Ever reached a point in your life where you found yourself wanting to do something totally different for a career? Sure, corporate America can be worth the long hours as you climb the ladder of success but it isn’t exactly fun is it? When I reached my crossroads, I decided I wanted my path to success to be a lot more fun!
I’m Jo Ann Smith, owner of Your HeART’s Design, a paint-your-own pottery and glass fusion art studio. As a long time admirer of women entrepreneurs, I paid attention to how my mother in law built the most respected nursing home facility in Shawnee, Oklahoma. She and my mother both encouraged me to start a business of my own. Even though I was no artist, I soon discovered that anyone could quickly learn to enjoy pottery and glass fusion.
An historic building nestled in the heart of downtown Shawnee’s art district houses dozens of ceramic pieces, my kiln for glass projects and spacious party room. Guests select a bisque ceramic piece of their choice, paint to their heart’s content and then we glaze and fire. The glass fusion has been wildly popular, proving to be easier than it looks and even more fun! Slumped wine bottles and pre-cut jewelry pieces, night-lights, and more make the perfect gift with that personal touch.
To my surprise, parties have been one of the strongest demands in my business. I opened in June and quickly filled up my schedule with small and large groups all summer. We offer pre-planned parties and events or you can design your own party according to a theme. “Tea for Two” is a fun lunch party where you paint your own teapot or teacups and enjoy a light lunch with tea. “Ladies Night” is perfect for bridal parties or women’s groups. Pick and paint your own platter and we provide light appetizers and favorite beverages. Even men enjoy our “Tailgate with Your Date” party that features football themed party platters and dishes with appetizers, mixers and a corkscrew! Secretly, the men have a blast getting their hands in “guy-friendly” art. We also offer a “pottery to go” party where we come to the location of your choice, set up the supplies and instructions and let you do the rest, or we can stay and provide hands on instruction.
Your HeART’S Design is a great place to express your own creativity and provides unique gifts for party favors or a place to host your next get together. We hope to see you enjoy all that our studio has to offer!
Your HeART’S DesignOwner: Jo Ann Smith107 N Union StreetShawnee, OK 74801405-275-6253
You hear stories about people pursuing their ambitions from the ground up. That’s something I can relate to because my own career path started when I was ten years old, washing dishes in my grandparent’s restaurant.
I’m Joshua Richardson, Executive Chef for Deep Fork Catering. As a very ambitious kid, I was proud to be making my own money and in a “real” job while my friends had paper routes. It was interesting to watch the inner workings of the restaurant. Later I decided to pursue the culinary arts and apprenticed under two of OKC’s most highly respected chefs, Alian Buthion of La Baguette and Kurt Fleischfresser of Coach House.
After I became Executive Chef at Deep Fork Grill, I wanted to work with multiple types of foods and be challenged even more. Three years ago I moved into their corporate scene as a creative mind behind nine different restaurants including Deep Fork Catering. The owners of Deep Fork Grill and Catering established local favorites like Cafe Nova, The Mantle Steakhouse, The Wedge Pizzerias, and Chica’s Mexican Cafe. We conceptualized The Home Run Sliders in Edmond and The Drunken Fry on Classen Circle. At the Drunken Fry we created 50 sauces to accompany gourmet fries and with 20 different available ketchup sauces at Homerun Sliders, we are the "World’s Greatest Ketchup Bar."
Innovative presentation, immaculate detail execution, and the best quality food are the things that make us distinct. With nine unique restaurants, we pull together a wide range of tastes and ideas that open endless possibilities for our clients. Whether we’re serving four or four thousand, we bring together all the details to make sure everything is true to form. We take everything over the top for a memorable occasion, from grand fare such as beef wellington or lobster tails to casual events serving heavy hors d’oeuvres or sliders. We’re proud supporters of MIO (made in Oklahoma) products. Because we want the freshest foods available, we use the Urban Agrarian to secure as much organic, locally grown foods as possible.
Some our signature favorites are the chicken brochette, breasts and artichoke hearts wrapped in apple wood smoked bacon and served with chipotle aoli. It’s like popcorn, no one can eat just one. People love our cedar plank salmon with a cider dijon glaze. It’s a phenomenal dish and everyone loves the smokiness of the wood.
Our team of experienced chefs sync our talents with the event planners and the customer in mind. We have an incredible event planning team mastered by Amy Roark and Andrew Del Giorno is our catering manager. Whether clients use their own event planner or they’re utilizing our full spectrum services, Deep Fork Catering will bring them a distinct catering experience they will never forget.
