OTC alumnus Brice Clark’s job is to give couples the best day of their lives. No pressure, right? Just plan and execute the party of a lifetime – or in Brice’s case, 250-plus parties each year.
The 23-year-old entrepreneur is the founder and Chief Experience Officer at Spark Events. He and his team provide fun, affordable and easy-to-book DJ, photography and cinematography services to clients in the Springfield area.
“Spark is the place to find wedding and event professionals,” he explained. “We help couples save on their most valuable resources – money and time – by providing an outlet where they can book their wedding services in one place.”
Brice says his entrepreneurial adventures in the wedding business began back in 2007 when he started providing DJ services for his family and friends. His business has since grown into a full-blown wedding experience with four full-time staff and 25 part-time contractors.
“Being able to sit down with couples and help them plan the biggest day of their lives, there’s nothing more rewarding or fulfilling than that,” he said.
It’s challenging enough to start a business from scratch, but Brice somehow managed to do it all as a college student – first at OTC and then Missouri State. He gave OTC a lot of credit for allowing him the financial freedom needed to grow and expand his business at the time.
“Thanks to the A+ scholarship, I graduated from OTC debt-free, which put me years ahead of my peers on a financial level,” he explained. “By choosing OTC, I was able to invest in my business instead of investing in school.”
“So many of my instructors – Steve and Jo Fritts especially come to mind – have had a big influence on my career,” he said. “But that’s how it was at OTC. I felt like my relationships with so many faculty members extended beyond the classroom. They weren’t just teachers to me, they were mentors, too.”
Brice graduated from OTC in the spring of 2015. After that, he transferred to Missouri State University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing and sales management. When asked how he juggled being a full-time college student and business owner, Brice said he had to find creative ways to manage his time.
“I’ve always been good at using technology to my benefit,” he said. “So I would build ideal weeks in my google calendar to lay out exactly what I hoped to accomplish and when.”
Brice recalled one time in particular when he had events the Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights before finals week. His Sunday night event rolled into early Monday morning, and he ended up heading straight from his event to an 8 a.m. final.
“Honestly though, I try to blur some of that out because that time of my life was pretty crazy,” he said with a laugh.
But despite the fact that Brice is done with school for a while, he says he doesn’t have plans to slow down anytime soon.
“My team and I have hit the ground running with our 5-year vision,” he said. “We recently purchased our new location off Commercial Street, and we are also planning to expand our operations outside of Springfield. Plus we’re working on an app and custom online booking software, too.”