Updated: Aug 26
Check out the live interview here:
We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Rachel Kimball. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Rachel below.
Rachel, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today What do you think matters most in terms of achieving success?
I think that success can be defined in a number of ways and that my success will mean something different than yours. For me, success within my industry of event planning, it is often defined as successful or not by the clients I work with and the guests attending the event. Success comes in the form of client referrals, comments and likes from social media, website visits, testimonies from guests attending my events, the number of publications I am in, those are very tangible examples of my successes. The non-tangible examples of my success is the joy that I feel after an event, the smiles that I see in pictures, the creativity I get to express, the innovation I get to try.
For me, what it takes to be successful is drive, discipline, creativity, and passion to be successful. I have a full-time time job that I do on top of being a business owner and doing both means making sacrifices. It means knowing my priorities for every week and building out schedules and timelines to manage myself and my time, to ensure that both receive 100% of me all the time. Luckily, my full-time job is also a passion, working in the tourism and events industries still, which means that both forms of work are similar, just with different audiences, which keeps me both entertained, satisfied and on my toes.
I give a lot of myself when it comes to planning and executing events, probably more than I should, but that is what you get when you work me – you get all of me. I have not only natural talent when it comes to event planning and management, but a true passion and love for creating and designing something from scratch and turning it into a reality.
Right now, my success as a business owner is changing. I announced and launched a new series of events that I am hosting myself – rather than for a client. I have a love for reading and any type of black-tie event that will bring together other young adults, the problem, there wasn’t really a lot of events that I could attend here in the Dallas area myself. I decided that I can change that and now I’m in the process of planning the Starfall Ball to be hosted in Fall 2023 in Dallas. Still executing weddings, but expanding my brand, my definition of my success as a business owner will be tried in this new launch. I have been known for weddings, but now I’m expanding beyond that, it will be tested in the next months whether or not this rebrand is a success or not. If the event sales out, then that in itself is a success, but if it doesn’t then lessons will be learned, adjustments made and decisions to follow. One of my favorite parts of being in the events industry is that it isn’t fluid, it is constantly changing and developing, new ideas, new vendors, new specialities, it is a revolving door or development and creativity and I fit well within that cycle.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers.
My name is Rachel Kimball, I am 24 years old and have been in the tourism and events industry since I was 18 years old, launching my brand RMK Designs Events by Rachel at the age of 21. I went to Texas A&M University where I studies Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences, both for my undergraduate and Master’s, as well as studying abroad at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. I have multiple specialities but my two favorite are Event Planning and Tourism, but several other certifications as well.
I have been involved in the events and tourism industry for years, within several different roles from working as an Events Coordinator at an Alzheimers clinic, to running events for the Navy in Washington, to interning and working for 3 different wedding and event venues, being a corporate event contractor, managing and developing events for a non-profit working with college campuses, and of course, my business. I’m one of those rare unicorns within the industry who has the educational background in events and tourism, a wide variety of events under my belt, and a true passion for the industry.
I’ve always known that I had a true passion for this industry, but I didn’t truly start pursuing it as a career option until my sophomore year of college. Once I switched majors, then I jumped full-force into planning my career, knowing I wanted to one day be a business owner. Upon graduating with my bachelors, I had completed a handfull of weddings by myself and launched my brand, while also immediately starting my Master’s, it was a lot, but that kinda just seems to fit me. From there I then had the opportunity of a lifetime to go to Israel for 3 months and study at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and do some programming and touring with Passages Israel. After Israel, I went back to A&M and was student teaching a few of the Event Planning classes and doing contract work as a corporate event planner. I went on to then begin working for Passages Israel, which is still my full-time job. My role at Passages is working directly with college students who have just returned from one of our trips to Israel and hosting events on their campuses.
Since joining Passages in a full-time capacity I had taken a step back from weddings in the last year, significantly cutting down on the number of events that I do per year. But, in the last several months, I knew that I wanted to get back into the flow of planning more creative events again. I also knew that I wanted to do something that no one else was really doing, themed events for young adults. This all started out of a dream, born from a love of reading, and a desire to turn the fantasy world and characters that I read about into a reality – if only for a night. So, all this prompted me to expand my brand, to launch a new sector of Bookish Events, with the tagline of bringing your wildest fantasies off the pages and into reality.
This is a very new avenue of business for me, it involves developing my own vision for events, and booking everything myself. I am putting on and selling tickets, something that I’ve never done before, taking on planning an event that is entirely my own vision rather than that of my clients. I am so excited for this new element of who I am, to take on this project and execute an event like no other. I am beyond proud of myself for taking on this new step, this new stage of who I am as a planner and designer. I’m learning how to not just sell myself and my brand to book clients, but now to make sales for my event.
This new endeavor, the Starfall Ball, will be an event like no other, inspired by the book series A Court of Thorns and Roses. I am an avid reader, a lover of all things fantasy and romance, and a huge fan of #bookstagram. With the help of Andre, my business partner, we decided to launch a series of niche specific events in the great Dallas Fort Worth area. This is an exciting time for us. The Starfall Ball will be an event like no other, with elements like food and drinks that reflect the themes from the book, black-tie and Court themed dress codes, a dance floor, and other themed elements to bring the stories into reality. This is my child project, the Starfall Ball being the first in the series that we want to launch from Bridgerton garden party, to Murder Mystery themed dinners, and other speciality book themed events.
The things that I am most proud of are taking on this new challenge and developing marketing strategies and really and truly testing the limits of what I can do. I want my fan, followers, clients, and readers to know that I am dedicated to creating unique and unforgettable events, that I am working to build a community within the industry, that while I am still a wedding planner, I am also so much more now as a brand. I’ve got a lot of new ideas and visions up my sleeve, and I’m really excited for the start of this journey and what it will hold.
Is there a particular goal or mission driving your creative journey?
I am on this new creative journey – planning and executing “bookish” themed events, beginning with the Starfall Ball. This vision was entirely born from a love of reading and the desire to build a community through events of other book lovers. I want to bring together like minded individuals, and through a party that is straight out of everyones wildest fantasy dreams. Think about the books that let you escape your reality, the worlds that you read about, the characters with intense and climatic stories, the tropes that you are obsessed with, the details that you want to experience in real life – my goal, my mission, my dream is to make all of those emotions a reality, it let you escape and step into the pages of some of your favorite stories even if only for a night. When guests attend my events, I want them convinced that they truly stepped into the world of each events theme, starting with A Court of Thorns and Roses.
We’d love to hear about how you met your business partner.
I met my business partner my sophomore year of college when we became random roommates in the sorority house. We lived together the rest of college and worked near each other in Dallas. Andre, a business major at Texas A&M also has a love for the tourism and events industry, attending a fun party, and reading fantasy books. We have worked many events together over the years and only recently become business partners. Andre is incredibly talented, and a skilled business woman with drive, and coming together on projects like the Starfall Ball has already proven what a team we are together. Our friendship always comes first and being business partners is simple and easy because we know each others working styles, as well as recognize the visions that we have, and more than that the potential that we have and what we are able to accomplish together. Working together is easy, we already know each others strengths and weaknesses and able to encourage, support, motivate and inspire each other. Honestly, I’d highly recommend working with your best friend, mine is great and a wonderful business partner!
Instagram: @rmkeventsbyrachel & @rachel_mkimball
Other: Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/160643049 Link to Buy Tickets to the Starfall Ball: https://www.rmkeventsbyrachel.com/event-details-registration/starfall-ball-1
Image Credits @vanity.claire
Check out the live interview here: