20 Questions with Arlene Bluestein, Event Designer with Evantine Design
When we say, as we often do, that it takes a village to produce the events that we do, it’s important to acknowledge each one of the artists, designers, and professionals that make up the Evantine Village. For instance, Ms. Arlene Bluestein. Like the rest of us, Arlene wears many hats, including: Event Designer, Floral Artiste, Fine Art Photographer, Mother, Grandmother, Kick-Ass Biscotti Baker, Cheerleader, to name but a few. But trust us when we say, she’s one-of-a-kind and to know her is an honor. So here’s your chance to get to know a little bit more about the dear Ms. B.
1) Okay Ar, let’s start at the beginning. Where were you born?
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the birthplace of our Nation. And me.
2) Before joining Evantine, what were you doing? Where did you work? What businesses did you have? Give us the whole story.
I founded The Pampered Cookie, which was the first Gift Basket business in Philly. The baskets featured delectable home baked pastries as well as themed items for all occasions. This business was followed by Pampered Petals Floral and Event Design, in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. Occasionally, though inadvertently, I outbid Evantine Design on events. I can still hear Brian saying “who *IS* that woman?”
3) Have you won any awards or been honored for any of your artistic abilities, businesses, or event designs?
I am proud to say that The Pampered Cookie won two Philadelphia Magazine, Best of Philly awards for best gift to send! I’m also proud of two “Mark of Excellence” awards for photography.
4) How long have you been an Event Designer with Evantine Design?
Has it REALLY been 13 years? It seems like only yesterday that the fabulous Evantine Design Warehouse became my favorite sandbox to play in! It still gives me a thrill to walk in that side door.
5) Do you have a favorite type of event you prefer to work on or get inspired to do? Or, does the type not matter?
If I must choose, my favorite event has to be the Mitzvahs, hands down. They give me an opportunity to unleash the inner child in me which, actually, fits me like a glove. Creating an imagined fantasy for the children and parents is an absolute labor of love. Of course, Brides have grown up fantasies, so designing their vision and translating it before their sparkling, Cinderella eyes, is a very close tie! There’s a whole lot of love, dreams, and emotions they are feeling that day. Making certain their dreams come true is an incredible feeling!
6) When designing a party space, what is the most important factor for you?
Reading the client’s mind, and successfully knowing exactly what they want, even before they do. That’s what separates the little guys from the BIG BOYS.
7) Describe one of your most memorable moments from an event you created.
So many great moments, but there is one that stands out in my mind. A father of the bride quietly left the cocktail reception so he could take a private peek into the lavish ballroom we were just completing. I watched him as he entered, looked around, and a smile appeared on his face. Then he walked over to me and whispered in my ear … “It was worth every penny”.
8) Name three words you’d like your friends to use when describing you.
Only three? If you know me, you know I use many, so l may have to add a few more words; Inspiring. Positive. Good Artist.
9) What three words would you use to describe Brian Kappra, Evantine’s Creative Director?
Oh. My. Goodness. No, wait, I’ll really try this time. Superman. Willy Wonka. Magician. Something… Here’s the thing, I’m pretty sure my three words would be unexpected, but they would most definitely be loving. Friend comes to mind.
10) What are you known for or have a knack for, when it comes to designing events?
Creative energy. And for being very easy to work with from the first meeting to the event itself. I return emails and phone calls very quickly! Whatever it takes to make the families feel at ease and confident in their decisions.
11) What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
After thinking about where I was going in the first place? Creative juices swirl about at warp speed, while listening to soft inspiring music.
12) First thing you do in the morning? And what’s the last thing you do at night?
I accomplish a lot while laying very still, eyes closed, contemplating the day ahead. But when a creative idea pops into my head, the blanket gets kicked off and I can’t wait to attack it. The last thing at night is looking at the clock and realizing it’s already the wee small hours of the morning.
13) What do you hold as sacred?
The Golden Rule. And Speaking the truth. It’s wonderful how that simplifies everything.
14) Professionally, what are you passionate about?
Team Evantine. An outstanding group of hard-working, helpful, and hugely talented friends and coworkers, and it is my honor to work among them. Each and every one is an essential part of what makes Evantine what it is.
15) Personally, what are you passionate about?
Photography! What began in my college days, has become more exciting to me now than ever before. The digital darkroom is a very stimulating place to be, and it’s FUN!! I’ve even designed a website to showcase my work, and I teach editing techniques to other members of the Photography Club. I have recently framed some of my newer work, and they are hanging on my walls. It’s a good feeling.
16) What was the last gift you gave someone?
I’ve written several coffee table books featuring my images, and I enjoy giving them as gifts.
17) You’re headed out to work an Evantine party, what three things do you take with you?
Dress flatties to change into when I remove my work sneakers. Snacks. And a small, REAL camera to record the action!
18) If we peeked in your bedroom, what would we find on your nightstand? Any good books?
Kleenex, hand lotion, and a clock. Sometimes, the truth is boring. What were you expecting?
19) Not sure, but reality works. What would we be surprised to learn about you?
My age. I’m much younger than you think.
20) If you could give your 23 year old self some advice, what would it be?
BONUS: What was the best piece of advice someone (you admire) gave you? and, did you listen?
My mother told me to become an Art teacher. So I got married instead. Neither one worked out, but I wouldn’t change a thing.
Thanks so much Arlene. Always fun… xo
You can reach Event Designer, Arlene Bluestein, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org