Ever wondered what it takes to be a professional fashion event planner? Well, meet Caprese Jackson-Garrett of Bonneau Caprece LLC. She is a Baltimore socialite (well, to me) that provides strategic marketing, PR, and event production services for events like Wear It Out Baltimore and The Bonneau Caprece Jazz Series.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Mmmmmmm…I Love Baltimore! The Baltimore I live in, where every genre of the Fine Arts – Fashion, Music & Song, Film, Painting and Dance — is thriving underneath the surface of it’s finally dissipating surface image “Wire” and crime image. So I decided to DO what I CAN to lift Baltimore’s brilliant creative energy to the Light for it to be seen!
To provide much needed platform opportunities and exposure for Baltimore’s A-mazing industry-standard fashion community and performing artistes, Kellie Easton and I co-founded “Wear It Out Baltimore” http://www.wearitoutbaltimore.com in 2011. After the Civil War until the Great Depression, then once again after WWII until the late 60’s Riots. Today Baltimore is emerging once again as a centerpoint of the fashion industry, seemingly unbeknown to the politico and business community, with Fashion-related disciplines being taught in eight area learning institutions, I can think of at this moment – MICA, Baltimore School of the Arts, The Design School, Stevenson, BCCC, Morgan, Coppin, and City Neighbors School.
To bring attention to Baltimore’s historic and continuing legacy as a pulse point for the creation and evolution of Jazz, America’s Classic Music Standard –I established the “Bonneau Caprece Jazz Series “Jazz @ The Grand,” in July, 2013, which is evolving by leaps and bounds heading towards its 1st Anniversary. Why should visitors, conference goers, those in-town on business, and tourists in Baltimore end up going in Washington, D.C. when they want to hear Jazz in cosmopolitan ambience? Stir-It-Up! That’s what I Love to DO!
Once upon a time I covered the Collections in Paris and Milan as a general interest-fashion journalist based in Paris, France for five years, modeling here and there! Not too long ago I was a press secretary at City Hall during the O’Malley Administration for the Council President, and I established the events department at The Living Classrooms’ Frederick Douglass Isaac Myers Maritime Park from scratch!
I wake up every morning, an “Empty Nester” UN-LEASHED on a mission to ‘stir up!’ as many platform opportunities as humanly possible for the incredible wealth and breadth of pure creative talent proliferating without pretense, especially on behalf of Baltimore’s emerging industry-standard fashion community and vast pool of outrageously gifted Jazz Musicians. I want the world to be inspired by the U-ber Artsy and totally Un-pretentious, Super Cool Baltimore I live in, Love and desire to share with the World!
P.S. My favorite color is Orange. My favorite restaurants are Tapas Teatro and Petite Louis. My favorite place to have a cocktail is at The Wit & Wisdom Bar @ The Four Seasons. I’m a Chronic Fashionista!
What inspired you to start your own business?
The economic implosion. Encounters with mean-spirited, unappreciative, insecure, standard work environments. The desire to ‘Flex’ on behalf of efforts that fuel my passion, interest me, and are worthy of my time, skill set, energy and considerable enthusiasm!
What did you do to prep for owning your own business?
I decided once and for all after I went into transition from my LAST full-time position during the thick of the 2008 Recession, that it was time for me to what at 30 million other formerly-employed Americans – carve a new path, do something different. My husband was RIGHT there for me, in full support! I connected with colleagues also seeking independent contracts, and we went after business opportunities. Businesses reached out to us — Restaurants, hotels and small start-ups in need of experienced marketing expertise to hold on to their momentum.
It was tough at first. Each year its gotten better, more profitable. I’ve made mistakes and taken plenty of risks along the way, persevered and refused to give up! I’ve learned from my mistakes and grown from the risks. Definitely adds muscle to your conviction, and is not for the faint at heart.
Describe a typical week or describe the tasks you encounter on a daily basis.
On any given day, a sampling of tasks include: sending E-mails, communicating on Facebook; attending meetings, making calls, doing research, going on walkthroughs, meeting deadlines, coordinating with resources and clients, on-site at events handling production tasks; attending events, writing press releases, collateral copy and proposals, drafting reports, updating lists, developing budgets, pitching angles to Media outlets for coverage of client efforts and Bonneau Caprece Fine Arts Projects (Wear It Out Baltimore and the Bonneau Caprece Jazz Series).
What advice would you give to an aspiring fashion event planner?
Think outside of the Box. Gravitate towards like energy – those with whom you have respective and appreciate you. Always put yourself ‘in the shoes’ of your client and your targeted audience when brainstorming, planning and strategizing.
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