I loooove weddings! Bridal makeup is my bread & butter, but I’m dipping my toes in the professional photoshoot world. Weddings are special to me because I’m always honored that brides choose me to be part of their day, they get to see my work every-time they look at their wedding photos! I’m based in North Florida but travel, too. I was voted Best Lash Extensions in Folio Weekly Magazine, and recently The Knot Best of Weddings 2021.❤️
Hey everyone! I’m Candace, the lady behind the TEC brand. I am so excited to welcome you on this journey with me. I’ve been in events for just about 20 years. It’s all I’ve ever known. I got started at a super young age and haven’t stopped since. I literally live and breathe everything about them.
When I became a certified planner in 2013, I knew the events industry was my passion. I love to help clients, family, and friends, find their creative voice through the event planning process. Every event is unique because no client is the same and that’s what I love.
I strive for excellence and want nothing but the best for my clients no matter who they are – bride, groom, birthday diva, mommy-to-be, whoever. At the end of the day, as long as they are happy, I am too!!
Now to the good stuff – I am married to the best husband for me (and yes, even though I thought I could plan my own wedding – I still ended up hiring a planner to finish the race with me). He is my calm voice, the bacon to my eggs, the peanut butter to my jelly, the syrup to my pancake, the icing to my cake, my CHERRY ON TOP!! My good thing!!
Together, we created two beautiful baby boys that have turned my world inside out. The greatest gift is being their mom. They have shown me another side of life that I didn’t know existed. They are my miracle blessings and I am so grateful I was chosen to be their mommy!
Enough about me…let’s get to planning your next event!
Flourish Creative Designs
Launched in 2016, Flourish Creative Designs offers a range of custom wedding signage and decor, as well as stationery! I decided to start Flourish Creative Designs a few years back after helping a dear friend of mine plan all the little details of her wedding. I created a custom aisle running with their monogram, a welcome sign, seating chart, table decor, buffet signage, and multiple other items to help bring her vision to life. After a few sessions with her, talking about all of the details of her dream wedding, I realize how much I love utilizing this talent of mine to help others! Fast forward four years, and lots and lots of practice later, and now we’re here!
As a recent bride myself, I know how stressful the tiny details can be, and how many options are out there for couples to choose from. My goal is to work closely with my couples to bring their vision to life by focusing on even the smallest details, and taking that pressure off of the couple to worry about. Through custom signage and invitations, I’m able to help the couples incorporate more of their personalities into their wedding from the very first guest impression (receiving the invitation in the mail) to walking into the ceremony on their wedding day (personalized guest books, welcome signs, and so much more). Each couple of mine is treated like family, and I’m so excited to help them add a little extra Flourish to their special day.
Hello, I’m Angela! Angela’s Floral Studio offers the community an array of flowers, plants, bouquets and so much more. We carry a wide variety of flowers that come from all over the globe. We opened our doors in September in Pierson, Florida but have been in the floral business for 23 years! I’ve worked for many floral shops across the country, but decided it was time to spread my wings and open my own studio.
Being so close to a wholesaler not only allows us to carry a larger supply, but it also provides us with the freshest possible flowers and allows us to offer our customers competitive prices depending on the market value.
Unlike most floral shops, we have a studio, without the retail store front. I have an online retail store, but I mainly specialize in weddings and events. If someone is having a wedding or needs flowers for a funeral they can make an appointment to view our supply in our giant walk-in coolers.
In addition to weddings and funerals, Angela’s Floral Studio also does baby showers, corporate meetings, and everything in between.
The studio offers same day delivery and services Deland, Glenwood, DeLeon Springs, Astor, Pierson, Barberville and Seville.
Angela’s Floral Studio is located at 1315 Church St, in Pierson. We are by appointment only and our hours are 9a.m.–5 p.m. on Monday–Friday and 10 a.m.–3 p.m. on Saturday.
I’m Stephanie! I am a consultant with Pure romance and I bring the party to you! Our parties are always free, and the bride to be will always be spoiled! Parties are ladies 18+ only and a great way to spoil your bachelorette with goodies galore! We’ll play games, learn fun bedroom tips and tricks, talk about sexual health and wellness and end the night with a private, customized shopping Experience for each guest and the bride! The thing I love most about my business is the sexual health education I get to provide to help women and their partners get closer with their intimate selves!
To introduce myself , I am an Eastern European immigrant from Kosova and moved to the United States of America as a young girl where I met my husband and created our family of 5. You will see me grow and bloom into the flower God created me to be.
I intend to devise a entertaining online community where we can all relate, connect & experience things together.
