Company Profile: Carina Glover, owner of Chiffon Events, is the founder of the Aces Tour. She began conquering the event industry in her early twenties providing services for the College World Series, Miss Black Nebraska US Ambassador, the Nebraska Children’s Home Society, Dancing with the Omaha Stars, and more. While in her final semester of college studying public relations & advertising, Glover brought her vision of owning an event production company to life. Since the launch, Glover has continued to produce events for elite clientele and will be expanding the business to Los Angeles in the spring to work exclusively with the A-list within the entertainment industry. An introductory event to Los Angeles will be Chiffon Events’ signature Aces Tour.
We got the chance to chat with Carina to learn about her start as an event planner and what to keep in mind when planning an event for your brand.
Empire Life: Tell us more about you, your business and your start as an entrepreneur.
Carina Glover: My business name is Chiffon Events and I started my business my senior year of college. I was going to University of Nebraska-Omaha and it’s funny because, to be honest, I didn’t really want to have a business at first. I knew that I wanted to work in event planning; I knew that I had a lot of experience and a lot of background. Previous to my time exclusively working within the event planning industry, if I applied to a bank, retail or anything like that, I never had a problem getting a job. I was always that person who could have 3 job interviews in one day and have 3 offers the next. Once I decided that I wanted to work in event planning, I really liked this and wanted it do this as a career, I could not find a job to save my life. There were times when I was getting turned down for jobs that I knew I was qualified for.
After months and months of looking for a job, it kind of just hit me one day. I remember it so clearly. There was something that said has it ever occurred to you that you weren’t supposed to work for someone else? The thought of having my own business never really crossed my mind or was something I has aspired to do previously. I kept applying for jobs and kept not getting phone calls back. I pray about every time I make a big decision and said to myself, okay, I have this feeling I’m supposed to start my own business… that’s a lot of work, I really don’t want to do that… so I prayed about it. I then got confirmation that I’m supposed to do this. That was my start.
It started with me having a roadblock and being reminded that you can’t keep waiting on someone to give you an opportunity so you have to create it yourself.
I started my own business. That was hard because I was still working and going to school full-time, taking 17 credit hours in my final semester and not knowing anything about starting a business. It was a really hard time but I learned a lot. Since then, that was about two years ago, it’s been interesting. It’s hard but it’s rewarding. I worked with Miss Black Nebraska U.S. Ambassador, planned one of the biggest festivals in Omaha for a non-profit organization, helped with the Grammys and the NFL Honors awards so it’s been great but it was a hard start. I think
I learned the most about myself in the journey of being an entrepreneur because I realized how hard I can work for something and how dedicated I am to the vision that I have.
EL: Thanks for sharing that story! What led you to choose event planning as a career? What do you enjoy about it and how does it fulfill you?
CG: 9-5s bore me to death. I don’t like repetition and I get bored easily. I’m one of those people who thrive off of a challenge; if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t help you grow. For example, I can plan six launch parties. Six different clients, six different brands. There’s going to be challenges that come with each client.
That’s what I like about event planning; every single day is different, every client is different, every event is different. There’s never the opportunity to get bored.
I also really love the process of planning the event because while it can get stressful and overwhelming at times, there’s always a reward at the end of the path. Seeing an event come to life gets me excited every single time. An event day to me is like Christmas. I love it.
EL: As we know, you’re based in Omaha, Nebraska at the moment. We’re sure that isn’t the ideal city to host a star-studded event. Tell us how you were able to build your brand in a city that doesn’t necessary reflect the industry you’re based in. How were you able to grow in a place that isn’t the best place to nurture your vision?
CG: It’s hard, I think that that’s honestly the hardest part. I think that when you’re in an environment that isn’t really where you want to be long term it can be hard. For example, Omaha doesn’t have a big entertainment scene or a big fashion scene. That can be distracting at times because you can feel like this isn’t the type of client I want to work with or this isn’t the type of thing that I really want to do but I need the money.
I think that when you do things just because you need the money, you will lose sight of the direction of your business and also can send mixed messages about your brand.
It’s so simple to me because even though I’m not in a place in LA where there is a big entertainment and fashion scene, I can’t let that distract me while I’m in Omaha from still branding my business. I have to stay true to that no matter where I’m at. Even here, I still turn down people because I stay true to my tagline: producing exclusive events for the elite. If I were to take on a certain client or a certain event it would send a false message of well okay, how is she supposed to be producing exclusive events for the elite but she’s working on this other event with a super small budget? There’s nothing elite about that.
Stay true to your brand despite your environment, stay true to your target. Make sure that your messaging is consistent no matter what city you’re in.
Rather you’re in Kansas City, Las Vegas or Los Angeles, you have to remember when to say no and keep the interest of your brand in mind.
EL: What are some key things that every entrepreneur should consider when they’re planning an event to represent their business and brand?
CG: You have to know why are you planning this event. I feel like especially when it comes to planning an event for a company or brand, the first thing I ask is: why are you doing this? Are you doing this to show appreciation for your clients or customers? Are you doing this to educate them about your brand? What’s the underlying purpose of this event?
When you come into planning an event knowing what is the desired outcome or what is it that you’re looking for, then it’s almost like a roadmap. The decisions that you make along the way is to make sure that you’re aligned with the overall purpose of the party.
Of course you want people to enjoy it and have a good time but are they walking away with the greatest appetizers, the greatest entertainment that they didn’t really understand while they were there. Just having the clear vision of why am I having this party and what is my definition of a successful event is key. Is it that you want new clients? Is it that you get new contracts? Is it that you want your clients to feel appreciated? Know why you’re doing that and keep that in mind in order to successfully execute it.
On Monday, we’ll be posting part 2 of our interview with Carina as she shares why she created The Aces Tour, what defines an Ace and MORE!