Deep Fork CateringExec. Chef Joshua Richardson5418 North Western Ave.Oklahoma City, OK 73118Ph. 405-514-1292
Oklahomans are known as some of the most generous people when it comes to raising money for their favorite charities. From the dust bowl of the Depression days came a heritage of compassionate Oklahomans who can’t bear to see people go without or the land they love put at risk. Whether you’re planning a fundraiser for the environment or for children and families near or far there are some specific ways to market your event.
Press releases are a great way to stir interest because newspapers and even magazines are hungry for free-of-charge material. Because they’re not required to pay for a press release, when the news is current and of interest to their readers, they’re sure to run it. You can use a press release anywhere: on a website, attached to an email-blast or e-newsletter, or even post them with appealing graphics in places your targeted audience is sure to see them.
Social media and blogging is another cost effective way to spread the word. Create a Facebook page and a blog to generate excitement about your event. If you’re planning a huge concert or theater production, a behind-the-scenes look at that process can be exciting for your readers. Good blog fodder would be to focus on the charity itself and inspire compassion for your cause. Whether you’re raising awareness about poverty, human trafficking, or dangers to our environment, people feel the need to be informed and they’ll cheer you on!
Ad space in a popular publication is invaluable! Find out what their readership is, where the magazine or newspaper circulates, and whether or not they’ll cut you a deal on space. Never accept the first price as most sales professionals will barter with you, even if it’s just a few bucks or a discount on a three month or six month ad agreement.
Community calendars are a good place as well and most sites like chamber of commerce sites are free. Right here on Special Events Oklahoma.com you can post your event FREE! Don’t forget that churches, schools, business clubs, colleges, and coffee shops often have calendars on their websites or places like a corkboard display to post information. Wherever your target audience likes to play or do business, get your notice visible there!
While we often think of marketing in terms of merchandise, some of those same rules apply for events too. Get the word out in as many places and ways possible. Stay visible, generate a steady buzz and you’ll have a much better turnout.
P.S. Don’t forget to post your event here on our calendar page!
by Mindy Wood, (SEO Feature Writer)
When people think of classical music they picture Beethoven, Mozart, and Bach but what happens when you have a stringed quartet who also appreciates music from the sixties and seventies? Take it from me, something amazing happens with the right arrangements and experimental instrumentation to bring out the best from both worlds!
I’m Joe Guevara, owner of Oklahoma Strings, a company of professional symphony players serving the state of Oklahoma since 1974. As a young musician during my junior and senior years at Oklahoma University, I played for both the Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra (now the Oklahoma City Philharmonic) and for the Tulsa Philharmonic. Upon graduation, I started playing for a contractor who put together a quartet to play for wedding receptions. It was a lot of fun but I wanted to go into business for myself with a bigger vision of what a quartet could offer. The best job anyone can have is do what you like to do and find a way to make money at it.
My musicians are professionals, not people who just play on the weekends. We rehearse and rehearse and rehearse the classics while also adopting new concepts like the way we can take the best songs from the Beatles, Santana, and Led Zepplin and really stay true to the melody. When people want to hear Purple Haze, The Walrus, or Evil Way we know they want to hear what they’ve heard. We adapt what looks like an ordinary cello or violin by using the body of our instruments to make percussion sounds and even the use of slides and harmonic methods to produce those songs true to form. It’s always a delight to see the look on people’s faces when they realize what they’re hearing from instruments they see as the tools of an orchestra symphony.
Hiring a string quartet has a lot of advantages. A cd can’t start in one place, stop in another, slow down, or speed up. We can change and adapt to the needs of any event because we provide the human touch that technology cannot. There’s nothing quite like the elegance that live music adds to a special occasion. While a DJ can be a good choice for a reception where people want a list of music from multiple genres, there is a classic romance we bring to wedding ceremonies.
In over thirty years since I started Oklahoma Strings Quartet, we have served over 1,500 weddings and receptions, not counting all the corporate events for big oil and airline companies. I’ve also had some fun moments in the spotlight, playing for the Moody Blues, Sandi Patty, Shannon Miller, Reba McEntire, and even former President, George W. Bush. I love what I do so much that it seems more like a fulfilling hobby than a day job!
Contact us for your next event. Whether you want Beethoven or the Beatles, we can provide your guests with over five hours of the music they’ll love!
Oklahoma StringsJoe Guevara5013 N Rockwell AveBethany, Ok. 73008