Many college students dream of starting a business of their own. Get to be your own boss. Work on what you’re passionate about. It’s a student’s dream job. However, many aspiring entrepreneurs never achieve this goal because of the many challenges they may face along the way. TAI student Monica Gonzalez has achieved her dream by starting her own event planning company, D’LUXE Group.
Gonzalez gained experience creating relationships with restaurants, bars, and other vendors while working for UConnection, a recently launched app that provides college students with discounts for off campus dining. She used these connections and her networking ability as a starting block to create her event planning company.
“My experience with UConnection helped me penetrate into the restaurant/bar industry in Dallas,” Gonzalez said. “Based off of the relationships I created from my summer with UConnection, I was able to easily approach the business that I knew would be interested in partnering up with D’LUXE Group, if they had previously shown interest in the SMU market. I never fully understood the power of building relationships until now. These people I took the time to know have given me their unconditional support and would do anything in their power to see D’LUXE Group succeed.”
Since its inception in December 2016 D’LUXE has helped local sororities and fraternities plan events for their chapters, including SMU’s chapters of Pi Kappa Alpha, Kappa Alpha Theta, Pi Beta Phi, and Phi Delta. Gonzalez has had lots of help along the way, including her partners former SMU Cox student Jonathan Garay and current SMU Cox student Gabriel Gonzalez.
“The three of us have dedicated a great deal of time and effort to the development of our company,” Gonzalez said. “It is incredible to see how each one of us brings something different to the table. We complement each other in our personal strengths and weaknesses.”
Like any other new business, there have been challenges along the way. However, the rewards of creating a business surely outweigh the negatives.
“The most challenging part, like any other entrepreneur might say, is the unlimited hours and effort building a business takes,” Gonzalez said. “And it makes it even harder when you don’t see a profit right away. [However,] the awesome partnerships I’ve created and seeing my friends having the best time ever at the events D’LUXE Group has organized for them is very rewarding.”
Gonzalez has used her advertising education and skills to help her brand her company from scratch. She has also appreciated the help of TAI’s professors and faculty.
“My advertising courses have taught me how to brand a company from the ground up,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve learned the power of promotion and the platforms that should be used to maximize your media budget. I would like to thank TAI for their unconditional support and mentorship. They have always believed in me even when I did not. They are the reason I was brave enough to decline two internships and take a leap of faith in building D’LUXE Group.”
With so much support along the way, Gonzalez has been able to create a business that she is proud of and achieve her dream along the way.
“My career-driven dream and goal has always been to build a business I am passionate about,” Gonzalez said. “D’LUXE Group has not only given me the opportunity to start my own business, but has also gifted me with the privilege of doing what I love most: long-lasting relationships, event planning, and brand building.”
To contact D’LUXE Group, call (512) 563-4073 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.