Alchemists Do It Better

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Taking It On The Road

August 9, 2017

We’ve been making our lists and checking them twice. Actually, we’ve been making many, many lists and checking them over and over again. The Alchemists have been hitting the road this summer and a lot like the late great Johnny Cash*, we feel like we’ve been everywhere, man!

*Actually, Johnny covered “I’ve Been Everywhere” which was first recorded by an Australian singer and then later adapted by Hank Snow, known as the “The Yodeling Ranger.” Must be accurate and honest – no fake news !

We Alchemists crossed the desserts bare, man, for work in Las Vegas. We also breathed the mountain air, man, for work at North Carolina’s gorgeous Old Edwards Inn. And to round out the summer fun, we also headed to the Yellowhammer State for a fabulous wedding in Birmingham and swam in the Atlantic during downtime for events at The Cloister.

Venue: Old Edwards Inn | Photo: Lady A Photography

Left Venue: Callaway Gardens | Right Venue: The Cloister

We really do enjoy taking our party show on the road. We are all ready to fly into the wild blue yonder, but more often than not, Ashley gets behind the wheel of the big rig and Olivia plays passenger and navigator. The rest of the team travels behind at a safe distance. There are snacks, laughter, and a lot of camaraderie. There is also a bit of carsickness upon occasion and we’ve been ranking rest stops and roadside attractions all along the way.

 

Where will we be this fall? Much is still to take shape, but we do have some fun excursions planned. That being said, we’ll be happy to stay put and create some gorgeous affairs in the ATL, at least for a little while!

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Be Our Guest

June 16, 2017

We decided to mix things up this week at Alchemy Event Studio and call on linen and drapery extraordinaire, Sanders Hulsey of Party Tables. The Alchemists know ALMOST everything there is to know about him, but we decided to dive a little deeper and introduce him to all our loyal readers…you know who you are!

Now welcome to the Alchemy Stage – Mr. Sanders Hulsey:

Alchemist – “Tell us a little about yourself.”

Sanders – “Well I have been in the industry a long time. My Alchemy Jersey number is 97 if that gives you any hints…I started at C & A Signature Events as an Event Designer and I just had a flair for decorating. I have now been with Party Tables for 9 years and the title I have given myself is ‘Sales and Marketing’ but I do everything from selling and designing events with Party Tables inventory, to totin’ and schlepping. All in all, I make things pretty!”

 

Alchemist – “What is one thing that people don’t know about you?”

Sanders – “I am a stand-up comedian in my spare time, but I don’t perform nearly as much as I’d like however…mainly cuz it don’t pay the bills.”

 

Alchemist – “If you were requesting your last meal, what would it be?”

Sanders – “Since I’m boujee, I would like some ceviche and some fresh fish from the Caribbean Islands with pizza on the side. Who cares about being healthy at that point?” (In case this made you as hungry as it did us – we have a ceviche recipe handy!)

 

Alchemist – “How did you end up in the event industry?”

Sanders – “Very much by chance. It was one of those things where I was a part time set up person at C & A Signature Events. I went on to be part owner and that is where it all began.”

 

Alchemist – “What is your ‘typical’ day-to-day routine?”

Sanders – “Routine – that’s funny! The only thing that stays the same each day is my coffee intake…other than that, emails, trying to get the new show room ready for this Summer’s open house (Be on the look out for the date!), and putting out fires – you never know when there will be a linen emergency! (At this point in the interview, Sanders saw something shiny. ROUTINE. OVER.)

 

Alchemist – “If you were given the opportunity to have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?”

Sanders – “Charlize Theron because she’s hot, kickass, and funny – everything we all strive to be!” (We get to eat with Sanders often, so we aren’t offended it isn’t us!)

 

Alchemist – “What do you find is the biggest challenge in the industry?”

Sanders – “As a creative partner, I think one of the biggest challenges is getting everyone on the same page before the event. There are so many events that you get on site and vendors don’t know what part everyone is playing. Having detailed pre-con meetings to figure out the event logistics before day-of is always helpful, but it doesn’t always work that way.”

 

Alchemist – “What did you want to be when you grew up?”

