Have you ever looked at an event from a thirty thousand foot view, so you could see the big picture? Listen as Andy and his guests Jodi Moraru and Jeannette Tavares discuss this and how event planning has evolved in the last thirty years. Both of these amazing women are individuals who work with Evoke Design & Creative, an Event Planning and Design company that was initially founded by Jodi but was bought by Jeannette years later. Listen as they discuss what that was all about in this episode of The Wedding Biz.
Jeannette is the President, and Jodi is the Founder and Senior Event Planner based out of Washington, D.C. Although their roles have reversed, they are now individually more successful as well as the company as a whole. Jodi and Jeannette share where they each got their passion for planning events as children, how they met, and why Jodi chose to teach Jeannette the business. Starting as Jodi’s assistant, Jeannette worked her way up to an event planner in a short time, which proved to Jodi that she had the right person for the next step in her exit plan.
Listen as they speak about the process of changing ownership, the anxiety they had about the changes but the strong unity that came out of it. Jodi didn’t sell and leave the company. She stayed to do what she loves which is producing events, while Jeannette has excelled at the operations side of the business while planning as well.
These two women show us what happens when you trust your instincts and know when to make changes. They took a successful business and made it even more prominent by making changes that needed to be made but still keeping the integrity it has always had.
[02:28] Welcome to the show, Jodi and Jeannette!
[03:08] Jodi shares when her passion for events came about and her journey to event planning.
[04:58] Jodi speaks about what event planning was like thirty years ago.
[05:55] Jodi chats about her first job out of college, working with a maverick in the industry.
[07:39] Jodi discusses what she learned about being a leader and what kind of boss she wanted to be.
[08:51] Jodi shares working in the floral industry and what it felt like to be a vendor/creative partner.
[11:33] Jodi chats about starting her business with a business partner and how working with that partner didn’t work.
[12:58] They discuss rebranding her company and giving it the name of Evoke.
[15:28] Jeannette shares where she got the passion for events, about her family, and her background.
[17:11] Jeannette speaks about not knowing any other business except hospitality and going to school for it.
[18:01] Jeannette shares how she first met Jodi and got to shadow her to learn the industry.
[20:32] Jodi speaks about Jeannette starting as an intern, and within two months, she was making a position for her.
[21:37] Jeannette discusses being Jodi’s assistant and how that evolved into a love for the company.
[23:53] Jeannette shares how long it took her to become an event planner and designer with the company.
[25:38] Jodi speaks about why she was thinking about selling the company and her exit strategy.
[27:13] Jodi describes talking to Jeannette about where she saw her future in the company.
[28:12] Jeannette speaks about talking to Jodi about owning her own business one day.
[30:20] Jodi shares that the Evoke team is very open, and they have open conversations all the time, so they know where the team stands.
[32:09] Jeannette speaks about Jodi asking her to run Evoke.
[33:05] Jodi chats about the changes in the industry in the last 20 years.
[35:06] How did the process go for you when deciding to change ownership of the company?
[36:57] Jodi shares having a panic attack when the reality of selling her company became real.
[38:56] Instead of leaving the company, Jodi has stayed and feels invigorated by producing events instead of worrying about the day to day operations.
[40:39] Jodi says that she couldn’t be happier now that she is an employee instead of the owner.
[41:51] Jeannette has a passion for running the operations of the company and is excelling.
[44:00] Jeannette shares that she bought Evoke because she loves it, she loves the whole team and what they do for their clients.
[44:46] Jeannette, where do you see yourself taking the company in the next five years?
[46:45] Jeannette describes how she values success.
[47:01] Jodi shares that she is having her most success because she is doing what she loves to do.
[47:30] Thank you both for being on the show!
LINKS & RESOURCES
Follow The Wedding Biz on Social:
Title Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by PartySlate – the first website designed specifically for event professionals and venues!
Rita Bloom on The Wedding Biz
Colin Cowie Part 1 on The Wedding Biz
Colin Cowie Part 2 on The Wedding Biz
Robert Sherman on The Wedding Biz