We were lucky to catch up with Aimee Palifroni, CPCE recently and have shared our conversation below.
Aimee, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today Almost all entrepreneurs have had to decide whether to start now or later? There are always pros and cons for waiting and so we’d love to hear what you think about your decision in retrospect. If you could go back in time, would you have started your business sooner, later or at the exact time you started?
If I could do it all over again, I honestly don’t think I’d change a thing. I’ve told my story many times of walking out of my last corporate job to finally go at my dream full-time and that story makes me feel more empowered every time. In the hospitality industry, there are a plethora of positions that exist under the events umbrella. Early in my career, I (like many many others) bounced around from restaurant to hotel to venue to catering company before I finally knew where I was meant to be. I was self-conscious of going to networking events and telling people I had moved onto a new venture already. And I heard the comments and whispers from colleagues like, “Oh where are you now?”, and “Oh I can’t keep up with you!”. I took those comments so personally back then.
What I realized from that time is that moving through those jobs and positions actually set me up for success in the hospitality and events industry in the long-run. It made me so well-rounded to have knowledge of so many different ways of doing things, it made be a better business owner, a better boss, and I’ve taken pieces from each of those jobs to develop an award-winning event planning company. It wasn’t an easy journey, but every piece has been worth it and I wouldn’t change that.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
A dream that started in my 20’s is now a flourishing part of my every day life. It’s.so.awesome.
There’s a lot to know about me. Like aging a fine wine, I’m still getting better. But what you should know is that I love to have a good time. And I especially love helping others have a good time. I grew up fascinated by watching my mother throw lavish dinner parties and over time, I realized I had learned an important skill – hospitality. And I became an addict! While my dad kept waiting for me to get a “real job”, I kept finding myself being pulled to working in restaurants which led to venues and then to hotels and eventually to realize my calling as an event planner. Now I’ve got the best of both worlds and I can satisfy my need for organization, passion for planning, desire to be creative, and I get to lead an awesome team of people.
What you’ll get to experience is a bubbly mom of 2 (who will remind you to drink water), a little sarcasm (ok, sometimes a lot), and bouts of very loud laughing (I can’t really help it but some think it’s one of my best qualities). I’ll offer you wine or a beer when we meet and probably reference my husband at least once, and make sure you know how truly excited I am that you’re getting married and we get to be there. I absolutely love that this is my job even though it never feels like “work” and I’d be nothing without the stellar teams of event professionals that I lovingly call my “friendors”. If you are looking for an honest approach to wedding planning with a side of “we’re definitely going to be friends when this is over”, then I’m your girl and this is your team.
Your wedding is a representation of you. Which is why no two Prisma Events weddings look the same. Our approach is unique because we put your love story and your guest experience at the forefront of wedding planning. An award-winning wedding planner since 2009, come see why we stand in a class of our own and deliver authentic events for our clients that will have your guests raving for months to come. In short, we like to work with cool people, to design awesome parties, and believe all love is love worth celebrating.
Any stories or insights that might help us understand how you’ve built such a strong reputation?
We talk often about how the hospitality and events community in Colorado is very special – what happens here just doesn’t happen in most other cities. There is an amazing sense of community over competition here. One way that has absolutely built our reputation in our local market is being involved, engaged, and open to collaboration. I’ve been heavily involved in our local event organizations for many years and served on the board of the National Association of Catering and Events to continue my education and networking and collaborate with others in the industry. We have a reputation of being detailed and organized but also a fun team to work with. Events should be fun to attend AND work and we strive to make sure our creative partners enjoy the celebrations as much as our guests.
Have you ever had to pivot?
Ah “pivot”. The word of the year for 2020. The events industry was decimated with the onset of the COVID19 pandemic. In our world, we were the first to shut down and the last to come back. We watched many of our colleagues have to shutter their businesses and closed their doors. We saw threats and litigation from clients, venues, and vendors. It was the hardest time in my career – and I didn’t have a backup plan so we were going to have to figure this out!
We created new packages for smaller events. We got creative with floorplans and social distancing. We had to change dinner service style and make sure musicians were 25 feet away from guests so they could still play their music. It was a whirlwind of change and policy and questions. Our clients came to us with questions and fear and we did our best to stay resilient and encouraging.
There will probably be a few things in our industry that have been forever changed by the pandemic but the heart of hospitality it what keeps it all going. Shutting down and leaving our 60+ events from 2020 in limbo wasn’t an option for us. We were actually able to hire more staff in 2021 to take on the overflow and increased demand (which we will continue to feel well into 2024, I’m sure) and give full support to our clients that had to completely switch gear for their wedding plans. It was a strenuous and very difficult time, for everyone, but the pride of making it through that and even being stronger on the other side is a shining silver lining.
- Website: https://www.prismaeventsco.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/prismaeventscolorado/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/prismaeventscolorado
- Other: https://www.pinterest.com/prismaeventscolorado/
Studio Lemus, AllDigital Photo & Video, Steve Stanton, Erin Witt