Pack Post: Lauren Caselli
I’m Lauren Caselli and I own Lauren Caselli Events, a strategic event planning and marketing firm that helps tech and creative companies execute top-notch event experiences that foster relationships and encourage business development.
(Which is basically a whole lotta jargon to say that I help companies put on events that help showcase that company’s talents.)
I got my start in events over 10 years ago in Washington, DC, helping to raise money for political campaigns during the 2004 mid-term elections. I worked for a very large Political Action Committee (PAC), which means my first events were large-scale luncheons and dinners. I couldn’t believe the amount of staff that it took to put just one of these events on, but I did love the tangible result of hosting an event.
In 2007, I moved to New York City and spent one year doing very high-end weddings for a boutique agency based on the east side. The hours were insane, but I learned a TON about process, helpful event documentation, and working with high-end clients. A year later, I took those skills and moved over to a corporate firm, learning how to do content-based events, and how to create an effective learning atmosphere for clients.
(PS A content-based event is essentially anything that is meant to teach someone something. These are usually conferences, workshops, or retreats, but they can also be facilitated dialogues, dinners, and a whole lot more.)
After five years in New York City (and four years after the financial industry collapsed), I was starting to get the itch to travel again. In 2012, I approached my boss (one of my key mentors and friends) for a leave of absence, and she approved it, even though it was an indefinite leave.
I packed up, moved my belongings back to my parents’ house in Rochester, NY, and flew to India to spend two months traveling and learning how to mountaineer. Prior to leaving, I had secured a job guiding backpacking trips in Bozeman, Montana, and I convinced myself to take it only because I had never had a really “fun” adult summer since I was always working. My plan was to move to San Francisco after the summer was over; I never thought I’d stay past September.
After I finished my Bozeman contract in September 2012, I wasn’t convinced that I was ready to move to California. I also didn’t really want to own a business, but it was really tough to find a job, so I decided to start freelancing until I found a job somewhere else. Truthfully, I’d never thought I was a “natural entrepreneur” or someone who was cut out to be her own boss, but out of necessity comes opportunity
When I started my business, I remember it being a really big struggle: how do I get clients? How do I charge appropriately? How do I ask the right questions? How can I stop feeling bad about, ya know, charging money?
The biggest thing that helped was finding a community of women who had my back, which is why I love SheWolf. Being a SheWolf is really about one thing:
Not believing that in order to be a successful business owner, others need to suffer.
There’s enough for all the businesses. Competition keeps the market healthy. Learning to put business aside and making connections with your competitors is a vital skill (and also, really freakin’ adult).
SheWolf is having the confidence to know that your people will LOVE working with you, and those that don’t aren’t your people. And that you learn with each project and with each client something more about running your business.
- Lauren Caselli