We had the good fortune of connecting with Charley Izabella King and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Charley Izabella, how do you think about risk?
I have always taken risks in my career and my life. I have never been the 9 to 5 girl. I wish I could be like that, but my life has been about following my dreams and making them a reality. The pros of that, is that I feel like I have never worked a day in my life, as I have loved every job I have ever had, but of course the cons are the risks of stability. Thankfully all the risks I took paid off! It was a risk at 16 years old to leave school and turn down a place at a theatre school because I wanted to see if I could get a West End show in London. Two weeks after leaving school, I got into 42nd Street the musical at the iconic Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London. I would stay in a show for a year and then move on taking more risks, sometimes leaving a show when I didn’t have another one to go to. The biggest risk came when we decided to move to Los Angeles in 2000 to have an adventure. Thankfully I landed the movie CHICAGO and then ‘The Producers’ on Broadway and the soap opera ‘As the World Turns’ before taking another huge risk and leaving a successful 20 plus year career on stage to start a brand new career. One that I knew absolutely nothing about and had never been a business owner before. I took a risk and randomly called a planner (who had a very pretty website) one Sunday afternoon called Gianna from GP Events. She turned into my guardian angel and let me shadow her, which led me to the amazing Pauline Parry of Good Gracious! Events. Pauline took me under her wing and became my mentor and invited me to join her incredible catering and event planning company where I stayed and trained for three years. I was given an incredible education which I soaked up like a sponge and eventually taking the hugest risk of all during a recession in 2010 and opening up my own wedding and event planning company called Bluebell Events. The beautiful thing is I get to work with Pauline and Gianna all the time! I have always taken risks and will continue to do so. It is not the easiest or sometimes the smartest path, but it was the right one for me and I am thankful to all the angels that I met that have guided me along the way.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Bluebell Events is a boutique wedding and event planning and design company located in Los Angeles, California. We specialize in weddings and any and all social events, bar and bat mitzvah’s, showers, brand launch parties, private dinners, private consulting and most recently micro events due to covid.
I love my job and I love all the couples I work with. I feel that it is a huge honor to play a part in such an important time in a couple’s, and their families lives. I am very proud of all the weddings and celebrations that I have been a part of and I love that the couples remain in my life long after their wedding day and I get to be involved in further milestones in their lives, babies, anniversaries and other sibling’s weddings and celebrations. What sets me apart, is my background in Broadway shows and productions. I see all my weddings and events as a musical, with a beautiful script that has a beginning, a middle and an end. I’m proud of my ability to listen to what my clients truly wish for and create the perfect experience for them, from the initial design concept to the finest detail on the day.
We take the guests on a journey and tell that couple’s story from the moment they receive the invitation to the moment they say goodbye. We impact all the senses, we create an atmosphere on the day with a beautifully scripted timeline, that keeps the energy ebbing and flowing throughout the night. We are in the reception room all night feeling the energy and knowing when the time is right to move on to the next activity. As a planner, if you time everything perfectly, you can control that energy and guests will never want to leave! We work very hard and for long hours. Attention to detail is continuous, and I have to lead the whole team from beginning to end. I always say that doing 8 shows a week in CATS the musical, which was extremely strenuous on the body is comparable to a 20-hour wedding day on your feet all day!!
I am proud of where the company is today, after 10 years in business as I don’t have a business background, so for me that has been a challenge and something that I have had to learn along the way. However, the wedding and event community is extraordinary and full of extremely talented people that would give you the shirt off their back and are always willing to share their knowledge.
That is why when the pandemic hit, I decided to do an IGTV live talk show twice a week called Bluebell Talks (although it was five times a week when we were in lockdown!!) to interview my amazing wedding industry colleagues to give back and to learn all about the vendors and other planners that I work with to really highlight them and their talents. Since then, it’s grown into a lifestyle show where I now interview people from my theatre world, lawyers, life coaches, authors and people that I think that we can learn from and are inspirational. It has been such a wonderful experience that I now have a You Tube channel and will continue doing my live shows for as long as possible and then who knows…! We are about to do my 100th episode next week! It has been fun to kind of step back into my old performing role again.
I don’t know if my story is unique, but I know that we are all unique in our own way. I hope that all the lessons that I have learned along the way and the wonderful teachers that I have learned from are all wrapped up in the story of my business and my brand. The Bluebell flower means everlasting love and union, which is perfect because it truly encompasses everything that I do.
Bluebell is also the name that my father called me from when I was a child and when I opened my company, my father was dealing with Alzheimer’s, so I wanted a name that would remind me of him. Now every time that someone says Bluebell, I hear his voice saying “morning Bluebell” that makes me smile and makes it all worthwhile! while !
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There are so many wonderful places that I love in Los Angeles. I would definitely show them Malibu. I LOVE Malibu! I love to watch the sunset and eat at The Sunset Restaurant in Zuma. Also a great place for a toes in the sand beach wedding. Then if we want to go fancier, I love Geoffrey’s in Malibu with a gorgeous ocean view and then perhaps Nobu right on Carbon Canyon Beach on the Pacific Coast Highway.
If you love Greek food, Taverna Tony’s in the Cross Creek shopping mall in Malibu is also delicious and a great place for Malibu local celebrity sightings. 😉 In the San Fernando Valley I love Joey’s for a fun night out and as I love Hawaii, Roy’s Hawaian restaurant is also a favorite, especially for appetizers and cocktails at the bar. As a Brit, a good Indian restaurant is very important and so I love Anarbagh in Woodland Hills.
Going into West Hollywood, I love The Little Door, especially for a romantic night out, as it is magical and twinkly. We are truly spoilt for many wonderful places to eat out. The hike up to the iconic Hollywood sign is a must see for anyone that has not seen it up close and the Hollywood walk of fame on Hollywood Boulevard is definitely a go-to for a first timer as well. You must do all the tourist stuff first and then I can take you off the beaten track. 🙂
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am so extremely thankful to all the mentors and teachers that have guided me along the way, starting with my dance and acting teachers like Terry Powell in England and The Jeannine Greville dance academy. When I took a huge risk and decided to change my 20 plus year Broadway/musical career, to wedding and event planning, I had no idea where to start, so as I mentioned earlier, I googled wedding planners one afternoon and up popped a very pretty website of Gianna Provenzano from GP Events. This amazing lady answered my call and invited me to shadow her at a couple of her events, which blew my mind. It was like putting on a Broadway show and I soon realized that I had found my new passion and calling. Thanks to Gianna’s gracious time and expertise, I met the wonderful Pauline Parry, the owner of Good Gracious! Events at one of her bar mitzvahs and both being English, we hit it off!! Pauline saw my love for weddings and to my utter good fortune offered me a place at her company and to train me in every aspect of event planning and catering. Pauline and Gianna changed my life and introduced me to the exciting and creative world of event planning for which I will be forever grateful.
Linkedin: Charley Izabella King
Facebook: Bluebell Events
Yelp: Bluebell Events
Youtube: Charley Izabella King
Please credit the photographers . Thank you . Photos go from left to right 1 , 2 then underneath 3,4, etc 1. Kelli Bee Photography 2. Jenny Quicksall Photography 3 Hayley Dolson 4. Kelli Bee Photography 5.Katie Moos Photography 6. Katie Moos Photography 7. Jake and Necia Photography 8. Nadia Diskavets Photography 9. Kelli Bee Photography 10. Jenny Quicksall Photography Photo of me for the piece is by Maya Myers Photography