Today we’d like to introduce you to Raphael Temple.
Hi Raphael, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
My story started back in high school, but I hadn’t realized it yet. Joining student organizations like Student Government, NHS, and JROTC gave me the opportunity to delve into the world of planning events and being able to explore my creative side.
At that time, it was all for fun (and resume building.) I chased the dream of college volleyball when I was recruited to play at the University of Arizona. Shortly into pre-season, I got an injury that most would consider career-ending. After 4 surgeries and months of rehab, I decided to try one more time and transferred to Scottsdale Community College, which also ended in injury (and then my athletic career ended).
Having a bit of an identity crisis, I realized I had made volleyball my entire life up to that point. Then, COVID hit. After finishing up my business management degree at SCC, I moved back home to the family farm in Prescott, AZ, which we have recently renovated into a wedding venue. After helping the family business through a season of weddings I fell in love with the wedding industry.
At the end of that year, I started my own business – Indigo Productions. Not really having any idea where to start, I began to slowly build a brand and a website. All of a sudden, I was booking wedding consultations to help couples plan and coordinate their special day. I also started offering luxury Pop-Up Picnics, a service that was perfect for proposals, anniversaries, and date nights.
I booked 10 weddings in my first year in business and have now doubled that with over 20 for 2022. With no employees, I’m grateful for the help of family and friends.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
When is it ever a smooth road to starting a business? Although I was brand new in this industry, once I got a few weddings under my belt, I was able to work out the kinks and feel confident in the service I was providing. In June of 2021, I was preparing for my first “big” wedding – around 200 people, a venue I had not planned at before, and a bride I definitely did not want to let down.
Everything was on the schedule that week and we were feeling ready until I played in my city league slow pitch softball game a few days before the wedding on Saturday. Considering my past with injuries, I thought I chose the easiest sport with little to no risk of injury. Oh, how I was wrong. A runner collided with me while I played first base and consequently got knocked backward and break both of my wrists. I was considering not telling the bride, but it would be pretty obvious by the time Saturday rolled around.
That was a fun text. Now in panic mode, I began hiring multiple friends and my brother to make sure this wedding still went off without a hitch. Saturday morning comes, and what a beautiful day. It was warm and sunny, with barely a cloud in the sky. We are all there early, setting up, decorating, and making it look perfect. Lunchtime comes around and I’m planning to release everyone until I need their help later in the night.
That’s when the clouds start rolling in and getting very windy. After the first drop, it didn’t take long before Prescott’s first monsoon storm of that summer came in full force tearing through the venue. I think that was the closest to a mental breakdown I’ve had. Staring at the pouring rain for 45 minutes, everything we had set up getting drenched. Once the storm passed, the venue was now flooded, the decor was strewn about and I had 20 soaking wet dirty tablecloths.
When they say it takes a village, sometimes it takes a city. The venue staff started brushing water away from pooling areas, a friend of the bride took all of the tablecloths to a laundromat, and the rest of my team now had to redecorate everything in only a few hours. Now that it’s all over, I look back at it and smile. The ceremony and reception were beautiful and everything ended up great.
I’m forever grateful for the friends and family that helped me, and for the important lessons I learned – how to delegate and that it was okay not to do everything myself. I learned to roll with the punches and make the best of whatever life tried to throw at me. This proved that I was doing what I loved.
Lisa if you’re reading this, thank you for believing in me. (I even got to help plan and coordinate her 2nd destination ceremony later that year in New Jersey!).
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Indigo Productions comes from my heart and also that my middle name is Indigo. It started with love and is only growing to become a stronger passion of mine. The wedding industry blew me away. Two families coming together to support and make an incredible bond is something that is so special. I admire the work and determination it takes to make a wedding amazing.
I love the connection and relationships I build with couples and am completely fulfilled when we finally come to the day to tie the knot. I offer multiple packages that allow for adjusting because I know each couple is unique and looking for different help to make their day special. Another opportunity I’ve been exploring is Pop-up Picnics.
When my sister-in-law sent me an Instagram post of a company doing it in her state, I knew it would be something to look into. After researching others also doing it in my state, I realized most of them had a similar aesthetic. Being the first one to launch in my city, I wanted to be unique. I really focused on the small details and truly making it a magical experience, even if that meant a little more effort. I’ve hiked up mountains and went walking in Sedona for hours until I found the most perfect spots.
Not one picnic has been the same. The client gets total control in terms of style, florals, location, colors, plus food + drink. This has created a newfound love for thrift shopping and trying new ideas out. One of the most special picnics was a proposal for a friend I’ve known since Kindergarten. Now, fast forward a few decades and I’m on the top of Mt Lemmon in Tucson watching him propose to the love of his life at a picnic I set up.
I just attended their wedding a few weeks ago. I live (and work…) for these moments.
Have you learned any interesting or important lessons due to the Covid-19 Crisis?
Starting my business in the middle of the COVID crisis taught me to listen to every conversation with empathy. Each couple was looking for different ways to make sure everyone felt protected from the virus without canceling what they’d been planning for months.
I made sure to listen to their concerns and made adjustments accordingly. These couples were resilient and despite every complication thrown their way and I admired how they still managed to enjoy every moment. Lots of couples offered masks and sanitizer, and one couple even had color-coded wristbands indicating what kind of interactions they would like.
Red meant, “Please give me some space.” Green, “They would love a hug.” I’m looking forward to this wedding season being a little more relaxed and couples having lots of quality time with friends and family they may not have seen for a while.
- Day-Of Wedding Coordination – $800
- Month-Of Wedding Coordination – $1000
- Wedding Planning & Coordination – $1500
- Pop-Up Picnics – start at $150
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://indigoproductionsaz.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/indigoproductionsaz/?hl=en
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indigoproductionsaz
Brittney & James Photography, Tanner Parten, Jahzel Reyes, Salena Marie Photography, Ashley Cynthia, and Photography Love & Story Photography