We had the good fortune of connecting with Claudia Rollin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Claudia, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
When I began Harlow & Dahlia Events, my thought process was creating a luxury event planning company with an emphasis on distinctive design. Weddings and events are magical however what distinguishes a nice event/wedding from a “this is the best wedding we have ever been to” type moment is the details, the beauty of the design, the thought behind special one of a kind moments. I strived to create a company whose focus was crafting events that extracts our client’s personalities and vision onto the design pattern of the event.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My business Harlow & Dahlia Events is a luxury destination event planning company focused on creating stunning, meaningful and trend forward events. We focused efforts on the East Coast, with a homebase in Burlington, Vermont and have branches in NYC and Maine. We operate all around the East Coast and expanding into other destinations worldwide.
What sets my business apart is a two fold approach, I really work to create design concepts that are oriented from the client, from their love of colors, travels, books, life experiences, etc and then I run with this information to create unique event experiences. I rely on trends lightly as I really want to create ideas that have not been frequently done for our clients.
The other approach is working with the clients and vendors to create a fun planning experience. There is this notion in the events industry that planning must be complicated, stressful, etc and the reality is that it doesn’t need to be. Planning a wedding or event can and should be a fun journey focused on elevating the parts that make the process fun such as design, vendor selection, the details such as menus, stationery, etc. There will be stress but it’s how well we can help our clients manage that stress level and allow them to focus on the planning details that will be memorable to them that sets us apart.
This is an approach I instill in my company’s planners as well to always strive for a customized client experience.
I am most proud and humbled by on how quickly my business expanded and the publications that have picked up my company’s work. Before I started Harlow & Dahlia Events, I worked in corporate marketing and marketing is still close to my heart, therefore seeing national publications display my work always makes me feel on Cloud 9.
I wouldn’t say owning a business has always been easy, in particular on the footsteps of the pandemic, it really was a time that tested every business owner on how much we loved our businesses. Personally my company experienced growing pains, I had to figure out what are the best practices as I grow so fast to be able to keep my up with booking demands, work flows, etc. All things I figured out but sometimes it’s important to take a step back and look at the whole picture from higher ground to understand the next move and avoid any stepbacks.
Some of the lessons I learned along the way is that no personality is alike. No client, no vendor will have the same thought process or approach and being able to work with distinctive tastes, thought processes and family dynamics is key not just to event planners but to any business owner.
As I continue to grow Harlow & Dahlia Events into a destination event planing company, I’d love our trademark designs to inspire anyone and everyone planning events, events are so meaningful because they are someone’s most special moment and as such they should have a special design.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The Holly wood Sign counts, right?
For a week long visit to LA, I would focused on a hybrid approach of natural areas, hikes, the entire Hollywood experience is so unique to LA that for a visitor is a must and the million of amazing food places LA has to offer!
Then rounding it all out with a relaxing few days at Venice Beach.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My inspiration has always been women in business, there aren’t enough of us and seeing women successfully transcend societal expectations, breaking glass ceilings has always been a driving force behind my business. I remember starting out my business and reading/listening to every book, podcast there was on entrepreneurship and realizing only a very, very small percentage of these books/videos/podcasts were led by women, women in business are a tremendous inspiration for myself and business.
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Julia Luckett Photography, Christina Bernales Photography, Rachel Buckley Photography