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Smart Wedding Planning for Busy Business Women

Posted in EVENTS by msceonet on April 28, 2010

Delegation Isn’t Just for Business, it Applies to Weddings Too

Wedding Planning Entrepreneur Hosts Events to Help Women Connect with Professional, Affordable Help

By Felicia Joy
Ms. CEO Correspondent    

First comes love, then comes the proposal, then comes the headache. Event planning can be stressful to begin with, then add to the mix the fact that it is your one special day—your wedding—that you are planning for and it is easy to understand how a woman who is already busy can turn into a Bridezilla if she doesn’t find the right help.    

Michelle Gainey is a wedding planning entrepreneur.


Thank goodness for small miracles like Michelle Gainey’s businesses: Lemiga Events and Studio Wed Atlanta. Michelle says there are lots of bridal shows and planners but her concept and vision are different. “When you go to a bridal show it can be very overwhelming because you often don’t leave with the help you needed.  Instead you leave with a bunch of business cards,” Michelle says. “The next day you can’t remember who does what or which service provider you liked best.”    

When it comes to weddings, the importance of the day, too much information and so many options can get a busy business woman’s blood pressure up. After all, you have enough to worry about. But Michelle says you have options.    

Lemiga, founded in 2004, is a wedding planning and management firm.  Michelle says they plan weddings from beginning to end with every single detail in mind. For brides who are a bit more brave and have time to do more themselves, Michelle suggests keeping stress to a minimum by having vendors come to you. She has launched this concept at Studio Wed Atlanta. “We have put together a team of about 32 vendors in various categories and they are the best,” Michelle says. “They have combined experience of more than a hundred years and a bride can find everything she needs for her wedding, all in one location. It simplifies the process.”     

Michelle’s passion and confidence in the right process also led her to launch “The Wedding Experience,” a one-day educational bridal seminar where, she says, couples can learn the inside secrets on how to make wedding planning manageable, right down to the right questions to ask when you meet with various vendors. “We want brides to know what to look for, and our presenters and exhibitors at this event will make sure they do,” Michelle said.    

Photo Credit: Lemiga Events and Studio Wed Atlanta


The Wedding Experience event will be held on Sunday, May 2, 2010 at the Ritz Carlton in Buckhead from 11am to 6pm. The event includes lunch and will end with a cocktail party. Learn more about it on the Studio Wed Atlanta website.


Pretty Successful: Profiles of Amazing Women Entrepreneurs – Kathleen Plate

Posted in EVENTS, INSPIRATION by msceonet on March 17, 2010

Kathleen Plate: Redefining ‘beauty in a bottle’

Eco-conscious entrepreneur shows off her creative genius

By Felicia Joy
Ms. CEO Correspondent 

It’s a cool, dusky evening and chatty socialites are mingling in “environment,” an eco-chic furniture store near downtown Atlanta.  Though the sun has set it seems to still be shining in the form of Kathleen Plate.  A tall and statuesque blonde, she comes across as a happy-go-lucky California gal, but says she’s from Washington state.  

Kathleen Plate, creator of recycled glass jewelry, dresses and decor, has a playful moment at her recent show in Atlanta (click photo for larger view).


An entrepreneurial artisan, Kathleen is the pioneering creator of glass bangles and other jewelry that she makes from recycled bottles.  If you’ve been to any fashion forward boutique or clothing retailer lately you’ve seen her work—or knock-offs of it.  Those shiny glass bracelets that sound like a million bottles clanking together once you put them on and wave your hand are everywhere; but many of those on store shelves are fake versions of Kathleen’s work. Oh well.  Imitation, some say, is the highest form of flattery.  

At environment, cocktail-and-h’or douvres passing hostesses are working the crowd adorned in Kathleen’s jewelry.  It’s beautiful for sure, and she’s been making it for 17 years, but that’s not the focus this evening.  Today it’s all about her latest innovations: curtains, pillow shams, chandeliers, tabletop arrangements—even dresses—all made from glass. 

A dress made of glass?  How does one dream that up?  “By trying to challenge myself,” says Kathleen.  “I always loved to make stuff.  I grew up with one of those moms who often had crafts projects for us to do,” she said.  Her first ever creation wasn’t jewelry though.  “The first thing I can remember making is a cake in my Easy Bake Oven,” she says smiling with a fleeting flash of nostalgia. 

