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Hidden Gems: Meet Jackie Carter of Elease Productions

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jackie Carter.

Hi Jackie, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Never in a million years did I ever think that I would be orchestrating the biggest moment of people’s lives. To know that we have a hand in creating magical moments that lead to families and legacies is often times hard for me to fathom.

I started my adult working career path in the dental field, which morphed into logistics, followed by government contracting, and now… here I am a full-time event planner.

Planning, organizing, and details come very naturally to me. I was chair of a fundraising committee for a local non-profit when the thought crossed my mind, ” this is a lot of work, this is time-consuming, and this is a business. I launched Elease Productions in 2010 with my very own wedding of over 400 guests, and I have been going ever since.

I have always viewed my business as a ministry, we are here to bless others with our service and help clients to have the wedding of their dreams without going into debt to achieve that vision. I realized early on, that I may not be for everyone and everyone may not be for me and I am 100% ok with that. The clients I have, I believe have been truly hand-picked for me.

Elease Productions has grown tremendously over the last couple of years. Last year we did over 70 events, and currently at 67 this year. I would be remiss to take all the credit, as I have an outstanding Squad that is supportive and invest their time and talent to assist me in fulfilling my dream.

Elease Productions is not only my namesake (one of my middle names) but my Grandmother’s name as well. She was the original party planner of the family. So when we are at our events, I push to make sure that we’re honoring her in our service, going above and beyond what our clients expect us to do, and creating a team atmosphere with our vendors.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “nothing worth having comes easy”.

Being a small business owner, you are often times the person doing it all! I had to re-evaluate myself and the level of service I was providing and ask myself if I was happy with the level of service/effort I was exuding and if not what needed to change.

The change for me was looking at aspects of the business that could be offloaded to other individuals so that I could focus on the things that really impact the business. This is hard as a small business owner because we often times like to have “control” of it all, and in our eyes control equates to “us’ just doing the task.

Can we talk about the work-life balance as a small business owner? Goodness, it can be a challenge. Finding the middle ground and knowing when to shut the business down and focus on family and be present with family is my goal for this year.

As you know, we’re big fans of Elease Productions. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Elease Productions is not just limited to weddings, we do birthday parties, baby showers, rehearsal dinners, and corporate events as well.

Fun Facts: 75% of our clients are not local to us, and often times we do not see our clients in person until the day of the wedding. We have performed wedding services for 4 professional athletes (NFL, MLS, NBA, and MLB).

During my college years, I worked in hospitality from being a hotel clerk to being in the food service industry waiting tables and managing a restaurant to working in a cubicle and handling customer service complaints has been a benefit to me in the ability to see and know what to do and what not to do.

The approach I take is that we (all vendors) have one goal and have to work cohesively to achieve that success. Our clients are not just the bride and groom but the guests and the vendors.

What makes the EP Team different from other organizations is that we believe in the “team” mentality approach.
If the caterer needs help or assistance we are going to jump in and help if we need to cut your wedding cake we are going to jump in and do that as well.

In the end, we all win when we work together! When I hear vendors say their staff gets excited when they know they are working with us, it leaves me speechless, that lets me know we are doing something right.

So maybe we end by discussing what matters most to you and why?
One word, integrity

Treat everyone with the highest degree of respect and strive to live and act according to the highest standards of individual ethics. Consistently stick to your commitments, treat everyone equally, and communicate openly and honestly.

It may not always be easy but the reward is worth it. If you do not have integrity, you do not have a business.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Indea Calise Photography

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