Sometimes your true calling comes to you when you least expect it. This is the case for Morgan Buster, who hosted an event for her cousin and enjoyed it so much it...
Santa Ana, California
Sometimes your true calling comes to you when you least expect it. This is the case for Morgan Buster, who hosted an event for her cousin and enjoyed it so much it became A La Mode Collections. Morgan and her team now help hundreds of people in Califronia get the equipment they need for events. Booqable has been used for back-end operations for the past two years and has helped them grow from strength to strength.
The event rental industry is massive, and you may think that business owners go into it intentionally, but it’s often not the case. Many event planners find the role after helping a friend or family member with an event and discovering that it’s actually something they’re very good at.
After hosting her cousin’s bridal shower, Morgan Buster founded A La Mode Collections with her brother in 2019. Everyone at the event commented on how great of a job she had done putting it together. As well as how amazed they were at the lengths she went to in perfecting every detail, which was quite the compliment. However, she didn’t immediately jump into the event rental business as she was still studying at UCLA and had to finish her degree.
Reflecting on the period, Morgan said, “At the time, I was also in school studying interior design. So, you can imagine how happy I felt to have so many guests from the event, the bride-to-be included, tell me how beautiful everything was and how special it had all turned out.”
Her cousin, Kym, suggested the idea of starting her events planning business and is quoted as saying it was “right up her alley.” Morgan sat with the idea for a while and processed the thought of starting her own rental business and eventually thought, “Maybe this could be a reality.” Soon, she went to her brother, a carpenter, and he jumped at the idea.
A La Mode Collections represents boho and chic design with a carefully curated collection of unique and specialty rental items. Many of them are vintage and serve as statement pieces at the events they service. Their collection today includes more than a dozen wicker peacock chairs, beautiful handwoven macramé backdrops, bamboo chairs with backings that fan out in the shape of daisy petals, and photo backdrops.
In the early days of the business, Morgan would spend much of her time doing the many steps it took to book customers for an event. In addition, her typical day-to-day would include a lot of communication as she spoke back and forth with a customer over the phone or via email. This was, of course, a very time-intensive task, and as the business grew, so did the headaches.
A typical order includes getting the details of a client’s event, what items they are interested in, sending quotes and invoices (often multiple times with additional item requests), and manually managing a calendar to avoid double bookings. Unfortunately, this process was prone to human error and led to miscommunications on a few occasions.
Following this, she would have to chase customers for payments, and sometimes it could be pretty tricky. Either there wasn’t a convenient way for a customer to pay, or she would be spending extra time chasing payments. All of this became too time-consuming and stressful for herself and her customers, so something had to change.
Morgan knew she had to automate some of the processes included in taking bookings and fulfilling orders. So, she compared a few different pieces of software and decided that Booqable met her needs the best. In particular, the online store and order management process are what she believes are the best aspects of Booqable.
Integrating Booqable with her website has made it super easy for customers to browse the items she rents out, when they are available and how much they will cost to reserve for their special day. In addition, once a customer makes a booking, it is synced to the calendar and inventory, ensuring that items are available and there are no more availability issues.
She no longer has to spend hours “going back and forth with customers several times before proceeding with their rental.” Instead, the entire process now happens automatically within Booqable and has given her more time to focus on other aspects of the business. In addition, it has allowed A La Mode Collections to grow faster than she ever imagined.
Finally, integrating both Stripe and PayPal into the checkout now gives her customers a choice for how they pay. She no longer needs to spend unnecessary time getting paid as the entire process is handled automatically online. Something Morgan is very fond of, and in reply to how Booqable has solved her problems, she replied, “One word: Automation!”
Since adding Booqable to her site, Morgan schedules more events than ever before, and the process is a lot easier. In addition, it has freed up the time to focus on growing A La Mode Collections beyond a small collection of furniture to a fully-serviced event rental business that caters to weddings, bridal showers, birthdays, and so much more. She has managed to grow her business without increasing labour costs which has led to greater proft.
Her customers have commented how quick and easy it is to book through the online store on her website. It has resulted in compliments and positive reviews, with customers commenting on how straightforward the order flow is and how there isn’t the back and forth to get quotes and service. Something that is common among many event rental businesses that don’t accept online bookings.