A Corporate Event from New York to Dallas!

We teamed up with Public Relations agency Dada Goldberg to help produce two great events last week for GROHE, a German based company and leading provider of premium kitchen and bath faucets, showers and shower systems. The first event was held at their New York City showroom and included a panel discussion and concept reveal of two bathroom installations; one designed by Slades and the other by Viñas, both constructed by Situ Studio.

Michael Stuart provided catering and created a southern comfort menu which included chicken & waffles, shrimp & grits and fish tacos.

There was a wonderful turnout for the event with a great story about it in Interior Design Magazine.

The second event was a conversation with leading Dallas designers about trends for kitchens and bathrooms that took place at the Center for Architecture in Dallas, a market that GROHE has newly entered.

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Two Sisters provided catering and created a German inspired menu which included German cheeses, soft pretzels and mini dark ale roasted beef sandwiches. Drinks were provided by Pogo’s Wine & Spirits and our wonderful serving staff was provided by Top Tier.

Happy New Year from KBNY!

In less than 12 hours we will be ringing in the new year whist toasting to champagne and contemplating resolutions for 2014. I always look forward to the beginning of a new year for many different reasons. I love reflecting on all the accomplishments from the previous year, setting new goals which challenge me to grow both individually and within my business, and looking ahead at all the possibilities for creating special memories with my clients and those around me.

As I ponder on the weddings and events that Karen Brown New York has been part of the past year, I can’t help but feel overjoyed. I am extremely fortunate to have worked with so many amazing clients and supportive vendors. You have all made my job so easy, even in moments of crisis. Memories were made, charities have benefited and we partied way past our bedtimes. 2013 was most definitely an unforgettable year!

Here is a video recap of our year in wedding and event planning and the song “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz was inspired by a client’s wedding where the bride sang this song to her husband in a flashmob performance. Enjoy!

Company Picnic in Central Park!

It was a delight working with my client Colonial Consulting again on their annual company picnic and the upside to this year was that we were actually able to have it in Central Park! Last year we had to make the dreadful decision to have it indoors at their office due to rain. Luckily we couldn’t have asked for better weather this year!

The day started with a pre-party at their office which included sangria and a few yummy snacks.

For the picnic at Central Park we reserved Mineral Springs and had BBQ catered by Virgil’s and custom clown cake pops by Haute So Sweet.

For entertainment we had a clown and face painting by Kiki’s Faces & Balloons and caricature artist, Steve Nyman.

To see more pictures, please visit the Karen Brown New York Facebook page.

5% Goes to Planned Parenthood NYC!

After planning a fabulous event at Grohe America with DADA Goldberg for New York Design Week, they chose Planned Parenthood NYC for their 5% donation – another Event that Gives Back!“.

An excerpt from their website:

“For more than 90 years, Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) has been a beacon of hope for the thousands of women, teens, and families who rely on us for essential reproductive health care, innovative educational programs, and effective advocacy.”

“Believing that “Planning is Power,” we promote awareness about contraception as part of our commitment to prevention and proactive education. Likewise, our community and educational initiatives empower teens and adults to make informed and healthy decisions. At the same time, PPNYC works to protect the right of every woman to decide for herself when and whether to become a parent.”

New York Design Week!

I had the opportunity to work with DADA Goldberg and Grohe for the launch of their new product, Grandera, during New York Design Week. The New York City showroom is spectacular and was perfect for a cocktail event.

Photo credit: grohe.com

Photo credit: grohe.com

Architects, Interior Designers and the press were invited to GROHE Live! Center to get  a sneak peak of the newest, architecturally inspired Grandera collection and had the opportunity to experience and interact with digital water art by French artist Antonin Fourneau’s. It was the first time his Water Light Graffiti installation was featured in New York City.

To see more pictures of the installation and the event please visit the Karen Brown New York Facebook page.

Tasting at AYZA!

Last Thursday I had a private tasting at Ayza West Village with the Director of Public Relations & Marketing, Irem Eren.

I’ve been to the Midtown location several times for their famous chocolate martinis but have never eaten there. I was quite impressed with the variety of selections presented at the tasting!

To start, we had the assorted cheese platter with French Brie, Tete de Moine, Wild Boar Prosciutto, Di Parma, agave paste and hummus.

The second course was Angry Chicken Lollipops, Shrimp Dumplings, White Truffle Pizza, Hot Artichoke, Wild Mushroom Pita Tart and our wine selections were a Torrentes, Chardonnay, Garnacha and Tempranillo.

For dessert the chef presented us with assorted chocolate truffles from Jacques Torres.

There were so many things I enjoyed but I have to say my favorites were the white truffle pizza, Tete de Moine from the cheese platter (which was also shaved to look like petals from a flower) and Ayza’s very own wine, Garnacha.

The West Village location is ideal for a private event, whether it’s a birthday or anniversary, a bridal shower, engagement party or wedding brunch – it has a cozy and comfortable atmosphere and they have different party packages to meet your needs. It’s also a great place for a romantic date or a girl’s night out. They even have Live Jazz Monday’s from 7-10pm if you’re looking for a fun group outing!

