Today we’d like to introduce you to Elisabeth Accardi.
Elisabeth, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was a musical theatre actress in NYC for many years, pounding the pavement, touring around the US, summer stock in Maine…. more auditions and working (in between acting gigs) with NYC event planners hosting private events. The day I decided my acting career was over, I moved to Boston (I went to college at Boston University and knew I would one day return to this beautiful city). I had decided I would try my hand at teaching- acting, singing, movement, cooking and art classes to children in Boston’s Back Bay, South End, and Charlestown.
I taught at Spruce Street Nursery School, John Winthrop, Beacon Hill Nursery, Hill House, Cambridge Center For The Arts and Boston Center for Adult Education. In a short time my classes filled up quickly and there were crazy waiting lists to join… there was an incredible demand! I absolutely loved developing curriculums and teaching, but there was something more I wanted to do with my boundless energy and creativity… I knew I wanted to produce events. Before I knew it, I was planning parties for children in my classes and as word quickly spread, the parties grew and evolved…. starting with small birthday parties to social gatherings, intimate events to producing and designing weddings and large galas.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Of course, there have been ups and downs, most of all internal. I didn’t believe I could grow my business at the rate I did. I like to give 500% to my clients and I spend so much attention to every detail – there were not enough hours in the day to complete my tasks. I was spread so thin there were moments I didn’t believe I could get thru the planning stages to produce the perfect event. Luckily I brought on my assistant who is also a graphic designer and keeps me on track-especially during the busy times where we both multitask around the clock!
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Upon A Star Events – what should we know?
I have been the proud owner of Upon A Star for over 18 years. I would describe my events as colorful, playful, energetic with a whole lot of whimsical! Every event is completely unique and custom designed for each particular client. Birthdays, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Galas, Weddings, Corporate Events, I love the diversity! No client is the same so no event should be! My clients are often taken back by my insane creativity. There are times I can visualize an entire event from beginning to end, right in the middle of an initial meeting.
When you call my office, my clients talk to me on the phone and I continue to work with them directly thru the entire process-I make sure each client gets the exclusive attention they deserve. I often get on the phone and meet with the guest of honor in the planning process to get a better idea of who they are and how I can best incorporate their personality and style into the event. My “weekends off” are often spent doing extensive research on finding the newest hottest trends to make the events I work on POP!! As an Event Planner my job is to produce and direct an event-work with vendors (the actors) to produce the “live show”. This is where my past comes in as an actress. Parallel careers really…. the planning stages are the rehearsal and the event is the live production.
Unfortunately there is no dress rehearsal. You have to think quickly on your feet making each moment seem to the guests (the audience) flawless! There is a lot of pressure but this is what drives me to be the best in the business-I am a very hard worker and a perfectionist at heart. Every detail matters. I strive to make my clients excited through the entire process and I just love to throw in an element of surprise along the way. It is my goal for every guest of honor and their event to stand out from the others!
How about a coffee bar with a sign that says “wake me up before you go go” to doctors and nurses as they continue their rounds after a holiday event or an interactive animal game wall (amongst each game that used the 5 senses) with buzzers for guests to press as they identify the animal sound. I have built custom decor displays, hands-on centerpieces, developed theatrical scripts, designed beautiful tablescapes, modeled DIY’s for clients websites, staged product photo shoots, customized trade show booths, organized guests activities and weekend excursions, designed custom logos and created room packages and numerous activity stations at hotels!
Last year I created “the Pop Shop” an onsite activity station clients are able to book for their guests to create their own unique take-home favor! This is a HUGE HIT for Adults and Kids alike at an Upon A Star event. Some stations have been; Varsity Player Name and Number Sweatshirts for a sports-themed Bar Mitzvah, designer Surf Bracelets for a Corporate Hawaiin Pacific event and Bath Ice Cream Sundaes for an Arctic Blast Adventure the ideas are endless!
Dream it and I will make it happen!
Who else deserves credit – have you had mentors, supporters, cheerleaders, advocates, clients or teammates that have played a big role in your success or the success of the business? If so –who are they and what role did they plan / how did they help.
My husband and my kids are my cheerleaders really! They are what makes me tick. They have spent countless hours helping me prep events, load up my car, listening to my dilemmas or late night rants and letting me catch up on sleep after an event. They have made suggestions (critical and painful sometimes) and have also praised me for my accomplishments. I am truly the luckiest to have there support and understanding with this far from a glamorous career I have chosen, but yet love just the same!
- Address: 7 Chatham Rd.
Andover, MA 01810
- Website: www.uponastar.net
- Phone: 617.797.5562
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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