Sanders – “I always wanted to be an actor or a pilot…certainly not a one-armed drape hanger!”

 

Alchemist – “What is your favorite hobby when you aren’t working?

Sanders – “Volleyball. I may eventually hit the court with my walker and an oxygen tank in tow, but I’m gonna play until they cart me off!” (BUMP, SET, SPIKE?)

 

Alchemist – “What is your favorite part of an event?”

Sanders – “Each event is so different and I have had so many memorable moments in my 20+ years in the industry, but my favorite part will always be when everything is set up, the client walks in and says ‘OH MY GOD. This is so beautiful!’ You know it was exactly what they were expecting and that is why I love doing what I do.”

 

Alchemist – “If you were stuck on a deserted island and could only have 3 things, what would they be?”
Sanders – “1. Snips 2. Zip Ties – so I could build a hut 3.Wifi – so I can check Instragram. Okurrr.” (Channel your inner Kardashian)

 

We really enjoyed sitting down, Barbara Walters style, to learn the inner workings of Mr. #PTFab! Thank you Sanders for agreeing to lay it all out for us over one of our favorite meals of the day (well…they are all our favorite). Since social media is all the rage these days, we encourage you all to go…right now…and follow Party Tables on Instagram! And if you aren’t friends with him already, what are you waiting for?!

Alchemy Chatter, Friendships, Eventologists, Alchemy Event Studio, Alchemists Do It Better, Holiday Weekend

Our Holiday

June 1, 2017

Don’t get us wrong, every day at the Alchemy Event Studio is like a fantasy vacation. It’s like smooth sailing on a chartered Caribbean yacht vacation with Ben in the kitchen and Rocky in a mermaid tail on the deck. That being said, we all needed a break this Memorial Day. We are gearing up for some out of town events, a few fantastic weddings, and – as always – some creative problem solving for all of our clients, so a little recharging of the event batteries was just what the doctor ordered.

Bravo’s “Below Deck”

Alchemist Olivia took her talents to the beach with her posse of party girls. Two members of her squad are also official members of the Alchemy Foraging Team, so we were all for the ladies surfing and sunning. We may even allow Olivia to expense a round of drinks. Maybe.

Lady Kate also headed to the water, but Mrs. Stone was attending a wedding rather than working on a wedding. Congratulations to the happy couple and bonus points to Kate who (we hope) didn’t try to micromanage the wedding installation. It would have been good if Kate had applied sunscreen…really…

Sassy Ms. Miller enjoyed an Atlanta staycation. She was a pupsitter to Bulleit– we’re actually ready for her to take the poodle plunge and get one of her own – and she relaxed with friends. Ashley enjoyed some pool time and caught up on her TV viewing. The lady relaxed !

Ms. Saltzman’s Memorial Day was spent with master-level chess and reading Plato. Actually, Amy’s holiday weekend included lots of laundry and dishwasher unloading – bliss – along with friend time at various dining tables and swimming pools and a side of live music thrown in for good measure.

All in all, it was a great holiday for all of the Alchemists and we hope it was a wonderful weekend for our friends and clients as well. Let’s not forget that all of this fun and relaxation is made possible by those who do the hard work so we can reap the rewards. A heartfelt thank you goes out to all of those in uniform. We do not lose sight of the sacrifices many have made and continue to make…

Corporate Events, Weddings, Parties, Alchemy Chatter, Party Tables, Eventologists, Drew Newman Photographers, Alchemy Event Studio, Alchemists Do It Better, 2 Young Birds, Rebecca Yale Photography, Colin Cowie Luxury Weddings and Events, Lady Sings the Blues, Garrett Nudd Photography, I Do Linens, BBJ Linen Rental, La Tavola Fine Linen Rental, Wildflower Linens, Southern Vintage Rentals, Spoonflower, GK Photography

Singing the Blues

May 2, 2017

We Alchemists love flowers. There really isn’t a flower we don’t love. It makes us sad to hear someone disparage Carnations – we say Dianthus – because we love their smell and en masse they are frilly fragrant gorgeous things. We love to create with Baby’s Breath – we say Gypsophila – because it’s light and unexpected and can be unpretentiously chic.

