Everyone’s business could use a little help these days, so every month we’re featuring a different small business to help promote shopping locally and to support community members.
Here’s the scoop on Katie’s Kreations Events. Owned by Aisha Harris, the event company loves to make clients’ dreams come true when it comes to weddings and big life events. With COVID putting a pause on most in-person events, Harris has pivoted to bringing joy through porch decor and balloon creations that make the perfect backdrop for drive-by event celebrations.
This month, Harris has teamed up with a local photographer to provide a festive holiday set up for mini porch photo sessions in Westchester.
Q. Please tell us a little bit about yourself. A. One thing about me is that I try to give people my best and I’m honest about who I am. If my journey through life–the good and the bad–can help someone then I’m going to share my story.
I’m a California girl. I was born in Orange, and we moved around for most of my elementary school years. My fondest place to live was San Mateo, a city about 16 miles outside of San Francisco. It had more of a smaller city feel. I went to an elementary school in a nearby city and remember the love and care I received there. My teachers were so invested in every student. I also fell in love with the food in San Francisco. They have some of the best mom and pop businesses, with food made with love.
We came back to L.A. after my third-grade year and stayed. I sometimes wonder what kind of girl I would have been if I would have grown up in San Mateo, instead of being pushed into the busyness of L.A.
I know one thing, I would never have met my amazing husband Bobby. We have been married for 16 years and have a caring son, Joseph who is 11. We settled in Ladera in the summer of 2012. Ladera is our community and our home, but so is Westchester. My son has been going to school in Westchester since he was 2. He completed fifth grade at Kentwood Elementary and had some of the most dedicated and dynamic teachers I could have ever asked for. Being at Kentwood was a blessing for our entire family. I wanted my son to receive the foundation I had in my early education. We made friends with families and staff that we will have for a long time.
Being with my friends and family is where I want to be in my down time. Since I was little my mom would jingle her car keys and I would run to get my patent leather purse and meet her at the door. I have not changed. I’m always ready to go and up for an adventure. You never have to tell me to go on vacation twice!
Q. Please tell us a little bit about your business? A. Katie’s Kreations Events is more than just a business–it’s a passion of love. I started working at the age of 14 to get some of the things I wanted in high school. I continued to work right out of high school and eventually got into the mortgage industry. I was a funder at Indy Mac Bank when the country was going through the refi boom and making good money, but was overworked, a newlywed and commuting to Irvine every day. Although that job afforded me monetary desires, it did not bring upon happiness.
After a horrible back injury put me out of work for a few years and I took time away to raise my son, I knew I wanted to have a job that brought joy to others and had purpose. I planned my own wedding and got such a rush from it. I started planning other weddings and events after that. I loved talking with clients. I loved being honest with clients. I wanted people to have the wedding and event that they wanted, not what their family or best friend wanted. When you really take the time to talk to people you find out that they may want something different. For instance, how do you incorporate the vase that Grandma just has to use at your wedding? We discuss it, we come up with a plan and everyone walks away smiling. That’s why I do what I do. We have weddings and events to celebrate, not argue our way through the process.
Everyone always calls me Katie or wants to talk to the owner–you know, the owner “Katie.” Well, that’s me: Aisha Katie Harris. I was named after my maternal great-grandmother. She opened her own catering company in Florida. She loved to cook, and I’m told she was a great cook and a fantastic baker. She would go into people’s homes, cater their meals and decorate their tablescape. During that era, it was big for people to have dinner parties. I knew when my grandmother told me this story, I had to name my business after her, especially since I was also named after her.
Q. What do you like about running your business and being an entrepreneur? A. I love that having my own business has allowed me to see my son grow up. I remember working in the mortgage industry, where I would work two to three days straight at the end of the month with no sleep. And this was every month. I could never take time off. Now I can plan my schedule around my family. I get to do what I love and so many people don’t. I’m excited to go to work. I’m overjoyed when I get an email from a new client.
Q. How has COVID impacted your business? A. COVID caused my business to stop. I was having one of my busiest years to date. All of my couples have postponed their weddings twice. I feel so horrible for them. They are wonderful couples and had their heart set on the wedding of their dreams. I didn’t penalize any of my couples. I helped all of them reschedule and will be ready when we can have gatherings again, but I won’t do anything until it’s safe.
I started providing decor and balloons for clients that want to celebrate at home. It started with my son’s birthday and a graduation. Then it just took off from there. I’m also trying to spread some joy during this time. I’ve been delivering little goody bags with balloons to different people that are making a difference, just to let them know that they are appreciated.
Q. What else would you like the community to know about your business? A. Everything I do is a labor of love. Whether I’m helping a couple with their wedding, helping a wife surprise her husband for his 40th birthday or planning a kid’s fifth birthday party, I take my time with each detail. I think about ideas, scenarios and what can be done that suits you–not what’s trending.
Q. What are some of your favorite local businesses? A. There are so many favorites like Paco’s Tacos, Coffee Company, Cafe Solar, Roscoe’s, Ayara Thai, Harriet’s Cheesecakes, Family Fish, Humble Potato, Killer Shrimp, Maxwells, Scopa and Compari’s.
Visit katieskreationsevents.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Posted November 2020.