We recently sat down with our dear friend Brittany Mcneal to learn more about how a simple change in focus allowed her to pursue her true passions in life. We left the conversation feeling inspired and believe you will too!.
First, tell us a little about yourself!
My name is Brittany McNeal, and I am the owner of MARZ Events an event planning company and MARZ On The Move a lifestyle blog. I am from Cleveland, Ohio. I earned a degree in Event Management from Ohio University and worked there for 2 ½ years after I graduated. I dreamed of owning my own business as a child. To be honest, I had business cards at the age of 10 years old. As time went on, my path changed from working at various universities to becoming a military spouse and not knowing what my career would be. I knew blogging could be a career that I could take wherever we went but I wanted to do more so starting my event planning company was the biggest leap I’ve taken in my life, and I’m so happy I did it.
When thinking of your hometown or extended family what major themes emerge?
Love and loyalty. I have a very large and unique family. Both of my parents are remarried, and I’ve always felt extremely loved by all sides of my family. My mom is the most loving and loyal person I know. There isn’t anything she wouldn’t do for me, and she’s been there for me through every step of my life. She taught me to love, to be loyal, and how to trust.
How did you and your spouse meet?
My husband and I met through his best friend and my cousin. They were dating, and my cousin posted a picture of me on Twitter and my now husband, Alonzo, told my cousin to tell me to call him, “and the rest is history.”
Would you agree that opposites attract? If so, how has that played out in your life, whether in marriage or friendship?
I would say opposites attract when it comes to marriage sometimes. Alonzo and I are opposites in a lot of ways, but we are also similar in a lot of ways as well. Alonzo is very organized, extremely disciplined, and me, on the other hand, work in controlled chaos and procrastinate! We do both share the love of people and entertaining guests. Our hearts are full when we can spend time with our families, as they mean the world to us.
If we remember correctly, the name of your business was inspired by your grandmother. Is she someone that left a legacy to you?
My grandmother is and always will be a calming spirit that guides me through life. The legacy she left to me was her heart, her ability to stand up for what she believed in and her will to learn. Everything that I do I do with her in my mind and my heart. She encouraged me to write, go to college and start my own business as a child. While she was alive, I graduated from college, and the first thing she asked was “when are you going back for your masters?” Although she was proud (I was the first person in our family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree) she never wanted me to settle.
We have been inspired by the recent transition in your professional life. Could you share more about what inspired that change?
I turned 29 years old. When I tell anyone how I got to the point I’m at now I say I turned 29. I felt like this was the last year of my twenties, and for so long I wasn’t living the life I longed for. I had the incredible husband, my adorable fur babies, a house, the vacations but something was missing. My husband surprised me with a trip to Gatlinburg, TN and invited friends and family. While I was there, I felt like my grandmother was telling me it was time to change things. I can home I started my blog after being in a partnership for several years, and I started the journey to create MARZ Events. I love planning events, but event planners are not cheap! What I thought was I should create a company that could provide affordable event planning needs. I want MARZ Events to also specialize in working with military couples that must get married quickly.
Have you ever taken Strengths Finder or the Myers-Briggs assessments? If so, how has getting to know your internal makeup helped in your external world?
Yes! I took the Strengths Finder assessment, and I got to know oneself in a way that I believe allows you to become a better version of yourself.
You are someone that seems to value connection and community. How do you cultivate the two?
I absolutely love people. I truly believe everyone you meet has some purpose in your life. Whether it means they may have made your day with a simple hello or they told you something to inspire your personal or professional growth. Somehow with each interaction, I make I see a purpose, and I hope that in some way I’ve helped that person as well.
What other adventures are you embarking on?
As for other adventures, right now I’m focused on MARZ Events and building the connections I need to grow my company. As far as my blog goes I hope to continue featuring local businesses and sharing my fashion!
In a world that is often chaotic what is one thing that grounds you?
Alonzo grounds me more than anyone. In some ways, I feel like he’s taken on the role of my grandmother. We take the time to travel and get away as often as we can. The time away allows both of us to reflect and appreciate the life we both share.