You know the people who bring fun and energy when they walk into a room? If they happen to be event planners you should absolutely hire them to coordinate the details of your next big bash (or maybe become friends and hang out for a weekend in Palm Springs!). Itty Bitty Party Committee consists of Kathleen O’Rourke & Carson Saldivar, two fun lovin’ gals who love-love-love to plan weddings, parties & get-togethers. They were instrumental in planning my fiancé’s 30th birthday party in Vegas this past spring. More importantly (to me!) I looked forward to every call we had scheduled throughout the planning process. I knew I was going to laugh, smile and feel confident about the event. If you’re throwing a soirée of any size, take my word hire these two party-planning entrepreneurs. Find IBPC on Facebook and @IttyBittyParty on Twitter and Instagram.
Why you should know Carson & Kathleen:
We are a full wedding & party planning service in the Los Angeles area. We do everything from full-scale weddings to engagement parties to intimate baby showers. (The gals: Carson – left; Kathleen – right)
What are your big dreams in life?
Kathleen: I’ve been bitten by the travel bug so I dream of traveling Europe, places with sandy beaches & umbrella drinks, (attempting) to hike majestic mountains. But I also have some dreams that may come standard for most people: having great success for Itty Bitty, owning a big house for family to visit often, finding Mr. Right and possibly owning a fleet of furry dogs.
Carson: I rotate on big dreams all the time, but my most current & passionate ones are:
- One day I want to inspire people in my field
- I want to also mentor those wanting to learn
- I want to create something new on a consistent basis – I hate being complacent
- I want my home to be filled with laughter, happiness and people
- I want to write a book
When will you feel like you’ve succeeded?
Kathleen: I will feel like we will have succeeded when we are able to do Itty Bitty full time & support ourselves solely on event planning. I already feel a great amount of success since we have built ourselves from the ground up. Starting out with certification courses that took almost 2 hours to commute to. But of course we used our drive for quality car dance-party bonding time.
Carson: I love checking things off from a list. Knowing that I’ve completed a project that I’ve worked really hard on is such a great feeling. But I want to continue to push myself throughout my business career. I never want to reach a point that I’m just complacent in my day-to-day workflow. I want to wake up and be inspired to reach higher & further.
Kathleen: Wellness to me is coming home at the end of the day feeling accomplished & satisfied with the work that you’ve done. It’s a balance of a fulfilling work, social & healthy lifestyle. Stress is going to happen, no one can avoid it. It’s how you handle stress that’s important.
Carson: Wellness is a state of being in my eyes. It doesn’t know mean you have to have everything figured out & know exactly what’s going to happen every minute of every day, but that you feel in control of making happiness for yourself. To me it means spending time with family, friends & my passions.
How do you take care of you?
Kathleen: A wonderful benefit of working in a duo is that one of us is there to offer support at all times. A built in support system is great for both stress management & not to mention laughs. To take care of myself I exercise & eat a balanced diet. But I’m not going to pretend I’m a saint, I have a sweet tooth & I crave In & Out fries animal style. I try to balance everything out with plenty of fresh foods, veggies & kickboxing (which is great for both fitness & stress relief). I also feel it’s important to maintain good relationships with personal & networking friends while finding the right amount of Me Time. This could consist of a quiet spot on the beach for an hour.
Carson: I do my best to be active with my dog on a daily basis. I also try and buy healthy foods & ingredients since I prepare the meals in our household. I make sure to rest when my body tells me to & listen to myself when my mind or body has concerns.
How do you structure your day?
Kathleen: We both have additional jobs, but our schedules conveniently flip-flop during the day which works out nicely. Carson manages the “morning shift” before she leaves for work; maintaining the social media sites, getting in touch with vendors, making sure our documents are in order. Once I’m off work in the early afternoon, I go into Itty Bitty mode; writing blog posts, crafting up ideas for styled shoots, researching current & future projects or designing any graphics we need. When the weekend rolls around, we’re both ready & in event planning mode.
