Meet Petya Ivanova (String Heart), a successful acoustic and electric violinist. With love and passion for the violin and performing, she plays from the heart, connecting with her clients and their guests.
Petya has experience performing for all types of events, including weddings, engagement proposals and parties, corporate events, church events, and private parties. Her friendly personality, smile, and professionalism bring positive energy to any event. She arranges flexible setlists by event types and works with her clients to select the right music for their special day. We recently caught up with Petya to learn more about how she got started, how she makes clients happy, and her goals for 2024. Keep reading to hear what she had to say!
About Petya and String Heart.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, what you do, and how you got started!
My name is Petya Ivanova, and I am a Bulgarian-American violinist specializing in weddings, marriage proposals, engagement parties, private parties, and corporate events. I am dedicated to adding a touch of elegance and enchantment to my clients’ special occasions.
My journey into the world of music began when I was 6. My early days with the violin were marked by the discipline of practice. I have refined my skills over the years through active involvement in numerous concerts, competitions, and engagements with symphonic orchestras. Now, as I reflect on my journey from that 6-year-old with a tiny violin to the accomplished and expressive violinist I've become, each phase tells a unique story, and is filled with dedication, passion, challenges, and the sheer joy of making music. Ever since I came to the States, I have performed weekly on my church’s worship team, and played at numerous of my friends’ special occasions. Recently, I took the plunge into entrepreneurship, creating a small business to share the incredible gift that God has blessed me with. The journey has been nothing short of amazing. It's not just a business for me but a way of spreading joy and creating lasting memories through the power of music.
Can you share some details about a recent event?
Two weeks ago, I had the incredible pleasure to play at a corporate Christmas party for NEXUS Association of Realtors at Sheraton Casino in Atlantic City. As the guests mingled and enjoyed the festive atmosphere, I created a musical journey that seamlessly blended the best pop hits, heartwarming Christmas classics, and timeless love songs. Throughout the evening, the mix of genres and melodies resonated with the diverse tastes of the crowd. The result was an experience that captivated hearts and created lasting memories. Guests were tapping their feet, singing along, and complimenting me on the unique and mesmerizing performance. Many guests stopped to say hi and expressed how the music added magic to the festivities, making it a Christmas party they won’t soon forget.
Here is what Lisa Clark, Director of Education & Special Events wrote in her review on The Bash : “Petya was amazing, I highly recommend her services. If you are looking for a professional whose music captures the room, book Petya. Our guests raved over the beautiful selections. She needed very little performance space. Petya arrived early and was beautifully dressed. We will use String Hearts again.”
What is your key to closing leads?
Keeping things prompt is key – replying swiftly to inquiries is vital. Couples value a quick response as it not only signals professionalism, but also eagerness to help with their plans. I always follow up 24 hours after providing a quote. A polite follow-up email or message demonstrates my continued interest, commitment, and desire to make their event special. I strive to be adaptable too—understanding my client’s vision and tweaking my performance accordingly is crucial. I communicate my pricing structure clearly, which builds trust and helps clients make informed decisions.
Positive reviews and testimonials are crucial, and I always encourage them. Positive feedback from previous customers helps instill confidence in potential clients and contributes to my credibility. I strive to present myself professionally through my online presence, including social media profiles. High-quality videos, photos, and a well-designed portfolio showcase my talent and professionalism in a great way! I'm all about building connections with my clients. It’s in my nature to show I genuinely care about their vision and make their event unforgettable. Clients can feel that, appreciate it, and it is definitely essential to closing leads.
How do you prepare differently for weddings vs. other events?
I make sure that I consider the unique nature and significance of the weddings and the other events. For weddings, I usually choose music that complements the romantic and celebratory atmosphere. Classical pieces, love songs, and wedding classics are often fitting. I engage in detailed consultations with the couple to understand their preferences, the ceremony flow, and any special requests they may have. For other events, I tailor my playlist to the specific theme or mood of the event. I discuss the theme, purpose, and mood of the event with the organizers and try to customize my performance to align with the overall atmosphere.
Collaboration with other vendors is also important. For weddings, I coordinate with other wedding vendors, including photographers, videographers, and planners, to ensure a seamless and synchronized experience. For other events, collaboration with event organizers and other performers is crucial to enhance the overall event experience. I also try to have some emotional sensitivity when preparing for my gigs. For weddings, I recognize the emotional significance of the event, and I am sensitive to the couple's emotions and the sentimental value attached to the music. For other events, I am attuned to the overall mood and purpose of the event and try to adjust my performance to suit the emotions and atmosphere desired.
Personalization is super important for me as well. For weddings, I incorporate personal touches, such as playing the couple's favorite song or adapting a piece to reflect their unique story. For other events, I consider ways to personalize my performance based on the nature of the event, incorporating elements that resonate with the audience.
What is your key to making wedding clients happy?
Each point of contact, from the initial inquiry to the event itself, contributes to the impression clients have on our services. Effective communication is key. I maintain clear and prompt communication with the couples, respond to inquiries and messages in a timely manner, and try to be attentive to their needs and preferences. When it comes to the playlist, it's all about tailoring. I curate a playlist that reflects the couple's musical taste and the ambiance they want to create. I always try to incorporate special songs that hold sentimental value for them. Plus, I'm all about professionalism, which means showing up on time, dressing the part, and carrying myself in a way that adds to the positive vibes on their special day. It is also important to be flexible and adaptable to changes. Weddings can be dynamic events, and my ability to adjust to unforeseen circumstances or last-minute requests is always appreciated.
Providing guidance based on my experience is helpful to my clients. If the couple is unsure about song choices or the flow of the ceremony, I offer suggestions and share my expertise to help create a cohesive and enjoyable experience. I ensure that I am reliable by following through on commitments, arriving early to set up, and being prepared to deliver a polished performance. After the confetti falls, I send a heartfelt thank-you message showing my gratitude for being part of their day.
What are you most looking forward to in 2024, and what business goals do you hope to achieve?
I'm eager to keep spreading musical love, making connections, and crafting unforgettable experiences through my performances. Looking ahead, networking is a big goal—attending industry events, wedding fairs, or musical gatherings to expand my circle. Building connections with fellow musicians, event planners, and vendors can lead to new opportunities. I'm all in for boosting my social media game too as it plays a big role in promoting my business. I want to utilize social media to showcase my talent by sharing snippets of my performances, engaging with my audience, and I am considering collaborating with other artists to reach a broader audience.
Dreaming big, I'm hoping for some destination performances in 2024. Professional development is on my radar too—workshops, masterclasses, and staying in the loop with industry trends. I am staying open to learning and expanding my repertoire. Being versatile in different genres and styles can make me more adaptable to a variety of events. I'm up for new challenges, exploring different musical genres, and evolving as an artist. But, one of the best parts of this journey? Building real connections with clients. So, I am looking forward to more of those genuine relationships, turning work into friendships that add a unique and rewarding dimension to my career.