Left photo – Photography: Rebecca Yale Photography – Right photo: Photography: Drew Newman Photographers, Gallery: Bubble Bash

There is, however, one thing that can get florally tricky for us – the color blue. Blue is just tough… Scientists say that the color blue reduces stress, creating a sense of calmness, relaxation and order. That may be true when we ladies are on a beach looking at a clear sunny sky, but when a bride wants her wedding’s signature color to be blue, we tend to take a deep breath…

If not done well, we Alchemists feel that blue flowers can look “forced” and sadly a bit FTD. Truth be told, there aren’t a lot of gorgeous blue options in the flower world. There are certainly Hydrangea and Delphinium – tried and true – in a variety of shades, but other than these two blue beauties, it’s seasonal slim pickings…

So, what to do when blue is the request and it’s time to change it up from the usual? How do we make the client happy and keep from singing the blues at the same time? How can you use blue when it needs to be more substantial than the last “something” in the famous rhyme that begins, “something old, something new, something borrowed?” Well, sometimes you look elsewhere…

Left Photo: “Lady Sings The Blues” Poster – Right Photo: Lady Sings in Blue

We are currently designing a wedding for which we have purchased a good deal of beautiful blue Transferware vessels and accent pieces. Ask Alchemist and Warehouse Master Ashley how she feels about ALL of the new inventory! Blue and white pottery has been popular since way back when and it’s still fresh and on trend today. It will never go out of style. For this upcoming event, the beautiful color and classic look of the porcelain allow us the opportunity to open up the floral playbook while still delivering that blue “message”…

Sometimes we can best bring blue into an event with linens or stemware. Whether in a gorgeous tablecloth, pretty napkins, or a statement water glass, a little blue can go a long way. With amazing purveyors like Party Tables, I Do Linens, BBJ Linen Rental, La Tavola Fine Linen Rental, Wildflower Linens, Southern Vintage Rentals, and more, there is something for everyone’s taste and budget to let the blue shine through.

Photography: 2 Young Birds Photography

Requests for blue weddings are never going away and why should they? A company named Spoonflower conducted a long term study which determined that blue is by far the most popular color in the country, despite the last election results. It is here to stay, and when we Alchemists get requests from excited and eager brides who want their wedding to reflect America’s favorite color – their favorite color – we take our cue and find that “something blue”.

Photography: GK Photography – Gallery: Nuptials in NOLA 

Corporate Events, Weddings, Parties, Alchemy Chatter, Party Tables, Eventologists, Alchemy Event Studio, Alchemists Do It Better, The St. Regis Atlanta, Coffee or Tea, Tassimo, Dancing Goats Coffee Bar, Bean in the Borough, Coffee Trike, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Afternoon Tea, Vintage English Teacup, 2 Young Birds, ITO EN Tea, Lisa Gail Allred

Coffee or Tea

April 18, 2017

Can one underestimate the importance of coffee and tea in the life of event folks? We think not. It starts the day, it’s a much-needed boost during event set-up and strike, and party guests always request it when clients have said there’s absolutely no need whatsoever to have coffee on hand! It’s heaven when it’s good and it’s a headache – literally – when you don’t have it.

The days here at Alchemy Event Studio always start with either coffee or tea and sometimes both. Baristas Olivia and Ashley have been honing their craft with our sassy Tassimo machine, but when their coffee stylings just won’t do, we love a run to uber delicious Dancing Goats Coffee Bar. We can’t recommend their coffee highly enough…

Atlanta also has a number of companies who provide upgraded and delicious coffee service at events. Bean in the Borough is one such company who can cappuccino with the best of them. Add branded coffee cups and sleeves and your event experience is that much more personalized. We Alchemists love the idea of a mobile barista ready to assist guests at the valet line as they retrieve their cars after a great party. People often talk about providing an exciting entrance for parties. Don’t forget to also make a memorable exit!

Let’s also not forget that even in this world of Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, the most popular beverage on the planet is actually tea. From Afternoon Tea at The St. Regis Atlanta to icy cold sweet tea at our favorite barbeque places, tea in the South is not playing second fiddle.