Carson: Morning is my zen time. I love waking up early. 6-9am are my peak hours every morning. I like the quiet that surrounds me as I start clicking away on my keyboard & get to work firing off emails, contracts and requests to vendors. It’s also easier not to get distracted by the happenings of social media, because everyone’s still in bed. During the week I maintain a few different PR jobs in Los Angeles which I commute to after I spend the morning working with Itty Bitty. I wrap up the average day around 5 and return home where I’ll check back in with Itty Bitty and work with Kathleen to structure the next coming days.
Give us a sense of your environment.
Kathleen: Currently, we work out of our homes & that could mean one day we’re at Carson’s, one day at my house, or one day sippin’ hot bevies at Starbucks. That means folders! folders! folders! Binders, folders, planners & notebooks never leave our side because organization is key. I’ve been pining for a studio with big floor to ceiling windows, open spaces & possibly a photobooth for clients to come in & have fun in before, (during), or after their consultation.
Carson: I love my home office. My husband would say it’s messy but that’s because he’s an engineer. I prefer to think of it as a creative outlet for my inner thoughts. At the beginning of the week I start with a clear desk. As the week progresses I’ll spread out things like contracts, magazine inspirations, timelines & balance statements. I always know where everything is though (minus the one time my label maker went on a 4 days hiatus) and I like to also surround myself with daily inspirations. I keep a shelf above my desk where I place items that remind me of really monumental moments in my work career (ex: a gift from a vendor who’s turned into a dear friend or our graduation gifts from becoming certified event planners). I also keep a cork board directly at eye level with stubs from trips Kathleen & I have taken, or a nametag from at truly rad networking event or even advice tips for bettering business practices from a magazine. I use these to remind myself why I love doing this.
Tell us about your perfect day – start to finish.
Kathleen: One of the best parts of being an event planner is that every day is different. We get to meet new people, see new venues, work on different styles of events. My perfect day could start in a ballroom, on a beach, or in someone’s backyard. It would absolutely consist of happy party guests enjoying the fabulous spread/decorations we laid out!
Carson: My perfect day is a work day – but it’s currently a ways off in the future. Waking up early is key to kicking off this day. I have my morning routine of checking in on the happenings of the web while getting ready and out the door. I’d then be off to the studio (yes, this studio currently lacks a physical address) where I’d meet Kathleen pulling into the parking lot (this isn’t to say we can’t found an Itty Bitty carpool). We’d walk in and greet our employees & interns and really hit the ground running. Idol hands are the devil’s plaything and all that. But I truly look forward to the day that the Committee is not just the two of us. I’m really excited to share what I’ve learned in the industry as well as expand our work family. As for the perfect day…after a productive morning (wrapping up projects, locating vendors, getting approval from clients) I’d love for us to have a fun lunch hour. It’s a chance to talk shop, as well as sharing personal happenings in everyone’s lives. I imagine we order a fun take out or someone brings something home cooked (potluck style!). I always feel more creative after a meal and therefore our afternoon in the studio might consist of more right-brained activities; creating mood boards, trying out different color combinations, sketching out styled shoots, etc. When we reach a collective closing place it’d be time for me to return home to my husband & dog. Cooking is my form of winding down for the day, so I’d prepare dinner for the three of us. The close on this perfect day would be spending an hour with a really good book (currently working my way through the “Game of Thrones” series) and getting to bed early.
Who would leave you star-struck?
Kathleen: Ru Paul. This may stand for both Carson & I. “You bettah WORK!”
Carson: Tabatha Coffey (for her fierce business sense & amazing wardrobe); Ru Paul (for his fierce/fearless attitude) and Zach Galifianakis (for his ability to make me sob from laughter everytime he does an SNL monologue).
A quote that best describes your outlook on life:
Kathleen: “Never half ass two things, whole ass one thing” – Ron Swanson
Carson: “If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.”
Share a secret with us!
Kathleen: It’s quiet possible I’ve seen the movie A League of Their Own over 100 times.
Carson: I’ve emceed a man-pageant before. I’m dead serious.