Side business in school turns into full-time gig
« In a decade, if people still keep calling me, I’ll probably still be DJing. »
For Lisa Ng, being one of the few female wedding DJs out there, doesn’t bother her one bit.
In fact, it even works to her advantage when meeting new clients.
“Weddings are female-centric. It’s all about the bride,” she says.
“Women get excited to be working with other women (on their wedding).”
Plus, Ng adds, brides like the fact they are supporting female-run businesses.
Becoming a DJ and running her own business all started while studying Political Science and Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto. Ng needed some money to offset the cost of her education and decided to put her passions — music and popular culture — to work for her.
Ng, who had worked in record stores in high school, knew all about music and its trends. She taught herself how to DJ and researched how to start a company.
In June 2005, hello DJ! — her wedding DJ business — was born. Once she graduated from university, helloDJ became her full-time job.
At first, she admits, she didn’t expect much.
“I didn’t think anyone was going to pay me without experience,” she says.
But in her first year, she played at 11 weddings. As she gained experience, she raised her prices accordingly, and, “People still kept calling,” she says.
Ng says she never wanted a nine-to-five office job. Working for herself, “that’s priceless.”
She likes that she can work from home because of the low overhead costs and the convenience involved.
Now she has a small team of two other DJs, including her husband Paul St. Onge, and three DJ assistants.
People often ask her if she plans on expanding hello DJ! into a larger company, but Ng says her dream was never to run her own company of DJs, where she books multiple events and sends out DJs. Since hello DJ! only books one event each night, she isn’t concerned about missing potential clients. Rather, she wants to keep the company small, sweet and simple.
“I like to know the couple, their interest and what they like to do,” she says.
Ng hopes to still be DJing in five years, but she’d also like to have a family by then. “So I might have to take a ‘maternity’ leave to make that happen, but I plan to be a hip DJing mom.
“In a decade, if people still keep calling me, I’ll probably still be DJing.”