Planning events and hosting people comes naturally to us women in the South. Ann-Marie Appiah, who now lives in Atlanta but hails from Tallahassee, FL has found a way to pursue this passion in her business and in her philanthropic endeavors. Learn more about her events and social causes and we showcase this Florida Belle who is making an impact through events in the Peach State.
Your Name: Ann-Marie Appiah
Business Name: A.M.A. Experience
Alma Mater: University of Central Florida
Sorority: Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Hometown: Tallahassee, FL
Current location: Atlanta, GA
Website Link: www.annmarieevent.com
What services do you provide?
I am an event specialist. Launch parties for start ups , non profit charity events
But I am also completely open to the following events -corporate events -engagement party, -housewarming, -bachelorette/bachelor party,-birthday party-anniversary celebration,- graduation party-baby shower Services• Pre Event Consultations• Theme Development• Site Selection• Vendor Selection• Menu Recommendations• Event Timeline Creation• Invitation and RSVP Assistance• Transportation Arrangements• Event Design• E-Mail Marketing• Online Registrations• And More
Why did you decide to start a business?
I am so full of joy navigating clients through their ideal event. Those special days should have a piece of the client throughout the room in all the details. I thoroughly enjoy being able to help bring their visions to life.
Before you owned a business, what did you do?
National Program Coordinator for MarketSource. The client facing side and building relationships with them on their accounts has helped me build lots of tools for A.M.A. Experience.
What is your favorite client story?
I did a baby shower recently.and the client told me she wanted a mustache theme. I had a dream that baby shower should be a train theme. It was so convincing that I woke up out of my sleep and called the client. I told her “I have no idea why but God is telling me that we should do a train theme and I am asking you to trust me to deliver this for you”. She then tells me she works for a railroad company. That was such a fulfilling confirmation for me. The shower was lovely and she was able to use all the props for her son’s room.
What is the most interesting client request you have had?
I had a 21birthday in New York and the client wanted a specific cake from a bakery that was from her hometown in Tallahassee. It was a very interesting journey being able to deliver that exact cake for her to complete her special day.
What is the most important thing you have done to build your business?
Trust God. Being completely obedient in allowing him to use my talents to help people. I went to school for marketing and never thought I would one day have a special events company so I keep Him first in everything to guide me as this business grows to His will.
Who are some of your business idols?
Eliana of Ellybevents and Mindy Weiss !Such inspirations!
Do you have any mentors?
Gayle Skelton and Sue Anne Morgan. They both mold me in this event planning industry.
What do you love about being an entrepreneur in the south?
I love the unity amongst the communities and the diversity in the type of event themes, especially with the advantage of great outdoor sceneries with beaches to beautiful nature.
What southern values do you incorporate into your business?
Taking the time to listen to people and building that relationship with my clients. I love how in the South we have a sense of family and relaxation. We pride ourselves in enjoying small moments and are not always in a hustle bustle.
What are some the local causes you are involved in your community?
Breast Cancer Awareness. A.M.A. Experience puts on a Painted Pink Breast Cancer Luncheon every year. The campaign’s mission is to spread awareness on breast cancer and providing resources for prevention. Painted Pink was created to provide financial support to local charities offering aid and services to local Breast Cancer patients. Some of these benefiting charities include Emory Winship’s Breast Cancer Unit. The campaign works diligently in providing awareness and information, and in offering support in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer. It is vital that everyone learn the importance of early detection, and have access to information and treatment of breast cancer. Our local survivors are proof that we can overcome the battle with Breast Cancer, through the support of the Painted Pink Campaign, and we can make a difference by giving the gift of hope, support, health and life … one survivor at a time. We raised $8,000 at my luncheon this year and had 120 guests at the Peachtree Club.
What is your dream for your business?
I want to elevate and continue to be stretched to outreach all the people who have a vision but don’t know the resources to execute it. I want to open a A.M.A. Experience office that is a venue space to utilize for clients events. I also want to expand the Painted Pink Breast Cancer Luncheon to multiple cities nationwide.
What did you love about attending college in the South?
I love how the collegiate communities thrive in traditions and the sense of pride for not only the school but what the city stood for where it is held. .
How would you define a #Black Southern Belle?
Poised. Polished. Cultured. Grounded. Confident. Aimable. Persistent. Endearing. Timeless.
How did being raised in the south influence your career path?
I knew from a very young age, the South is where I would pursue my career.. It just feels so right with my soul. I relate to so many traditions and lifestyles of the South and it truly brings me comfort to build my legacy here.
What is your favorite item or piece of clothing to wear/use while doing business?
I love a good Ruby Woo MAC lipstick. It makes such a statement.. Red lipstick is a bright and appropriate color for all events and it is my definite go to while doing my events for clients. Especially since most events I wear all black.