Local entrepreneur offers one-stop shop for events

Published 6:00 am Thursday, June 15, 2017

By Joshua Qualls

STANFORD — Need to plan an event, bake a cake, hire a photographer and maybe order some party favors? Oddly enough, a local phlebotomist has you covered.

Over the past few years, Brittany Parsons has merged her various off-the-clock interests into a one-stop freelance shop for those who need a creative hand.

“We’re kind of all-inclusive in everything,” she said. “That’s the best way to put it when I try to explain it to somebody: If you have a party, I can do it all.”

Even though Parsons works full-time for the Kentucky Blood Center, traveling across the state every day to do mobile blood drives, she has had enough success — and has somehow managed to find enough time on the side — to open a home-based retail space on U.S. 27.

“This is kind of a big, big deal,” Parsons said, noting the store is somewhat of a birthday present to herself because she’s turning 26 in a few weeks. “I’ve been making cakes a long time for people and we just needed to incorporate and make it official so that we could advertise to sell.”

The studio is an open, industrial space suited to customization, and it can hold up to 50 people for parties. Its big front windows bring in a lot of natural light, which Parsons prefers over flash like many other photographers — even still, she has backdrops and additional lighting set up for studio portraits.

Parsons’ interest in snapping pictures started about four years ago while taking nature photography as an elective at Asbury University, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history. She later decided to offer portraits with her event-planning and catering services.

“Everybody kept asking me to do it,” she said. “One thing just led to another.”

Parsons started out by moonlighting as a part-time dough puncher several years ago, but then her source of secondary income evolved to include event-planning and later photography. Now she plans weddings, birthdays and other events while making desserts, snapping photos and taking names along the way.

As far as her photography service goes, newborns are Parsons’ favorite subject because she loves to capture their personalities. But beautiful, candid moments generally take the cake for her, she said.

“Everybody shoots in their own way,” she said. “I’ll be like, ‘OK, here’s an idea: Why don’t you all dance? Pretend like you’re dancing and just have fun with it.’ And whatever happens in that moment usually makes the best pictures.”

Despite her busy schedule working for blood center, Parsons has done three weddings this year, including one the weekend before last, and she already has booked several for next year. What’s more, she even travels to do weddings — for example, she did one last June about four hours away in Newcastle, Indiana.

But Parsons said she couldn’t do any of this without her family.

Her younger sister, Hannah Gooch, helps out as a second photographer and event planner when needed, and she’ll be handling much of the business side of things this summer before she begins classes at Eastern Kentucky University in the fall. Parsons’ husband, Jeremy, also helps out a lot, making the stands for her cakes and doing whatever else he can to support her.

“She just looks at something and makes it happen,” said Parsons’ grandpa John Marcum, noting how impressed he is by her work ethic and how proud he is of her. “If she keeps working at it, she’ll fulfill her dream.”

Parsons is available by appointment only. If you’re interested in her services, visit http://www.parsonseventsandphotography.com for pricing and more information.