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Meet Erika Rae

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erika Rae.

Erika, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
At 17 years of age, I knew I wanted to be an event planner. I started as an assistant to a family friend, went away to college, planned and organized events on campus, and kept growing from there. I soon became an intern for one of Philadelphia’s most prominent wedding planners, which landed me a position as her lead assistant, then key holder to two of her venues, which I watched them grow from shells to actual buildings. From there, I received the blessing to start my own business known as The Event Parlor. I officially launched in 2016 and this year, I will be hosting a safe and intimate celebratory, live action styled-shoot event to commemorate my five years of growth. It’s been an amazing five years, my company now manages one of those exact same event spaces I watched come to life, I have been published in one of the top bridal blogs, I have done hundreds of events, I have a loyal clientele that grows daily, and an amazing staff and team I can’t thank enough for joining me along this journey.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
None of this was easy, it did not fall into my lap. While in high school, my guidance counselor told me I would never amount to anything. She took the liberty in ripping my college applications in front of my face, telling me to try my luck and become an employee of McDonalds, she said I’d be lucky if I get into a community college. This tore me apart and almost had me ready to believe her. However, after re-applying to schools with the help of friends, graduating college with a B average, then going off to successfully achieve my Master’s degree about two years ago, I knew I was going places. Not to mention, my business was growing everyday, and now I am here celebrating five years in business, doing what I love, and looking forward to continued success.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
We’re based in Philadelphia, PA, however, we travel all over the US as long as the check clears (laughs). We specialize in weddings and intimate events, we’re BIG on details, down to the smallest detail you could think of. I believe we’re known for our well-designed long dinner table settings. Everyone literally gushes over them, and I enjoy transforming spaces. I also believe I genuinely attract clients who value me as a person, who understand my energy and vibe, who love the treatment they receive from me as a client; I treat my clients like the celebrities they are to me.

I’m currently focused on producing a celebration worthy of our five years in business. The growth from day one is something I am beyond excited about and proud of. To go from a one woman show, to a staff of four blows my mind. This journey is no longer about just me, it includes them and I am honored to take them along for the ride. Together, we are focused on building this empire brick by brick and separating ourselves from the rest.

We love surprises, fun facts and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
Something that might surprise you, hmmmm, okay! Well fun fact, I never 100% know what an event will turn out to look like. I go BIG with the vision and ideas, I meet my clients’ where they are with what they want, however, I add my own flair along with the help of my staff’s special touches. Even when providing clients inspiration, the full design lives in my head. Now this is not to scare anyone (laughs), we know what we are doing. This is how I know what I do is truly a gift from God, and I am extremely blessed to do what I love, with people I love, and with a crazy vision that always exceeds the expectations of our clients and even myself at times.

No one ever truly knows what’s going on in my mind, they know I’m up to something good and brilliant, but can never figure me out until it’s time to execute. That’s why this will never get old to me, and I also believe this is why my staff is also so good at what we do, they know what I expect, even if I am not there to assist, they’re just as creative, and we get the job done!

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Image Credits:

Darnell DSQPhotography Barnes CivilChar Media Ricky Codio

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