I like to think that I’m an open minded person. But, I’ll admit that a few things bug me from the get go. Bad retail service, is one. The thought of spending too much time with lawyers is another. Like an IRS audit, just being there is enough to ruin my day. I know my aversion to lawyers is irrational, but so is my aversion to sharks. Apt comparison, I think.
Yet, no advisor can help you protect yourself as well as a good lawyer. I like to think of MY lawyer as a vaccination against the OTHER guy’s lawyer. Like the old saying â€œNever bring a knife to a gun fightâ€, I’m determined not to be out lawyer-ed.
I exaggerate of course. For the business professional there is no one more important, or more comforting than a lawyer you trust. Those of us in the wedding industry finally have one of our own to turn to. Not just someone familiar with the industry, but someone who has worked in the industry.
Let me introduce you to Katy Carrier of Carrier & Associates, a law firm for wedding professionals and other creative businesses. Katy is also the founder of the workshop series Law School for Wedding Professionals, and the Law for Creatives blog. Prior to launching her law firm and related ventures, Katy ran a successful wedding planning company.
Katy and I sat down to talk about her career and how she feels she can help wedding pros do a better job for our clients and ourselves.
Mr. F: What possessed you to go to law school in the first place?
Katy: I wasn’t one of those people who has known all their lives that they wanted to be a lawyer. I was always very creative, and involved in ballet, visual arts and interior design. I didn’t even consider law school until I was a senior in college. I was a journalism student at UNC-Chapel Hill and took a communications law class that focused on copyright and trademark law, and I became really intrigued by the subject. I then decided to apply to law school, and ended up attending Tulane University in New Orleans.
Mr. F: Before starting Carrier & Associates, you were a successful wedding planner. Not to mention one of the craftiest people I have ever met. What was it about event planning that distracted you from the law?
Katy: I’ve always loved planning and designing parties and events, and have done so for as long as I can remember. I also love to sew and started making custom linens and pillows, as well as paper goods. In 2008, while I was practicing law at a firm in Los Angeles, I decided that I finally wanted to make the leap and open a wedding and event planning company. I started booking weddings in 2009, and continued to also practice law while I had my wedding business. I officially “retired” from wedding planning earlier this year in order to focus on providing legal services for wedding and event industry professionals and other creative businesses.
Mr. F: Since opening Carrier & Associates you have been a very popular lady! You spoke at Engage!11, and numerous wedding professional gatherings and associations. What would you say was your most important message to wedding pros?
Katy: I think the most important thing for wedding professionals is to really understand their business and the legal implications that go along with all of their business decisions. Some of these decisions relate to the foundation of their business, like the business entity (such as sole proprietorships or LLCs), or what kind of contracts they use, or how they deal with their workers, whether they’re independent contractors, employees or interns. Other decisions are ones wedding business owners face every day, such as how they use social media, or how they protect their company’s creative work. There are so many legal considerations surrounding running a wedding business, and I think that a smart business owner is both proactive and reactive with respect to understanding and protecting their own business, and also understanding the rights of others.
Mr F: I think that the Law School for Wedding Professionals is a genius idea. If for no other reason, it keeps people like me from calling for free legal advice. What can your lucky students expect to learn?
Katy: We are covering a lot of material in Law School for Wedding Professionals! We’ll be discussing selecting the proper business entity, client contracts, insurance, protecting your intellectual property, legal issues in social media, employment issues and more. We will also walk step-by-step through filing copyright registrations, preparing cease and desist letters and filing copyright infringement takedown notices. The registration fee also includes a custom, attorney-drafted client contract, which is completed within 14 days of the workshop date, or if attendees do not need a client contract, they can select from other options like independent contractor agreements or trademark application services.
Mr. F: It’s safe to say, we both married over our station. Tell us about your husband Camron?
Katy: Camron is a film school grad and has been a film and TV producer in LA for 10+ years. We’re both from the South originally (me from North Carolina, him from Tennessee), but we met in Los Angeles. Last year I had a bride whose wedding I planned that didn’t have a videographer, so I suggested that Camron try shooting a wedding. He and another friend from film school came out and shot some footage and edited the video, and it was a big hit! He decided soon after to launch a wedding videography company, New Classic Films and has been busy shooting weddings ever since.
Mr. F: Thanks for taking the time to talk with me. I’m excited for the Law School, and excited to see what’s next for Katy Carrier.
Katy: My pleasure Mr. Frostings!
Mr. F: One last thing. Do you know what they call 50 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?
Katy: Haha, I don’t. But I can guess where you’re going with this…
Mr. F: A good start………
The Law School for Wedding Professionals is coming to a town near you. Check out Katy’s website for more information!