Now that “Soles of Love in the Garden” is over for another year, I can finally relax. But before I do that, there are still three very important In-Kind Sponsors I need to publicly acknowledge. The first one is Kelly Beach of Vicarious Travel.
As many of you know, Kelly is a top-rate event planner as well as host of Italian tours to the Tuscan countryside. She orchestrated my first “Must Love Shoes Goes to Italy” retreat in 2014 and we are beginning registration for our Fall 2016 retreat within the week. So now that I’ve distracted you with thoughts of sipping wine under the Tuscan sun, let me ask you to first to FOCUS on Soles of Love for just a few minutes.
Kelly’s role in the annual Soles event kicks in 48 hours before the party. Up until that point, I have things pretty well under control. I’m gardening, buying all the things I need to make it a special thematic evening, meeting with the caterer, arranging for the musicians, designing the program books, and all the other countless things that go into planning a party at my home.
But then the day before the event arrives and my stress kicks in in a BIG way! That is when my friend, event planner extraordinaire, and therapist springs into action! To illustrate what I mean by this, let me give you a glimpse into the conversations that happen at Garden Party Central at 0:48 hours!
Julie: (Seeing that the forecast looks dismal and rain is certain). “Noooooooooooo! Ohhhhhhhhh noooooooo!” “Whaaaaat am I going to dooooooooo with over 160 women???????” “I don’t have roooooooom to put 160 women in my hooouuussse! “Should I postpone it till Saaaaaaaturdaaaaay?” “What should I dooooooo Keeeeeeelllllly?”
Kelly: (Speaking with authority and confidence). “Julie, you need to be proactive, not reactive. Do not wait and let everyone start calling you. Send all the participants a note NOW and tell them that you will decide no later than 5 pm if the event needs to be postponed until the next evening. Do it NOW!”
And so that’s what I do!
In the meantime, Kelly springs into action and assembles our two beautiful tents and strings lights inside so we can see under the tent after dark.
Julie: (Now bringing her brand new Step & Repeat banner outside, removing it from the carrying case and seeing that (in her mind) MAJOR assembly is required). “Ohhhhhhhhhh noooooooo. It haaaaas DIRECTIONS????” “YOU HAVE TO READ THE DIRECTIONS TO PUT IT TOGETHER????” (sighs loudly)
Kelly: (Calmly picks up directions and reads.) “Ok, did you order an 8 x 8 banner or an 8 x 10?”
Julie: “I donnnnnn’t knoooooow! Whhhhhy does it maaaaattttter?”
Kelly: “Because you assemble it differently depending on the size.”
Julie: (Not able to remember the size of a product she personally ordered a mere week ago, goes into the house and returns with a tape measure. Begins to measure the banner.)
Kelly: (Within 5 minutes of learning the actual size of the banner, has it completely assembled.)
Julie: (Slinks away and works on table decorations where she feels safe!)
The evening of the event, Kelly is like a conductor , tending to so many details without hesitation. Candles need lighting? Check! White twinkly lights keep short circuiting? Re-route some of the lights to a different plug! Getting low on glasses? Get glasses to the appropriate location! Attendees leaving? Make sure someone is out front to give them a program booklet. Kelly’s presence the night of the party allows me to be present and enjoy my guests and the event that I have worked months preparing for.
Just imagine what she can do for your events! Thank you Kelly! Since you’ve become part of the Soles team, I have had nothing but fun at my own parties!
With love and gratitude,
PS – NOW…. go click on the link to her website and learn how you can experience a Tuscan countryside adventure!