Happy Holidays from KBNY!

2012 was such a wonderful year for Karen Brown New York! We had the pleasure of working with so many wonderful clients and creating unforgettable events for their special occasions.

Here is a video recap of our year in event planning and the charities that benefited from “An Event that Gives Back!”.

5% goes to Jersey Cares!

After planning a VIP holiday party at Madame Tussauds for my corporate client, they chose Jersey Cares for their 5% donation – another Event that Gives Back!

An excerpt from their website:

Jersey Cares, a nonprofit organization, established in 1993, recruits and engages volunteers in rewarding, effective efforts that address community-identified needs. We partner with local nonprofits to identify needs and implement volunteer projects to meet these needs. We provide individuals, families, corporate employees and community groups with a wide variety of volunteer opportunities that range from tutoring children to painting new murals in schools.”

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Holiday Party at Madame Tussaud’s!

Hands down, one of my favorite client holiday parties this year was at Madame Tussaud’s. I had never been inside the museum before my first site visit during the planning process. It just felt like one of those touristy type attractions that you would only go to if you were a tourist but after going I was actually quite impressed with the realness of statues and the grandeur of the Star Room, the private room for events.

The museum is over 85,000 square feet and has over 200 wax figures expanding through nine levels. There are several different rooms which group the wax figures into genres; actors, news anchors, sports figures, musicians, politicians, superheroes, and more. There is even one level dedicated just to New York; Statue of Liberty, a Yellow Cab, famous New Yorkers such as Woody Allen, Al Roker, Matt Lauer, Beyonce, the Rockettes, etc.

On the day of the party, festivities started at my client’s office with a “Yankee Swap” (also known as “White Elephant”) gift exchange and custom holiday cookies by Me Too Cakes.

A few hours later I helped prepare the in-house cocktail party, then headed to Madame Tussaud’s to set up final decorations and make sure everything was ready to go before guests arrived.

The party started with cocktails in the Star Room, a star-studded affair including the newly unveiled Jennifer Aniston!

From there, guests went on a self-guided tour of the wax museum, ending with a Superhero short film in the 4D Cinema, a ultra-sensory experience with special effects including wind, snow, mist, scent and digital surround sound.

Guests were then brought back to the Star Room for a buffet dinner, more cocktails and delicious dessert!

Catering by Café Metro, one of the preferred vendors for Madame Tussaud’s.

Catering by Café Metro, one of the preferred vendors for Madame Tussaud’s.

Cake by Me Too Cakes

Cake by Me Too Cakes

Cake by Me Too Cakes

Cake by Me Too Cakes

At the end of the night everyone left with a custom cake pop (or two!) from Haute So Sweet.

To see more pictures, please visit the Karen Brown New York Facebook page.

Visiting Chef Dinner at the Yale Club!

Each month the Yale Club hosts a “Visiting Chef Dinner” and last night I had the honor of attending the October dinner with photographer Lina Jang. We were guests of Kevin O’Brien, Director of Food & Beverage and the visiting chef was Carmen Quagliata, Executive Chef and Partner at Union Square Café, a Danny Meyer restaurant.

The menu consisted of four courses and included wine pairings and cooking demonstrations. Everything was absolutely scrumptious! For the appetizer we had sunchoke sformato with white truffles, first course was hand-rolled garganelli with speck, brussel sprouts and sage, second course was beef braised in barolo with polenta and root vegetables, and the third course was a honeycrisp apple cobbler with sour cream ice cream. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

If you’re not familiar with the Union Square Café, they have received The New York Times’ three-star rating twice, and also earned Zagat Survey’s #1 ranking as New York’s Most Popular Restaurant for the past nine years and have numerous James Beard Foundation Awards. They also have a mission to support the community, delivering meals to patients of the Jacob Perlow Hospice Center at Beth Israel Hospital, and buy most of their ingredients from the Union Square Greenmarket.

In addition to the restaurant, they have a venue called located in the Hudson Yards neighborhood called Kitchen with spectacular views of the Hudson River. The space is available for seated dinners, cooking classes, film shoots, cocktail receptions, and more. If that wasn’t enough, they also operate Union Square Events’ which offers off-premise catering for special events.

The Yale Club is also a spectacular place for events; whether you’re looking for a wedding venue with outdoor space or private dinner with your closest friends, their facilities are open to the public but there is a screening process if you’re not a member.

Catch-up over Cake Pops!

After being a repeat cake pop customer of Haute So Sweet, I finally got the chance to catch up with the owner Michelle this week at Birch Coffee.

After doing a lot of business with a vendor it’s always nice to be able connect on a personal level. As a relatively new business owner I’m always looking for ways to improve my processes and structure and Michelle had a lot of great advice to share! I was also able to see more of her cake designs and learn more about that side of her business. She even brought me red velvet and cookies & cream cake pops which was such a thoughtful gift, especially since I’m always ordering them for my clients and never get to indulge myself!

Holiday Party Planning at Madame Tussauds!

