Today we’d like to introduce you to Camille Ross.
Camille, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
After graduating college in 2010 (during the economic crisis) jobs were few and far between. You “had to know someone” and that someone I knew was an event planner in Austin, Texas who gave me my first taste of the event planning scene. I landed an unpaid internship (like everyone my age) with an event planning company in Austin and worked there my first year out of college learning about the luxury market. At the end of my year with them, my husband was recruited out of graduate school with a company in Memphis, Tennessee so I made the move with him. I landed an unusual gig for someone my age running a wedding planning company taking on all responsibilities for client planning and execution. I was definitely young and prepared for a “fake it until you make it” situation but things came so naturally and I knew I was hooked. I already knew events “were it” for me, but it’s during my time running Cheers Event Planning that I realized weddings were really it. By 26, I knew that I wanted to own my own (weddings only) company one day. Like any adventurous couple in their late 20’s with no kids, we jumped on an opportunity in 2015 and moved to Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands. My husband was asked to transfer to a Caribbean-based branch of his accounting firm and we couldn’t say no. I knew that weddings would be challenging to achieve, and it was. I made the switch to a hospitality company managing luxury events for a restaurant group. Despite the lack of weddings, we did some pretty freaking fantastic events and I worked for and with many celebrities in the film and culinary industries. Here’s where things move quickly and where plans for Elsie Event Co. immediately kicked into place strategically. I knew I needed to work my way up, pay my dues (under my own company name), and re-enter the Austin event market in the right way. After two years in Grand Cayman, we returned to Austin.
When we returned to the United States, I knew I needed to seek full-time employment while slowly growing my own company on the side. I worked for the Four Seasons for a year when we moved back to Austin. After worked for two event planning companies (in different markets), a restaurant group and now a hotel, I felt I was gaining undeniable experience in all facets of the industry. Hotel life is not for the faint of heart and it was a lifestyle I could not manage! Things with Elsie Event Co. were slowly progressing and that’s when I fell in love with Uchi & Uchiko. After the Four Seasons didn’t turn out as I expected, I left and for three and a half years, I planned and executed the events for Uchi, Uchiko and Loro. Back to hospitality world, I know! I fell very much in love with this company, its clientele, demand for excellence and surreal humility. As fate would have it, Elsie Event Co. hit the ground running and after three years, I could no longer manage both Uchi(Ko) and the rapidly growing list of brides! The biggest blessing and most challenging exit of my career. At the end of the day, I had finally achieved what that 26 year old me had always wanted! I made the switch full-time in 2020, grew my team and made it through a pandemic! The level of gratitude is surreal. We love this city, we love this market and could not do this without a team of talented “friendors” and beloved brides who keep us going!
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Being a workaholic is never a smooth road. When I think of the smooth road (or not!) I think of that road in my personal life. Professionally, it’s been a smooth road. I’ve made some indescribable connections, made lifelong friendships, worked hard and kept in good graces with all former employers. The road hasn’t always been so smooth behind the scenes. I have spent many years “glorifying over-working” or working myself into the ground. This isn’t always the best and I haven’t handled it the best, always. Easing into my 30’s and having a child changed a lot for me. Priorities changed, my workload capacity changed, my availability changed and I think that forced me to pave a smoother road. I am grateful for that too!
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Our company specializes in wedding planning, providing hospitable, above-and-beyond service to our clients. We pride ourselves on organization, availability, hospitality and relationships. Event logistics are where we shine and are thankfully part of an event market that highlights community over competition. We are native Austinites providing long-standing connections to the community and set ourselves apart by bending over backward for our clients and industry peers.
How do you think about luck?
Life is always a little about luck. When the economy crashed in 2008-2010, jobs were scarce. I am incredibly lucky to have even landed an unpaid internship out of college, which was rare in itself. That was my foot in the door and I would be foolish to think that wasn’t incredibly lucky! Since then, I have worked myself in the ground to repay the luck, but I am so grateful to have had my start. I will never forget it.
- Pricing begins at $6,000 for full-service planning.
- Pricing begins at $3,000 for wedding coordination.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.elsieeventco.com
- Instagram: @elsieeventco
- Facebook: @elsieeventco
- Twitter: @elsieeventco
Julie Wilhite Photography, Sloane Photo, Sarah Tribett Photo, Rob & Deanna, Britni Dean Photography, Melanie Wright Photography, and Twinty Photography