Episode 379 JACK EZON: Bespoke Travel & A Risk-Taking Entrepreneur

Andy chats today with Jack Ezon, C.E.O. and managing partner of EMBARK Beyond! EMBARK Beyond is a luxury lifestyle partnership that specializes in bespoke travel experiences, and they have the ability to access royal palaces, private homes, luxury yachts, global landmarks, and so much more! Negotiating hotel, air, and other components related to travel, EMBARK Beyond acts as a full concierge service in order to develop the perfect itinerary!

Jack talks about some of the things that he and his company have been asked to do – some of them being pretty colorful and illegal in certain countries – and reveals where his wanderlust originates. He also reflects on how he started as an attorney in commercial financing but knew that he wanted to be a travel agent, especially since he hated being a lawyer and didn’t like the corporate world.

Jack also discusses failure and having to overcome fear and take measured risks in order to grow, and he enthusiastically touches upon the concept of loyalty and what it means to him in regards to the relationship between his company and his clients. He offers some really touching examples of times that EMBARK Beyond did truly wonderful things for its clients, and he affirms how important it is to him to protect his brand both personally and professionally.

Andy and Jack also have a conversation about the COVID-19 pandemic and crises in general, and Jack reflects on the struggle of having been at the front of a travel company in the midst of a pandemic, revealing how he overcame the crisis and came out stronger than ever. This conversation with Jack Ezon made for such a fun interview for Andy, especially with Jack being so open and willing to discuss just about anything and everything! He encourages you to share this interview with three good friends who might also enjoy it!

Have you heard about the brand new show on The Wedding Biz Network, Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don’t forget about Sean Low’s podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network.

 

SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ

Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute!

 

Time Stamps

[0:44] – Today’s interview is with Jack Ezon of EMBARK Beyond.

[2:10] – Jack explains his willingness to do anything as long as it’s legal and ethical.

[3:21] – Jack reveals where his passion for travel comes from.

[5:31] – Jack reflects on how the transition between careers went for him.

[7:27] – We discover how Jack personally dealt with such a major loss of money when he was younger.

[10:25] – Jack talks about 9/11 having ended an opportunity for him but having led to other opportunities.

[11:53] – We learn how and why Jack started EMBARK Beyond.

[13:27] – Jack explains how EMBARK Beyond takes risks and doesn’t fear failure.

[15:23] – Failures, Jack emphasizes, are opportunities to grow.

[16:13] – Jack gives an example of a failure from his past that he overcame and explains how he overcame it.

[20:30] – Jack discusses the standards of his company’s philosophy.

[22:33] – Jack details a specific example of an emotionally meaningful situation that they created for a client.

[24:56] – Jack argues that building loyalty is about connecting to your clients and listening to them.

[26:08] – We hear about further examples of meaningful trips that EMBARK Beyond planned.

[27:52] – The most stressful part of Jack’s job, he reveals, is maintaining his reputation.

[29:08] – We discover how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Jack and EMBARK Beyond.

[31:46] – Jack discusses his favorite travel destination and what excites him most about the future.

[33:58] – Andy reveals where to find Jack online.

 

RESOURCES

Ryan Holiday – The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

 

Find Jack:

EMBARK Beyond – Website

EMBARK Beyond – Instagram Page

EMBARK Beyond – Facebook Page

 

On Clubhouse, follow Andy @andykushner and join his club “The Wedding Biz” to get additional content and to get direct access to Andy.

 

Follow The Wedding Biz on Social:

The Wedding Biz

The Wedding Biz on Instagram: @theweddingbiz

The Wedding Biz on Facebook: @theweddingbiz

The Wedding Biz Network

The Music Makers

 

Support The Wedding Biz by clicking here.

 

Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment.

 

Episode 378 REVISIT: MINDY RICE of MINDY RICE DESIGN – Creating Feelings Instead of Just Events

When we think about wedding and event floral designs, our imagination is often limited to bouquets and centerpieces. Today, I am talking to one of the premier event designers in the world.  She sees flowers and foliage as a way to create lasting memories of events your guests will never forget. Mindy Rice, of Mindy Rice Design, is a native Californian with a creative lineage. Growing up, Mindy was taught how to think like a designer. Never feeling confined by the “rules” wedding floral arrangements like to follow, Mindy seemed to fall into the wedding business after designing events for the corporate world.

What makes Mindy unique is how she encourages her clients to step into their most daring self. She turns dreams into reality—no Pinterest board copy-cat ideas here! Today, Mindy is going to walk us through her process, from the exciting ideation stages to actually executing her most memorable pieces. She will share stories of how she has transformed a simple barn into a Redwood wonderland. Mindy will describe her favorite pieces, and how she uses color and perspective to transform any event space. Mindy’s goal is to create unique elements for each event that guests will really remember. She is not afraid to take a risk because she knows the risky pieces will always pay off. Every bloom and bough is placed thoughtfully so that guests will feel something long after the last toast and dance.