I am thrilled to be working with my corporate client, Colonial Consulting, on their holiday party at Madame Tussauds! Although the venue offers in-house planning, I am honored that my client prefers that I am on-hand to make sure the evening runs smoothly. Let the planning begin!

5% Goes to USO!

After planning an amazing summer picnic for my client Colonial Consulting, they chose USO for their 5% donation – another Event that Gives Back!

An excerpt from their website:

 “…USO fulfills its mission of lifting the spirits of America’s troops and their families. Through the USO, you touch their lives through an extensive range of programs at more than 160 locations in 27 states and 14 countries, and at hundreds of entertainment events each year. Thousands of USO volunteers do everything possible to provide a home away from home for our troops and to keep them connected to the families they left behind.”

“The USO makes sure your help goes to those who need it the most: troops serving in combat, their families, our wounded warriors and their families, and families of the fallen.”

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Flowers & Giving Back!

I recently discovered Martha Watson Flower Design, a boutique flower design studio, when I was looking for a florist in Chatham, New Jersey. The business website drew me in and I was extremely impressed with her creative designs and high quality. Martha has been in business for about a year and is completely hands on, providing very personalized service. She caters to corporate clients, individuals, hotels, restaurants and galleries that desire something a little more unique than an average floral arrangement.

Here is an excerpt from her website:

“Drawing from my background in design and photography, my organic style brings together a sense of color, texture, and form. Merging local plant materials as well as those from other places, I design provocative living art with flowers.”

Another reason I was excited to find Martha is that she believes in “giving back”, something I am very passionate about. Her inspiration came from reading Start Something that Matters by Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS shoes. In his book he describes the “one for one” model which Martha has found ways to put in place within her business of flowers. She uses leftover flowers that weren’t able to fit in a particular arrangement, makes them into something special and takes them to someone or to a place in order to spread joy. Most recently she has made leftover arrangements for a local soup kitchen.

Clown Pops!

I like to close out events by sending my clients a gift and for my recent corporate client I chose to send them custom cake pops by Haute So Sweet. I decided to go with a clown since their event was a carnival themed picnic.

Michelle from Haute So Sweet delivered them personally to my client and they were absolutely thrilled with the afternoon sweet treat! Michelle even put my logo on a few of the pops which I just loved.

Rain or Shine!

I have been working with my corporate client for the past few months, planning their 1st Annual Central Park Picnic, and as luck would have it the weather had a different idea for our fun-filled day. The forecast showed a 60% chance of rain with scattered thunderstorms starting at noon and lasting throughout the afternoon. Unfortunately we had to make the dreadful decision to have the picnic indoors. Luckily we had a contingency plan in place (their office) and although it was a bit of a disappointment not to be outside everyone had a fantastic time!

The BBQ from Virgil’s was absolutely delicious and the serving staff did an excellent job making sure everyone was taken care of.

For kids entertainment we hired Kiki’s Face Painting & Balloons for the kids to have their faces painted and be amused by a clown who did a magic show and made balloons into a variety of shapes. The kids absolutely LOVED them and the parents were extremely happy that their children were being occupied with fun activities.

We also hired Steven Nyman, a very talented caricature artist who was a HUGE hit with all of the employees. His artistic ability is utterly remarkable!

For more pictures please visit the Karen Brown New York Facebook page.

Cotton Candy & Cracker Jacks!

After several phone conversations and a signed contract, I finally got to meet my corporate client in person at their Midtown office. They have a group called the PPC (Party Planning Committee) who has the task of organizing their office parties and for the first time they’ve decide to hire outside help. That’s when they contacted me for their 1st Annual Company Picnic!

When first meeting a client, I like to greet them with a gift to get them excited about their upcoming event. For this client, I put together a fun basket full of carnival themed treats. I chose this idea because their thought is to have a carnival themed picnic in Central Park.

I picked up the basket from Chelsea Market Baskets and bought a variety of carnival themed treats from various shops around the city, including cake pops from Ruthy’s at Chelsea Market. I also made a carnival flag by hand with their company name.

They were so thrilled to receive this basket of goodies and now they’re thinking about doing something similar for the employee’s children at the picnic!

Taste of 2012 at the French Culinary Institute!

The French Culinary Institute hosted a “meet and greet” for wedding and event planners last night at their Loft, a beautiful venue space located in Soho on Crosby Street. They served liquid nitrogen cocktails, had wine tastings with food pairings, cake tastings by Ron Ben-Israel from Food Network’s Sweet Genius, and there were several table settings designed to set the mood for the spring season which will be upon us (soon I hope!).

Guests were also able to partake in hands-on cooking activities, creating our own spring rolls and chocolate bars. 

The venue is perfect for a small wedding and/or reception, private social gatherings, or corporate team building event.

To see more pictures from the event, check out my Facebook album.

5% Goes to the Michael J. Fox Foundation!

After planning an open house party for my corporate client CounterPoint Strategies, they allowed me to choose where their 5% donation went so I chose the Michael J. Fox Foundation  – and it’s another Event that Gives Back!

An excerpt from their website:

“The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson’s today.”