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Meet Robin Baab Olascoaga of RMBO Collective in Van Nuys

Today we’d like to introduce you to Robin Baab Olascoaga.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Robin. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs and graduated from The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a degree in Journalism.

My early career in Chicago included marketing and PR for boutique architecture and package design agencies as well as wardrobe styling for an image consulting firm. For a while, it seemed that I was amassing a ton of arbitrary skills that didn’t quite seem to fit together. Add in my years of serving in restaurants throughout high school and college and my resume could be described in one word: random. I lacked focus and direction and I felt really lost. A fateful decision to follow my best friend to LA in 2007 changed the trajectory of my life and set me on a very exciting path.

Newly on the LA scene, I was introduced to the incredible world of event planning and production and was instantly hooked. Finally, I had found a way to bridge my creative talents with my obsessive desire for organization and my extensive hospitality experience. What can I say, I love design decks and spreadsheets and properly-set dining tables equally. In 2010, I joined forces with a wedding planner friend to produce weddings and events around Southern California for 6.5 years as the co-owner and creative director of a local planning company. As we were getting our fledgling business off the ground, I also spent time bartending, serving and booking catering jobs for luxury hotels and acclaimed chefs in LA.

In 2016, I ventured into solopreneurship and founded RMBO Collective, a multi-service creative agency providing event production, hospitality consulting and event industry educational resources.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Of course not, but it certainly has been fun!

It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. And when I finally found the event world and started my own business, it still took a number of years until my business could independently support me. In the early years of my first business, I felt embarrassed that I had to fall back on my serving experience to support myself and so I kept my side job as a server a secret to my event clients. I wanted to be taken seriously as a business owner and event professional and thought that if people knew I had a side job to pay the bills that they would think I was a fraud, that being an event planner was just a hobby, that I wasn’t qualified. I was having major imposter syndrome.

Oh, how foolish an idea that was! My experience working at exclusive properties with culinary visionaries and the most discerning clientele gave me an incredible education. I learned how to take the absolute best care of people. I learned how important every little detail is. I learned to strive for excellence in everything I do. I now look at my serving experience as the best education I could have given myself and I’m grateful for how profoundly it strengthened my own business.

Please tell us about RMBO Collective.
RMBO Collective is a full-service concierge-style agency creating extraordinary event experiences from brand and product launches to weddings to intimate dinner parties. We infuse soulful intention with thoughtful hospitality and meticulous attention to detail to create curated, connected experiences for everyone celebrating.

I believe that form and function are equally important, so our events and culinary spaces do not just look beautiful, but they also have impeccable flow, make each guest feel incredibly well cared for and delight every sense. I always say that a guest may not remember the colors of the flowers in their dinner centerpiece, but they will absolutely remember if they were too hot or cold during dinner. We make sure everyone is comfortable so they can be fully immersed and delighted in the experience.

I’m proud to be a female-owned, female-run business and to share what I’ve learned throughout my career with the next generation of emerging event professionals and entrepreneurs.

I have become known for curating and styling beautiful tablescapes and I even have an e-course and live workshop to teach others how to set gorgeous tables at any budget, whether home entertainers or more established event planners looking to enhance their design and styling skills.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
When I was about 4 or 5, my parents had this decorative round metal tray that apparently reminded me of a waitressing tray. I got a little note pad and pencil to carry on the tray and would walk around the house taking people’s orders like a diner waitress. My parents nicknamed me Trixie. I guess I had an inherent desire to serve from an early age. Who knew that my Trixie destiny would be fulfilled later in life!


Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photo credits as follows: Krista Mason; Tavern Restaurant circa 2011; Whitney Darling; Jana Williams; Rebecca Yale Photography; Emily Jane Furney

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