We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Cassie LaMere a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Cassie, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today Looking back, do you think you started your business at the right time? Do you wish you had started sooner or later?
If I could go back in time, I do wish that I had started my business sooner. With that said, the moments that preceded me starting my own business makes me believe that there was serendipitous timing at work and that everything unfolded as it was intended to.
I built my career and reputation working in-house creating events for high-profile luxury brands for almost a decade. During many of those years, if you would have asked me if I had my dream job, I would’ve said yes. As head of my department, I had achieved a level of creative direction and autonomy; an opportunity that allowed me to fully utilize my strengths to lead our team and deliver incredible event experiences. We were fortunate to have access to resources and a highly recognizable brand that added a level of prestige to every project we created.
It was always in the back of my mind that someday, I may start my own company and move into a consulting role. In my opinion, this is a natural progression in our industry and a goal that many people strive for. In 2018, there was a shift happening within our company- it was the catalyst for giving myself permission to take a step back and with a 50,000-foot view, really consider where I saw myself going forward. During those several months of contemplation, I was asked to speak on a panel at an industry conference and afterwards, was approached by someone who was interested in hiring me to plan their event. I will forever be grateful for that event because it gave me the extra little push I needed; instilling confidence that my services were in demand outside of my current role and that I could sustain my own agency. Don’t get me wrong, one event does not make an agency, but it lit the match and from there, the momentum continued.
There’s this quote, “Don’t be surprised at how quickly the universe will move with you once you have decided.” I now believe this wholeheartedly. I chose a path, purposely making it known to others where we were headed and inviting them along with us. From that one event came the journey we are now on, filled with some of the most incredible events we have ever created, memories with old friends and new, and collaborations with companies and individuals I would have never dreamed possible. It also opened a space for me to meet my best friend and soon-to-be husband, who is my greatest champion and has supported me every step of the way in this challenging, but most rewarding journey.
The reason I wish I would have started my own company sooner is that I could have had more time to build our brand’s profile. As event planners, I believe our role is to be behind the scenes, helping our clients shine and because of that, the source of that creativity and creation is sometimes overlooked. If I could do it over again, I would have my own business and collaborate or consult with these brands as their preferred event planner, while maintaining our company’s position as an expert in the event space. This would have allowed us the opportunity for diversity in projects and brand collaborations.
There’s a lot of layers to who we are: both in the projects we work on and those we aspire to be a part of. With those goals in mind, I am intentionally building a company every day that speaks to our mission of designing events for a life well lived. There’s more to come, so stay tuned!
Cassie, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
When I look back through childhood photos and videos, I realize that I was born ready to entertain. My mom tells me stories about how I was insistent on making holidays and special occasions a big event; I created menus, suggested attire, baked cakes for celebrations, and designed my own table décor.
Our boutique luxury event planning agency creates one-of-a-kind event experiences for companies and individuals. Clients come to Cassie LaMere Events with a desire to gather, celebrate, share their story, and build relationships. Our work begins from a place of intentionality and purpose: we have a clear understanding of why we are hosting this event and the desired outcomes. From there, we hand select a team of esteemed vendors to help create the custom details we design. Our goal is that each event is created as the ultimate way to experience an occasion, destination, or brand. Our clients appreciate that our events have layers of design references that speak to their interests, as well as a hyper-focused attention to both detail and hospitality. We want guests to feel well-cared for, considered, and valued.
For our team, this is not a job, but a lifestyle. I personally spend my time researching and exploring numerous sources of inspiration and am continually archiving ideas for future projects. We understand the standard of quality and service our clients expect because we have experienced that level ourselves. We immerse ourselves in environments and experiences that allow us to continue to formulate ideas on how to raise the bar.
What’s a lesson you had to unlearn and what’s the backstory?
One of the most unexpected parts of starting my own business was even after 15 years in the industry, I had to go back to “101 Lessons” on some aspects of the business.
Having worked for large corporations, I was provided access to an infrastructure of support and teams of people who managed various facets of day-to-day business operations. I possessed enough of an understanding of those processes to be able to collaborate with those departments, but also was guided by individuals who had a specialization or expertise in their respective division.
As an entrepreneur, each of those responsibilities now reside in my purview and it’s my job to figure out how to oversee those essential core functions. It was an interesting dichotomy to in some ways feel so experienced, but in other ways feel like I was going back to the beginning. With that experience comes an immense amount of growth and I prioritize focusing on that mindset as I accomplish goals and continue to address challenges.
Any stories or insights that might help us understand how you’ve built such a strong reputation?
I believe there are three core tenets that have helped us build our reputation: our point of view, how we value relationships, and our ability to deliver.
We have a keen eye for design and understanding of our clients’ vision that allows us to offer something different than what they’ve seen or experienced previously. Our collaborators prioritize new ideas and value the personalized concepts we create that are customized specifically for them.
After many years in this industry, you learn which vendors possess the ability to deliver and which overpromise. We have cultivated a network of highly regarded vendors who share our “Whatever it takes” mentality and will execute to the highest level with us. This makes all the difference in event outcomes.
By investing in relationships with event collaborators and individuals, we have surrounded ourselves with meaningful connections that have helped us become a trusted resource. People know when we say we’re going to do something, we do it, and hopefully to a degree beyond what they ever expected. I also believe how we treat our vendors is just as important as our relationship with our clients. We respect our vendors’ expertise, give them the tools to be successful, and support them in the process. When we reach out to a vendor, we want people to want to take our call!
- Website: cassielamereevents.com
- Instagram: @cassielamereevents
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cassie-lamere-76403872
- Other: https://www.partyslate.com/event-pros/cassie-lamere-events
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