“Everybody has two personalities—who they really are, and who they dare themselves to be.” ~Mindy Rice

Today is not just about flowers and spectacle! Mindy and I will chat about what it means to own our own business, and how we can successfully balance our creative endeavors with family life. The event design business sometimes feels as though it could take over everything! Mindy embraces the life she’s been given and chooses jobs that will both fulfill her creatively and best support her family. Mindy is inspiring in so many ways, and I know she is going to transform the way you’ve always thought about flowers. Expect the unexpected when Mindy is around!

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Episode 377 SUNNA YASSIN & MOLLIE JONES-HENNES: Staying Relevant in an Everchanging Industry

Andy hopes that you will tune in to this episode of The Wedding Biz as he talks with Sunna Yassin and Mollie Jones-Hennes of Bash Please. Named top planners by Brides, Harper’s BAZAAR, and Martha Stewart Weddings, they are a full service creative event production company with studios out of Los Angeles and San Francisco. They are here to talk about what it takes to create an enjoyable and successful partnership, their social media strategy, their pricing philosophy, how they manage the business side of things, and so much more!

Sunna and Mollie reveal how they came together as partners, explaining that it happened very organically. They touch upon how they handle the business and financial side of the business in addition to the creative side as well as how they maintain balance between work and their personal lives, emphasizing the importance of finding time for self-care. They also discuss how they feel about virtual meetings and how they stay relevant in an industry that is always changing. The industry changes every six months or so, and Sunna and Mollie credit their relevance with the unique way that they interact with their current clients, resulting in word-of-mouth. Andy had a great time talking with Sunna and Mollie of Bash Please and encourages you to share this interview with three good friends who might get something out of it too!

Have you heard about the brand new show on The Wedding Biz Network, Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don’t forget about Sean Low’s podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network.

 

SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ

Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute!

 

Time Stamps

[0:44] – Today’s guests are Sunna Yassin and Mollie Jones-Hennes of Bash Please.

[1:50] – We learn about the pivotal moment in Sunna’s life that veered her toward her current career.

[3:08] – Mollie reflects on her childhood and college years and how they affected her career path.

[4:50] – Discover how Sunna and Mollie formed their partnership.

[7:03] – Sunna reflects on whether or not there was any trepidation about partnering.

[8:52] – Mollie reveals that she more so handles the business side of things whereas Sunna handles the more creative side of things.

[10:12] – We learn how Mollie felt when she made the transition into partnership with Sunna.

[11:54] – We learn what makes Mollie’s and Sunna’s partnership unique.

[13:20] – For the most part, as they elaborate upon, both Mollie and Sunna are present at meetings with clients.

[15:10] – Sunna and Mollie talk about how they feel about virtual meetings.

[19:20] – Sunna and Mollie describe an upcoming event as an example of what they normally do.

[22:23] – Andy shifts the conversation toward the business side of things.

[23:09] – We learn that the experience that both Sunna and Mollie had prior to their partnership ended up being invaluable to it.

[24:37] – Mollie and Sunna touch upon what aspect of the job is the most challenging and stressful.

[26:48] – We discover Mollie’s and Sunna’s pricing philosophy.

[28:17] – Sunna and Mollie explain how they stay relevant in an industry that is always changing.

[31:08] – Mollie and Sunna elaborate upon their social media strategy and how they remain successful on social media.

[33:04] – We receive some advice regarding partnering.

[35:42] – Andy reveals how to find Sunna and Mollie online.

 

Find Sunna and Mollie:

Bash Please – Website

Bash Please – Instagram Page

Bash Please – Facebook Page

 

On Clubhouse, follow Andy @andykushner and join his club “The Wedding Biz” to get additional content and to get direct access to Andy.

 

Follow The Wedding Biz on Social:

The Wedding Biz

The Wedding Biz on Instagram: @theweddingbiz

The Wedding Biz on Facebook: @theweddingbiz

The Wedding Biz Network

The Music Makers

 

Support The Wedding Biz by clicking here.

 

Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment & PartySlate.

 

Episode 376 REVISIT: THE TRAVEL SIBLINGS – Experiential Destination Travel

When you think of experiencing personalized and experiential destination weddings, you most likely need to be thinking of Harlan and Kara, The Travel Siblings. This duo has been designing private and intimate events and luxury travel experiences around the globe for years through their affiliation with the Elite Division of Travel Leaders  – Tzell Travel Group and were recently recognized by Conde Nast as the “Best Agents for Destination Weddings”.

