By Mike Hiles
Sisters Charlene Velazquez and Regina Nevarez joined forces in 2011 to start Glitter & Grace, an event planning and decorating company.
"We have always loved decorating our own family parties but it wasn't until our family friend Dione Kitchen asked us to do her goddaughter's Sweet Sixteen (birthday party) that we really considered going into business for ourselves," Velazquez said. "After that, people just started to ask us to decorate for their parties and it grew from there."
Nevarez has many years of experience planning and decorating for parties and weddings and has attended balloon school. Velazquez worked as an activities coordinator for six years which allowed her to build her creative side. Both ladies have attended seminars and workshops to keep updated on the latest trends.
"We are the only two owners but we also have permanent employees and contractors as well," Nevarez said. "Our mother, Rose Pacheco, is our florist and Mike Nevarez provides excellent DJ and AVL services."
Glitter & Grace is a full service company that provides décor, balloon décor, flowers, linens, booking of all entertainment, sound, lights, audio visual and coordinating the actual event, depending on the client's wants and needs.
"Each client is different with a different budget," Nevarez said. "We always try to stretch everyone's dollar to get the most possible out of their budget."
She said they use lots of coupons and have Rewards memberships at many retail stores so they can shop around to get the best deals.
The women work together on designs and concepts for each event but have divided other duties to suit each of their strengths. Nevarez handles more of the public relations end of the business as well as talking and meeting with vendors and ordering. Velazquez handles management on the day of the event, making sure everything stays on time.
"Our company's name came from wanting to be known for two things. For every job we do, no matter how hard or stressful it may be, it will be done with grace. And we will show grace to others," Nevarez said. "Plus we love glitter and love to use it in our designs."
Although they are Soboba Tribal Members and work predominantly in Indian Country, the ladies' expertise is available for everyone. To date, the largest event of the 65 or so they have handled was the Soboba Elders New Year's Eve Celebration in 2014 for 450 people.
"We have done birthday parties for all ages, proms, baby showers, small and large weddings, holiday corporate parties, graduation parties and funerals," Nevarez said. "Each event has had a customized and different theme."
Events start with a client's vision and a brainstorming session to create that dream.
"Pinterest (an online service that allows people to share ideas and images) is somewhat of a double-edged sword," Velazquez said. "Although it can be helpful when clients use it to show us what type of things they want, it can also create unrealistic expectations of the event – mostly due to budget restrictions. Many ideas that clients see on Pinterest are celebrity events that cost a small fortune to produce."
Nevarez said her favorite part of the job is shopping and also seeing the completed project. She said the company averages one or two events per month. Glitter & Grace is currently busy working on a few Sweet Sixteen birthday parties, a prom and its first Quinceañera.
"We usually get positive feedback from our clients," Velazquez said. "Regardless, we always learn how we can improve. There is no ‘bad' event in our eyes."
Information, 951-852-0126, email@example.com or on Facebook.