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ALLEGANY MAGAZINE MARCH 2022: A Seat at the Table – An Interview with Event and Wedding Planner Colby Lehman | Allegany Magazine

A seat on the desk

Why Cumberland’s Colby Lehman has ‘huge plans’

It is not day-after-day that you just open a 200-page outsized illustrated e-book and discover the identify of a widely known individual on the again. I bear in mind Fort Hill Excessive Faculty graduate Colby Lehman performing in exhibits at Frostburg State College and likewise on the Henhouse Dinner Theaters within the early to mid 2000s. For instance, he was sensible within the FSU manufacturing of Urinetown. After which, about ten years in the past, he moved to the Large Apple to hunt fame and fortune and unfold his wings. Think about my shock as I flipped by a really beautiful design e-book written by EGOT winner Whoopi Goldberg – a full colour picture e-book on tips on how to adorn your lunch and breakfast desk for every big day – with Colby’s within the background learn names – thank him for designing – not designing the e-book – designing the rooms and tables photographed within the e-book. After which I realized that through the peak of the pandemic, Colby had not solely “moved dwelling,” he had introduced his enterprise, his expertise, and his creativity with him. I believed there was going to be a fantastic discuss – which in flip grew to become this story.

WH: Briefly, what would you say you do?

CL: I make issues fairly

WH: How did all of it begin for you?

CL: I began doing occasions in New York Metropolis and labored within the restaurant enterprise there. I do know you understand what it is like, Invoice. And I used to be the proprietor’s assistant they usually employed somebody to do a particular occasion and that individual actually did not know what they have been doing and I knew. It was a wine bar so we did quite a lot of wine occasions.

WH: And then you definitely did extra than simply wine occasions?

CL: I did quite a lot of all the pieces there after which and tried my hand at different occasions. Earlier than COVID I did quite a lot of occasion styling and design work.

WH: They’re thanked within the Whoopi Goldberg Espresso Desk E-book. The unqualified hostess. How did this occur?

CL: The corporate I labored for launched me to Whoopi. And thru a easy dialog, she requested me to do the design. She attended a tea social gathering hosted by the restaurant. And so I ended up going to her home and designing all of the tables and rooms for the e-book – utilizing Whoopi’s personal collections. She is a superb collector.

WH: First Identify Base at Whoopi?

CL: And you understand. Oops. Tyler. oprah I did Oprah Journal’s huge Christmas social gathering after which Tyler Perry’s film premiere social gathering. I did all of the designs, all of the desk and ground layouts – after which the step and repeat design the place all of the picture ops occur, so my work was throughout social media. I did all of that, after which the 2020 pandemic got here alongside and New York actually shut down. However across the similar time I had already made the choice to begin my very own occasion planning and design firm. I had booked occasions in New York. I imply many occasions. After which it was all canceled. Thanks COVID

WH: However you reside right here now? Have you ever come dwelling through the pandemic?

CL: I used to be having a strong yr right here in Cumberland after I determined this space may use one thing like this. It could possibly be a bit of prettier. There aren’t many individuals right here who do the precise styling of occasions. There are marriage ceremony and occasion planners on the market, however none to do the bodily and inventive styling, so I figured this space may use me. And pondering I may begin my enterprise just about anyplace, through the pandemic I made a decision to begin it right here… after which I stayed. At my job, I may do it from anyplace. So why not right here?

WH: Your organization identify is Will-Co-Jack. How did you provide you with the identify, Colby?

CL: Effectively Invoice my full identify is William Colby Lehman so Will Co is named William and Colby collectively and rising up my nickname was Colby Jack – after the cheese so I put that within the identify too.

WH: What occurs when individuals e-book you for an occasion or marriage ceremony?

CL: Folks normally wish to see pictures of my earlier work. Then we speak about style and colours. I am really reserving now for occasions in 2023. Relating to marriage ceremony design, most {couples} really are available in with a listing of issues — and a few of these issues will work and a few of these issues will not.

WH: Do clients provide you with concepts they discovered on-line?

CL: Oh sure. And actually, anybody can get inspiration from Pinterest, however once you actually do, you really want an expert styling.

WH: How is it to be again dwelling?

CL: I am actually in a contented place now. The photographers listed here are improbable to work with and the individuals right here have been nice.

WH: And you have been to the Stone Bridge Occasion Heart typically? You have had quite a lot of weddings there, proper?

CL: I met Shauna (Fiorentino, the proprietor) at Stone Bridge by a mutual good friend so I began emailing her forwards and backwards and I met up along with her. Beginning your personal enterprise is tough, so you could make connections and community. And Shauna and Stone Bridge helped me with that. I began serving to there with small initiatives and weddings. However I do not work particularly for Stone Bridge. I’ve a fantastic relationship with them, however you possibly can e-book me actually anyplace. My firm, Will-Co-Jack, clearly focuses on weddings, however I can cater for any occasion – anniversaries, company events, grand dinners, Mom’s Day occasions. I can model any kind of occasion.

WH: Is that this one thing you all the time had in thoughts once you considered beginning your personal enterprise?

CL: Effectively, it is not like I acquired married after which simply fell in love with the entire concept of ​​marriage ceremony planning after I was designing my very own marriage ceremony. Design is one thing I do. And that is one thing I’ve discovered during the last 14 years that I am actually good at.

WH: And the targets for the enterprise right here?

CL: My purpose? I wish to achieve success right here, however I additionally wish to work within the bigger markets. I can journey anyplace and nonetheless be stationed right here. I plan on returning to New York to finish some occasions I’ve deliberate there, however I do not assume I will be returning to New York full-time. I feel I’ll keep on this space. However I additionally don’t desire individuals to assume they can not afford me. With me you get a New York design, however not at a giant metropolis value.

WH: When ought to individuals take into consideration reserving you?

CL: Let’s have a look at, this story is for March. So I may also be wanting on the finish of 2022 and 2023 in March. So now is an effective time for weddings and occasions later this yr and even subsequent yr.

WH: Are there any developments that you just see?

CL: The pattern proper now’s to host your marriage ceremony and reception in a single place. I bear in mind after I was a child weddings have been all the time within the church and then you definitely went some other place for the reception. Now {couples} need all the pieces in a single place. However that is the factor about developments. you alter. Coloration can be trending this yr. Folks need colour. I like to make use of colour at weddings.

WH: Is there something it’s best to or should not do when planning your marriage ceremony?

CL: Nope. A bride advised us she needed to get married in purple, so I stated, “Then get married in purple. It is your marriage ceremony. it is your day Do what you need.”

WH: Are Weddings Large Enterprise?

CL: I can inform you that the marriage trade may be very huge enterprise right here in Allegany County. Now we have stunning venues right here. Now we have mountains and lakes. All of it is determined by what you are searching for, however you could find virtually something right here. You desire a barn, we’ll get you a barn. You desire a good church, we’ve got it right here. They wish to get married outdoors within the fall, nowhere higher than right here. It is a place the place you possibly can actually design any marriage ceremony you need.

Will-Co-Jack might be discovered on-line – on the corporate web site – and thru social media websites like Fb and Instagram. Colby guarantees that it is “tremendous straightforward to get in contact with me and it is free simply to sit down and discuss.” The Whoopi Goldberg e-book, which credit Colby as “The Unqualified Hostess,” continues to be accessible at choose retailers and accessible on-line.


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