Today we spotlight Katie Cotton, Owner of Cotton Rouge and Co.
Sheridan Butcher - My Wedding Group (00:01):
Hey Katie, how are you?
Katie Cotton - Cotton Rouge and Co.(00:02):
Good. How are you?
Sheridan Butcher - My Wedding Group (00:04):
Good. I'm doing good. How are things going with Cotton Rouge?
Katie Cotton - Cotton Rouge and Co.(00:07):
I'm good. I mean, we've postponed over a hundred weddings. I think we're at 106 now. So yeah, high volume group, 28 artists, you know, that's just a lot of weddings postpone when you're looking at most of March, all of April, May, you know, there's a lot of them, so a lot of rescheduling happening, but we're all keeping our spirits up right.
Sheridan Butcher - My Wedding Group (00:30):
And a reschedule is better than a cancel. Right?
Katie Cotton - Cotton Rouge and Co.(00:33):
I think we've only had like less than five cancel altogether, which when you're looking at over a hundred, it's pretty good.
Sheridan Butcher - My Wedding Group (00:40):
Awesome. So tell me a little bit about your story. Tell me about you and kind of where you and Cotton Rouge came from.
Katie Cotton - Cotton Rouge and Co.(00:47):
I actually grew up in Indiana. I studied theater, but I also studied makeup design. My dad's a set designer, my mom's a costume designer.
Katie Cotton - Cotton Rouge and Co.(00:56):
So did a lot of that and then moved out to Los Angeles and quickly decided when there, I've had moved out there thinking like I might act, I might do makeup. I don't know. And quickly decided when I was there that I really loved the world of makeup artistry. And so I started working got an agent, started working on some, some big productions, some small, you know, different things like that. And then met my husband out in L.A. And when we had our first child, we decided we didn't want to stay in L.A. That that's just a really, really hard world to raise a family. And so we decided to move and we chose Greenville. We had been here one time and just kind of moved across the country and bought a house online. And we're kind of those like, don't look just leap people.
Katie Cotton - Cotton Rouge and Co.(01:48):
So we moved here and I, I knew that one of the things I really liked when I was working in LA and on some of these bigger productions is I really loved working with the ones that the artists that were new, cause I did a lot of music videos and commercials, but I liked working with the people who hadn't done stuff before cause they were more excited. And I was like, how do I get that client all the time? I want someone who's like so stoked to be getting her makeup done that doesn't normally get her makeup done. And I was like, weddings, like that's what a wedding is. It is one big production. The bride is my you know, hero talent. The bridal party are the supporting actors and then the vendors are all my crew. So I decided to focus on weddings and just kind of grew the business from there.
Katie Cotton - Cotton Rouge and Co.(02:35):
And I just, I love it. And then I grew this as, as more weddings came in that I couldn't do, I started adding artists to the team. I like being a little bit of a mama bird and I liked management a little bit. So just slowly added more and more team members different artists to book out on weddings as well. That's how the team has gotten so large.
Sheridan Butcher - My Wedding Group (02:55):
Awesome. Awesome. So what would you say, like your typical couple looks like? Know what's, what's your style, I guess? What's your, what is your bride?
Katie Cotton - Cotton Rouge and Co.(03:02):
We don't really have a specific style to be quite honest, especially because there are so many artists on the team. There's definitely artists that are more glamour and then we've got artists that are like excel more in the natural and we try to assign the bride to the best artists for them. But we're not really working. Like I never meet the grooms like ever, you know, I'm only working with the bride cause it's only the getting ready part of the day. So I mean our typical bride could be someone who never wears makeup and it could be someone who like loves makeup and hair and always has makeup. So I don't really feel like we have a typical type of client. They're kind of all over the word.
Sheridan Butcher - My Wedding Group (03:50):
Awesome. Typical client. A bride.
Katie Cotton - Cotton Rouge and Co.(03:53):
Yeah, a bride who wants to be beautiful.
Sheridan Butcher - My Wedding Group (03:58):
So tell me a little bit about your process. Whenever you book with a bride for a wedding and you know from the time they book you to the Wedding Day.
Katie Cotton - Cotton Rouge and Co.(04:06):
They'll contact us, you know, inquire is their date open, and we do ask for some information like the, her style inspo what kind of looks she likes. Cause obviously we want to pair her with the best artists for her. Sometimes we just get style inspo and looks at she likes and we assigned from there. Other brides want to have a little bit more of a hands on choosing their artists, in which case for her date we'll give her a list of these are the artists that are available. Every artist on our team does have a page on our website that a bride can see her work. But we also have hashtags for every single artist on the team. So while we use #cottonrougeco for our hashtag that all the artists will always use.
