Making my dreams happen.
Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.” – Gloria Steinem
Parties and events have been such a major part of my life that I feel like it runs through my veins. It's not the organization, adrenaline, or putting all of the pieces together that drove me to events, it was my family. I grew up watching my Grandma Sandy host our neighborhood picnic of 100+ neighbors on National Night Out, people from all backgrounds continue to attend year after year, celebrating our community. She would host Thursday family dinner for up to ten close family members every week, every invitation was always followed with “come hungry and bring whoever.” My grandma still hosts the Annual National Night Out Picnic for our neighborhood for over 40 years. She makes her list of supplies, talks to local businesses for donations because everyone gets a prize, young and old, she delivers flyers to everyone in our area to ensure you'll meet a new neighbor. The apple did not fall from the tree with my mother. Hosting parties with girlfriends, making every guest feel welcome and a part of our home. Organizing friends and family’s countless baby and bridal showers, graduation parties, anniversary parties, and birthdays were always a part of their priorities. I would be there begging to help: "Let me set up the tables! I'll help with the games and pass out prizes! What else needs to be cleaned up?" I was hooked and inspired seeing these amazing women take action with one goal, bringing everyone together. Celebrating every milestone as it deserved to be. Hostess with the mostess is our mantra and one we pride ourselves on.
My amazing Grandma Sandy and Mum
Way back in 1998, I was a fourth grader who loved Barbie's, making up dances, and playing outside with all the neighborhood kids. The two girls across the street gave the devastating news that they were moving. Feeling sad about losing two playmates, I told my mom we should do something together before they move. Knowing deep down things would never be the same, but my mom instantly suggested, "let's have a party!" Beaming, I got out paper and pencil and we made a list: How many people? What do we want the theme to be? What will we serve? How can we decorate? Together, my mom and I planned my first party. We went shopping, ran the errands, made invitations and boom! A spooky good-bye party just in time for Halloween (my favorite holiday!) that had 15 happy kids, dancing to music, dressed in costumes, and a spider chandelier over a spread of fun treats! The days in the neighborhood blurred, but the memory of all of us together to celebrate friendship is still so clear to me. Everything did change after that party. All of us walking different paths as we grew, I am grateful we had one last moment. To quote my hero Prince, “Life is just a party, and parties weren’t meant to last.” Parties are not meant to last, well no more than a few hours, but the memories we experience last a lifetime. We literally partied like it was 1999! That is what I love about celebrations. You are present in the moment, experiencing the time, place, purpose, senses, and feelings simultaneously.
Events and design followed me throughout my school years. I was involved in a variety of activities in school, many included planning school events and organization. Outside of school, photography was my passion. Focusing on details, looking through the viewfinder, framing the scene, and capturing the moment is what drove me to photography, bringing all the pieces together for that one split second, that moment. In 2008, I pursued my passion and headed to Minneapolis to study photography at the Art Institute. I also studied the principles of design and experimented with different mediums to understand composition and how art is everywhere. The darkroom was my haven, but with technological advances speeding up, digital was the future, but not the path I wanted to follow. Fast forward two years to 2010, the Great Recession is in full swing and being young and broke I did what lots of college students did, I dropped out of school and moved back to my hometown. Years of working in a mix of retail and the restaurant industry, I moved to Minneapolis, again. I worked in a restaurant attached with an event center and I became the head banquet server, working a variety of events for three years. My passion for events brought me back home to Duluth with the opportunity in restaurant and catering management. I was eager to focus on catering, and I became a sponge for all aspects of the event industry. I organized and managed a variety of events, assembled a strong banquet staff, built professional relationships with other vendors, worked directly with clients, and built customized menus. Catering was an amazing steppingstone and expertise to gain in my journey, but I could feel myself wanting more in my life professionally.
In my free time, I would organize parties with friends, Halloween parties and party bus nights, giving us opportunities to come together throughout the year within our busy lives. I naturally became a resource for friends who were engaged, and officiated weddings for amazing couples who blended their lives into one beautiful family. Over cocktails, I shared tips on how to make their dollar go further, what to look for in a venue, and design ideas that reflected their amazing personality. I was honored to be a part of their amazing moment and felt the drive to create more!
“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Ah 2020. The year of change. The only way I can describe it in a broad term. I overall felt hopeful, as did everyone about the promise of 2020 on New Year’s. By mid-March, what many felt impossible happened. The entire world was shut down, many businesses forever and many jobs lost. The company I worked for decided to close our location and for the first time in my life, I didn’t have a job. With stressors every where we turn, I dealt with mine looking forward, planning.
Dealing with pandemic anxiety, I looked at the extra free time as an opportunity to build my business. Being an event planner was always in the back of my mind, constantly on hold due to daily life and fear. I poured myself into all the possibilities of events from design to adjustments for social distancing by taking many classes via Zoom, utilizing resources worldwide. Communicating with vendors and industry leaders in the community, connecting to understand and prepare in these changing times about new possibilities. I am excited to further use my creativity background in every aspect of my business, framing the vision and goals of my clients. I built my website and brand reflecting who I am and laying the foundation to my future. This is my time, and I have the freedom to use my expertise to the fullest, to better serve my clients. It is just a dream that I’m standing on my own and I’m excited to be on this journey.
With the crazy times we have dealt with this year, most things have been halted or completely canceled. Milestones are an essential part of life, and I always found happiness in family and friends gathering for one sole purpose, celebration. We need to find ways to adjust the structure of milestones, and that’s what this pandemic has taught us. We now focus on what is truly important, and how we can create the same energy in a reimagined setting. Seeing all the guests celebrating, engaging, having fun, and creating community is why I do the work I do. However it may look, whether they’re our neighbors or two families gathering for the first time, celebrating in those moments creates pure happiness, something we could all use a bit more of these days. I love all types of events and I’m excited to see how events will mutate in the future. Knowing I play a supporting role producing the setting for my clients’ memories and milestones, my top priority is their safety.
I am so excited for this next chapter and I want to thank my friends, family, vendors, coaches, and you for supporting me in this journey. If you or someone you know is interested in my services, please Contact us here and/or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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