Kristen Rocco is a fan of coincidences. She finds the smallest details in her clients’ love stories and makes them shine through her writing. Coincidences, she says, are often overlooked or go unnoticed, but make their love stories unique.
With a career in PR and content strategy, Rocco found a gap in the wedding industry. There weren’t many companies helping couples write their story and their vows. She took on the challenge and founded Love Notery in 2015. Nearly a year later, Rocco has written several love stories and vows, taking the pressure off highly stressed out couples on their wedding day and creating keepsakes that they will cherish for days to come.
We caught up with this one-woman team and talked about what inspired Love Notery and coming back to Atlanta from New York City to launch her business.
Why love stories? What inspired you?
In 2015, on just another day, I was watching TV unwinding from my 9-5 when I caught a glimpse of my wedding photos. It hit me at that moment that my love story — all the reasons why I got married in the first place — began three years before my wedding day, and yet my love story wasn’t at all a focal point of my wedding planning. It never even occurred to me to include our love story into our wedding.
Instead, the logistics of the wedding planning process overwhelmed me, and I sank deeper into the quicksand of making innocuous decisions like making seating arrangements, deciding on which appetizers to pass and negotiating rates for the guest hotels. Wedding planning was less about me and my husband and more about to-do lists and getting things done, and it felt stressful and impersonal.
The moment I saw my wedding photo that day, I got my idea! Not only could I help couples focus on what really matters during the wedding planning process, but I could also turn their intangible love story memories into a beautiful keepsake to share on their wedding day as well as pass down for generations.
Funding or bootstrapped: Bootstrapped
What problem are you solving?
- Alleviating the impersonalization and stress of wedding planning by putting the spotlight back on the engaged couple and providing a solution for them to integrate their love story into their wedding day.
- Giving couples a way to capture and preserve their love story as a family heirloom to pass on to future generations.
- Providing an engagement and wedding gift option for close friends and family of the couple who wish to give a gift that is meaningful, unique and personal and represents the true significance of the milestone occasion being celebrated.
Tell us about your journey before founding Love Notery, career-wise.
I’ve always been an ambitious person with big dreams. I went to North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC and studied Mass Communications. I pursued my graduate degree from the University of South Carolina in Integrated Communications. After I graduated, I moved to Atlanta and tried my hand in advertising when the recession hit. I was motivated to move up, but there were no open positions at my current job, so I started to seek a new opportunity. I found a job position I was interested in at a new PR firm in Atlanta. I was the firm’s third hire. My risk ended up paying off. We grew over 100% while I was there in number of employees and revenue, and I developed a lot as a professional.
I always had my sight set on New York City. It was the place that I had always imagined being to accelerate my career. Fortunately, my husband got a transfer with his job and we left Atlanta on October 1, 2011, for that Empire State of Mind.
Once again, I was hired as the third employee. This time at a PR and marketing agency that was headquartered in LA, but had just opened a new office in New York.
While in New York City, I also ingrained myself in the entrepreneurial community and started a blog called When Opportunity Knocked in which I interviewed entrepreneurs and asked them about their journey to entrepreneurship. My intention was to unlock their secrets so perhaps I could scratch my own entrepreneurial itch one day. My ‘aha’ moment for my own business finally came to me in 2015 as I pondered why my love story hadn’t been the focus of my wedding day when I was looking at my wedding photos at home one day.
The day came when my husband and I decided to leave New York City in our rearview mirror and move back to Atlanta. That was in July of 2015. A month later, I launched Love Notery.
Please describe the market/industry impact.
I’ve carved out a new niche focused on love storytelling in which I work directly with clients to document and preserve their love stories. I’m also in the beginning stages of launching my “Next Chapter” offering in which we add onto our clients love story by documenting more important life experiences like the first year of marriage, motherhood and fatherhood tales, major milestones, career feats, and anything else of significance in a couple’s life. I’m very interested in helping my clients tell the stories that matter most to them and leave behind a legacy to share with future generations.
What’s your revenue model?
We’re a service-based business and collect payment from clients upon their hiring us to write their love story. We also provide vows writing coaching and wedding speech toast consulting. The addition of these two writing and coaching services was a natural fit because they add even more personalization to a couple’s wedding day.
We’ve recently added the Words That Matter Keepsake to our list of services, which is a gift focused on showing the special people in someone’s life how much that person matters to them.
Who are your competitors and how do you stand out?
There are some companies that use technology to help people preserve memorabilia, photos, videos for legacy sake.
Storytelling is at the heart of Love Notery and our competitive edge is being able to synthesize our client’s anecdotes which they tell us verbally into a compelling and cohesive narrative that captures their biography in a way that creates posterity and legacy.