Ivy Robinson is one of those charming individuals that radiates warmth and artistic charisma. It’s no wonder she has made a big name for herself as one of the most energetic, dependable and stylish event planners in the southeast. Whether she is setting the stage for a black tie wedding with hundreds of guests or hosting an intimate dinner party with friends and family at her own home, this North Carolina native proves that Southern hospitality is not a lost art. Today, Ivy lets us into her life, telling us her favorite places to eat and drink and divulging her secrets for finding relaxation amidst the chaos of a thriving career.
Where are you from originally?
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
When and how did you discover your passion for event planning?
I grew up in a big Southern family that loves to entertain, and my parents were always hosting gatherings. Aside from creating tea parties for my Barbie dolls, I never grew up wanting to be a party planner. Instead, I had a dream to fill Katie Couric’s spot on “The Today Show.” I decided to go to Meredith College in Raleigh and obtained my degree in fashion merchandising and then hopped across the street to NCSU and received a degree in mass communication.
After that I interned at the local NBC station and then moved to Atlanta as an intern for CNN’s “Showbiz Today” show. It was there that I got connected with a sorority sister who was in event planning. When I moved back to Raleigh she hired me to help her plan events, and that’s where my passion for it all really began.
How would you describe your style?
My personal style is a mix of modern and high-glam. For example, I love to mix materials such as a variety of metal and wood to create a warm but sophisticated look. I like to layer textures too as a way of adding color and depth to a space.
How do you bring that signature style into an event while still staying true to what the client wants?
When designing and planning a client’s wedding, I am solely inspired by them. By getting to know them personally, I am able to develop a sense of their style. I tend to throw a few elements in just to see how they react to different ideas, but at the end of the day it is their wedding. I always challenge myself to exceed their expectations!
Who has been your mentor as you have pursued your dreams?
Lynn James from Elizabeth City and David Casteel with Mitchell’s Catering.
What has been the biggest challenge of starting your own business?
The biggest challenge of starting your own business is to make sure you are still learning, even when you are an expert in your own industry. In the beginning, I was highly critical of my own work and stayed up much of the night after events. It was tiring, but I new I was always getting better. I have found a way to relax a little more, but I still learn something new from each event.
What has been the most rewarding part of the experience?
The most rewarding part of the experience is the infallible network that has remained long after the wedding vows. I am still frequently in touch with most of my clients.
What piece of advice do you have for other young female entrepreneurs?
My advice to young female entrepreneurs is to fight for what you want and challenge yourself everyday to follow your passion. I have observed 25-year-old entrepreneurs who expect to be exactly where I am at 38. It takes long hours, dedication and determination, but you achieve anything as long as you remain motivated.
What is your favorite way to relax and unwind?
Growing up near the outer banks of North Carolina made me naturally a beach girl. Lots of my best friends live in Palm Beach, Florida, so I am down there quite a bit. I love to relax outdoors with a cocktail. Red wines, champagne and vodka are my go-tos, though I’ve turned into a cocktail snob thanks to Bob Peters from The Punch Room!
Where is your go-to spot for a good meal in Charlotte?
Hands down, Soul Gastrolounge. I fell in love the day it opened, and it has been my go-to spot ever since. I’m a tapas queen, and their menu lets me try a little bit of everything. The atmosphere is fantastic and being friends with the bartender is also a plus!
Name three things you can’t live without excluding faith, family and friends.
My lash extensions, coffee and my dog Waylon.
Thanks to Ivy for offering a look inside her world To learn more about her spectacular events, click here!
Thanks to Piper Warlick for today’s beautiful photography. Click here to see more of her work.
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