Often times, I'm asked to meet with brides or potential clients prior to them choosing Meg Owen Events as an interview, of sorts. I meet with a bride or a mother and listen to their needs about their wedding or event, try to explain the differences in our packages but what I mostly want to do is convey who I am, which directly explains what this company values and how we operate. There's only so much I can squeeze in a 30-minute interview so I wanted to spend some time with you this afternoon doing a fun Q&A about "Meeting Meg" (it just so happens that today's Monday so that just works out nice.)
Q: How long have you been doing this/what made you get into coordinating/designing events?
----- I actually started my event career in corporate events! I had the privilege of working for a Fortune 500 company (also on the Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For List). I had an amazing line of bosses who were all strong, independent women who are still incredibly involved in the OKC community today. My most senior boss, was the late Aubrey K. McClendon. He had a tenacious spirit, a vision for the unchartered and if you were lucky enough to work for him you knew his heart for providing an uplifting workplace. He wanted you to feel inspired, taken care of and above all, he wanted you to be INVESTED and IMMERSED at Chesapeake. He knew if he could weave the company into your life, you were more likely to have higher job satisfaction, work harder and be more innovative in your responsibilities.
Enter my job. I was one of three women whose jobs focused on employee satisfaction and well-being at work. That means I did athletic tickets (took requests, analyzed times you'd received them before, assigned seats, tagged them, arranged pickup, followed up post-games) for more than 8 different sports, arranged Town Halls for SVPS, Lunch and Learns, Concerts at the Park, Blood Drives, Creative Women's Weekends, Kids Activities, Health Fairs, Big Anniversary Parties, etc. If it happened on campus, chances are we had our hands in it.
At the time, Chesapeake was the largest donor to The United Way of Central Oklahoma so a major part of my job in the fall was our enormous UW Drive. When people talk about wedding season now, it resonates with my crazy Octobers at CHK:
I loved that job because it demanded that you think through EVERYTHING. Aubrey demanded perfection and a reason for why you did everything. It made me thing logistically and creatively at the same time. It made me see big picture things like our very best Fortune Party and it made me think of things like bathroom trailers, trash can placement and how are we going to transport and paint a 500 pound buffalo statue from the OK Corral for all the employees to sign?! Every day I am thankful for the experiences, the colleagues, the friends that working at Chesapeake gave me. Some of my favorite event memories were made within the friendly confines of the campus on 63rd and Western.
Two best colleagues in the world. And guys, if you're reading this, I'm sorry. I couldn't find us with Rob Lowe anywhere.
Oh, just our days with Sheryl Crow..
Q: What was your wedding like?
----- I am not one of those people who designed my own wedding and thought, "this is so fun, I want to do it for a living!" (Far from it actually!) I was a bride on a budget and didn't invest in an event manager or really even consult with a wedding professional and man, do I regret that decision! I had several lovely vendors but throughout the course of the day: my photographer was a few hours late, my florals were a different color/size than I had planned, it was so hot outside that my outdoor reception food was literally melting so we had to move our reception to the indoor facility which I hadn't really anticipated using much less decorating, the DJ set up outside (even though our reception was inside), we announced our own departure and walked out to the car with no grand exit and to top it off, our beautiful vintage get away car had a special security feature that when entering without the keys, the entire car shut down and we were unable to drive it away!
I say that to say, it was still a good day. BUT, I absorbed all of that information and tried to coordinate all those missteps as the bride that day. So when I think of that day, I remember working, checking, explaining, reassuring, etc. I have loved all the days of our marriage since then, so in retrospect the wedding was just a comical beginning to a lifetime of adventures but as a girl (like many) that dreamed of their wedding day, mine was less mmmmm perfect than I had thought. (Plus, it was before 2010 so pre-Pinterest, yikes!)
Q: What is your style of event management?
----- My style of management is proactive decision making and scheduling in advance, then going with the flow knowing you've got a map of the day to refer to. If we can sit down and walk through the entire day with every detail (and the multiple scenarios that might happen) I can plan to make quick and effective decisions on your behalf that day to combat most problems without so much as an extra blink of the eye.
I love to know everything there is to know about your wedding. Too many details or footnotes are not lost on me. It's a great way for you to transfer all your knowledge to me so that you can officially take if off your plate.
Our itinerary is everything to me. It's that aforementioned transfer of knowledge with some guidelines and flow of how everything works together. If you read my previous event story, it's "why the trash cans are placed where they are so they are not in your pictures", it's "who is bringing the cake knife, you or the caterer", it's "let's take this picture at this time because it's the golden sunlight hour and we have the best chance of an amazing picture now".
