We had the good fortune of connecting with Aisha Harris and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aisha, why did you pursue a creative career?
It wasn’t until I was older that I realized I was born with a creative gene. Everything I did had some creative aspect to it. The way I played, and the way I lived. I had no idea how my destiny of my creative career would play itself out. I started working at a very young age out of the need of necessity and wanting to help my mom. I became a mini entrepreneur in the eighth grade. I learned floriculture, made floral arrangements and sold them at my mothers job. After that was my babysitting service, thanks to my favorite book “The Babysitters Club”. Every business had a spreadsheet, folder, color tabs, and accounting done every month. I worked throughout high school and never stopped. I’ve worked in the food and hostess industry, retail, and before becoming a wedding and events planner my last career was in the mortgage industry. Which was one of the most grueling and demanding. I moved my way up and was one of the top funders at my company. I worked multiple days in a row at the end of the month with no sleep. My job responsibilities were increasing and there was little joy for me in just doing a great job. I was commuting over 2 hours a day and I was starting to feel like there was more out there for me. What changed? A wedding and not being able to work. I knew when my, now husband proposed I was planning my wedding. I actually thought wedding planners were for the rich and famous. I took on every responsibility and did it with enthusiasm. I had a huge binder, spreadsheets, color tabs, and everything computerized. Planning my wedding was joyous. I embraced every tedious detail, appointment, color palette and multiple wedding dress store trip. The wedding was beautiful, it had family issues. That’s why I understand when my couples are going through a hard time with their families. Our love was shown on this day that we decided to become one. The coordinator for our venue was a gem, I bonded with her from the day we met. I still wish that I could of stayed in touch with her. When we came to the venue after the wedding to thank her, she offered me a job. She was blown away by my attention to detail and organization skills. Everything in me wanted to say yes! My soul knew it was the right career for me, for who I was. My brain was thinking that I was newlywed, I was making a lot of money and we were remodeling our house. The money won. Maybe two years later, I can no longer work due to a herniated and deteriorating disk in my lower back. I can’t sit and almost every position is excruciating pain. It takes me over a year of physical therapy and determination to get my body back to some normalcy. I had doctors telling me that I would never work again. I took some time off to heal mentally and physically. Have my son. Nurture and love my family. Be creative. I took on a lot of fun projects during my time at home. My son had the biggest and best birthday parties ever! I knew that if I was going to work again, it was only for purpose and pure delight. I thought about my wedding. I thought about the weddings that I planned after mine. I got quite a few phone calls after my wedding. People were impressed. They could feel the joy and love that went into my wedding. They wanted that for theirs. I took the leap. I actually dove into the deep end. I decided that I would start my own business. Weddings and Events. I would name it after my Great-Grandmother. Katie, my middle name. She started her own catering company in Florida. Around the 1930’s, not only cooking but designing a elaborate tablescape for dinner parties. She is my inspiration. Her daughter, my grandmother taught me everything I know when it comes to entertaining and cooking. I don’t believe that I pursued this career. This career is a part of who I am. There is a warmth that I feel when I talk to my clients. When we discuss the details of their weddings and events. Every day is new adventure for me. Opening an email from a client, meeting with my vendors (friendors), planning the details of an event or packing up for a wedding. This is my career, this is my life and I love it.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The most important lessons I learned through my professional career is that money does not make you happy. Growing up I thought the American Dream was being married, a house and kids. Life doesn’t happen like that. It doesn’t happen in that order and it’s not that easy. I grew up in a time where nothing was discussed. You just saw everything that was going on. So, I figured if I achieved all the right things happiness would come with it. After working in a high paying job, I realized the sacrifices I had to make were not worth it. I missed a lot of family events. The long hours and working with people that were money driven was not the career path I wanted or needed. Going into the wedding and events industry was a breath of fresh air and a new life for me. My brand is Family, Tradition and Style. Which is who I am. What I bring to everything I do. Every event starts with family. Whether it’s a large gathering or an intimate elopement for two. Everyone’s definition of family is different. My friends are my family. Tradition is deciding want you want to pass down to next generations. I love to add traditional elements to events. Then, style just ties everything together. Every person is able to express their sense of style and make the event their own. All of these allow for a unique and personal event.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Los Angeles is known as the melting pot for cultures, so it’s the best place for food and adventure. I love both and I’m willing to take to the road so distance does not keep me away. I have to tell you that I prefer little hole in the wall restaurants to places that need a reservation.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family has been my biggest support system. My husband, my mother and my father listen to every idea, problem and success story I’m ready to eagerly share. They have all assisted me with behind the scene set ups and my son is starting his journey of prep work. Knowing that you can pick up a phone and someone will always answer is priceless.
Tess Laureen Photography Amy Haberland Photography Michelle Dudley Photography CV Customs Jade Elora Photography Poppy Hill Flowers Crooked Calligraphy Rose Water Floral Sky and Reef Photography La Piñata Party Rentals Provenance Rentals Cooks Chapel Bella Blooms C.A.S. Experience Madeleine Fig