Sit back, relax and put on your reading glasses for Part 2.
This is where the fun truly began. My first three years of college were, well your typical college experience, between class, rugby games, and throwing up what i know with my sorority sistas, it was time to take an important step to achieving my dream: The Internship. I’ve always been a “Go big or go home” kind of gal, so I knew that if I was going to give up nannying for an unpaid internship it had to be WORTH it. I sat down and made a list of three dream companies to intern for, my number one being Kleinfeld Bridal. Without doing any background on if they even offered internships, I took to the internet and tracked down the email for Joan Roberts, Director of Sales at Kleinfeld’s. I then proceeded to pitch myself better than a used-car salesman. And it worked! Two months later I was strutting my stuff through the internship of a lifetime.
Totally Fangirling Over Mark Zunino
At Kleinfeld’s I learned the ins and outs of the bridal world. I spoke to designers and photographers, people who had been submerged in the industry for 20+ years and I received the education of a lifetime. I got first hand experience not just in making sure a bride looks good and feels good on her day, but a brides, and couples real thoughts and stressors for their big day. With every bride and every appointment i was constantly learning, learning to weed through a multitude of opinions to find the one that truly mattered, learning what could and couldn’t be customized about a dress, and learning how truly special a wedding day was to a bride. My time spent at Kleinfeld wasn’t just learning the difference between thousands of gowns or singing my ABC’s in the back as i searched through designer names for the dress i wanted, but it was learning what was really important for a client on their wedding.
Finding out you are going to be B-Roll for SYTTD – So naturally picking your dress
Being an intern at Kleinfeld’s not only prepared me to enter the world of bridal on my own but also helped me prove to myself that I was prepared and I knew the industry even better than I had realized. I knew I could wake up everyone morning excited to tackle a day of work. It was this experience that propelled me into my early Event Coordination career.
Launching Simply Loved
After Kleinfeld’s I took an events assistant job at a luxury magazine. It was here i learned about the grunt work of adulting. I was by far the youngest in the company and i very quickly learned how to work my butt off to prove myself. Throughout my year there i wore a multitude of hats, Events Assistant, Assistant to the CRO, Sales Assistant and Office Manager. Id learned about all these job functions throughout my time at Iona, but having the ability to truly immerse myself in the roles was such a benefit to my career. I’m going to get real for a second and say it truly sucked when the company got bought out and i was blindsided with a lay off, i can’t even begin to tell you how much of a failure that made me feel like – even though it had nothing to do with my work, it was just business. I took a few months off after that and on a spontaneous trip to Vegas i got a call with a job offer! Beyond ecstatic, a week later i started my job as Event Operations Coordinator for Clio Awards. I wouldn’t trade my time at clio for the world, within my first 3 months there i was on a flight to China for 3 weeks to work on my first international event. Let me just say as scary as it was to be planning an event time zones away and barley understanding the native language, the experience was truly inspiring. Its here i found my love of international event planning as well as met some of the world’s TOP creatives in the advertising industry. It was at Clio where i realized i may be professionally cursed – once again company bought out, Charissa caught in the first round of layoffs.
I had pretty much given up at this point on having a successful career when an old coworker reached out. She was now the SVP of Marketing at Getty Images and asked if i would be interested in helping the Events Director out for a few months while she got caught up on some events. So what was supposed to be 2 months turned into over a year as an Event Coordinator For Getty Images! This was just what i needed. At Getty i learned so much, i worked on VIP events, smaller parties, and Cannes Lions Festival – a festival/ competition in Cannes France for over 15, 000 people. My time at Getty really gave me the push and confidence to begin my journey into Simply Loved.
And that my friends, is how I wound up not as Princess of the World, but beyond happy as the founder/owner/businesswoman/senior planner at Simply Loved…although I am still holding out hope for my shot at being Princess Charissa (wink wink at all you Princes out there)!
XO – C