Entertain, Life

Houston Business Owners: Julie Verville and Nikki Navarro

Memorial BNI Thanks a MIllion

I’m in a networking group that meets every Wednesday morning. It’s the Memorial chapter of an organization called Business Networking International, or BNI. We recently reached a milestone in our quest to close $2,500,000 in business for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. Our leadership team wanted to celebrate our achievement, and as the social chair, I was happy to plan the party.

Because we were celebrating closing $1,000,000 in business since October 1st, I wanted the theme of the party to be Thanks a Million. While I had a general idea of what I wanted things to look like (green and white balloons, small flower arrangements, some sort of party favor) I didn’t know how to pull it all together, so I reached out to Julie Verville, owner of an event planning business called Crowning Details.

Julie is a wife and a mom of three kids, Harrison, 3, Nora, 2, and Leo, who was three weeks old when she did the party for me! A former financial executive, she is a serial entrepreneur. Her first business was an international company that made fun, retro-chic candy. After years of throwing over-the-top parties for her kids, friends and family, she decided to turn her passion into a business with Crowning Details. For her daughter’s second birthday, Julie did a western theme, perfect for a pink, pony-loving cowgirl:

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I love the darling horseshoe plates, and OMG, the cake! Stacy Fuller from Whoo’s Bakery baked the too-adorable-to-eat masterpiece.

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After a brief phone conversation during which I explained my vision for the party, Julie got to work, pulling together a proposal for decorations, cake, cupcakes, flowers, and party favors. She recommended Whole Foods for the flower arrangements and catering, including food, cake, and cupcakes, and she helped me select the menu – petite baguette sandwiches, shrimp cocktail, chips and guacamole, and a fruit tray with vanilla dip. Julie also ordered balloons and put together the items for the party favors.

The day of the party, Julie and her assistant picked up the food and decorations and set everything up at our venue, a bar called Fox Hollow in the Heights. Fox Hollow has live music and dancing, but that doesn’t start until after 9:00, so the owner was happy to have our little happy hour crew from 6:00-8:00. We only got a few pictures of the event – the cupcakes and cake stand, a flower arrangement, and several of the party favors. The favors were small treat bags filled with crinkle paper and a lottery ticket.

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Our group is pretty entertaining by itself, but when I met Nikki Navarro, owner of an open-air photo booth, Shindig Photo, I knew she would add a fun element to the party. Nikki had a long career in human resources before starting Shindig Photo in August 2014. She wanted to do something creative she could call her own and to model for her kids, Giovanni, 18, and Alexandra, 15, the value of working hard to achieve your dreams. She recently set up her photo booth at AIDS Walk Houston 2015, where Houston’s mayor, Annise Parker, posed for a few pics!

The Shindig booth is different from other photo booths. It’s open and can fit 10+ people in one shot. Nikki used a standard backdrop for our photos, but she can create a background with your logo or party theme. She can also add a logo, theme, or graphic to the customizable photo strips printed after each session. You can even post pictures directly to your Facebook page during the party! We had a blast with the props and will definitely have Shindig back at another event!

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That’s Nikki in the bottom left corner. 😉 The party was a lot of fun, and I had a great time planning it with Julie and Nikki. I would definitely work with both of them again! Special thanks to Patrick from Fox Hollow for letting us hang out at his bar for a couple of hours.

For more information about each company, click the icons below.

Crowning Details Logo with writing

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Fox Hollow pic

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