The pair found their love for travel when Harlan was working as a traveling opera singer as a young teen. He would often bring his younger sister Kara on a few getaways in between tours. There, they both fell in love with the art of luxurious travel, fine dining, and unique global experiences. These moments informed and influenced the pair’s business of offering unforgettable luxury travel experiences uniquely catered to their clients whom wish to wed at a magical destinations.

Today, Andy, Harlan, and Kara share a fun and lively talk about how the sibling’s upbringing shaped their passions and careers, and how they manage to work together creatively and professionally. The three also chat about how they create experiences out of each destination, some of their favorite and most wild honeymoon and wedding stories to date, and what the best part of their job really is to them. This luxurious and decadent episode will have you ready to book your own destination wedding with the one and only Harlan and Kara. Listen to their full episode right here.

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Episode 375 DAVE CALZARETTA: Fighting the Fear of Missing Out and Making Your Own Luck

Listen in to Andy’s conversation with Dave Calzaretta, the founder and president of Magnificent Events & Entertainment! Magnificent Events & Entertainment was founded in 2000 and has since established an impeccable reputation out of Chicago, Illinois (and also now Scottsdale, Arizona), and it is considered an international booking and event expert company.

Dave always had a love for music, especially after fostering a unique friendship with The Temptations at a young age, but he majored in accounting because he was told that he should choose something practical. He reveals how he landed the career that he now has in the events and wedding market, however, and reveals what it was like to make the jump from the corporate world to a career in music and events.

Motivated by a fear of missing out, Dave explains, he became an entrepreneur because he didn’t want a 9-5 office job but instead wanted to live a more whimsical lifestyle. He discusses negotiation and how it’s about gathering what’s important on both sides of a transaction. He also reflects on the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has affected his career and his business over the last year or so. Andy has been wanting to have Dave on the show for a while and appreciates his connection and friendship with Dave. He’s so happy to have had this chance to talk with him on the show!

Have you heard about the brand new show on The Wedding Biz Network, Stop and Smell the Roses with Preston Bailey? Listen as Preston shares the secrets, tools, and technologies behind his extraordinary ability to create a theatrical environment out of any space. Also, don’t forget about Sean Low’s podcast The Business of Being Creative, where Sean discusses the power of being niched, pricing strategies, metrics of success, and so much more. You can find both shows on The Wedding Biz Network.

 

SUPPORTING THE WEDDING BIZ

Become a patron and support Andy and the show! If you are so inspired, contribute!

 

Time Stamps

[1:12] – Andy reveals that this episode’s interviewee is Dave Calzaretta, founder and president of Magnificent Events & Entertainment.

[2:31] – Dave reflects on a time at fourteen years old when his father took him to see The Temptations.

[5:08] – Dave talks about how he majored in accounting despite his love for music.

[7:50] – Dave explains what it was like to make the leap from the corporate world to the music world.

[9:25] – Having an accounting degree, Dave shares, made him comfortable with the gap between careers.

[11:33] – We discover how Dave balances business and art.

[14:07] – Dave looks back at the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it affected his career.

[16:43] – We learn how Dave’s career doesn’t have a shelf life anymore and he can continue to do this into his sixties.

[18:06] – Dave talks about his office in Chicago and how he manages it post-pandemic.

[21:08] – Dave describes his family situation.

[23:50] – The biggest challenge that the industry faces, Dave asserts, is the waves of people who value price over quality.

[27:01] – Andy expounds upon the challenge of explaining why you’re worth your price to prospective clients.

[28:26] – We hear Dave reflect on how difficult it is to reach prospective clients via video.

[31:49] – Dave discusses negotiation and how a lot of musicians don’t recognize their own value.

[34:21] – Dave shares his thoughts about current emerging trends and talents.

[38:21] – Andy reveals where Dave can be found online.

 

RESOURCES

Andy’s Top 10 Event Luminary Tips For Dealing With Stress

Dua Lipa – “Levitating”

Kylie Minogue – “Magic”

 

Find Dave:

Magnificent Events – Website

Magnificent Events – Facebook Page

Magnificent.Events – Instagram Page


On Clubhouse, follow Andy @andykushner and join his club “The Wedding Biz” to get additional content and to get direct access to Andy.

 

Follow The Wedding Biz on Social:

The Wedding Biz

The Wedding Biz on Instagram: @theweddingbiz

The Wedding Biz on Facebook: @theweddingbiz

The Wedding Biz Network

The Music Makers

 

Support The Wedding Biz by clicking here.

 

Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Kushner Entertainment & PartySlate.