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Making the jump into entrepreneurship isn't ever easy, but having your family by your side as you do so definitely helps with the transition.
The Fairey Family, owners of Huitt Farms in Anderson, South Carolina, rely on those family ties to keep everything running smoothly for all of the brides and grooms who choose to tie the knot at their beautiful Upstate venue. The result is an impressive event that still manages to feel intimate: it's a perfect reminder to all of their guests that the venue sits on family property that belonged to Shirley and Ann Huitt, owner Lynne's parents.
Today, we're chatting with Anna Fairey, who runs the venue along with mom Lynne, dad Burke, sister Lauren, and brother Tripp to learn more about their path to entrepreneurship and why this corner of the Upstate is so special.
Tell us a little bit about your path to success. What led you to this profession? Did you always want to be in the wedding industry?
Oddly enough, not really. I got into sales right out of college, and enjoyed doing that. It wasn’t until my sister Lauren's engagement that she and I really thought seriously about opening up a venue.
With the help of our parents, family, and friends we made our dream venue become a reality, but as you can imagine it wasn’t something that just happened in the blink of an eye. Lauren and I would spend hours and hours drawing up floor plans and figuring out design elements of the barn for months before we finally came to the final vision of the venue. A lot of our success was and still is driven by the people who have supported us since we started dreaming this place up on paper.
Once the venue got so busy, I decided to let go of my sales job and take on working the venue full-time. It was something we didn’t expect to happen so quickly, but I am so grateful it did. Now I don’t dream of doing anything but this!
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the SC wedding industry?
Be unique and innovative with whatever you plan on doing! The wedding industry is big in South Carolina, so you definitely don’t want to blend in. You HAVE to stand out.
Several times, Lauren and I have asked ourselves, “why would a couple choose our venue?” Until you can answer that question confidently, keep asking yourself!
What is the best part about working/living in South Carolina? Are you a native? If so, what's made you stay? If you're a transplant, what attracted you to this state?
The people! I was born and raised here, so I'm slightly biased. My sister and I travel all around the world whenever we can, and no matter where we go, it’s always so refreshing to come home to the sweet Southern hospitality!
You really can’t beat the people here, especially in the country! I think it’s adorable that people will come up to me in Anderson to talk about how great of a guy my grandfather was. That’s what I love here the most, the sense of everybody knows everybody and they all treat you like family. I believe the world needs a little more of that these days!
What has been your best moment working in the SC wedding industry so far?
I don’t know if there’s been one specific “best moment," but I do think the best part of working in this industry has been meeting so many amazing people.
From the brides and grooms, their families, the vendors, and even just people in the community, it’s been so humbling and eye-opening to meet and learn about each individual we’ve been introduced to. I truly feel like I’ve made a million new friends just from being in this industry.
It’s so cool how there are so many moving parts to an event and how several vendors/different businesses all come together to make a successful event as one cohesive team. I really think that’s the best part!