Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cool People I Met This Week. Volume VII

So I've gotten behind on my cool people posts, but I have good reason:
-I decided to go full-time with Five Grain Events and I've been trying to get everything settled at my old job before I left (aah!)
-I had a wedding last weekend at the gorgeous Arts Club in Chicago--blog post to come as soon as I get some pics!

So, enough are the cool people I met this (and last!) week:

1) Mary Nisi from Toast &Jam DJs.  Mary was one of those people recommended by several of the people featured on former Cool People posts:  Kelly Marie Uss, Amanda Hein, and Jeremy Lawson all gave enthusiastic reviews of Mary and the T&J team!  Mary and I met at her studio space in Bucktown on a Friday afternoon.  We chatted about our businesses and philosophies and Mary gave me some insider information on which reception spaces in the area make for the best parties (although you'll have to hire Five Grain Events and/or Toast & Jam to find out!).  The T&J team aren't your usual cheesy MCs.  They keep the party going and all have lots of experience to make sure that your event never loses momentum.  Definitely look into Toast & Jam for your entertainment:  but talk to them early, they book up fast!

Mary from Toast & Jam DJs

2) Lee Calihan from Calihan Catering.  I'm lucky enough to have a mutual friend with Lee, and the three of us met for drinks a little over a week ago.  Lee is a cool person with incredibly forward-thinking ideas.  I worked with Calihan a lot over the last four years in my full-time job and there is no denying their fantastic service and beautifully prepared delicious food.  In this day and age, however, it takes a lot more than good food to get by in the catering business.  Lee totally rebranded the Calihan image and name and is a driving force behind this great company.  In addition, Calihan's most recent venue space, run by Lee herself, is FANTASTIC!  At our meeting, Lee told me about the Oak Brook Bath and Tennis Club.  I went by a few days later to look at it for my Sept. 2011 clients and, although it was slightly too small for their wedding, I definitely want to bring future clients there.  So, in sum, definitely check out Calihan Catering and Oak Brook Bath and Tennis Club.  And Lee, it was great to meet you--let's get together again soon!

I've got lots more to come in the next stay tuned!
Cool People I Met This Week. Volume VIISocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Leap of Faith...

When I started Five Grain Events I thought maybe someday I'd have enough work to go full time.  Then a couple months ago I began thinking it would be more like a year.  Believe it or not, last Monday I gave notice at work.   :-o

As of May 26th, I will be working full time on Five Grain Events!

It was a difficult decision, but one that I realized was meant-to-be.  I haven't become overwhelmed by doing Five Grain plus working full time yet...but I could see that coming down the horizon thanks to all the wonderful referrals I've been getting.  :)  I just felt like what am I waiting for?

It's hard to believe that this moment has come so soon--WELL before I thought it would.  I'm a little nervous but mostly SO EXCITED about everything there is to look forward to.  I'm going to be able to put all my energy now into building Five Grain Events into the business I want it to be.

Thank you to all my family, friends, blog readers, facebook friends, and twitter followers for helping me make my dreams a reality.

If you feel so inclined and know of anyone who is in need of a wedding or event planner/coordinator I'd be so grateful if you'd pass along my name!

So much love to you all,

A Leap of Faith...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cool people I met this week. Volume VI

I really, really love these cool people posts...almost as much as I love actually meeting the great people that I'm writing about!  I had a really busy week last week getting together with four fantastic wedding vendors of all different types :)

1) I'm pretty sure that Livia Caporale and I met via facebook a couple months ago and finally got together last Monday for dinner.  Livia is a fantastic on-location hair stylist who works all over the Chicagoland area.  What struck me about Liv was just how down to earth she was!  She's gorgeous, obviously very talented, but was very humble about her successes.  Livia told me that one of her brides complimented her on the fact that her tone of voice was so calming and made her feel much less nervous on wedding day.  I am not surprised one bit.  :)  I'm looking forward to recommending Livia to my clients and hopefully getting to work with her soon!  Here are some photos of her great work and don't forget to check out her website for more.


