Frequently Asked Questions: In your many years of business, who has been the most influential and inspirational to you?

Last week I had the pleasure of working with two of the most influential ladies in my career--my dearest friend Joan Rivers and, someone who not only continues to inspire me but is constantly changing and inspiring folks all over the world, the dearest Oprah.

When I first met Joan in 1997, she gave me a vision that even today I try to implement into every single job I do. When I was designing her daughter Melissa’s wedding she said, “When each guest walks into my event, I’d like them to have the same experience as witnessing a dramatic setting at the opera. I want them to gasp the same way everyone gasps when the curtain goes up to an elaborate setting.” Yes folks, this sentence gave me a very specific direction for my business, and it is still always my goal.

Preston and Joans

Joan and I have remained friends ever since then, and for me she is the true meaning of a star. She treats everyone around her with great care and kindness. I was honored when Joan asked me last week to do a segment for her show How’d You Get So Rich?. The episode will be airing in the spring.

During the shoot

During the shoot

Then, last Thursday I was honored to do one of the first events in New York for the Oprah Winfrey Network. I had the opportunity to spend time with the other influential figure in my life, Ms. Oprah. Most of you may have learned to love this lady from watching her on TV, however to be with her in person is to feel loved. There is no other way to put it. I think this is her greatest gift from God–her ability to manifest love.

Each time I see her, I walk away feeling the need to be a better Preston. One piece of advice of the many words of wisdom I received from Oprah years ago was when she told me that we seldom get great opportunities in life, but when we do, we should stop and put all our energy, creativity and resources in it to shine. I take this to heart each time I am asked to do something I have never done before. Oprah, we all love you, and I am glad you loved the event.

How has Oprah influenced your life?

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