That being said, the benefit of hiring a person that has done this multiple times, is you know when you can flub with the schedule and let things happen as they wish and when you better stick to it. I always tell people it's a weird, hybrid brain that makes me successful at this job. A person who can see things in beautiful calligraphy and on an Excel column, a blend of order and authentic moments that just happen.
Q: What is your personal style? Does that translate to your event style?
----- My personal style is completely polarizing. I could narrow it down to three "words" I suppose, but they are definitely three words that are most definitely not synonymous! My style is: Preppy. Bohemian. Eccentric. To translate, my style is J. Crew meets Anthropologie meets my grandmothers hand-me-downs meets full ball skirts meets turbans meets Patagonia. What?!
Having grown up being considered "well-rounded" when all my friends were exceptionally good at one or two things, I began to think of myself as "less than" because I wasn't the absolute best at any ONE thing. But my evolving style, love to try all things new and will to not fail made me able to be a chameleon. I could fit in on a sailboat as well as I could on a 13-mile hike in Wyoming as well as I could in New York Fashion Week as well as I could vintage furniture shopping.
I have grown to love my "well-roundedness" (<--- it's a word, I just made it one) and treat it as the best tool in my arsenal as a wedding professional. I am now able to plan and/or coordinate events as well as arrange the florals for them as well as do the hand lettering on the signage as well as the addressing of the envelopes, etc.
These amazing and quirky life events have acted like new colors I've "unlocked" and added to my palate and since they are all so different, my style is too. So many textures, patterns, colors have made me!
Q: What are you most looking forward to as a company in 2017?
----- I'll be very vulnerable with you and let you know that my 2017 mantra (for my whole life) is GROWTH.
-- I want to GROW into a better woman of prayer (thus a better wife, mom and friend)
-- I want to GROW in purpose... I.e. saying yes to things that really matter and that align with my goals as a wife, mother, friend and business owner and creating some margin space from those opportunities that are good, but just not a great fit.
-- I want to GROW in practice (of skills) That means more floral workshops, more calligraphy practice, more podcasts, more youtube videos, vocal lessons, you name it.
-- I want to GROW in profit. I started this company as a way to use my talents, help brides and provide for my family. I want to extend my reach and fill my schedule. I want to add more floral clients. I want to add more partial and full planning clients. I want to market our rentals better. I want to be an overall better business woman.
(Kristina Gaines Photography)
Q: What are a few of your favorite things?
----- A Few of Meg's Favorite Things, a Bullet Paragraph:
My 3 Main Men: Jesus, Mackenzie, Maddox. Millie. The Krowenberg Framily. World Travel. Intercontinental Travel. Ok, All Travel. Musical Theatre. Leading Worship. Cooking. A Bible Full of Highlighted Verses and Handwritten Notes. Wizard of Oz. Muscle Westbrooks. Coffee. Green Bean Casserole. Egg rolls. Passport Stamps. Food Network. Beautiful Handwriting. My Parents (both biological and in-laws). Singing In the Rain. Outlook Calendars. Great Pens. Books About the Kennedys. Steve Martin, Tom Hanks and Jude Law. Mountain Dwelling. Rainy Days. Barn Doors. My Sisters. My Nieces and Nephews (Owen, Jonah, Nolan, Carter, Shep, Charley and Ellie). Sunday Naps. Monograms. Disney Movies (and DisneyWorld for that matter). Black and White Photography. Jen Hatmaker. Vegetable Gardens. Peonies. The Color Emerald. Foil-stamped anything. Heirloom Jewelry. Namesakes. Jalepeno Cheetos. April's Cookies. Memoirs. Our Small Group.
** I would have added pictures here but then there would be no end to the blog post.
----- A Few of Meg's NOT Favorite Things:
Wet Socks. Meats That End in "ami". Dry Cleaning Bills. The Bachelor (I know, I know, I'm sorry!) When My Husband Wakes Me Up 5 Minutes Before My Alarm Goes Off. A Dead Phone. Low Fuel.
I hope you learned a little bit more about my personality and my vision and love for this company and creating meaningful events BUT if you want to know more answers or just hang out in general, I will be going LIVE on Facebook this Friday at lunch to answer any more of your questions and/or talk about my current obsession with Parenthood, cute wedding trends I am loving or anything else you guys want to talk about. But If you can't wait until then, email firstname.lastname@example.org!