Creative Occasions to Design Face of Foothills Finale Event
The Face of the Foothills Finale Party is right around the corner and we want this event to be BIGGER and BETTER than ever before. This year, Arizona Foothills Magazine will be working with amazing sponsors to make this event incredible, including Creative Occasions for our Event Design. I had a chance to sit down with Corinne from Creative Occasions and start planning the Finale Party. Her ideas are wonderful and it will make for a very exciting event on October 20th at Fashion Square Mall.
Corinne lights up a room with her charming charisma and fantastic ideas. She is down to earth and ready to chat about what inspires her creative passion. The mom-to-be is hardworking and willing to make your party vision become a reality.
Come to the Face of the Foothills Finale Party to see the amazing event she will design! Here is a quick taste of her fun ideas:
Get to know Corinne and Creative Occasions, it will be worth your while!
AFM: How did you get started? How did you end up owning your own business?
Corinne: Being an entrepreneur runs heavy in my blood. My first attempt at a business was in elementary school. While other children were playing on the playground, I was designing and selling jewelry… which ultimately got me in trouble, sent to the principal’s office, and my parents called. I was devastated, but I never gave up. I was a determined child. My mother always said if I put my determination to good use that I would be very successful one day – moms know best!
As a child I grew up with parents who were both amazing artists. While others were enjoying sports, I was typically enjoying the arts! I feel I learned a ton from them, which helped me to create Creative Occasions. I also attended college to study interior design. Creative Occasions began 11 years ago in Southern California. I saw a nitch in events for amazing decorations and over-the-top props. I wanted my décor to be different, not items you can pick up at the local party supply store. So I started designing and building props. My very first event was a 5-year-old birthday party with a $500 budget. I spent $800 to design the décor and Creative Occasions was born! I had created my first rentable props. And since then, I’ve come a long way!
AFM: How is it not only having a personal relationship with your spouse but also a business relationship?
Corinne: Matt and I have been working together full time for about 2½ years now. Creative Occasions grew so rapidly when we moved back to Arizona that he had the opportunity to quit working in construction and join me full time. The first four months were a huge adjustment period for both of us. I had been running Creative Occasions on my own for nine years and I was used to doing things a certain way. He came in with a different perspective, his own ideas and opinions. I do remember thinking at one point he should go back into construction – hahaha. But I am so glad he didn’t! We have worked through our differences. I believe together we have been able to build a better business and I absolutely LOVE having my husband be part of something that is so important to me. I couldn’t imagine doing all of this without him now!
AFM: How do you and your husband work as a team owning the same business?
Corinne: We have split up a lot of the responsibility. We have different talents, which makes an excellent partnership. We make big decisions together and we have great brainstorming sessions about events that really help us to create amazing designs for our clients.
Although all your events and parties are different themed, how do you add your own personal touch? We design and build 95% of our inventory. We have props and décor that are one of a kind. We also tailor each event to the individual or group who has hired us. No two events are ever the same; even if they are the same theme, they will look completely different. Partially because we tailor every event to the client’s needs and we are always creating new custom props and expanding our inventory.
AFM: What is a typical day like working as an event designer?
Corinne: No two days are ever the same – that is the exciting part. There is always so much to be done. Our work is never really finished. We could be in casual clothes cutting wood or foam, painting or touching up a prop. We may be loading or unloading a truck at an event site or putting final details on a party. We may be creating proposals, dressed up for a meeting with clients, or running all over town picking up supplies. You never know what each day will bring, but we are certain it will never be the same as the day before!
AFM: What are some difficult challenges you’ve experienced while working with customers?
Corinne: Our clients are often unaware of our production timelines and what it takes to produce a custom prop. We will get calls literally days before an event with a need for custom props. I am sure most companies would pass on the work, but we don’t like to say “no” so we take on the task. This often leads to us working around the clock, unbeknownst to our clients. We always get the job done right.
AFM: What are your favorite events to decorate?
Corinne: Bright, colorful happy events with lots of décor and giant props.
AFM: What is your favorite theme to work on?
Corinne: I LOVE Alice in Wonderland. It’s a great mix of classic and whimsical, and I never get tired of it.
AFM: What do you think your best work is? Describe the scenery and decorations in detail.
Corinne: I feel as a human being that there is always room for improvement. We do our best with every event, but we are always continuing to learn. We constantly experiment with different supplies, and our work is always improving in design and style.
AFM: What were you doing before you were an event decorator?
Corinne: Interior Design – hahaha. I call what I’m doing now temporary decorating because you set everything up and then it’s down 5 to 6 hours later. I use a lot of the skills that I learned in school.
AFM: Anyone in particular that influenced or was a role model to you for this profession?
Corinne: If so, who were they and how? My parents – they are both amazing artists. My father passed at a young age, but my family members often remind me how proud he would be to see me following my dreams and creating an amazing company from the ground up. My mom has always been one of my biggest influences and biggest supporters. She was an art teacher for 30 years, and I can thank her for encouraging me to follow my dreams and pursue my talents. One great part about Creative Occasions is that my mom is super talented, and when our work load is overwhelming, she is always excited about helping to paint props. She’s become one of our many amazing part-time employees. It’s so much fun to share with her!
AFM: What’s the craziest themed party or event you designed? Describe in details what it was like?
Corinne: We have so many crazy stories I don’t even know which one to choose! Transforming unique spaces are always a fun challenge. My top three favorites so far in my career are an airplane hangar, a parking structure, and a garage! Bigger is better in our business, so giant props are a favorite to create. We have a 16-foot tree, an 8-foot top hat, 7 foot mushrooms… all which we have custom designed and created – a fun but very messy challenge.
AFM: How do your decorations and style differ from others? What makes yours special?
Corinne: Matt and I treat every event as if it is our own. We go above and beyond to create the client’s dream event. When our clients walk into the room with a smile on their face or a happy tear in their eye, then we know we have done our job right!
Contact Corinne and Matt:
T: 480 287 6311
F: 520 568 9789