2) Suzy Rohan of Lily Red Design and I met a few weeks ago at a networking meeting for photographers.  As the two non-photogs in the group (although Suzy is a budding photographer herself!) we clicked immediately and decided to get together so she could show me some of her invitation design work.  I have to admit, I was expecting to see beautiful work, but I was absolutely BLOWN AWAY!  Suzy's design work is incredible--and she is able to capture any bride or groom's vision for their day.  Like Livia, Suzy is quite modest and actually asked me how her work compares to other I've seen.  I'll just say, "wow!".  :)  She mentioned that she really likes to "brand" a wedding so that all the paper products have a cohesive look.  It's something I've thought about before, but never put a name to, so thanks, Suzy!  See below for a few of my favorite designs but she can create just about anything for any budget.  Her website has a lot more to look at so check it out as well. 

3) Jenn Gaudreau of Jennifer Kathryn Photography and  I had actually met several times before we grabbed dinner last week, but we both really wanted to sit down together and learn more about each others' businesses!  Jenn is one of the sweetest people I have EVER met, but so completely genuine it almost catches you off-guard.  :)  She's inspired by everything around her and is inspiring to everyone she knows--and I can now officially attest!  The short quote in her email signature:  [passionate. spontaneous. authentic.] really describes her to a 't'.  Jenn's passion and true-to-herself nature rubs off on everyone she meets, and so it can only naturally come out in her photography.  From what I've seen, her subjects are so relaxed and happy in front of her len which results in some fabulous photos.  I'm so glad to be able to call her a friend.  I'm sure all her clients feel the same way--so check out more of her work here and make an appointment to meet Jenn asap! :)

Boy...actually writing these out makes me realize what a whirlwind week I had!!  Last one...

4) I met with Jeremy Scott of Sound Investment AV on Thursday evening.  Most people think of florals and linens as the end-all, be-all of wedding decor.  But there's SO MUCH MORE you can do!  Jeremy ran me through the list of Sound Investment's areas of expertise from simple jobs like pin-spotting the centerpieces and screens to show slideshows to more elaborate set-ups of textured wall lighting and huge sound systems.  Just lighting the walls of your reception room can completely change the look of the event--or what about changing from amber lighting during the dinner-hour to a more club-like atmosphere with lights and sound as the dancing gets started.  It's really how the atmosphere can change so quickly with the addition of these things!  What I especially appreciate about Sound Investment is that they not only do weddings, but also set-ups for giant concerts, huge galas, and conferences.  It's always reassuring to know, that your event is on the smaller-scale of what a company is capable of!

I don't have any photos of Sound Investment's work, but check out their website here to see all the amazing things they are capable of!
Cool people I met this week. Volume VISocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cool people I met this week. Volume V

Hello everybody!  I'm back again with a couple new cool people to introduce...

1) Veronica Hinojosa and I met for lunch at the French Market on Thursday.  In the interest of full disclosure, we had actually met for the first time at the Fast Track for each other meeting a couple weeks ago.  Our mutual friend, Jaclyn Simpson, suggested I attend and I was lucky enough to meet V (as she's known to her friends!) there.  V is a soft-spoken but really interesting gal who started her photography business about 5 years ago.  Her calm and caring demeanor would make her a fantastic person to have around on wedding day--and her images show that!  All of her photos show how relaxed and comfortable her clients are with her, and I felt the same way after spending some time with her!  V shared with me some of the things she struggled with and her successes in starting a business.  As a newbie business owner myself I am so appreciative of the time that all these "cool people" are giving me and helping me along the way.  See below for a couple of Veronica's images and check out her website to see more!

2) Jessie Stevens and I actually met via Twitter, believe it or not!!  She followed me, I checked out her work, liked it, and told her so.  (Had you told me a year ago that I'd be meeting with people I met on the internet I would have looked at you like you were crazy! haha).  We decided to grab drinks on Friday in her neighborhood of Lincoln Square.  Over German beer at Huetten Bar we discussed her experience (5 years in the industry), building our businesses, and all our commonalities--including having met our respective husbands in our late teens--aah, how our lives have changed!  :)  Jessie has this really great laid back personality but she works really hard for her clients.  She assists them in organizing the day and creates a photo timeline to make sure all the shots they're hoping to get are taken.  As a planner that's something I can really appreciate because it makes it easy for me to incorporate into my full-day timeline knowing we're on the same page.  We also chatted about all these great people I've been connecting with and I encouraged Jessie to meet with some other vendors so she has some go-to recommendations for her clients.  See some of Jessie's beautiful images below!

This upcoming week is a busy one--so I'll have LOTS to talk about in my next installment :)

Cool people I met this week. Volume VSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
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