19 Feb Vendor Spotlight: LOLA Event Productions
The ever fabulous Lori Stephenson, owner and principal at LOLA Event Productions chatted with us today to give us some insight into her favorite foods, her inspiration, and her business.
Jewell Events Catering: How long have you been in business?
LOLA: I started LOLA in 2006, but I’ve spent over 20 years in the wedding business.
JEC: In no more than 3 words, describe what your company does?
LOLA: Creative Problem Solving
JEC: What is one thing that sets you/your company apart from others?
LOLA: I have a background and degrees in both design as well as business. I think it’s really hard hard to find a person that can be creative and visionary as well as organized and analytical. The challenge with planning and designing weddings and events is that they have to be both beautiful and practical from a logistics perspective. We can do that.
JEC: Where does your inspiration come from?
LOLA: My design inspiration comes from my fine art and design background where I was taught to look at ordinary things in extraordinary ways and find practical applications for my designs…And the clients themselves are a constant source of inspiration and diversity!
JEC: What is one emerging trend for events in the next year?
LOLA: The farm to table trend that started with food is really transitioning to other parts of the event. Decor, lighting, overall theme…People are looking for organic and “un-designed design” in so many elements of their event. They just want everything to feel effortless and bountiful. That really started with food.
JEC: What is on thing you wish everyone knew about your business?
LOLA: You can’t be just one thing to any client. You have to be an enigma that can morph from Dr Phil into MacGyver at a moment’s notice, all while making it look effortless so the client feels at ease with you in control.
JEC: What is the best piece of advice you can give someone planning an event?
LOLA: Hire good people and then let them shine. They will go to the moon and back to make you happy if you trust in them.
JEC: What’s your favorite “hidden gem” restaurant in Chicago?
LOLA: My husband and I love to pub crawl up Clark Street in Andersonville – we stop and get the cocktail of the month at our favorite bar, Ombra, and we are regulars at a little Italian restaurant called Antica. When we walk in the chef/owner comes out of his open kitchen and hugs us. I love that! Italian food is a great big hug. Basically I love any good Italian restaurant and have a favorite in every neighborhood in the city. I could go on all night on this topic.
JEC: What is your favorite part about being in the industry?
LOLA: The variety of talent in different creative mediums is astounding. The vendors I work with are true artists of food, music, photography, floral, etc. An event is like a living breathing homage to the arts.
JEC: If you were a type of food, what would you be and why?
LOLA: Cheese! I’m a little salty, but everything is better with me involved (plus I’m from Wisconsin, so…).
Thanks again Lori!