Refined and embellished. Raw and edgy. Simple and classic. Whatever your style, Pearl Events provides customizable event planning services that are uniquely you, uniquely Austin.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced while planning an event and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenges are always planning events on our clients’ private ranches. Ranch weddings are big. They are actually massive. There’s so much work that goes into it because it’s creating an event on a completely raw piece of land. You learn to work with the best vendors that care about every detail…and wear boots. Always wear closed-toe shoes when working a ranch wedding.
What are 2 trends in the event planning industry that you’re excited about?
Elaborate tabletops. I’m fond of all the personal details people are putting into beautiful china, glassware, flatware, etc.
Color! I love an all-white wedding, but adding some color is so fresh!
What are some tips for creating an elegant and memorable event on a tight budget?
Make meaningful moments. Do the college song during the band break. Do your private last dance. Take the photo with all your college friends. Make the most of the vendors you have to do things that don’t cost extra but have special meaning to you.
If you had unlimited resources, what would your dream client and event look like?
I’d love to do a big shindig at a mansion in New Orleans on St. Charles Ave!
How important are your relationships with vendors and what are some ways that you successfully cultivate and ensure good rapport?
Without amazing vendors, we couldn’t produce amazing events. Without trusting vendors, we wouldn’t have clients that trust us.
When you’re in a bind your vendors will help you; you do the same for your vendors. Our vendors are our partners and we are nothing without amazing partners!
What advice would you give someone who needs to plan a fundraiser but isn’t sure where to start?
I’d start by finding out what peak event season is in your area. Then I’d pick a venue + date that don’t fall in those peak months.
What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?
When you own a company, is there a difference between personally and professionally? If so, I should work on that.
Two highlights coming up:
1. Launching my new project, The Woodbine Mansion. My family and I purchased a historic mansion built in 1895 and have been restoring and renovating it to become an events venue. Check it out: http://www.thewoodbinemansion.com
2. In a few weeks, I’ll travel to LSU for the LSU 100 gala and find out where my company is ranked this year!
What inspired you to launch your own company in the event industry? How long did it take from initially having the idea of setting up and starting to attract a client base?
I was fortunate to have found my calling in events quickly after college. I worked at a venue for 2.5 years. I worked at Whole Foods headquarters in Austin as an Event Planner in the Catering Department for 2 years.
When I started the company in 2010 I had a good network of people in the industry to help support my new venture and send clients my way.
What’s the first event you can ever remember planning and how did it go?
I know exactly whose wedding it was and I think it went well. I am still in touch with that bride!
What are some things you wished you knew before starting your businesses?
We’re in the “can I buy you coffee” trend in life. If you want to sit down and pick someone’s brain, it’s more than a price of coffee. Offer to pay people for their consulting time! It will build a better relationship for you and the vendor and will give more to the conversation. I wish I had offered to buy consultation time from key vendors when I got started.
What’s the most surprising or unusual request you have ever received from a client and were you able to fulfill it?
Shhhhh, we don’t kiss and tell!
Anything else you’d like to comment on while we have you?
Set boundaries for yourself with your clients. Put your days off in the contract and your response time to emails and phone calls. I also list how I communicate in my contracts, for example, I’m not a big texter so that’s not included in my form of communication.