We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Kaplan and Steven Cowell and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Steven, Jennifer, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
Steven: Things are constantly changing, whether it be color, style, or industry trends. You can do your best to anticipate a client’s needs, but you should always be able to adapt in any given situation. Last year we had unexpected pouring rain the morning of an outdoor wedding, and we had less than hour to come up with a solution for an entire new ceremony setup. Luckily our design instincts kicked in and we were able to come up with a new plan within minutes. The happy couple were happily blown away. We love being a small part of these memorable moments, and will do everything we can to ensure that they are realized. This year however, has brought about immense hurdles, not only for our clients and fellow vendors, but the entire event industry.

Jen: Especially now with COVID-19, we’ve had to completely rethink our processes and get creative in order for our company to survive. Adaptability is our new motto, and it’s what has kept our doors open since the start of closures in March. We’ve offered everything from micro-wedding setups to drive-by baby showers. We’re living through unprecedented times, with no clear end in sight. Our focus and willingness to work with our clients as they navigate cancelled weddings, corporate events, and large scale productions such as Coachella, has really sharpened our skillset. This time has allowed us to regroup and figure out what our next steps should be. Steven: Exactly. We’ve essentially had to “reinvent the event.”

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Jen: I came from the Entertainment Industry where I worked in special events, production, and brand consulting. None of those careers were easy, but starting my own business has been the toughest challenge to date. I’m most proud of the fact that I took an idea and turned it in to a reality. Despite everything that has happened in the last 2 years since our inception, including this force majeure, we’re still here, more determined than ever.

Steven: My background in hospitality and business management has helped me immensely. Any rental and event design company can offer beautiful things. We offer a great client experience from to start to finish. Communication and consistency is everything. We only get one chance to get it right, and we never forget that.

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?
Jen: When my best friend is in town from DC, we always go out for a great dinner, and some sort of outdoor activity. Will Rogers State Park is such a hidden gem, and a nice temperature change from the Valley where our showroom is based. I’ve been going to some of the same dinner spots for years. Pizzeria Mozza, Terroni, and AOC. I love comedy clubs and small performance venues such as Largo, and the iconic Comedy Store. If you’re up for a challenge, drop your name in the bucket at the Westside Comedy Theater during their Open Mic night. I did a 5 minute set earlier this year. Absolutely terrifying but a great time. We’re so lucky to live in a city with so much incredible art, so a visit to LACMA or the Getty, or even the Broad is always worthwhile.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We consider ourselves lucky to be surrounded by friends in the industry who exude creativity and passion in everything that they do. Holly Gray from Anything but Gray Events has pushed us to be bolder, brighter, in our pursuit of inventory, events, and essence. She is so insightful, and has such an incredible design vision. She’s influenced us in the best way possible. Dakota Powell from Deluxe Balloon Company is another dear friend of ours. She has really built a name and incredible reputation, not only for her balloon creations, but as an innovative small business owner. Like us, she started small and has since really grown in the last couple of years that we’ve been fortunate enough to know her.

Website: https://papillonrentals.com/
Instagram: @papillonrentals

Image Credits
Aurelia D’Amore Photography, Jenny Quicksall Photography

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