My make up line features lip kits that are a weightless, creamy lip liner pairs with liquid lipstick. They are infused with olive, castor and coconut oil for an all day comfortable wear. Named after my three children, each ones means something special to me!
Whether it is my Business, Motherhood or Charisma, I aspire to inspire you.
Care & Co.
Care & Co. creates custom desserts to make every event memorable, big or small we love them all. We offer unique and delicious cakes, macarons, sugar cookies and much more for all occasions with many dietary lifestyles in mind. We proudly serves Pinellas Countt and surrounding Tampa Bay areas.
At Care & Co. our mission is to create the most exquisite baked goods. Our inspiration comes from everywhere; art, fashion, landscapes, music and most of all, from each one of our individual clients. Every order is custom made for each guest with their specific event in mind. Care & Co offers many dessert options for any occasion. Let us create something unique and tasty for your upcoming dinner, party, wedding, or other special event. I love to work with new design concepts as well as experiment with new techniques to create something extra special. We specialize in fondant covered cakes using our home made marshmallow fondant but will always love the creativity buttercream has the opportunity to bring.
We value locally grown, fresh ingredients made into traditional recipes that taste amazing and are adventurous enough to pair the abnormal flavors to create something that make your taste buds dance in excitement. We love to allow the flavors to tell the story the design holds.
Owner and Creative Designer, Carrie, has many dietary restricted needs and has worked towards creating delicious new recipes that will have you going back for more, miss out on dessert no more.
We pride ourselves on offering regular as well as many dietary and allergy friendly options such as:
Paleo and Keto options are also available.
Patricia Sheridan– Gregarious Designs
My name is Patricia Sheridan, and I am a watercolor artist and designer located Orlando Florida. My heart sings for wildflowers and unconventional florals. My love for adventure is brought into the designs I create for companies and the products in my shop.
Short & Sweet (just like this gal) The inside of my brain is a creative festival that has 100 tabs open at a time, and leaves me wondering where the music is coming from. The imagination is our greatest tool, and I believe it is something to never let fade away. That is why you’ll find me daydreaming, getting distracted by something shiny, doodling or causing a ruckus. Most people sum me up with one word and that is quirky. When i’m not mixing it up in the studio, you can find me hangin with my man and my pup, and hopefully at the beach.
My creative journey began in foster care. The first Christmas, I received a paint set that leads to painting galore. When I was adopted, my foster mom encouraged my mom to keep me creating, and she did just that. Growing up, I had access to any medium and was confident I would be an art teacher or designer for textbooks. My mom was my biggest supporter and created an environment that consisted of exploring and trusting my creative process.
After she passed, I stopped all forms of creating and lost the spark. It wasn’t until my last semester of college that I followed my whispers and signed up for an art class and remembered my love of messy palettes, smudged charcoal on my arms, and being surrounded by driven artists. What started as opening up my creative box lead to creating for others. Talk about scary! But it takes only a few seconds of courage to make waves.
Those acts of courage lead me to my first licensing deal and magazine feature. It wasn’t easy, but along the way, I found my voice, made plenty of mistakes, and gained experience that shaped me into who I am today.
Keeping that spark fueled, unfolding my passion for creating, and making art galore is my present journey, and it’s always an exciting ride.
If you wanna follow along, you can find me on the gram where you’ll see my cute pup and adorable best friend I call husband. Looking forward to growing with you and it’s an honor to have you by my side!
Shaina Winsdor, more commonly known by her professional name “DJ Lady Shay”, has become a stand out professional in the entertainment industry. Due to her versatility and diverse mind set DJ Lady Shay has grown to become one of the most well rounded entertainers of Central Florida, and most recently has taken her talents to the national and international stage. With a sense of musical artistry not found in the average professional, DJ Lady Shay has overcome the barriers of a male dominated profession to excel beyond limitations and become a driving force that is spear heading a new chapter for female DJ’s.
Jill Heaton Event Decor is a floral designer out of Central Florida.We cater to customizing every bride’s dream wedding. Been in business for almost 30 years creating weddings and large scale events.
I have been in the Wedding and Event industry since the early 1990’s creating one of a kind luxury style weddings and events. We of course go beyond just flowers, and our pricing always includes all the details. We believe so deeply in keeping our sole focus on our brides that we will never schedule more than one wedding or event on the same weekday or weekend. We want you to have the most beautiful experience with us creating your dream vision
Thank you for considering supporting local small businesses!
**please note I have not personally used all of the businesses on here and hold no responsibility should you hire them for their services, this blog is meant to give the opportunity to support small businesses in the area. Should you be interested in hiring somebody from this list and would like to reach out to ask about my experience, please feel free to do so!**