Nick and Brittney Adams, both 31, were just newlyweds when they decided to go into business together.
“What’s the worst thing that could happen?” wondered Brittney when the couple decided to take the leap into entrepreneurship. Her new husband lovingly pointed out, “Well, we could lose everything and go bankrupt, but at least we have each other, and that’s all we need!”
Thankfully, the couple’s Warrenwood Manor business has not only survived after its second year, it has thrived. The journey to put together a successful event center and working farm has not been easy.
The Adams’ bought the Warrenwood property from her parents, who had purchased the Danville space during what Brittney called her “I’m never moving back home” phase.
“At the time, I simply saw it as the money pit it can be and didn’t fully appreciate it’s true value,” she recalled. “After Nick and I moved home to Danville, I became more interested in the property, and when we were engaged in May of 2014 I became very interested in the property.
“After a few months of searching for a wedding venue, I was frustrated and even told Nick that I either wanted to go to the courthouse to get married or start our own wedding venue. Nick was the one who encouraged me to just go for it, so we did! We closed on Warrenwood the day before our wedding on Oct. 10, 2014, and I’m pretty sure we were both like, ‘What the heck have we just done?’ ”
She said the couple was terrified and remains cautiously optimistic.
“Any time you take a leap of faith it’s scary, and I think that’s good,” Adams said. “Fear of failure is a great motivator.”
Completed in 1856, the event mansion is accompanied by some outbuildings and a stately barn estimated to have been built in the late 1800s or early 1900s.
“Warrenwood’s past is all about Southern charm and unparalleled attention to detail,” said Adams. “We hope to continue that legacy by focusing on service to others and improvements to the property that honor the past while celebrating the future. Our next major improvement is going to be a major addition to the barn in an effort to add additional amenities for our wedding guests. Thinking about the future and all of the possibilities is so exciting.”
The couple feels that its personalized customer service sets Warrenwood apart from other similar wedding and event venues.
“Many have said that’s what sets us apart, but I also think it has a lot to do with the wonderful house and barn that those who came before us envisioned,” Adams said. “Without the (original builders) Warren brothers’ appreciation for the property’s beauty, dedication to detail and others maintaining it, we’d have nothing to work with.”
Respecting the previous property owners and building a successful future is no small feat.
“I’m not going to sugarcoat it, running businesses together is hard, but experiencing those highs and lows of entrepreneurship is what makes it so rewarding,” said Adams, adding that Warrenwood has more than 20 weddings booked for 2017. “We recognize our individual strengths and weaknesses when it comes to managing a business, so we try to work within our strengths. Nick really focuses on the farm and finances because he’s great with details like cattle nutrition, bloodlines, spreadsheets and so much more. I, on the other hand, am more of the people person who thinks everything is sunshine and rainbows, so it’s good to have a partner who helps me understand that I can’t have everything right now. He’s really taught me the value of dreaming of something, working for it and then celebrating the accomplishment no matter how big or small.”
Brittney, who previously worked in marketing, and Nick, who currently works for LG&E/KU, also run cattle on the Warrenwood Manor farm. Plans are in the works to continue to expand and “reinvent” the facility’s capabilities.
While their business model may see adjustments over time, the Adams’s ultimately would love nothing more than for Warrenwood Manor to continue to be a family-owned business passed down for generations to come.