Female Founder Feature: Juliet Horton – Everly

Juliet Horton is the Founder & CEO of Everly.
Armed with a wealth of experience in technology and finance, Juliet launched her entrepreneurial career with Everly after realizing something was missing from her career – passion. Everly is completely changing how couples plan their wedding by providing all the personalized support of a wedding planner for a fraction of the price.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Loyola Marymount University and an MBA from the Tuck School of business at Dartmouth.
Read on to learn more about Juliet’s entrepreneurial journey.
Tell us about your company. What inspired you to start it?
Everly is reinventing wedding planning, saving couples hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars. The wedding planning industry is fascinating in that it has changed very little in the last few decades. I saw this first hand, and was inspired to do something about it, when I planned a number of large events during business school. It was difficult to get pricing information and it became clear that no vendors had an incentive to improve the customer experience. As I dug deeper into the industry, another motivation followed. The wedding industry is still tailored exclusive to women and based on the underlying assumption that getting married is the most important part of a women’s life. This is completely out of touch and alienating to women of this generation. Building a product that changes this narrative and makes peoples lives easier continues to motivate me.
Who are your cofounders and what makes you a great team?
I am a sole founder but have had a great team from the start and would not have come this far without them. I have a team of three developers who are full of ideas and patiently teach me how our back end runs – and reign me in when I have crazy ideas. I recently expanded the team to bring on marketing experts and it has been a lifesaver. Trying to do everything yourself does not work for very long – it leads to burnout and a lower quality product. I just wish I had realized that sooner!
How is your company making a difference?
Everly is taking something complex and commonly considered stressful and bringing transparency and efficiency.
What are some of the challenges you have faced? Changing consumer behavior is hard. We offer a service that is more efficient and less expensive than any other option and yet it is challenging to convince consumers to try something new. Establishing credibility and social proof continues to be our focus in order to drive conversion.
What is your biggest win? The wedding planning process is a long one, and while we gained our first customers early on after launch, it wasn’t until towards the end of this year that we had our first customers get married and fully cycle through. Getting reviews from these initial customers and hearing about how much they benefited from, and appreciated Everly was immensely rewarding and a satisfying win. Also, getting our very first customer will go down as one of the best wins – a small step but such a big deal!
Who is your role model? I’ve got RBG on the mind after seeing the recent film about her. What I find so inspiring about Justice Ginsburg is that for decades she has maintained focus on her goals and worked tirelessly towards enacting much needed change. It is easy to become disheartened when success does not come quickly, learning about her career reminds me that big things take time.
What do you wish you had known before starting your company? It will be a longer road than you expect it to be. Be prepared, mentally, emotionally and financially to stay the course.
What has been your experience with FFA? Starting a company is a rollercoaster. Having a stellar group of female founders around me has helped me immeasurably. The members of FFA keep me motivated and inspire me to reach further and provide much needed perspective during this crazy journey.
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