I remember many years ago, I was at the TSE conference in San Diego. Kevin "KC" Chin and I went and we met up with several Bay Area vendors including Jubilee Lau, Gloria Wong, Jean Marks to name a few. It was at this wonderful conference that I first attempted to speak in public sharing at that time information on branding. I thought I was so cool but inside I was nervous and pretty much dumbstruck by some of the speakers there. During that conference I was invited by the Knot to attend a luncheon. Silly me, thought that 100 people would be there. But it was a small group. Perhaps 20 people at most. And sitting there was Carley Roney the Editor and Founder of The Knot. Oh. My. Goodness!
As with any networking invitation, I ate, laughed and completely made a fool of myself as I often do because I often ramble about nothing in the presence of someone I really want to know and am in awe of. Having Carley sitting a few feet away from me and the divine Tara Guerard of Soiree Charleston near by, well to be honest, they just made my heart race a tad bit too fast. Hopefully they didn't see how awkward I was that lunch but that's how I was feeling on the inside. If they did, they never ever let on cause I didn't get kicked out. (Laugh)
My nervousness had to do with the fact that I was obsessed with Tara. In fact, when I was reviewing the roster of speakers, I circled Tara's presentation. She was one of the few people that I was so inspired by. Her polished aesthetic was everything that I wanted my own weddings and events to be -- thoughtful in details, timeless and elegant, never fussy but guest friendly.
Tara has been one of the biggest influences of my life and that conference really made me understand how one's unique voice comes through in all that they do. And equally so, how a giving and inspiring creative can shape and mold others around them. Thank you Tara and Carley for helping me, shaping me and inspiring me to push myself to become better at my craft as you have done so yourselves.
So about a month or so ago, I found out that The Knot was going to do a list of 100 top wedding vendors who inspire them. Of course, I didn't know who was on the list until a few days ago and I was just blown away. Truly, what does being on this list from The Knot mean to me? It's a heck of list because it's filled with people I admire. To be amongst a group of talented individuals who collective work has influences probably most of the images and inspirations on Pinterest and what's out there, well, it's profound.
Before I end this, I want to thank a few of them whom I crossed paths with. They probably won't remember the few minutes they spent with me but I'll remember it. Preston Bailey, I won't ever forget meeting you and seeing your smile - what a humble man you are. I wish I could be more like you. Thank you David Beahm for giving me one of the most memorable business advice ever and for actually taking my call which I never thought you would given that you were on your way out the door. That is a sign. You are good man! Tara, I hope I get to have another dinner with you. Sharing that Chinese fried crab with the Soiree team during Wedding 360 was the highlight of that week. Oh Holly Chapple, that breakfast during my around the world trip (where we both found ourselves in NYC with Ozzie) was just what I needed. You always have the best insights for floral designers. To the amazing Marcy Blum, I'm with you. You are not only the original but you stand up for your beliefs. I like you even more each day I see your posts on FB.
Thank you humble Jose Villa. I'm sure you forgot that I stalked you at WPPI one year and thanks for once liking one of my instagram images that I took myself. Coming from you, well, that totally made my day. Jeannie of Details Details, I have followed your career for ages and you are just as sassy and smart over the phone and in person. The way you get things done is amazing. And I'll never forget working side by side with you. You are a constant pro. Natasha of Entire Productions, I adore you. You are an earth mother. That conversation we had a few months ago after one of our colleagues left us will always resonate in my mind. You can put me on your speed dial friend. Finally, I can't believe I finally met you Mindy Weiss. Still. Speechless.
Photography | Kate Webber
The Knot Magazine 2017