Hazel Grove: Blending Family Bonds & Elegant Designs for Unforgettable Celebrations

Hazel Grove Rentals and Designs is a boutique wedding event rental service located in Colorado and Arizona. Michele Karas and Michael’Ann McConnell, the mother-daughter dynamic duo, are the co-owners of Hazel Grove and have combined their separate passions to build something beautiful together. 

“We started our business in 2018, but even before then, we had always talked about doing something together,” says McConnell. “My mom did a lot of interior design just for personal homes and some friends and stuff, but never delved into it professionally. Interior design wasn’t really my personal passion. I was more creative and I loved putting things together.” 

Specializing in wedding services, Hazel Grove offers customers a wide range of inventory, including tabletop essentials, bar and cocktail necessities, lounge furniture, seating, and tables, making it a one-stop shop for future brides and grooms. Hazel Grove brings visions to life through their expertise in interior design and creative piecing. Whether you are looking for wedding rentals, home staging or home interior design, Hazel Grove’s overall goal is to provide customers with beauty and inspiration by utilizing colors and textures that are true to you and your personal style. 

“I moved to California after I got married and started interning for a wedding designer. I loved working with the designer and learned about a vendor through close collaboration. I really liked the concept of the vendor that we worked with and went to my mom saying, ‘They don’t have anything like this in Colorado, we should do this together,’” says McConnell. “It incorporated her love for interior design and mine was creating spaces, and the spaces were always new. A constant feed of new ideas, creativity and design.”

Originating in Colorado, Hazel Grove came to the Valley after the joint decision to expand the business to two locations. McConnell’s husband is originally from Arizona, Karas bought a house in the Valley and they both were over the cold. They realized there was more opportunity in Arizona, as it is a popular event destination. 

Running a business brings its own challenges, and both McConnell and Karas acknowledge the hardships of being businesswomen and mothers. McConnell has three kids and shared that being a part of the wedding industry, a primarily woman-dominated industry, helps to encourage and gives them a sense of belonging. 

“The support group from other women who are business owners, not just in the wedding industry but others too, and listening to their advice. Just having that support from other women business owners really helps us a lot,” says Karas. 

Along with the support that they get on the outside, Karas and McConnell have fostered a close mother-daughter relationship. They lean on one another and aren’t afraid to tell the truth to each other. Karas reflected on how she and McConnell will disagree, but then work together to mesh their ideas into one—resulting in a beautiful outcome that neither could have created alone. 

“We’ve always had a close relationship and we always have done a lot of things together. Working with family is a little different because you can say what you want, which is good and bad. I don’t worry about hurting her feelings as much as I would someone else,” says McConnell. “She understands me and helps me to see when I am getting too demanding or anything like that. It’s a really great balance between the two of us, we just get each other.” 

When asked what advice they’d give to any aspiring female entrepreneurs, both in the wedding industry and outside of it, both Karas and McConnell agreed that looking to experienced entrepreneurs in your field is extremely beneficial and something they wish they had done more of. They recommend asking all the questions you have, not being afraid and being open to accepting help from others. 

“In the first couple of years we learned a lot, we learned what to do and what not to do,” says Karas. “Many trials and errors, good days and bad. If I had reached out to other ladies in the industry, that would’ve helped us save some of the issues that we ran across.” 

McConnell responded similarly, saying, “Community over competition is big for a new company. When we first started, it was intimidating. But I think people are super welcoming in the industry, so don’t be afraid to dive right in and network. Make friends. Because that’s where your community is going to be.”

To learn more about Hazel Grove Rentals and Designs, visit www.hazelgroverentals.com or follow them on Instagram @hazelgroverentals.



During our talk with Michele Karas and Michael’Ann McConnell, co-owners of Hazel Grove Rentals & Designs, we asked them about the 2024 wedding season, possible trends and got some of their hot takes. 

AZF: What wedding trends are you seeing or expecting for the upcoming wedding season?
HG: “Colorful tabletop items. There was a trend where the neutrals, whites and creams were pretty big. It’s still popular. But I think people are looking for more colorful items that they can play with, especially on the table top.”

AZF: What do you predict the wedding color of 2024 to be? 
HG: “The Pantone color is peach, for the year. So we’ve been trying to bring that into some of our designs. We’ve seen some soft blue popularity as well. It’s hard because people are so different. But, from what we’re seeing, the soft colors like peach, sage, blue, green are all popular right now. So maybe one of those.”

AZF: Would you say that the bohemian style weddings are out and rustic/Western is in? 
HG: “I would say maybe a little bit. I notice it more in the Denver area. I think mixing in a bit of the rustic with feminine is really fun to work with as well. It is making a trend, and I think it’s all sort of blending together. So it’s a lot of fun for us.”

AZF: How have the social media trends impacted your business and clients?
HG: “Social media is where I go when I’m looking for anything. For our business, it’s helped a lot so that people can get a sense of our style. When I’m looking at other companies on Instagram, it inspires me and makes me want to incorporate these ideas into our designs. So that’s kind of how our clients are as well. They’ll see something and we will help them duplicate it and put our own twist on it.” 

AZF: What advice would you give to a future bride or groom looking for wedding decor/planning help?
HG: “Trust in your own vision and what you envision, but also lean on people who have done weddings to help put your ideas together. It may be a different way, but be open. Trust in what you think their vision is and what you want, because in the end it’ll turn out beautiful.”

Photos courtesy Hazel Grove Rentals and Designs and photographer Ryann Lindsey

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