Having updated headshots for your business is so important to help show you're a professional in your field. Recently I had the pleasure of working with Claire, the talented owner of Waterside Event Design. If you are in search of an event planner for your wedding, a birthday party or even a holiday party here in Myrtle Beach, SC look no further than Waterside Event Design.
Below you can learn more about Claire and her event planning business here in the Grand Strand. Get to know her a little better with a mix of questions I asked her. As well as seeing her beautiful professional branding headshot photos of her and her associate who trusted me to do what I do best...photographing individual portraits.
1. Tell us about yourself. What do you like to do in your spare time when you’re not working? Married, kids, college degrees, local/transplant to the area, hobbies/interest. Favorites: music, food, snack, drink, store, etc.
Well, I was born and raised in Myrtle Beach. Not very glamorous, but all of our family is here, so this is home. I graduated with an English degree from CCU in 2009, where I specialized in Spanish and Journalism - I inherited my love for writing from my editor Gramma. Fun fact - I was the editor of the CCU newspaper for a while. (Nerd alert!!) It taught me A LOT about being organized, delegating and working on a timeline. In 2010, I married the love of my life, and we spent the next year traveling. We sold everything we owned (which wasn't much), and bought a 35ft camper and drove to Alaska. We also lived in Texas and Wilmington after that. I traveled a lot in college - Jamaica, England, Ireland, Kenya - but there's nothing like traveling with your best friend. We learned a lot, that's for sure.
We currently live in North Myrtle Beach and have a 4-year-old daughter, Sadie, and an Australian Shepherd mix puppy named Chicken Nugget.
My husband owns an HVAC company, so during the summer, we stay pretty local and just enjoy the beach. But during the fall and off-season, we enjoy camping and going to the mountains.
As for some of my personal favorites.....
Music: This is constantly changing with my mood, but Zac Brown Band will always be my favorite band.
Food: I grew up on authentic Mexican food, so that's got to be my favorite. My mom's enchiladas are insane. But I also love Asian and Italian.
Snack: I recently discovered Ben & Jerry's dairy-free ice cream... The "P.B. & Cookies" flavor is the best!
Drink: Water. And sometimes red wine.
Store: Hobby Lobby, Magnolia Market
Hobbies: Gardening, fishing, baking
2. What made you want to be an event planner?
My mom. Growing up, she always planned and hosted the most amazing birthday parties, family dinners and holidays. I grew up always helping to decorate the house or set the table, and just kind of absorbed her methods. That kind of stuck with me through adulthood and now hosting is my favorite thing to do! It wasn't until my husband really encouraged me to take the plunge that I started my own business. I guess this is what they mean when they say do what you love and never work a day in your life!
3. What is your favorite type of event to plan and why?
Of course, I love weddings. You get so close to and invested in the couple getting married in the months and weeks before the big day - I always, ALWAYS tear up during the big moments. I am truly happy for them. I enjoy everything about wedding planning, but I am weirdly obsessed with keeping everything on schedule. I also really enjoy the creativity and thought that goes into birthday parties and anniversaries - smaller, more intimate events.
4. Do you have all of your own items to rent out for your clients or do you locate the desired items for each event?
I have some smaller items. I hope to one day be able to rent furniture and table settings out to clients. But for now, I am more than happy to help my clients locate the most cost-effective and design-focused options.
5. How long have you been in business?
I have had almost 10 years of experience in the party industry - photography, videography, booking, and catering. I officially started Waterside Event Design in January 2017.
6. What sets you apart from other event planners?
As much as I love being in control and doing things my way, I've made a goal for my business to be very client-focused. On the day of an event, it isn't my special day or my party. It's theirs. I try to keep that in mind throughout the planning process. And rather than trying to convince them to do what I would rather do, I try to provide honest and alternative options for making THEIR vision come to life. One of the important things about my position is that it isn't about me. It's about serving others and helping them to achieve the results they are hoping for. I think that sets me apart from some of the other planners in our area.
7. How do you keep up to date with industry trends? What are you seeing trending currently?
I read a lot! I try to stay informed and current. I follow a lot of amazing, creative vendors and that's another thing I really love about this job. The support community is awesome!
8. What do you feel is most important when selecting a venue or an event location?
I think there are a few things to think about when selecting your venue. Obviously, the venue needs to accommodate the crowd you're expecting. Also, the venue should fit the theme you're kind of trying to go with. If your event is more classic and modern, you'd probably choose a ballroom before a barn. But if you're going for rustic, then somewhere like Wildberry Farm would be perfect! I also think it's important to account for how the venue makes you feel.
9. What social media platform do you prefer for event marketing and why?
I don't love Facebook, but I am on there: www.facebook.com/watersideeventdesign. I definitely prefer Instagram for posting pictures and networking: www.instagram.com/waterside_eventdesign.
10. What are your motivations for event planning?
At the risk of sounding pretentious, I tend to always be behind the scenes "helping out." I don't like being the center of attention, and I am very comfortable not getting the credit for things. I really enjoy watching all the small details come together and work for the bigger picture or design. But my number one motivation for event planning is for the people - I absolutely love working with other creative companies and also with our clients. Developing awesome working relationships and friendships with those people - that is why I love event planning.
11. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? (i.e. having a large team or keeping it small…having a store front office…staying local or moving to a bigger city)
In five years, I would like to have a small team put together for taking on several events at a time. I already have an awesome assistant, Jamie, and I would love for her to be able to take the lead on some events, as well. I'd like to continue with weddings and parties, but also possibly get into organizing corporate events.
In ten years, I would like to have established a venue in which we can host events and weddings. (I am putting it out there, Universe!) And ONE DAY, I would like to have all of this plus add in a kitchen/bakery for my mom to run. (If you haven't checked out Wildflour Desserts, you totally need to!)
12. Do you work from home or do you have a store location?
I love the flexibility of being able to work from home and raise our daughter. Some of my work is at home in front of a computer, but a lot of it is at venues or meeting with new clients. So, it doesn't really even feel like I am restricted to only being home.
13. What else would you like our readers to know about you and your business?
Just that I feel very blessed and excited to be in this position, and I hope that the impact I have on others is positive and encouraging. The events and parties we work on are happy days, and if I can eliminate your stress and worry while helping you achieve the event you've imagined, then I have succeeded!