We had the good fortune of connecting with Crystal Allen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Crystal, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
There are a few things that encouraged me to start my own business including an opportunity to write my own professional narrative, create financial freedom for myself, and creating a legacy for my family. However, one of the beliefs that I operate in daily is that we were all placed on this earth to be of service to others. The opportunity and ability to serve others presents itself in many ways and therefore if you find one thing that will allow you to fulfill your purpose of service that is also a passion, you have found the meaning of life and are therefore blessed. My thought process behind starting my business, though a very hefty process, is rooted in that idea. I truly believe Craft & Green Weddings and Events is my way of leaving my stamp on my little piece of the world.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I was raised with the mindset, “Do well in school, get good grades, go to college, get a great job, make a lot of money.” There’s nothing wrong with that mindset, except for the caveat. Doing all that may or MAY NOT be the catalyst to your living in your passion and purpose. My experience in entrepreneurship has presented many risks. Some of those risks have resulted in positive outcomes, some risks have resulted in not-so-positive outcomes. I will say, regardless of the outcome, every risk has been worth it. The biggest risk – starting my business in the first place. I am proud that I took the leap and started a business. I am most proud that every day I choose to continue on this journey.
I have evolved so much since I first started. Every day I learn a little more about the “business side” of things which in turn makes me a stronger leader and entrepreneur. I’ve learned that consistency is key. “Getting it right” doesn’t equate to always nailing it the first time. Your grind has to be harder than any defeat. Consistency for me has been strategy and patience. Some things just take time. I have taken time to be the best version of me today and as time goes on, the best version of me will be someone new with an even better story.
My brand is client-driven. I stand firm in my worth as an event planner and designer and my innate ability to make others feel special. The reason this comes so naturally to me is that I believe it. We are all super dope in our own right and that dopeness deserves to be celebrated. A major part of the Craft & Green platform is that ” You deserve at least one moment to be all about you.” I work very hard to be understanding of my clients’ wants, and needs (even when they don’t know they need it) because this is how I give them everything they deserve on their special day. I encourage clients to join the Craft & Green family because they deserve it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We have so many gems in the city and surrounding areas. Of course, coming from out of town I’d take you to the Motown Museum. That’s a must and a staple in our community, but to be really impressive, I’d have to take you on a drive and short stay on Belle Isle. We have a whole little island just outside of our Downtown that shares a river (The Detroit River) with Canada. I’ve been here my entire life and I’m still amazed we’re a car or boat ride away from being in an entirely different country. From Belle Isle, we can continue enjoying our view of Canada via a walk or bike ride along our Riverwalk in Downtown Detroit where we get an up-close and personal view of our beautiful Renaissance Center and The Detroit Princess Cruise Ship. Now dependent on the weekend, we could always chill for a concert at the Aretha Fraklin Amphitheater, also settled on the Detroit River.
For food, some of my favorite restaurants include the Bucharest grill. They have the best and largest chicken Shwarmas in the world. Have you ever had grilled chicken with salad? Their famous chicken shwarma salad has so much grilled chicken, I have to order extra lettuce. My second favorite eating spot in the city is the Detroit Shipping Company. Three bars, five restaurants, an ice cream parlor, a t-shirt/podcast shop, a variety of art exhibits and open seating housed and built inside of shipping containers. You meet a lot of nice people and you’re always in for a great time.
We can mellow out at the Eastern Market where we can purchase fruit, a fresh flower, eat good food, hear good music, and visit the Detroit vs Everybody store for some of the new official Detroit gear. Before the weekend ends, I’ll make sure you get your selfie in front of the Joe Louis statue, the Joe Louis fist, Hart Plaza where we hold many of our large festivals and outdoor concerts, and the Spirit of Detroit. We’ll have a funky good time.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Being a business owner, especially one of a small business, can be very difficult. While we’d like to take all the credit, I don’t know if anyone truly does this thing called entrepreneurship alone. I have been extremely fortunate to have some amazing people to support my dream. I love and thank them all tremendously, but I want to recognize my youngest sister, Deleanna. She has been to almost every event I’ve produced and has served in various capacities with no expectation of return. Have we bumped heads in this space? ABSOLUTELY, but she has been a critic (believe it or not we need those), a confidant, a financial strategist, a secretary, and a sounding board throughout every step of this entire process. I love her and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to give her roses in a public forum.
Other: Google – Craft & Green Weddings. and Events
Craft & Green_Birthday Dinner.jpg – Dionne Johnson, Divine Creations by Dionne Marie Bianca_bday-22.jpg – Dionne Johnson, Divine Creations by Dionne Marie Allen_Crystal_Craft & Green.jpg – Dionne Johnson, Divine Creations by Dionne Marie All other photos were taken by Craft & Green Staff