When we grow up our first encounter with heroism is usually amongst our own family members. Parents, siblings or grandparents tend to be portrayed as the first heroes of our lives. Along the way though, we encounter various heroes outside of our close family circle, be it real people or fictive creatures. We love them, we hate them, we admire them and sometimes are full of envy towards their heroism.
When I started my business, yamyam event production, specialized in event planning and event design, in March 2008 I was lucky to have a mentor, my personal hero, who guided me on my way from being an employee to becoming an entrepreneur. RIP Ernst Scholdan, thank you for all that I was able to learn from you, your legacy will always continue in all the seeds that you have sawn throughout your life!
My aim with my own business was to become a successful entrepreneur and event planner as well as establishing a reputation that would make my company THE address for clients looking for creative and special event design. Ernst always used to say “there is no need for inventing a new world, just look around and see what others are doing, do not copy but enhance and re-create.” So I started scouting the local and international world of event designers to see what the market had to offer and to get a feeling of where I would like to place my own business. I came across many very talented people and creative companies. However, there was one who caught my full attention, one designer that beat them all, that really left me speechless with his jaw dropping and overwhelmingly beautiful flower designs. I discovered the world of Preston Bailey and his event design business. I researched more on Preston, bought some of his books and I knew, I had found him, my personal design hero …. Maybe it sounds strange for a grown woman to be talking about heroism and admiration towards another human being but I believe that admiration and respect for another individuals work is something positive, rather inspiring an very helpful in the process of personal growth.
Now, 6 years later, my business is up and running, and Preston is still the unbeaten star on the sky of event designers. Thanks to the world of social networks i am able to follow his work on Instagram, Facebook, his blog and Pinterest and i continue to learn from him and his team.
So I guess it was just meant to happen for me to literally bump into a blog post called “Preston and friends” while preparing for an event design class that I am teaching at the new design university in st. Pölten, Austria. Preston asked fellow event designers and planners to share their worst mistakes in their businesses. he then would pick 25 out of all contributions and invite them for an evening at his New York City studio with him and his staff.
I did as asked, sent off my own “worst experience” not truly believing in being picked.
Honestly, I forgot about the whole thing until a friend surprised me with a text message saying “you were chosen, congrats” At first I did not know what he was talking about but then was completely baffled by the fact that I was supposed to be part of the Preston & Friends event. Of course various thoughts crossed my mind: was it crazy, to fly all the way to NYC just for three hours with Preston Bailey? who would do that? Am I out of my mind?
But wasn’t this an opportunity that I just had to accept? The answer was YES.
So I booked my flight, made all arrangements and off I went to the big apple.
The effort made was well worth it. The time spent with Preston, his staff and all the other amazing planners and designers was inspiring and informative at the same time. The work presented to us was simply beautiful and seeing the detail oriented creations made my heart jump. The conversation with preston himself was warm and friendly and learning how humble and down to earth this man is was very heart warming.
My biggest learning from this event however was his answer to following question. “Can you be a planner and a designer at the same time” – the answer was NO. it made me think, since i myself am the head planner and head designer of my own company and Preston used to do both jobs himself. but the truth is that you cannot be the best in both areas and i have to admit that doing both is actually taking away the 100% attention that both jobs need. so the solution is what Preston himself just recently did, hire the best planner that you can lay your hands on and focus 100% on clients and design.
easier said that done is my first answer …. but that is the thing about heroes, they most of the time say the truth, and you are better off listening ….
Thank you preston for sharing your insights, passion, mishaps and most of all your love for your work, clients and team.
I left energized, inspired and happy and most of all more aware about my strength and my weaknesses …