Nine months ago I got married. I really did think that that was the beginning of life for myself. I know that sounds crazy, but I am a Southern girl through and through, and unless you have lived in the south for 99.6% of your life, you wouldn’t understand.
Marriage, well, it’s all we think about. We dream about it, we go to millions of weddings every year, because, in the South, if you aren’t married by 25, all the ladies at church start meddling in your life and sending random young men your number and email address. Laugh all you want you blessed Northerners, but it’s the truth. My brother-in-law, who is from Kentucky mind you, marvels at the whole getting married out of high school or college thing, it literally blows him away. He’s adjusting though. We have taught him and journeyed through it all with him.
We got back from our honeymoon and my husband started his new job, and I was the wife who had an English Degree and was completely, one-hundred percent unemployed. Which is fun for literally 3 days, but my rate lasted 3 months.
Our cousin Kelsey was getting married and had hired a wedding planner looking for an assistant. I received an email saying “just email him, I know it’s part time, but it could be something fun to do. His name is Evan Cooper.”
So I did.
I went to Starbucks expecting a 40-year-old man to walk in. I had no idea who this guy was and I so desperately wanted to seem cool in front of a wedding planner. Because in the South, every girl dreams of working for a wedding planner. Much to my surprise, in walks a 23 year old guy who looked like he walked out of a GAP commercial.
“Hi, are you Laura?” He said timidly.
He sat down and we chatted.
I learned that he did decor for the State Capitol Building, The Governor’s Mansion, and literally planned weddings for every person I have known. EVER.
My little mind was blown. He was 23 and already has a full-fledged business? Very successful, very well known, and completely (inwardly offended) that I didn’t follow him on instagram. I found out later that that was almost a deal breaker. He also made sure that I understood his insane love for Diet Coke and that I was never allowed to tell him it was bad for him.
But, within the first 20 min of a meet and greet, he looked at me and said “SO, when can you start?”
Two weeks later I had a job for a person who was super creative, very sarcastic, obsessed with diet coke and chicken fingers, and NOTHING LIKE ME.
I think the fact that we were the same age intimidated me more than if he had been my Dad’s age. There was a confidence in him that I had never known before. He was all over the place and every task he tackled was beautifully done. The first job he put me to was to make gift baskets. He basically showed me the stuff and said “Ok, go for it.” I put together the baskets, thinking I had done a good job, and presented them back to him. He looked at me, with a sassy glare and said “good, you put them together, CONGRATS… now go make them cute.”
Evan laughed and said “Listen Sweet Cheeks, anyone who has ever done anything great has to start somewhere. Now, go get started.”
Evan ended up fixing everything I touched the first couple of weeks I worked for him. I learned quickly not to get terribly offended when he did. Honestly, he still fixes what I do, and now I appreciate it.
But one thing I have learned and love about my boss is that he really does believe in me. He believes in my husband too. He loves that we are young and is always wanting to help us pursue our biggest dreams. He doesn’t let us choose fear, instead he rejoices in all pieces of our lives. On top of all the events, weddings, and floral designs that he takes on, he manages to make time to shower us with endless gifts and kindness.
One example could be our surprise day trip to six flags, where he included my better half and paid for EVERYTHING. The day was full of so much laughter, a few panic attacks on roller coasters, and IKEA.
I feel like instead of getting a job with a boss, I landed a job with a brother. He is sassy, sarcastic, we fight often, but we take up for each other. He encourages me to pursue all that I am good at and lets me know when something is NOT my forte.
But more than anything…
The greatest thing Evan has taught my husband and I in the short time that I have worked for him is this: Everyone has to start somewhere. You must fearlessly be yourselves in all that you pursue.
Thanks ‘Evan G. Coops’., you’re a dreamer and a do-er, you inspire us all.
*Be sure to check out this video. It may or may not have been one the cutest videos I have ever seen, and perfectly portrays Evan’s vibrant personality.*