Thank you so much to Humphrey Munson for asking me to be a part of their Q&A series. If you would like to read my interview - please find below ....
Bringing a wealth of experience and an enviable little black book of contacts, Caroline launched Caroline Foster Brown & Daughters in June 2022 specialising in bespoke event planning.
Caroline’s career started 30 years ago as Fashion Manager at Conde Nast’s Brides Magazine and most recently as Associate Director of the Design Centre, London. Caroline then followed her heart to do what she loves and now plans private events, weddings, children’s parties plus product and book launches, working with ethical, like-minded people and brands. Focused on the most discerning clientele looking for exceptional service, Caroline takes on just a few special projects a year, each client liaising with Caroline personally throughout their journey.
Caroline is both incredibly organised and very calm and its obvious that her work reflects this mindset of thoughtfulness and love for creating beautiful moments both at home and for her clients. Caroline is passionate about what she does but it is her attention to detail that is her biggest strength that is delivered with precision, her love of beautiful things and her warm spirit.
The company has been built from the ground up with her daughters, Isabella and Jemima both of who are studying but are involved in the growth and digital marketing of the company. Caroline lives in London with her husband, two daughters and their beloved dog, Bear. She is deeply curious and draws inspiration from the city she has called home for over 30 years.
“I have always had a passion for beauty and to treasure the unrepeatable nature of moments.”
Why did you set up Caroline Foster Brown & Daughters?
It has always been my dream to set up a company with, and for my daughters. I was so happy during my 16 years at the Design Centre, it was a very hard decision to leave but I was turning 50 and 22 is my lucky number so I felt 2022 was the right year to launch.
Our company is intentionally different to most events companies. We only take on a few events a year, each one deals with me personally, they are entirely bespoke and thoughtfully considered. We work very closely with our clients, bringing together the finest creatives where the whole process is meticulously organised. We care deeply about each project; we are detail obsessed and love to create magical moments for our clients that they can treasure for a lifetime.
I am also really invested in our series ‘A moment with ….’ on our website, interviewing some of my favourite creatives about their journeys, plus a little behind the scenes at CFB&D. We hope it will inspire and empower our readers to create, celebrate and cherish all the beautiful moments in their life. Another element I am passionate about is each year we do a collaborative marketing project, we did a heavenly one with Osborn Interiors and this year is going to be really lovely too – I look forward to sharing with you soon!
What is your dream event to organise and in which country?
I feel very lucky as it’s hard to beat the two we are planning now. One is a beautiful launch in June and a really fun 50th birthday party at The Twenty Two Hotel in April, we are so lucky to have really wonderful clients. We don’t take projects on overseas; however, we are obsessed with Bali so if that ever came up then I may just take that back!
How or perhaps, where, do you start when planning an event?
Everything we do is very personal, there has to be a story and then we work back from there. We then incorporate every element of that story into each detail. It will never be repeated at any other event as it is unique to that client.
We look after every part of the event, once the date and the venue has been confirmed the concepting starts, which is so fun but there is also a huge amount of logistics involved in what we do so you have to be super organised. Our event master lists and timelines have every single minute detail on, which is essential for a stress free run up.
How are your daughters involved in the business?
My father is an entrepreneur, he put me on the Board of one of his companies many years ago. Whilst the companies he built were big and very, very different to what I do, it was fascinating for me to sit in Board Meetings and to learn from him on every aspect of running a business from the finance through to the marketing.
I wanted to give my girls the same opportunity and to build something together, right from the start – although on a very different scale! They have been with me every step of the journey, from registering our company, developing the branding, building the website, advising on social media, throughout our launch last June and now with our clients.
They are both studying, Isabella (21) is reading English and Jemima (19) Business – they have their own bright futures ahead, but I hope they will continue to build our company alongside me at the same time and who knows where that might take us. I am so blessed, they are my best friends, we have lots of fun. I love their fresh eyes, curiosity, their outlook and forward thinking – we are a good team. Lastly, not forgetting my third daughter, Bear, our hugely loved dog who I made our Head of Wellbeing – she fulfils her role impeccably!
For anyone planning their own event, do you have any inside tips or advice you can share?
On a logistics front, it is imperative to be super organised. You need to be on top of every detail and know what stage each element is at, always. We approach each project the same, being organised helps eliminate stress which is essential.
Always go to reliable, recommended suppliers – anyone can say how wonderful they are on their website or Instagram, you need to check what they say is true.
Timing is critical, it doesn’t matter if your budget is over a million or under a thousand; if your timing is off it can ruin the event.
Create a very detailed time schedule of how the day should run and stick to it.
Wet weather plan, the UK weather is unpredictable – wet, cold guests is never a good idea.
On a more fun note always have delicious food, a well-stocked bar, a great playlist and a good mix of guests. Lots of details, little happy moments dotted around to make people smile.
And my final secret weapon for any event is RVH Prop Hire – it is a treasure trove in Battersea filled with the most heavenly vases and props.