Today we’d like to introduce you to Natalie Meeks.
Hi Natalie, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
Back in 2010, I found myself working for a marketing company that was structured in a very corporate manner. The company owners were heavily invested in real estate and I saw the opportunities they had and dreamed of one day being as successful as they were. Simultaneously, my husband’s family were beginning the process of selling their family property that was operated as a vacation rental with 14 cabins that had been in the family since 1932. It was devastating to think we may lose the family property and as well as the land being overdeveloped. It’s one of the last remaining large intact properties within the city. I had majored in Biology in college so I had no formal training in business but my experience at this marketing company had taught me so much. I have always been introverted and never thought I would ever be an entrepreneur or even possessed the ability.
The experiences with my job at the time had revealed to me that successful business owners weren’t always from wealthy families, smarter than I was, or even knew more about the industry they were in than I did. The revelation that we were all equal was so impactful and gave me the confidence to approach my husband’s family about buying the business. I was still in my 20″s and the price tag was so high it was almost comical to most that I was pursuing this dream. Persistence was probably my strongest quality and after six years and hundreds of obstacles, my husband and I purchased the family business. The obstacles still came, and as we were set to close a catastrophic flood took out all 14 cabins, completely changing the course of the business and the funding. Through sheer determination and blessings, we persevered and added a wedding venue onto our property and began renovating the cabins. We are now in our 6th year of business and the fruits of our labor are truly paying off. We’ve even begun expansion plans as well as diversify our investments. Most importantly, we are securing a future on this property for our kids, which are the 5th generation.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
My road to entrepreneurship has been anything but smooth. Trying to secure funding in your 20’s with no business experience for a large real-estate loan was a complete uphill battle that took years and tons of doors closed in my face. Then, right out of the gates our business model and cash flow were completely altered due to the flooding that destroyed all of our vacation rentals. From there, we had to deal with variable rate loan increases that could have never been projected, as well as our most recent crisis with COVID-19. As you can imagine, it was a very scary time as a wedding venue owner to look into the future of our industry and worry if it would ever come back.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Our wedding venue and resort is called The Waters Point. It’s a beautiful piece of land that sits in the heart of Wimberley, TX, on both the Blanco River and Cypress Creek. This includes nine riverfront cabins along with ceremony sites and a reception hall, all on-site. We specialize in destination weddings and offer a unique hill country, historic, and elegant charm that is uniquely our own. Customer service is our number one priority, and from the moment of initial contact our goal for our clients is a seamless and stress-free planning experience. Once our guests step foot on our property, we want them to forget the outside world and enjoy the entire weekend with their loved ones as we celebrate together. We also offer our lodging as standard vacation rentals when there are not events taking place. I’m most proud of the way our team comes together to make this happen and the way we’ve grown into this role over the years. We are also extremely grateful that we were able to develop a business model that did not require overdevelopment of the property and that the majority of the land remains untouched and natural. Being good stewards of the land is a responsibility that we do not take lightly.
Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
My biggest piece of advice for those just starting out is no one knows what they are doing! We are all beginners at first and your biggest hurdle will be believing in yourself. Aside from that, persistence and work ethic will take you further than talent or any other advantage ever could. You have to bet on yourself or no one else will.
- Cabin rentals start at $225 and up per night
- Weddings start at $8,500 and up
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://thewaterspoint.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thewaterspoint/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thewaterspoint
Kayla Snell Paige Vaughn Gracie Byrd Jones Christina Carroll Photography