“Making stuff” has worked out well for Kathleen, who has been said to “mesmerize” audiences with her recycled glass works.  She has traveled all over the states to show her pieces and install custom commissions.  Her sights are next set on international showrooms.  “I’ve flown everything to Los Angeles for a show and been many other places across the U.S.,” she said.  “But abroad is next.  I think I’d love to do a show in Milan, Italy.”  

With too many sources of inspiration to name just one, Kathleen says she loves the simplicity of working with re-cycled glass.  “I only have about three or four colors of glass to work with so I’m constantly stretching myself to make it look different.”  

A hostess serves h'or douvres adorned in a Kathleen Plate recycled glass necklace (click photo for larger view).


She is also inspired by feedback from fans of her work.  “I love it when people tell me that something I have made has become their go-to piece or good luck charm.  Ultimately, it’s not about my work.  It’s about what it means to the people who wear or acquire it.” 

With Aveda, Coca-Cola, the Guggenheim Museum, Christina Applegate, Amy Smart, Sienna Miller—and numerous television programs—embracing her work, Kathleen is quite a busy artist and entrepreneur.  To take a break and rejuvenate she likes to travel.  “I love to go on a long trip.  I’m probably the only person in the world who loves sitting in an airplane,” she says.  “When else do I get to sit on my butt for five hours and do nothing?”

Ms. CEO Media Inc. presents ‘Women Entrepreneurs Day in Georgia’ at the State Capitol

Posted in EVENTS, NEWS by msceonet on February 12, 2010

Senator Nan Orrock sponsored the resolution to officially create "Women Entrepreneurs Day" in Georgia at the State Capitol.

Georgia Senate recognizes women business owners on historic day

Women entrepreneurs visit Capitol for special acknowledgment as leaders of economic recovery in America

By Kallarin Richards

State Senator Nan Orrock of Atlanta, Georgia on March 8 announced the first Women Entrepreneurs Day in Georgia, now an annual event at the State Capitol.  Recognizing Georgia’s nearly 200,000 women business owners, Women Entrepreneurs Day highlighted the impact women entrepreneurs make on the state and national economy. 

“Women-owned businesses are on the leading edge of today’s economy,” said Orrock.  “It’s anticipated that by 2018, women-owned small businesses will be responsible for creating a third of the 15.3 million new jobs that are expected to be generated.  Because these entrepreneurs will play such a significant role in leading our nation to economic recovery, it’s crucial that we create a dialogue between Georgia’s women entrepreneurs and their legislators.  Women Entrepreneurs Day will help create a stronger partnership between state lawmakers and women-owned businesses to position Georgia as a leader in the new economy.”

(Watch press conference remarks by Senator Nan Orrock and Felicia Joy.)

The creation of Women Entrepreneurs Day is an ideal example of that partnership.  Orrock joined Atlanta small business owner Felicia Joy, who created the special day, to make Women Entrepreneurs Day a recognized event at the State Capitol.  Joy is the founder of Ms. CEO Media Inc., a fast-growing multimedia company that provides insight and inspiration for women entrepreneurs through merchandise, media and special events. 

“While women have made tremendous strides at the helm of their own businesses, there is still a lot of work to be done,” said Joy.  “Now more than ever, as our nation strives to regain our economic strength, it is critical that we take an all-hands-on-deck approach to business leadership.  That includes making sure that everyone, particularly women who have the most room for growth and creating jobs, has access to capital, policy makers, contracting opportunities and the network of knowledge and influencers that can make a business boom.”

(See photos from the event and read the resolution.  Note: The resolution references February 22, 2010, the original date of the event, which was re-scheduled due to changes in the Senate calendar. )

Orrock and Joy were joined by several local women business owners to kick off the annual event, who were formally recognized in the Senate Chamber by Georgia’s Lietuenant Governor Casey Cagle and the entire Senate body.  The day was supported by Justin’s Restaurant located at 2200 Peachtree Road in Atlanta, which provided the luncheon, as well as the Georgia Department of Economic Development that made a special presentation to the group.