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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Interview with ABC Event Planning

..SLP: So, the name of your company is ABC Event Planning, what does ABC mean?

ABC: That's a funny story. When I began the company, I had a friend LaQwanda Ervin, I approached her to become my partner. I felt that she was really like the B Smith of it all. I always felt that I was good with working with people and getting things executed, so over time we helped to sharpen one another skills and we worked well together. She and I were having a difficult time coming up with a name that fit who we were. So I suggested that we use a generic name until our name found us. Well we never found a different name that the both of us could agree on, so we said lets just stick with ABC. Then later someone pointed out that it could stand for Allegra Battles Company.

SLP: That's what I thought it was all along.

ABC: Yeah, so its a generic name, but I am taking it to be like ABC, is the basic, the beginning. As to say, when you need someone to help plan a great party, or wedding, we should be the first place that you look to.

SLP: You and LaQwanda are no longer partners?

ABC: Not actually,she moved away to Alabama.We still talk. I show her photos and options that I am working on at the time.

SLP: Would you say that she is more like a consultant now?

ABC: Yeah, you could say that.

SLP: What are the types of events that you plan?

ABC: We specialize in weddings, yet we do retirement parties, anniversary parties, graduation parties, and corporate events. Some people who are visionaries are very creative, but may just not have the time to put a celebration together. They know what they want, but pulling that vision into fruition is another thing. That's where we come in. We do the leg work necessary to bring their vision to life.

SLP: Everyone thinks that they know, but tell us, what are the differences between a wedding planner, and a wedding coordinator?

ABC: Good question. I offer both options. Wedding planning services can be activated after a couple has become engaged. Things like setting up the engagement party, and getting started on the details of the wedding process are things that would fall under planning. Coordination services are more about basically managing the rehearsal before the wedding day, and managing the ceremony and reception. Getting people in their proper places and such is more about coordination. Their is a middle ground option that many couples like. I can coordinate services, with vendors and professionals as well as plan a specific aspect of the wedding.

SLP: What would you say are the things that set ABC Event Planning apart from other event planers in the region?

ABC: Our people skills. Professionals sometimes have a tendency to forget how to treat people like people and not just another client, another party. People want to see their very own vision unfold and not be told that 'this is the way it should be done because everyone does it this way,' I can be unconventional if need be. Its your event, do it how you want to, of course while maintaining professionalism always. I always begin a new assignment with the thought, 'what is the core purpose.' If its a wedding, then of course its about these two people coming together in the name of love, so everything will be done staying focused on love. Soon I will offer my clients the option to have a wedding blog. That way, the various members of the wedding party can check the blog messages that I post on there, this way everyone can stay on track of dates and times.

SLP: That is something that will be available soon correct? What kind of system do you have in place now for those things?

ABC: I send out group emails, I also create a little booklet with special dates and important numbers. I offer packages to my brides like at home make up and hair services , or at salons I negotiate deals for wedding party groups. The thing I try and do is make things as less hectic for the bride and groom as possible. I love what I do for people. I enjoy being a planner, like as a stay at home mom, I plan daily activities regularly. I enjoy those things. I am an organiser, a scheduler, I like making phone calls and bartering with people, its my passion, its what I do. I get things done. Right now my goal in business is laying a good foundation and getting as much business as I can. I have a drive in me that needs to be feed. I feel that if I don't do this work then I am not doing what I am supposed to do. I am on a mission.

SLP: Great. You have your hands in quite a few things, the radio, event planning, and now Reality Chicks! Talk a little bit about what Reality Chicks is.

ABC: Myself and De'Saundra Harris-Sullivan are co workers at Sheridan Broadcasting and we would talk for something like twenty minutes when we would work together about the reality shows that we liked so we decided to turn that into something and we began the Reality Chicks blog. We are real women talking about reality TV in a conversational and entertaining way. We follow shows on the Travel Channel, E channel, My TV Network, Vh1, Mtv, and many others. The address is

SpotlightPittsburgh is committed to keeping everyone informed about businesses and business people in the city. Stay tuned. To contact ABC Event Planning for your special occasion email Allegra at,

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Introducing the 7 Day Challenge

Well, good people of Pittsburgh. If you live in this city then you have undoubtedly heard or even uttered your self, " there is nothing to do in Pittsburgh." On statuses, in conversations, everywhere you look, people are hell bent on making Pittsburgh out to be the lamest place on the planet. I too was once a hatter, but after mis fortune bought me back to the city, I was determined to make the best of my time here. Fortunately being a stylist at the Natural Choice in Oakland made that task all too easy. Everyone that is anyone in Pittsburgh knows DJ Nate the phat barber, owner, and impresario. When I arrived back in Pittsburgh in the winter of 2003, I needed a natural hair care shop to work in. I was doubtful about what Pittsburgh had to offer by way of a natural world, but my mother actually suggested that I try a place that she had been taking my son to have his hair braided when he would come in town to visit her. I agreed un enthusiastically. Once I met Nate, I was impressed. He and I were around the same age and he had been a successful business owner way before I even knew my worth! At that first meeting he told me about Charismatic Marketing and how he was changing the face of nightlife in Pittsburgh. I thought 'yeah OK,' yet I hoped that that was the truth, because from what I remembered, this city was boring as hell! It did not take long for me to learn that with the color series parties, and other types of happenings that Charismatic put together, Nate was holding true to what he told me in December 03. A LOT has changed since then, the city has grown to be more fun, and more interesting as a whole. Maybe its us who change and our interests grow, or maybe its the city. Either way, Pittsburgh is no longer boring. Pittsburgh is not like other cities as far as the level of entertainment goes. Huge stars are not flocking to our city to perform on a regular basis, but the NOW Pittsburgh is much better than the Pittsburgh of old. To prove my point, SpotlightPittsburgh will be conducting what we like to call, "The 7 day Challenge." Every day for seven days we will report on things to do in Pittsburgh. We will prove that weather it is the morning, afternoon, or evening, there is always something to do in Pittsburgh. Comment and let us know what you think, and also tell us some of your favorite places to be in Pittsburgh. As always, please spread the word about Spotlightpittsburgh, and enjoy the music.