Marietta’s Vintage English Teacup pays homage to the world’s most popular beverage but their beautiful china, platters, and stands will add a pop of color and pattern to any tabletop. Their Instagram hashtag is #jewelryforyourtable and we couldn’t agree more. Don’t equate tea with fussiness. We have a tea drinker among us at AES – a heavy duty tea drinker – whose presence is often signaled by a trail of green tea and oolong cans left in her wake. Now that these little cans of unsweetened tea can be ordered on Amazon Prime, lives have been made easier and anti-oxidants abound.

Photography: 2 Young Birds, Linen: Party Tables, Design and Floral: Alchemy Event Studio, China: Vintage English Teacup

Years ago the Florida Orange Juice Growers came up with the slogan, “It’s not just for breakfast anymore,” to promote their signature beverage. The same can certainly be said for OJ’s caffeinated cousins. Coffee and tea are for any time of day, make everything easier to muddle through, and should be given the fanfare they’re due. And if your day starts to drag and there’s no caffeine in sight, you may try another Alchemy Event Studio pick-me-up. It’s “Coffee Or Tea” by songstress Lisa Gail Allred. Enjoy. And don’t say we never gave you any good advice!

Corporate Events, Weddings, Parties, Alchemy Chatter, Party Tables, Friendships, Eventologists, Busy Week, Reichman Photography, Sitewear, Alchemy Event Studio, Alchemists Do It Better

On-site Style

March 22, 2017

It’s a glamorous job, this event planning and event designing. Every day is different and every day is nothing like what we thought it would be! It involves hanging out alongside nasty reeking dumpsters and grease pits on venue loading docks. It involves crawling on all fours in ballrooms, backyards, and boardrooms. Sometimes it even involves scraping dirty dishes in hastily rigged prep tents and then frantically searching the scrap bins for lost client jewelry. That being said, we also have to speak with clients and potential clients while looking like professional women and smile as gorgeous brides float down aisles. It’s yin and yang. So, what to wear for such dichotomous duties that often times mix the sacred and the profane all in the same day? Well, it can be a conundrum.

We Alchemists have a few “uniforms” but our on-site style is still evolving. All black is the gold standard, but we wanted to mix it up a bit. We took the advice of our clever friend and fashionista Sanders Hulsey with Party Tables when he suggested we get shirts with our “Class Of” on the back. People often ask what the numbers on the back of our shirts mean, and here’s the scoop – each Alchemist’s number is the year she first got into this business. Now you know. High numbers mean old knowing event hands at work. Low numbers mean youthful energy!

Alchemy Jerseys

Now, those in the biz know that nothing can cramp your style on event day quite like when your dogs are barking. We don’t mean when Stella and Samson are barking like they do at the FedEx driver, but when your feet really hurt. Working a party you can easily log 10,000 steps before lunch. Smart and comfortable footwear is a must. We love our teal colored Converse. We love simple black Yosi Samra flats. We even love our black Frye boots in winter and a super sassy pair of Birkenstocks with a good pedicure in summer. Variety is the spice of life, but comfort is our watchword and everyone’s feet are different. Kate would also remind everyone about arch support. She has arch issues…

Once the body and the feet are covered, the remaining details for our on-site dressing are really all about semi-stylish task efficiency. We Alchemists used to carry a bag with many MANY pockets for all we thought we might need on-site. The bags looked OK, but we were forever misplacing things inside the bags. You might be shocked at how many times you can you lose your phone while actually having your phone. Our new on-site tool belt – a small black Baggallini – seems to have helped a bit with that issue. The bag is very lightweight and can carry our pins, laser measurers, gaff tape, etc., but is it our last stop? Will this change again? Very possibly. Probably. If you have ideas for something else, the suggestion box is open!

So, are there any other Alchemist demands for on-site preparedness? In the end, it all comes down to the honest and cheesy truth that the best thing to wear on event day is a smile and an air of confidence from knowing that you’re prepared for whatever might come your way. The only way to get those things, however, is to do all the work beforehand and behind the scenes. You have to walk the nasty crusty loading dock before you get to welcome the client into the gorgeous atmosphere you created for them. If you do it right your feet won’t hurt in the process.