We had the good fortune of connecting with Tara Melvin and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tara, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I am humbled to be the Founder and President of The National Society of Black Wedding and Event Professionals (NSBWEP), the first and only Non-Profit National Association (501-C6) representing Black-Owned Businesses in the wedding & event planning industry. NSBWEP’s goal is to provide equal opportunity through representation, recognition and exposure for our community and the wedding and event industry as a whole. NSBWEP’s platform is established to amplify our voices and ensure their narrative continues to remain relevant, present, and evident while underscoring the importance of excellence and professionalism in Business. NSBWEP also serves as a complete resource that allows the entire wedding and event planning industry to benefit from its unique operational model.

For many years, I recognized there was a void in the industry which did not shine the light or elevate Black Creative Entrepreneurs in the wedding and event planning industry. Melvin I recognized this from my consistent involvement in networking events, as I reviewed event media publications, educational platforms, and the leadership within industry associations. I walked into these spaces yearning to see a person that looked like me but to much dismay, the individuals in the room that looked like me only represented about 5% of the space being presented. As an industry leader, I desired to create a space specifically for Black Business Owners; a platform that would galvanize and build a legacy for Black wedding and event professionals throughout the United States and beyond with a common purpose to encourage the excellence for their talent, create unity within the black community and beyond, elevate business acumen via education, yield financial support to its members via scholarships, and bring awareness to others who are unaware of black-owned businesses who provide exceptional services for its consumers, and our contribution in the wedding and event planning industry.

As the world had to sit quiet in 2020 starting with COVID-19, and then to be awakened by the social and racial injustice from the unfortunate death of George Floyd, the conversation became more vocal about the lack of diversity and inclusion in the wedding and events industry. The spark of these conversations ultimately pushed my desired idea to a plan of action to create The National Society of Black Wedding & Event Professionals (NSBWEP). On June 16, 2020, The National Society of Black Wedding & Event Professionals was introduced to the wedding and event planning industry. On July 8, 2020, the association was officially incorporated with the Office of the Clerk of the Virginia State Corporation Commission. The response from the industry has been positively received and supported by NSBWEP’s growing list of Members and ally supporters. It’s Members (representing all professions in the industry) range from the east coast to the west coast, and the Caribbean with interests and support as far as Canada, Nigeria, England, and Dubai. The role of a NSBWEP Member is to continuously uplift its community by instilling the NSBWEP Core Values within their daily walk of life, and to be wherever its Members request their presence. NSBWEP Members are committed to establishing, encouraging and supporting the idea of unity within the organization and within the industry at large.

Membership is about giving back, being proud of our culture, creating opportunities, being an active participant for the advancement of change in the industry, and most importantly being proud to be a NSBWEP Member. Its Members know that NSBWEP represents a place of belonging where they can safely know they have a family that will serve as a foundation of support, where they will be uplifted, and yield as a resource for information and guidance to be strong individuals and business owners in the industry. Members will know that NSBWEP is where they will receive their strength to be “Excellent” within themselves, as a business owner, and to be equipped to exist in an industry that will recognize their talents globally. Currently NSBWEP’s Members (135 plus and growing) are U.S. based and Caribbean with a projection of having 300 Black-Owned businesses by year-end 2021. NSBWEP’s goals is to be active and recognized on a global platform. Not only does the association want to be of support to its Members, but also a partner to other platforms in the industry such as media publications, conferences, retreats, other organizations, etc. The association’s motto states, “We have become the change WE want to BE”!

Website: https://nationalsocietyblackweddingeventprofessionals.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nsbwep

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-national-society-of-black-wedding-event-professionals

Twitter: @nsbwep

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nsbwep

Other: Perfect Planning Events – www.perfectplanningevents-dc.com

Image Credits
Procopio Photography

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlana is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.