Today we’d like to introduce you to Cassie LaMere.
Hi Cassie, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
When I look back through childhood photos and videos, I realize that I was born ready to entertain. My mom tells me stories about how I was insistent on making holidays and special occasions a big event; I created menus, suggested attire, baked cakes for celebrations, and designed my own table décor. Growing up in a small town where there was limited access to arts and culture, I was drawn to anything that allowed me to be creative. I found myself seeking out information about artists, entertainers, and destinations from around the world, which furthered my enthusiasm for many of the sources of inspiration that still influence me to this day. Even at a young age, I pursued opportunities to plan and design experiences for others. A child of the performing arts, I began dance lessons at the age of two, was in every choir and play imaginable, and would often write as a way to express myself. Fun fact: one of my poems was published in an anthology of young poets!
I began working at the age of 16 and little did I know that it would ignite a passion in me for experiential design. Hollister was opening a store at our mall, which was a big deal for such a small town, and I was asked to be a part of the opening team. This opportunity was the first time I saw how a brand communicates their point of view and identity through a multi-sensory experience. Every detail was thoughtfully considered and selected for the purposes of transporting the shopper into the world of Hollister. Certainly, this brand has not been without its challenges over the years, but what I took away from this learning opportunity was how to design an experience that was immersive, cohesive, and engaging.
My first job launched me on a path to pursuing a career in fashion and events. I was accepted to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Visual Communications with an emphasis on Event Coordination. Here, I honed my creative point of view and my understanding of the user experience. Earning an additional Bachelor of Marketing degree from Concordia University allowed me to further develop my expertise within our industry and ensure my future agency was well-positioned to oversee every aspect of the design and planning process.
Another significant point in my adolescence was when I was named Miss Missouri Teen 2004. It was a bucket list goal to participate in a pageant before I graduated from high school and trust me when I say, no one was more surprised than me when I won the first pageant I had ever participated in. I sometimes shy away from telling people about my role as Miss Missouri Teen because there’s often preconceived notions or judgment about pageants and the type of values they’re instilling. I can only speak from my own personal experience, but winning this pageant changed the entire trajectory of my life and I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. I was severely bullied in school and had been enduring a period of sustained grief after experiencing the loss of six friends over a short period of time. Becoming Miss Missouri Teen gave me the tools and confidence I needed to rise above these challenges. I had the honor and privilege of meeting with elected officials, including receiving a proclamation from the Governor, traveled across the state participating in speaking engagements at schools encouraging my peers to participate in philanthropy, and I attended numerous community and charitable events. Through this organization, I had the opportunity to travel to LA for the first time and the exposure this platform provided me opened my world to the possibilities of choosing a different path for my future.
As I began my career in the fashion industry in LA, I was part of a team that oversaw the store openings for Michael Kors. Each were essentially their own event and working with a major household name taught me so much about the importance of a clear, cohesive brand identity. The expertise I developed in one of the top fashion cities in the world launched me forward into a long-term career of designing luxury experiences.
Following a move to Austin, I began working for Lexus as director of their Experiential Marketing. Here, I created lifestyle events for a highly prestigious brand focused on delivering one-of-a-kind experiences that engaged with both clients and philanthropic organizations in the community. Highlights from my eight years with the company included planning a grand opening celebration for over 1,000 esteemed guests, including dignitaries from Japan, and helping raise millions of dollars for local organizations.
With more than 14 years of experience planning events for luxury brands, I decided to take the leap and start my own boutique event design and planning agency in 2018. I consider bootstrapping my company from the ground up and solely funding my own business my greatest achievement to date. Operating as an entrepreneur in a city that champions small businesses gives me such a sense of pride and also responsibility.
During the pandemic, our agency committed to utilizing, at minimum, two other local vendors on each of our projects, to bring vital opportunities to the fellow small businesses we have the privilege of working with.
Since an early age, a servant’s heart has motivated me to devote my time, talent, and treasure to philanthropic causes and volunteer leadership positions. A pillar of our business is our commitment to donating event planning and consulting services to our agency’s non-profit partners. In a year where many companies were declining charitable requests due to a constraint on resources, we donated over $12,000 in event planning services to non-profit organizations to assist them in raising critical funds for their mission.
I am so proud to say we are still standing and that we have lifted others up along the way.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
We design events for a life well-lived. Witnessing the devastating loss of six friends and being faced with the concept of mortality at a formidable young age, it became apparent to me how essential it was that we all take the opportunity to celebrate life’s occasions, both big and small. This journey led me to dedicating my life to our mission of creating events that help people connect and make memories. I consider it a privilege to provide someone a meaningful experience that they will remember for the rest of their life. Our work is about so much more than just a fabulous party; it makes me proud to know that Cassie LaMere Events is helping individuals and companies design personalized, engaging events that have a lasting impact.
After a year of our lives being on pause, we are all moving forward with a renewed appreciation for the ability to connect and gather. My hope for others is that they don’t wait to celebrate or mark an occasion, my wish is that they’ll seize everyday opportunities to create a life well-lived, and our purpose is to help people make memories that will last a lifetime.
How do you define success?
Success is about celebrating the wins, big and small, and placing value only on what is important to you. My definition of success is ever evolving but often measured in two things: how you feel about yourself and how you make others feel. It is not without a team of inspiring, committed individuals, mentors, and colleagues that I have gotten to where I am, and it has always been my priority to take care of our community. I believe that our vendors are as essential as our clients. Every person plays a valuable role in the choreography of an event experience and it’s not lost on me the sacrifices they make to contribute to our collective success. I am at my best when I’m able to create, fulfill my purpose, and surprise and delight guests. This is all made possible when our team is set up for success and they have the opportunity to do what they do best- that’s when the event sings!
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: cassielamereevents.com
- Instagram: @cassielamereevents
- Other: https://www.partyslate.com/event-pros/cassie-lamere-events
McLendon Photography, Ben Porter Photography, Jerry Hayes Photography