Wednesday, February 9, 2011

CHS Creative Productions: Meet Carolyn Horton {Exclusive Interview}

Carolyn Horton of CHS Creative Productions is an incredibly experienced, successful and brilliant event planner in Southern California. The children's parties that Carolyn designs are in an entirely different league--they are just as her business name says: "Creative Productions", not just ordinary celebrations. She does everything on a dramatically large scale, and I am in such awe of the incredible parties she not only designs but also executes, often with just a few weeks notice!!!

Carolyn is a truly wonderful person to know, I admire her greatly as a mentor to look up to in the children's party planning industry. Her focus is spot on: exceeding her clients' expectations.  She has MUCH to teach us, and I always feel I have much to learn!

It brings me great pleasure to share with you this interview I conducted with her recently. {And the stunning photos of her events--purple, a regal color you haven't seen much of on this blog--are utterly spectacular. Those white tiger cubs are melting my heart! Beautiful photography by Richard Kelley}
{Question} Please tell us about about yourself, and how CHS Creative Productions came about, how long you have been in business, and how it got to where it is today?!?!
I have always loved planning parties and events, it is just a part of who I am. Before I became a party planner I was the one who planned all the parties, showers and business functions for friends and family. CHS Creative Productions came about really because of my two children and my love of throwing them over the top birthday parties. At that time I was a stay at home Mom and was feeling like I needed to do something for myself, some sort of creative outlet. A friend told me I should do children’s parties for clients, my first reaction to that suggestion was “Who is going to pay me to do that?” As it turns out people were very happy to pay someone else to do their children’s parties so that they could enjoy the party and not have to be in charge.

I placed an ad in a local children’s magazine, a feeler if you will to see what the response would be and next thing I know the first client I booked was a First Birthday party for 150 guests, baptism by fire was how it all began. From doing children’s parties, I had wonderful opportunities from repeat clients and referrals for showers, weddings, adult parties, business functions and holiday decorating which has enabled me to expand my business and experience into all types of events. I am so blessed to be doing what I love and have the support of my family. CHS Creative Productions is celebrating its 15th year in business and I couldn’t be prouder, it has certainly been a dream come true, even if I didn’t know it 15 years ago.

{Question} With your tremendous experience and more parties than you can count, what does CHS Creative Productions always offer their clients, or strive to (your business motto, what you are all about)?

CHS Creative Productions always strives to execute and deliver an event that exceeds their Clients expectations. My favorite business motto would be there are no do-overs in event planning so you had better bring you’re A game every time. I am a firm believer that it is a privilege and honor to be chosen by my clients to help them celebrate some of the most important moments of their lives. What I do is very personal and I am always humbled by my clients openness and appreciation of what I create for them.

{Question} We would love to get to know more about you!

I have been married to the most wonderful and supportive husband for the last 17 years and have two wonderful children Chase 15 and Jessica 20. They are all 3 the loves of my life and I am grateful that I have my own business that allows me to be there for them whenever they need me. I used to have a ton of hobbies, decorating, shopping, designing, gardening, scrapbooking and creating something from nothing but they are all now my work, I am so fortunate to be able to do what I love every day. Now when I do get a chance to relax I love to read a good book, it allows me not to think too much. I am a workaholic, even when I’m not working I am thinking about work and there never seems to be enough hours in the day so a good book allows my mind to relax. My style and taste is all over the board and I guess for what I do that is a good thing, since every event and client is looking for something different. I appreciate good design, motivational quotes and inspiring stories about people who are living their dreams.

{Question} You are incredibly well-established, but I know most businesses do look to innovate and keep everything current to offer the clients the absolute best possible service. What goals do you have for CHS Creative Productions in 2011?

I have been very lucky with my business and have worked for some fabulous clients. I am not one to rest on my laurels and am always looking for ways to be more creative and expand my business, I guess you could say I am my own worst critic. This is my 15th year in business and I love what I do more each time I work. This year my goal is to network with other talented party ladies, like you Kate and expose my clients to some of the awesome handmade and custom items that are available to them. Of course, that would mean I would need more than two weeks’ notice.
Some details {not outside of the norm for CHS!} from a lavish purple party that Carolyn recently did for a client {all in less than 2 weeks!!!}:

-Custom printed products from Paper & Pigtails
-A guest list of 50 children and 70 adults
-1 and 1/2 days of set up
- Entertainment of a juggler on ball and stilts, photo booth, face painters, caricature artists, balloon twisters, dj and white tiger cub interaction
-Golf cart shuttle service throughout the party
-Catering by Ruth Chris
-Drink fountains, purple party props for everyone to wear
-Custom purple outdoor lighting at night

A tremendous thank you to Carolyn for this wonderful interview and glimpse into her life and events from CHS Creative Productions.

You can find Carolyn on her website here, or facebook here!


Chris @ Celebrations At Home said...

Great interview Kate. I like to call Carolyn the "godmother" of children's party planners - she is so knowledgable and approachable to others. I love her willingness to share and encourage other planners. Definitely a star!

Southern Belle's Charm said...

So sweet Kate. Carolyn is truly an inspiration to all of us. Thank you for sharing.

Kori Clark said...

I adore Carolyn and she is certainly a friend and rockstar in my book!! She is a pleasure to work for and with!

Michele @ crazyfordesign said...

This is so great! I was just part of a chat that she was involved in! Thanks so much Kate!

CHS Creative Productions said...

Thank you Kate so much for your kind words and wonderful interview they both mean so much to me! I am truly honored to be among your fabulous list of interviewees. You are an inspiration to me with your passion, work ethic and drive and it is my privelege to call you a Friend. Thank you again for all that you are.

Ladies thank you so much for your kind words it really means a lot to me to be thought of so highly by each of you.

jarmaine | indianapolis postcard printing said...

Very inspiring interview. Loved the purple event feature, specially that outdoor lighting! Can't believe they pulled this off in less than two weeks' prep time. A true testament to the business name, this is a wonderful production!

Latisha Horton said...

I enjoyed this interview ... Carolyn is so amazing and so talented and inspires me in so many ways ... and we're last name twins! lol