Katie Cotton - Cotton Rouge and Co.(04:51):
So a bride can just search that hashtag and see not just our page, but the pages of all the artists I work with, they've posted too. Because with that many artists obviously it's hard to post everybody all the time. And then from there she can be like, okay, these are the artists that I really like or we can say, okay, so for your wedding date you can look up Erica, Melissa, Heather and Jane. And then she'll look up CRC Heather, look at all Heather's of CRC Erica, look at all at Erica's stuff, just depending on what artists is available and then she can pick which artists she would like to be her lead artists. And then some just say I trust you. Just put me with somebody who's really strong at braids or put me with someone who's, I have a hair heavy wedding, someone that's, you know, really strong and fast with hair.
Sheridan Butcher - My Wedding Group (05:39):
Awesome. So what do you say is probably your favorite part about what you do? Like what do you enjoy most about what you do.
New Speaker (05:46):
I love to make people feel good about themselves for a living? I mean, it's awesome. Like I, I am like someone who gets to uplift and empower and just make people feel good. So that's a really, really cool thing. Of course, the other part of my business, which is part of My Wedding Group as well, there is a booth up for that too, is I also do boudoir photography. So that's kind of the same thing with the makeup and hair business. I get to take one person, glam them up, make them feel amazing, and then give them an end product that they're really, really excited about. So both sides of that business are all about making someone feel really good. And there's nothing like having someone look at the mirror after you've done their makeup and hair and just be like, Oh my gosh, I didn't know I could look like this!
Katie Cotton - Cotton Rouge and Co.(06:33):
Or like I've had brides cry, like they just get really teary because they're just so excited and what they look like. So good. So I mean that's definitely the best part. I love the community that is around with wedding vendors, especially here in the upstate. I think we have a great vendor community, so I really love that aspect of weddings. Like working with weddings. I love all the other vendors, but doing makeup and hair, I love making the bride just feel awesome.
Sheridan Butcher - My Wedding Group (07:05):
Awesome. So what do you have like a proud, like a most proudest moment or like your favorite moment since you've been working with brides in the wedding industry?
Katie Cotton - Cotton Rouge and Co.(07:15):
I've spoken at wedding MBA in Las Vegas for the last three years. So to be viewed as someone who has a lot of knowledge and can teach other wedding pros stuff is really cool. I mean, my parents, they're designers but they're also teachers.
Katie Cotton - Cotton Rouge and Co.(07:36):
So I kind of grew up in that world. I love sharing what I know. I love helping other people. So that was definitely, it was an honor to be asked the first year and then they've asked me to come back every single year, which is really, really cool. So yeah, I think that's my proudest moment. And the fact that we do over 600 weddings a year and I can give 28 other artists work and weddings do is, that's pretty cool too.
Sheridan Butcher - My Wedding Group (08:02):
Oh, that's awesome. That's really cool. So if I'm, if a bride is interested in getting in contact with you to book you know, book Cotton Rouge, either for hair and makeup or for a Boudoir Shoot or both, what's the best way for them to get in touch with you?
Katie Cotton - Cotton Rouge and Co.(08:14):
Email is fantastic. Of course right now we've gotten a lot more time on our hands, so taking phone calls is a lot easier.
Katie Cotton - Cotton Rouge and Co.(08:22):
So if they're wanting to talk on the phone now is fine. But during the regular flow of life phone calls can be tough because if I'm currently with a client, whether it's doing a trial or a shoot, like obviously I can't answer the phone. And we do have an office team, but they're all artists that also work on the team. So they might also have clients. So like what they want to talk on the phone, we say email us and we'll schedule a time because we want to make sure that they have our undivided attention for that phone call. And it doesn't like when we just answered the phone and sometimes I'm, Oh you have a client coming in 10 minutes. So I don't want to answer this cause what if this client wants to talk for 20? So we try to schedule our phone calls just to make sure that they do get that undivided attention.
Katie Cotton - Cotton Rouge and Co.(09:06):
But emails are great because we can answer emails at 11:00 at night if we want to or 7:00 AM when we get up, doesn't matter. So yeah, email's perfect.
Sheridan Butcher - My Wedding Group (09:16):
Okay. And you mentioned a website is all that information on the website?
Katie Cotton - Cotton Rouge and Co.(09:19):
Um yeah. So if you can just go to, I mean the website is cottonrougeandcompany.com and there is a contact form on the website so you can just fill that out and it will go to us and then we'll would email back. If someone wants to email us directly, it's just cottonrougeandcompany all spelled out @gmail.com.
Sheridan Butcher - My Wedding Group (09:37):
Awesome. Well, I really appreciate you taking the time to sit down and talk to me. Absolutely. I hope, I hope you have a great rest of your day again. I really do appreciate you talking to me.
Katie Cotton - Cotton Rouge and Co.(09:48):
That sounds good. Thank you so much. Have a good day. Bye