Their initial solution focused on efficiency and automation – a Slack-like, cloud-based, collaborative tool and service – but, for brides-to-be as well as wedding planners and wedding vendors. Upon testing, they found they weren’t addressing the real opportunity. So, in late 2016, they pivoted the business to what it is today. Now, The Wed Clique is a premier networking and referral platform for wedding professionals in the Southeast. Around that same time, they received encouraging news – The Wed Clique was a startup accepted to Techstars, a powerful accelerator in a strong, startup community with experienced, entrepreneurial coaching, mentoring, and the chance to start the pitching and fundraising process.
“Techstars was an incredible experience,” Ganderson said. “We were able to bring our virtual team from Philadelphia and Charlotte and Durham together in the same place for three months and really focus on the business and solve our problems; it shifted everything.”
Following Techstars, Ganderson returned to Charlotte; Classi to Durham; and tech lead James Mensch to Philadelphia. It was late April and perfect timing – Classi was eight months pregnant and due in May. To prepare for her maternity leave, Ganderson and Classi knew they would need to hire business development help to keep The Wed Clique’s momentum going.
Enter: Katelin Resta.
Following her own experience as an Associate at Techstars just several years before, the bright, spunky, and smart Katelin Resta had been working in business development for another startup. She was traveling lot, but when she was home in Charlotte, she worked from Hygge. “I had done a lot of research on startup spaces and the startup ecosystem here in Charlotte after I came back from Techstars,” Resta said. “I started listening to the Charlotte podcast which was recorded at Hygge, so Hygge was on my radar screen. I had been working from home and different coffee shops for a whole year, but I liked what Hygge had to offer.” She joined in early 2017, splitting time between Hygge’s W. Hill Street location and Remount Road location.