Gathering Souls is a premier event concierge service provider that specializes in event planning, event designing and management within the Metropolitan area of Washington DC. Promoting the saying: “Your imagination is your only limitation," Gathering Souls personalizes services that show off each client's personality. We are so lucky to have the CEO herself, Dawn Stafford, to walk us through her path to becoming an elite event professional and how Gathering Souls guides their clients through what often at times can be a daunting and overwhelming process.
First, we want to know about you. What was your path to starting your own business? Was it something you always were interested in?
My path to Gathering Souls has been a long and twisted journey, but every coil played an intricate part in leading me to its creation. I started my career path as an RN many years ago, and did very well in the field. I believe in making people happy and taking are of them well. However, behind the scenes of medical career, there has always been an artist born from her mother's acrylic artistry. Interior design, painting and creating were always a part of who I am. I can remember at the age of 11 asking for a comforter set from the Spiegel catalog so I could redecorate my room for Christmas. So after a long 16-year career in nursing, I decided to head back to school at the George Washington University Corcoran School of Arts for Interior Design. In the midst of my degree, I quickly realized how much I loved design...yet, I didn’t want to just design homes. I wanted to do more. So in 2013, I began to brainstorm my current dream that has become Gathering Souls, LLC.
What makes you different from others in your area?
The difference is that the almighty dollar is not our primary focus; instead, our goal is to create relationships that will benefit our clients and ourselves for decades to come. We are different in that Gathering Souls is an event concierge, not just a planner. In other words: “Your only limitation is your imagination.” The other major difference is being skilled in saving lives and making one comfortable in the process (thanks to my medical training). As a result, two worlds that most often wouldn’t collide, combined to create a company that focuses on listening, asking about your desires and how you "feel" during the process. We make sure you are comfortable, happy and excited about where your process is going. Holding your hand as you make difficult choices is “who we are.” The result is that we support and guide you through what, often at times, can be a daunting and overwhelming process for those unskilled in this area.
What’s the biggest challenge that keeps you up at night?
The fine details. Making sure every “T” is crossed and “I” is dotted. We make certain the team fully understands your vision so that it is executed properly. We also understand that in this business, you must have flexibility and a backup plan.
What do you think has been your best source for connecting with new clients?
My personal best source for connecting with new clients has been word of mouth. When you accomplish something great, and it is seamless, people continue to speak about the experience with others.
Where do you look for inspiration?
I find inspiration in everything from architecture, trees, and photographs, to billboards, museums, food and experiences. We invite you to make your vision of a truly memorable event become a reality through the services of Gathering Souls.
Lastly, what in your opinion makes a great event?
A great and artistically designed event production is one in which the environment guides and instructs human behavior. We strive to offer you services and support before you even express those needs. Our guests are led through an experience that culminates in a series of memorable events that move through time. Our desire is that the client is submerged in the very essence of their vision with the help of Gathering Souls.
Our thanks to Dawn for taking the time to chat with us. We also want to thank Kelly Debettencourt for her beautiful photographs taken in Martha's Vineyard this past August. For those of you who are as smitten with Gathering Souls as we are, please make sure to visit their website! Also, don't forget to pass along this helpful information by clicking on the "share button" below to share this post to your social media accounts.
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