Rickeya sits across from me patiently waiting for me to scribble down her previous statement. I am woefully unprepared, but she graciously powers through. Meanwhile I kick myself for leaving my phone at home and scheduling an interview directly after the gym. Tragic. 🤦🏾♀️😒
RT: How long have you been decorating venues and helping people to create meaningful events? Do you have help?
RP: Two years now. My mom, sister, niece and nephew help. My mom is great with customer service, and my sister is an accountant. She sets the financial boundaries and makes sure I get paid.
RG: How did you know this was what you wanted to do?
RG: I’ve always had a creative bug.
RG: What are your goals with Celebrated Simply?
RP: Well my goal is to be the first black woman to own and operate a theme park. But for now, I want to start hosting very exclusive themed parties.
RG: What thing did you struggle with as CS started?
RP: Marketing. Getting enough of a following with people to support me.
RG: What do you want a CS client to feel or experience?
RP: I want them to feel like I exceeded their expectations. I want the space to look like we stepped into a themed world with food, smells, and colors.
RG: What’s one piece of advice for an aspiring event planner?
RP: Don’t alter the customer’s vision, but stand your ground. Believe in your abilities. Overachieve.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I see a team of creative individuals. I will be booked years in advance! [Celebrated Simply] will be a well-known brand. I want my events to be more of an experience than decor.
I want customized party-wear in Party City or my own boutique. I want to be hosting well-known annual events; haunted houses, proms, and weddings.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
I listen to life advice from mentors. “Don’t try to be something or someone [you’re] not. Let [your personality] carry [you] to where [you] want to achieve!
What’s the worst advice you’ve gotten?
“Go to art school!” I started College in art school, now I’m in debt!
[General discussion about the benefits of community college and how slept-on it is]
Start at a community college, then figure it out. Miami Dade College really prepares you for whatever school you want!
If you could teach a class at any level, what would it be and why?
I would teach middle to high school children a creative business class. The class would teach them how to take their passions and turn them into a business; developing and marketing a business and having fun!
[commiserating about working towards someone else’s dream]
Where can people find you, or how can they contact you?
Instagram. Search for Celebrated Simply. Look out for a couple of events!
Be sure to check her out on Instagram, and if you’re in the South Florida area, hit her up to personalize your next event or get-together. Mention my name for a 0% discount. She’ll giggle.