Raven White is the Founder/CEO of EnVISION Firm. She made the leap to entrepreneurship when she realized she wanted to pursue her dream in the event planning and lifestyle management industries. Photo credit: Darling Photographers
Q: Who is Raven White?
I’m a woman who is determined to live the best life I possibly can. For me, that means staying true to myself and my purpose. I love traveling and hosting events, and thrive off creating wonderful experiences for my family and clients to enjoy as well. I’m a wife and more recently, mother to a happy little boy who enjoys exploring life. I have over 15 years’ experience working as a certified project manager, but made the leap into entrepreneurship when I realized I also wanted to pursue my dream in the event planning and lifestyle management industries. Therefore, I started my company, The EnVISION Firm, which delivers exclusive, exceptional, and unforgettable experiences in the form of events and luxury lifestyle management services all over the world. Although I’m extremely busy as I juggle my family and running a business, I feel so fortunate to be able to say that I love what I do!
Q: The EnVISION Firm is a luxury event planning and international lifestyle management company you founded in 2014. What sets your business apart from other event planning services?
The EnVISION Firm is set apart by our ability to provide stunning venues for clients to use, as well as, design the events all over the world. We have designed a variety of high-end events such as celebrity benefit dinners, weddings, Fortune 500 corporate celebrations. We’ve also worked all over the United States including Puerto Rico and Hawaii and our home location, Washington, DC. Additionally, as an international lifestyle manager, I provide luxury villas available for rental in Greece, Italy, Spain, Bali, Thailand, Switzerland, Dubai, the Caribbean, and Mexico. Clients use these lavish properties for personal vacations, corporate retreats, photo shoots, and to host amazing events. My team and I also take the time to truly personalize each event. We listen to the clients’ ideas and customize not only the event but select the perfect location to realize their vision. We have a wide network of vendors that we work with all over the world and that offers an astounding amount of flexibility. If our client wants it, we can usually make sure it happens! Our ability to meet the client’s needs no matter where the event takes place is definitely an advantage that makes us proud. We’ve been fortunate to have our advice and work featured in several national publications, which is also a testament to our expertise and ability to stand out in the industry.
Q: How does your experience as a certified project manager and events specialist help you to run the EnVISION Firm brand successfully?
A: Oh absolutely!! When you are a certified project manager, you are not only well versed at putting together a concise project plan, but you’re always communicating with clients and vendors, calculating budget along with determining earned value for clients, all while monitoring and controlling the project. My clients are working with me to deliver high-budget events and I’m able to apply all of those skills to my events and use that knowledge and experience to execute seamless events and logistics every single time. They are always in very capable hands and they know it from start to finish.
Q: Provide a time where you had to make a tough business decision. What did you learn?
A: In this day and age, cell phones make business owners extremely accessible. The toughest decision I had to make was to set clear boundaries in terms of when I would work on my business or respond to clients. Although growing my business and responding to clients/vendors is extremely important to me, I also had to balance that with being present for my husband and son in the evening hours. So that meant turning off my cell phone so I didn’t feel pressure to respond to late afternoon emails or calls. That time was reserved for my family. It was hard at first because I’m a fast responder by nature. In my jobs, both of them, that’s required. However, I’ve learned that my family needed me fully present and deserved that time with me. Thankfully, I’m a great forward-thinker who generally stays two or three steps ahead! I’ve never had an issue arise that couldn’t wait until the next morning to be resolved.
Q: In what ways do you support other women in business?
A: Last year I spoke at Walker’s Legacy Black Women Entrepreneurship panel. It was a great opportunity to share my entrepreneurship journey and to encourage other women business owners to go after their dreams. I’m always looking for ways to share my knowledge with others, connecting women entrepreneurs with others and attending networking events when time permits.
Q: What is the number one thing to remember for anyone interested in becoming an event specialist?
A: Learn the industry and make sure you have the right temperament for it. I think a lot of times people see the photos on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest and assume it’s easy to pull all the pieces together. My job is to make sure things look smooth from the outside but it’s a lot deeper than flowers and table settings. I manage six-figure budgets, contracts and staff while coordinating with other business owners to provide services to clients. I am always holding myself and my staff responsible for every aspect of executing their vision. I would suggest anyone who is serious about becoming an event specialist volunteer with a senior event planner. This will help them learn how we work with clients, negotiate contracts, and respond to crisis.
Q: Most memorable event? Favorite travel destination?
A: Other than my own wedding day, I would say working with Visa, Inc on their holiday extravaganza celebration was my most memorable event because I was able to implement a combination of elements that are standard for other events I produce. It was fun to be able to stretch my creativity. In terms of my favorite travel destination, I adore Spain! I’ve been to at least 5 cities in the country and all offer slightly different amenities. Of course, who wouldn’t love a destination that takes a siesta in the middle of the day?!
Q: Last time you literally laughed out loud?
A: Luckily, I experience this every day with my toddler!! Watching his mind operate, his daily advances, and playful personality, I get to experience a roaring laugh every single day. It’s really such a blessing.
Q: Where can we follow EnVISION Firm updates for exceptional, exclusive, and unforgettable experiences?
A: You can check me out on Instagram @envisionfirm and Facebook for the most current information! I’m also in the process of updating my website with the international villas I rent so people will be able to check those out soon too!
Interview by Twins of Media
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