No Place Like Home

Event Planners, Antonia Calzetti & Brenda Yagmin

Antonia Calzetti & Brenda Yagmin

Spending your life at parties doesn't sound like a bad gig, does it? That's exactly what Antonia Calzetti, 34, and Brenda Yagmin, 28, decided when they opened Conjure Marketing & Event Design in October 1999. The two met and became friends while working for a small catering company; when their boss wanted to take the business in another direction, Calzetti and Yagmin opted to start their own company instead, utilizing the skills they developed together.

The start-up costs were minimal-less than $500 for their letterhead and logo, since they already had the computers. The hard part, as with several of the other entrepreneurs we talked to, was finding clients-but they've solved that problem with broad-based marketing efforts, including standard press releases to media outlets and direct mailings to clients. They also share their party-planning expertise with a few wedding publications, "just to get our name out there," says Yagmin.

The entrepreneurs, both with homes just outside New York City, communicate mostly by phone and e-mail. And there's no regular work weeks here. "We focus [on the business] seven days a week," says Calzetti. "But you really have to have a structure for that, because if you don't, it's going to be 24 hours a day."

Like being the backstage crew of an event? Life Of The Party sets the stage on how to be an event planner.

Calzetti and Yagmin's unique approach to party planning and their dedication to giving each client a special experience takes time, but their work is paying off, with sales expected to hit about $100,000 this year. But the real bottom line? Says Calzetti, "We party every day."

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This article was originally published in the September 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: No Place Like Home.

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