I’m super excited to share today’s post: Interview with Kimberly Schlegel Whitman + giveaway of her latest book, The Party Planner! Kimberly has been a friend and supporter of mine since I started Pizzazzerie and she’s also a fellow author at our publisher, Gibbs Smith! She’s also the new Editor-At-Large for Southern Living Magazine. Full of grace + style, all of Kimberly’s books are fabulous for entertaining lovers, especially The Party Planner!
Her latest book is drop.dead.gorgeous and a MUST HAVE for all party-lovers. It’s full of fabulous sections on style, menu planning, organizing, etc. Plus, cute little tips from Kimberly sprinkled throughout. I honestly might have to use it to organize my wedding as it’s that fabulous.
INTERVIEW WITH KIMBERLY SCHLEGEL WHITMAN
1. What inspired you to be a party + entertaining expert? Have you always loved throwing parties?
I loved watching my mother throw parties as I was growing up. My parents always had an open door and a “the more the merrier” attitude. I loved that! I am also totally type A but love the creative process so organizing events was a fun way for me to put both in to practice! I went to SMU and studied Art History thinking that I would be an Art Historian. I moved to New York and was in the Christies Education Program while I was planning my Idlewild Debut in Dallas. The party planning process was so exciting and I realized that I really had a passion for it. I didn’t realize that I could make a living from it until my mother’s friends started asking to borrow her extensive collection of china and linens. I had an Ah ha! moment when she joked and said “we should be charging for this!”
2. What one piece of advice do you have for women interested in the event + entertaining industry?
Work for experienced professionals that you respect. Volunteer at Charity Events. Get as much experience as possible before diving in. I did the opposite and I wish that I had learned my mistakes before I started my own business!
3. Do you have a favorite type of party to plan? Birthdays? Showers? Weddings?
They are all wonderful because the are celebrations of life’s most memorable moments. I have really enjoyed planning children’s parties for my little toddler because they enjoy them in such an unabashed way but, honestly, nothing beats a Wedding!
4. When planning a party, what are some of the small details that you love to incorporate?
I love stationery and graphic design so I love going the extra step of using place cards and menu cards or putting special tags on party favors. I think paper products are a great way to tie a party or look and theme together from the first impression (the invitation) to the parting gift.
5. How will this book help readers pull together their next party?
There are tips for everything and little lessons that I learned that I hope will really be helpful. There are charts so that you know how much wine to buy if you are entertaining 10 people, 25 people, 1oo people, etc. It is full of checklists and charts so that you can be assured that you are not missing anything. It is also a three-ring binder and it has pocket dividers so you can add your own notes, inspirations and ideas.
6. What are a few trends in parties that you are loving these days?
I love that more people are entertaining at home again. Isn’t it the most warm and welcoming environment?
7. I noticed you’re the Southern Living Editor-At-Large! Congratulations! Can we expect to see more party + entertaining ideas in our favorite Southern magazine?
I am so honored to be a part of the Southern Living team. They are amazing! I have been a Southern Living subscriber for years so this is a dream come true for me. You might see some of my Thanksgiving Tips in the November issue and a Christmas idea of mine in the December issue! I hope you caught my Alfresco Entertaining story in August!
Visit Kimberly’s Website to learn more about Kimberly + her entertaining books!
To enter to win a copy of Kimberly Schlegel Whitman’s latest book – THE PARTY PLANNER, simply leave a comment below letting us know why you’d love to win! Limit 1 entry per contestant. Deadline to enter is Tuesday, September 6th at 11:59pm EST. Winner will be announced Wednesday, September 7th.
Congratulations Jill Gillespie! You are the winner, we will be emailing you soon!