The best thing about prepping for a Forth event is knowing I am going to love the process. Meticulous planning and attention to detail, even the color of the pencils, is all thought out months in advance. Picking the theme, the delicate color palette, and talking about the ingredients, though I have no hand in making the tasty treats, Kelly and Julie blow me away ever single salon, is a labor of love. After hours of Google Docs, baking, printing, special touches, love, it all comes together two hours before our guests arrive. We're creating an intimate event for women of influence (super cool chicks) so here are the big picture things we think about.
Here are 5 of the most important decisions we make when prepping a Forth seasonal salon.
We want to create a vibe of comfort, peace, intimacy and openness. The location of our salons is very important to us so we research, resource and aren’t afraid to ask new and old friends if they would host us in their space. We were tickled pink when Melissa O'Neal Salvatore, of Heritage Littles and A Little Photo Studio, offered her space for our Spring 2014 salon. We always need a bar or large tabletop for our food spread and prefer a circle or square table that seats 15 women. We aren’t networking, so it can’t feel too formal, instead the decor and location all come together to create the perfect setting.
Decor is crucial to a great party and setting the tone to our event. We are a seasonal salon so selecting fresh seasonal ingredients, like rosewater essence and rhubarb, and seasonal flowers help set the right look. We constantly go back to our theme, in this case it was unusual pairings: working with friends. A spring color palette in combination with unusual pairings, like soft succulents and bouncy billy balls add to the feel of our event.
We revel in the details! Sweet and savory foods, drinks, straws, napkins and gifts are all discussed in advance. For spring I initially bought gold and white striped pens, which where nixed for blue, aqua and yellow pencils at the last minute which better suited our theme. Concept people! It's the graphic designer in me, gotta stick to the concept! Every moment is an opportunity to show our guests how much we care about them and their time.
4. Give them something to do
This is the first time most of our guests are meeting. I only knew a handful of our attendees before the spring salon, some of them only from social media- so this is the first opportunity to meet, one of our most coveted intentions of Forth: meet face to face! To cut out any awkwardness we create a space to socialize right away- in this case it was the herb bar. Mixing a drink with your favorite spring herb was an easy conversation starter.
Why are we going to all this trouble in the first place? We are building a community! We create time and space for women of influence to gather, share, talk and laugh. We lead each salon with a topic, in this case it was working with friends. Each of our guests are chosen because we believe they will add to the conversation and to our community. Creating a space that is beautiful, carefully thought out and detail oriented shows that we care and believe in what we are doing and hope that our guests will feel the comfort, intimacy and love that we want to bring each season.