How did you get your start in event planning?
From the earliest age I loved to plan; from tea parties as a kid, to planning our high school prom, it was something I always enjoyed. I knew by the middle of my sophomore year at UNC that events were my calling. I was fortunate to begin my career at a large-scale experiential marketing firm in New York where I learned the ins and outs of major event production. Working on luxury brands such as Oprah, O Magazine, and Avon taught me invaluable insights into design aesthetics, vendor management, budgeting, and handling all the logistical details onsite. It was a fantastic adventure, and it led me to advance my planning career for a few years at Deloitte, followed by a move to Washington, DC (for a boy--who I am grateful to now call my husband!) where I continued to produce events of all shapes and sizes as an event manager for Viking.
When did you add weddings to your repertoire?
While I always knew events were my calling, I didn't find my way into weddings until 2011 when I failed to hire a planner for my own big day. I underestimated the value of having someone I could trust to execute my vision, and it compelled me to make a shift toward weddings. I wanted to ensure other brides could have the day they've always dreamed of, without all the stress. Since then I've been honored to plan dozens of weddings for lots of wonderful couples, many of whom have turned into dear friends.
What's the story behind Highland Avenue?
I grew up in a small town in West Virginia, and though I haven't lived there in many years it was the background of my childhood. We had a charming little house on a tree-lined hill where my friends and I used to go sledding in the winter and rollerskating in the summer. Looking back, it was a wonderful place to grow up. When it came time to select a name, I wanted it to be personal and reflective of our mission. My childhood home was set on Highland Avenue. It's a reminder that my greatest, most colorful memories in life are woven from rich experiences with dear friends and family, and that's what we hope to create for our clients each and every day.
What can we find you doing when you're not working on events?
My husband and I love to travel. It plays a big role in why I feel so passionate about destination events. Whether it's just two people in love or 100 of your closest friends and family, getting away from it all has a way of bringing people closer together. I travel a lot with clients for events, so I love using the personal trips we take as exploratory missions for new and beautiful spots my clients might enjoy. We hop down to Tulum, Mexico on a fairly regular basis because we love the bohemian charm of it (and the gorgeous cenotes), but we also try to plan at least one or two other trips a year. We're just back from a whirlwind trip in Austria & Italy, and we're heading to Napa next month! When we're not traveling I'm usually out catching live music, exploring the endless Austin dining/bar scene, or at the gym attempting to burn off said calories from Austin's fabulous restaurants! I'm a lover of French wine (or really any wine) and college football, a Tarheel for life (GO HEELS!), and I have a small obsession hunting for new magical spots with white sand and blue water.