Monday, April 30, 2012

Living the Bicoastal Life

Running a company can have its ups and downs. Running a bicoastal event production company can add a whole new set of ups and downs. The JG team came together to ask Jes some questions to get the skinny on being the owner of a bicoastal event planning and design company.

1. Did you always know that you wanted to branch out from NY? What this a long-term goal of yours? What was your reason to open a second office and become national?
No! I had no idea this was even an option! It all started when one of my NY-based clients (Victoria’s Secret) kept requesting that I produce events in LA for them and I got used to flying out there and enjoyed producing there. Other potential clients that attended these events that were West Coast based started asking for my services and I just said "yes."
I realized that the more I exposed myself to other markets, the more I could grow as an event producer and keep evolving creatively while opening more economic options for the company as well. I figured that when it was slow in NY, maybe it would be busy in LA and vice versa, so far they are on the same time schedule, I didn’t prepare for that! But it’s a good problem to have.

2. You had your business in NY for so long, what were some of your biggest frustrations when you opened in California? How did you handle that?
Well, the biggest issue was taking the time to really get the lay of the land and figure out what the venues and vendors were all about out there. I needed to take about six months and really tour the town and familiarize myself with what resources were available to me.
Another issue was that I was already well known in NY, but not so much in LA. It’s hard because other vendors already had formed their relationships with the folks that hire them so I had to convince people to give me a chance and try something different.
Also, the amount of time you spend in your car in LA is insane!! I was having a hard time answering emails while I was driving (not a good idea) and keeping up with my NY team and clients. I have figured out that its best to stay on NY time and get up REALLY early so I can keep up with the East Coast projects. I go to bed embarrassingly early in LA.

3. What is your biggest obstacle in running a bicoastal company? Why?
Well it’s physically exhausting with all of the traveling and time differences and I truly want to be at every one of my events, so that can be rough—if I have to be on two coasts at one time. It’s a lot less glamorous than it sounds.

4. How do you overcome that obstacle?
I am taking it one event at a time. I also plan my travel so I am physically comfortable and I have stopped taking the red eye flights! I tend to try and fly on off event days so I can take a moment to regroup and be stellar for the next project. Let’s just say that having WiFi available on flights is a blessing and a curse.
5. What do you love about having a bicoastal company?
Well it sounds cool ha!! Also it’s opened my eyes and rejuvenated my career a bit and forced me to reinvent myself and keep on my toes. I am the kind of person that needs this kind of constant “raising of the bar.” My feeling is, if I make it on one coast, I want to make it everywhere!
6. What is the toughest part about being an employer?
Dude I cant even go there ha!! We would need Dr. Drew for this one.
7. What is the best part?
Well I don’t need to have children of my own, I truly feel I have a family. :) I love being part of a team and going through the good and bad parts of business and life with them. I also love that if I don’t feel like "dazzling" someone or am having an off day, I have an incredible team to fall back on that can pick up the reigns and take over some of my creative and logistical exhaustion.
8. How does your style of design differ from coast to coast?
Well I am lot tanner on the west coast! Honestly it’s all about work for me on either coast but the biggest difference is the inspiration. I get inspired in NY by the people and being able to walk everywhere and see new things constantly. In LA, I am inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds me. I live by the beach so life is pretty gorgeous here. I also love the showbiz aspect out here, the fancy cars, the made up women and the metrosexual dudes.

{Graffiti Art and Street Source - One Extra Pixel}

9. Now the big one, which coast do you like better? Drum roll please…
Uuummm DUH. I will give you a hint: I prefer apples to oranges :)

No comments:

Post a Comment