The Round led by Slauson & Co. will support e-commerce expansion efforts for the growing digital wedding planning platform
DALLAS, June 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Fêtefully, the revolutionary digital wedding planning platform, closed a seed round of funding worth $1.3 million. This will allow the company to continue business growth and scale in the marketplace. The round was led by Slauson & Co., with participation from Gurtin Ventures, John Kim, Jeff Dodd, Rob Houdek, Chris Yeh, and Techstars with $100k non-dilutive capital from Google Black Founders Fund. Founder GiGi McDowell is one of 98 Black female founders to raise over $1 Million in venture funding.
With over 17 years of experience in the event industry, GiGi McDowell is the heart of Fêtefully, which is an on-demand, one-on-one, virtual wedding planning platform that connects couples with professional planners who help bring their vision to life. Couples collaborate virtually with a professional planner to determine wedding style and design, budget building, financial planning, vendor selection, event coordination and more. In addition, Fêtefully combines the knowledge and expertise of professional wedding planners with technology that manages planning tasks and responsibilities, coordinates meetings, appointments, and tracks guest information, while also facilitating and consolidating vendor communication, payments, and decisions in real time. Fêtefully’s complimentary concierge assists couples with vendor research, travel arrangements, event rentals and shopping, sourcing, ordering, and tracking all purchases.
GiGi was five years old when unbeknownst to her mother, she took it upon herself to order a copy of Bride’s magazine with her credit card. From a very early age GiGi was transfixed with the beautiful details and images on the glossy pages of the wedding bible. She knew that she wanted to be a wedding planner and planned her first wedding when she was just 13 years old.
"Fêtefully is the result of my lifelong dream. As a Black female founder, it’s important to me that with this round of funding we’ll be able to expand into new markets and grow our planning community which will allow us to capitalize on the momentum experienced during COVID," said GiGi McDowell, Founder. "We’re excited to have the support and leadership from our investors who believe in our vision to revolutionize technology to better serve the wedding/events industry and our strategic partners who add intangible value to our leadership team as we continue to build and scale Fêtefully."
Through hard work, dedication and vision McDowell was able to work alongside her mentors, Angela Proffitt, Brigette Romanek, and Estee Stanley, some of the most respected names in the wedding planning industry. GiGi founded her own events company and learned how to navigate the many facets of business as a solo entrepreneur, the most notable including streamlining processes that meet couples where they are in every chapter of their life. "I’ve known GiGi since 2017 and I have never met a first-time founder with more intuition on how to make money," said Aubrie Pagano, Fêtefully Advisory Board member and General Partner, Alpaca VC. "She was doing millions in revenue on a Google spreadsheet before ever getting a term sheet."
"GiGi has all the qualities we look for in a successful entrepreneur in Gurtin Ventures," said Grant Gurtin, General Partner, Gurtin Ventures. Founder & CEO. "Her combination of vision, determination, and deep insight into her customers’ problems make her the perfect candidate to disrupt the traditional wedding/event planning space."
With the wedding industry on track to grow 2.1% this year, up 62% since the pandemic started, the industry is ripe for technology disruption. Being a former wedding planner, GiGi knows the landscape of the business, what couples are looking for and how best to anticipate the needs of her customer base. "GiGi’s lived experience is her competitive advantage. Taking her lifelong passion to create beautiful wedding experiences, she built one of the only platforms that grew during the pandemic," says Austin Clements and Ajay Relan Managing Partners at Slauson & Co., "As the world makes up for lost time, we’re excited to see more couples experience a streamlined wedding planning process using Fêtefully."
For more information about Fêtefully, please visit www.fetefully.com and follow Fêtefully on social media at @fetefully_.
GiGi McDowell saw a need to make professional wedding planning accessible to everyone. A personal and efficient way to make it easier for people to celebrate their love in a way that reflects their personal love story, and style, all within their budget and without the stress. The Fêtefully Experience was crafted on the belief that everyone can experience celebrations that honor their relationships or personal milestones and give them time, comfort, and peace to enjoy the moments that matter. The virtual experience mirrors the traditional planning experience by utilizing planners and technology to manage every aspect of the wedding planning process from start to finish without compromising quality, expertise, or personal connections.