Today, I am interviewing Navjot Kaur, a very talented event designer and planner for Silverleaf Wedding Designs. Navjot was one of my guests at my recent PB and Friends Event last month, and I am excited introduce her to you all. I will be profiling all of my guests in the coming weeks in my Up Close and Personal series. Please feel free to ask her any questions!
Tell us a little about yourself and your journey into design.
Growing up in India among colors and traditions, and celebrating several occasions each year has inspired me since my childhood. There is always a moment in one’s life that gives you a sense of purpose, leading to something that you had never thought of earlier. Preston’s dramatic floral chandeliers on Oprah’s show gave me that spark which lead to the business of designing weddings and social events.
What do you enjoy most about being a designer/planner and what do you find is most challenging?
I love the idea of being able to be a part of a couple’s most awaited moments. We as planners and designers are catering to the emotions, and this is the beauty of this service industry. Having said that, the challenge is to align your thought process to the vision of your client.
What is the most rewarding event that you have ever worked on?
The wedding at Hyatt, Cincinnati back in 2004 was one of my biggest successes. The couple had desired a woodsy look with a touch of sophistication for their wedding ceremony. The gazebo in which the ceremony took place had a ceiling decorated with a beautiful rainbow mosaic. During the ceremony, rays of sunlight shone through colorfully, right above the bride and groom! It was incredibly romantic!
What was the most challenging?
The most challenging event was the wedding with seven hundred guests that I planned and designed for this year. The challenge was to create a balance between professional etiquette and friendship, without compromising the delivery of the product in terms of service and design.
What are you most inspired by?
Most of the inspiration that I get is from nature, fashion, art, history and epics.
If you could change anything about our industry, what would it be?
I would change the public perception of wedding planners and designers who have a tough job reshaping the bride’s dreams into a reality. This requires accountability, countless hours with close attention to detail, and strategic alignment of talent to make it all happen.
What is the best compliment you have ever received from a client?
Expression says it all. I believe expressions are a powerful way of expressing joy.
Nevertheless, I love it when I hear, “Wow.”
Have you ever thought of quitting? If so, how did you move through that time?
Not quite that way. Good and bad times are a part of business as long as these experiences define the purpose. I perform SWOT analysis in difficult times to figure out what, when and why!
Can you tell us how you felt about the event as an attendee? What did you like and not like about it? (I promise our technology will be better next time)
It was an eye opening experience with wonderful exposure to Preston’s world, where you see everyone working diligently for countless hours to create high end luxury designs. I didn’t come with any expectations, so I left PB Designs on a positive note. It was inspiring to see the alignment among staff, and the exposure gave me a lot to think about.
What are the three best pieces of advice you would give someone who is just starting out?
Be open to criticism. Your competition is first with yourself. Do not forget to count your blessings for all the learning experiences this will give you. Hope and strength are important to keep moving forward.
We all have someone–a client, a friend, a mentor– who challenged and inspired us to go for our dreams. Tell us a little bit about who this person is for you.
I consider myself fortunate to have Preston Bailey as a mentor and a friend who have not only helped me to follow my dreams, but has allowed me to challenge myself and step outside the box. Preston is someone who is not only humble and honest, but is also very disciplined and focused. He is really inspiring and and gives something to look at.