Blaire Kimball of BKD Florals and I met at a Starbucks on a cold evening in December. My then-fiancé and I were six months away from our wedding and our families were driving us crazy. Plus, there was still so much to be done and I had no idea where to even begin.
The first things anyone will notice about Blaire when they meet her is her big smile, her infectious positive attitude and her passion for her work. The moment we started talking, I knew that we would be hiring her. Like I literally went home and told my fiancé that I had found “the one” haha. What set Blaire apart from other planners we had met with? She came brimming with ideas and excitement and we knew that with her over eight years of experience in the event planning industry, we could trust her to handle any situation planning our wedding would throw at us--which would end up being a lot.
Hiring Blaire for six month coordination of our wedding was a no-brainer and the best decision we made for our big day. It’s crucial that you get along with your coordinator because they will be the person you talk to the most leading up to your wedding...other than the person you’re going to be marrying. She defused stressful situations with our friends, families and vendors; she helped us find and book affordable, talented vendors; she took our initial idea of a modern Renaissance wedding and ran full steam with it, not missing any detail (even attended the Ren Faire with us for inspiration); she talked me down during a late night freak out about our budget; and most importantly, she made sure that we totally, thoroughly, unequivocally enjoyed our wedding day that all couples spend many months and many dollars planning. She made sure my husband and I had moments alone to connect as a newly married couple, she made sure we ate food and drank water, she made sure we had no idea if anything was going wrong, she stood up to people who needed to be stood up to in the most gracious way possible, and she danced the final few songs with us as this amazing day came to a close.
Even though Blaire lives every moment with zest and sparkle, the journey to get to where she is today was not easy.
“Being a Mixed Chick--Black and White--from Ohio, it was a very, very hard road as a kid,” she said. “I looked different. My skin, hair, and eyes were all different than the traditional cultural norms of Black and White children. Even as an adult, to feel accepted and appreciated was always a striving goal.”
But she kept fighting, being authentic to herself, and persevering to build an award-winning business. In this All WOCs of Life interview with Blaire, she opens up about her childhood and family dynamic, her struggles with identity confusion and bullying, and her hope for WOC in the event industry.