Atlanta Belle Finds Creative Freedom in Event Planning Company

As a science major in college, Khiara Cureton was longing to tap into her creative side. She was able to do just that after deciding to intern for an event planner. Soon, she realized that her true passion was event planning and stepped out on faith to launch a business of her own. Today, she owns The Fête Loft, a wedding and event planning services company that curates dozens of beautiful southern weddings and events.

Your Name:

Khiara Cureton

Business Name:

The Fête Loft-Weddings & Events

What You Provide:

Wedding & Event Planning Services

Where are you based?

Atlanta, Georgia but we love to travel!

Why did you decide to start a business?

I started off in the wedding & event planning industry five years ago and loved it! I was a science major in college and working in events allowed me to tap into my creative side. After interning and working for a few talented event planners I realized that I had the potential to curate events for clients on my own. I took a little leap of faith and ta-da, here I am!

What is your website?

www.thefeteloft.com

Who are some of your business idols?

Preston Bailey, David Tuter, Colin Cowie, Mindy Weiss, Jacqueline Nwobu, Sheryl Sandberg

Do you have any mentors?

Yes! Mentors are so important to the success of any decision you make in life. I have personal mentors and I also have business mentors who work directly in the wedding and event industry. Mentors are able to enlighten you with lessons they learned before you make a decision for yourself or business. They are positive influencers who can always “pick you up” and help you remember why you may have started your business in the first place. Other than having a mentor, I think it is also vital to serve as a mentor. There is always someone who is currently in the same place you were 10 years ago, and you could very well be the person who helps move them to the next step!

What do you love about planning southern weddings?

OMG! When I think of planning southern weddings, I think of the elegance and charm elements that are tied together. I enjoy having guest feel like they are at home and how much family is incorporated in the whole production, the culture of the south, and southern traditions all into one pot to create a meaningful beautiful, timeless, memorable event.

What are some of your favorite bride stories?

My favorite part of the wedding ceremony is watching the groom’s reaction as he catches a glimpse of his bride for the first time.

What is your favorite southern wedding tradition and why?

I love the idea of the bridesmaid’s luncheon! Although, many people still host bridal showers and rehearsal dinners, the bridesmaid’s luncheon allows the bride to show off her Southern hospitality! Instead of traditionally everyone catering to the bride, this luncheon allows the bride to play host to all of her bridesmaid and the important women in her life who have helped her prepare for her wedding day and show her appreciation.

Outside of weddings, what other events do you like to plan?

Weddings are my favorite but I also love to plan birthday parties and surprise proposals.

What is your favorite thing about being southern?

Warm Weather for sure! Although the weather has changed a bit, there is nothing more than having your guest feel so comfortable during the warm southern nights, whether hosting a summer wedding or just having Sunday family dinner!

What is your favorite southern dish?

I love all food(except red meat) so this is a hard one! I love loaded mac-n-cheese, cornbread, fried okra, greens with hot sauce, banana pudding, shrimp & grits, BBQ chicken…all of it is just yumtastic!

What is the most important thing you have done to build your business?

Invest in effective marketing! Marketing is not my strong suit, and something I strive to get better with daily. As a creative business owner it feels like you have to keep up with everything on the market! Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Periscope, Snapchat, blogging and the list goes on. It can definitely feel overwhelming.  We are definitely visual creatures, therefore I’ve realized the importance of having cohesive branding and marketing on all of my social sites. To assist with this, so that it didn’t seem too overbearing, I created a social media posting schedule along with themes I would post about each month. This has helped me get more focused on how and what to market to clients. I’ve also invested in a business coach, who has helped me develop a lot of necessary business elements to keep things running smoothly.

What are your favorite brands?

Tory Burch, Kate Spade, Lillly Pulitzer, J.Crew.

What is your favorite item or piece of clothing to wear/use while doing business?

My iPhone is always in my hand for communication purposes and I always have to have chapstick on my lips. My favorite piece of clothing to wear are my Tory Burch flats! LOL I usually try and wear heels during the ceremony but after that, I slip on my flats so that I can be extremely mobile during the dinner seating and reception.

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Planner:

The Fête Loft 

Venue:

Peachtree Club, Atlanta Georgia 

Design & Florals:

Ciao Bella Weddings

Photography:

Bri McDaniel Photography 

Videographer:

Rodinis Films  

DJ:

DJ Sixfive

Musicians:

Classy Chicks

Cake:

Confection Perfection

Michiel Perry

Michiel is a Black Southern Belle living a lowcountry life. I love all things fashion, home decor and southern! When I am not running around doing fun stuff for Black Southern Belle, I live in antique stores and have a minor obsession with historic homes 🙂

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