Welcome to my new blog. With this blog, I hope to inspire you, inform you and perhaps even amuse you. I’ll use this first post to tell you a little about myself, and how I managed to land in the fun (okay, maybe sometimes not so fun) world of special events. I’m delighted to say that I have found my passion. My calling in life, if you will. I’ve always enjoyed attending big “to-do’s,” and now I get to do them for money. Life is good.
Let’s start at the beginning. Like most 18 year olds, I didn’t have an inkling of what I wanted to be when I grew up. It was 1990, and at that time I had no idea you could actually make a living planning parties. So off I went, to Texas A&M to study my second passion- Meteorology. Or so I thought. One look at a syllabus full of Differential Equations, Instrumentation and Calculus III made me rethink my choice. See, I’m a talker. A writer. A creative visionary. In other words, math is not my thing. So I switched to Journalism. Much less math. A much happier Stacey. I’m still nuts about the weather though. But that’s for another post.
I graduated from the best school in the country and worked for a few of the largest corporations in America. And I was so bored! I started thinking about event planning, but had no idea where to start. So while I dreamed about it, I trudged along with my TPS reports, until the most fateful day of my life happened and I was downsized. It was horrible. Awful. Dreadful! But it was the best thing that ever happened to me. That’s when I seriously started thinking about the event business that was always lurking in the back of my mind. Months later I got my break. I met a man while working at Hooters (yes, there, I said it) who told me that he found my job. That beautiful, drunk hairdresser, whom I never saw again, ironically, led me to my first open door. I ended up working at Austin RentAll Party, a local event rental company in Austin, Texas. I knew I one day wanted to open my own event planning business, but I also knew I needed to do my home work and “pay my dues,” so to speak. So Damon Holditch, owner of Austin RentAll took a chance on a girl with no experience but a lot of enthusiasm about learning how to put on a great event. I owe him a lot for that first break, actually.
I worked with some amazing people. Award winning companies who had mastered the art of event planning and had it down to a science. I mean, these people were good. I studied them. I worked beside them. I sweated, laughed and sometimes cried next to the best of them.
While working at this rental company, I began to dream about my own wedding day. Granted, I didn’t have a boyfriend. Or even the prospect of a date for Saturday night, for that matter. But that didn’t phase me. Do you remember in Field of Dreams when Kevin Costner is haunted by someone telling him “If you build it, they will come?” Well I was operating under the same philosophy. If you plan it, he will come. And guess what? He did! About two and a half years later, I was walking down my own aisle, and enjoying the best wedding I had ever attended.
Well, along with the sweet must also come the bitter, and I had to say goodbye to Austin as he shuffled me off to San Antonio. So I started all over again. Meeting new event professionals, friends and colleagues. I went to work for The RK Group, then for Abbey Event Services, who you may know is now Aztec Tents and Events. I tell you what, if you are interested in getting into special events, the rental business is the best place to start. Not only are you working closely with every event professional putting on the shindig, you also gain extensive know-how about the big stuff like tents, generators, lighting, staging, waste management, etc. Trust me, that knowledge comes in handy when you’re in the middle of 250 acres of nothingness, with a client envisioning a winter wonderland bash for 500 of her closest friends plopped right in the middle of it. But I digress.
So After a few years in the San Antonio market, enjoying married life, I became pregnant. Since I wanted to stay home with my baby, I felt like this was the perfect time to branch out on my own. So along with my baby girl Regan, Panache Event Group was born. They are both happy and healthy, I am pleased to announce. And mom is doing well too.
I am beyond excited to be working again. I love my colleagues and my event professional friends. I know I’m in good hands as long as they are working beside me. That is the secret to success, you know. Surround yourself with the best, and the best will always surround you. Hey, I just made that up. Pretty clever, huh?