Creativity is the fuel that empowers many leaders to find success in their greatest ventures. The story of Kate Fishel, CEO of Fauxcades in the Event Design & Planning industry, is one where ingenunity meets opportunity . Her role requires out of the box creativity in design, sales skills to structure deals and thoughtfully manage client’s budgets and most importantly people skills to anticipate the needs of her clients and provide exceptional service.
Her entrepreneurial fire was ignited in childhood. She shares, “My love for business started young, at the age of 9 I started my first business designing and fabricating clothing. I sold to friends, family, and neighbors. I always knew I would own and run my own company one day; I didn’t know what exactly it would be but I knew it wold be something creative.”
Fauxcades works with a plethora of non-profit and corporate organizations and being a part of their celebrations and fundraising efforts is what motivates Kate and the Fauxcades team. She adds, “Our goal is to design a magical experience that guests will always remember while accomplishing the objective of their organization in a harmonious blend.”
Top-Notch Services of Fauxcades
In 2004, Fauxcades commenced its operations as a small décor company in 5,000 square foot warehouse to cater just a small number of events in a year. Now they are housed in over 60,000 square feet and produce thousands of events each year as a one-stop shop to design and produce all event-related operations.
They cater to their client’s needs with diversified offerings. There is an in-house welding, carpentry, paint, graphic design, sculpture and sign shops along with thousands of rental items like bars, lounge furniture, décor, backdrops, photo ops, and entrances. From handling intimate parties to grand event functions for hundreds of thousands of people, they manage it all with efficient expertise.
Top Qualities that make Kate an Inspiring Leader
Kate has always found that these three main qualities are required to be an effective leader:
- Hiring valuable assets: She understands how essential it is to hire talented and motivated people that uplift the company. She surrounds herself with a team that inspires her by always welcoming opportunities to learn and grow from eachother. She says, “If you are the smartest, most talented person in your business- you are doing it wrong.”
- Having trust: Trust is the chain that binds the team as they spend long hours working together on massive production projects. Kate says, “To me, business is incredibly intimate and the paramount requirement for any personal relationship is trust. With the amount of work that goes into designing, planning, and producing events from concept to installation, we must trust each other to collectively make it all happen on schedule and in budget.”
- Being highly flexible: Flexibility is the key to ensure your business survives and thrives. As all event bookings were canceled in 2020 and the event industry came to a screeching halt, she knew the company would need to focus on another source of revenue during the pandemic. Her incredibly talented Sales Director, Lynne Duncan, had the idea to manufacture customized standing sanitizing stations. With their stylish aesthetic design, they sold thousands of custom branded stations that were adapted by businesses all across the country. She further shares, “We even manufactured UV pods helping sanitize to assist with supply shortages, social distancing signage, custom safety dividers, temperature scanning stations, and anything else that was needed to keep people safe and open back up their businesses. Now with our COVID-19 Compliance Safety Certification, we are planning events and helping our clients gather safely. None of this would have been possible without being flexible.”
Kate’s Role and Biggest Achievement
Kate started working for Fauxcades as their National Sales Director in 2008 at the age of 24. With her grit and passion, she enacted her resolute plan to elevate Fauxcades to its true potential. “I knew the only way I could learn more and grow the company was by doing as many events as we could possibly do each year. I handled the company’s marketing, sales, coordination, and operations until we grew large enough to hire help. Once we hit that tipping point, the fire was lit, and we grew like crazy.” Right before she turned 30, she became an owner, and then in 2017 took over as President and CEO.
Working with her business partner and COO Greg Hooper to create a company culture and business model that speaks to their own values and mission has been incredibly rewarding. They feel blessed to be in a position where they can integrate philanthropy with business and contribute heavily to many of the non-profit organizations they work with. “We all have the chance to make a difference, this is ours.”
At every event she revels in the gratifying moment when the idea becomes a reality. She shares, “There is always a moment at any event when you look around the ballroom, venue, field or stadium and see hundreds of people working away in tandem to produce the event you designed. Watching a concept become reality is a special type of magic that never gets old.”
Importance of Work-life Balance
Once a proud over-worker who left vacation days unused and answered emails at all hours of the night, now Kate truly values clocking out for personal time spent with loved ones. She says, “As I’ve grown up, I’ve finally come to really understand that self-care is not selfish; it’s mandatory.” She now knows that she performs at her best when she is well rested and makes the best decisions when she kicked off her day with a workout and meditation. “When I take care of myself, I can show up better for my people.” Although her practice has improved its certainly not perfect and she strives to keep working on leveling out the scales of work-life balance.
Fauxcades’s expansion and growth trajectory
A few years back, Fauxcades started renovating commercial spaces to handle general contracting, interior design and decoration for their clients. “This has been a natural expansion for our company since we already design spaces for events; now they are just permanent designs. I see this division growing as we can design unique spaces and then run the process of the installation just like we do any event, with a strict timeline and deadline.” With things getting back to normal after COVID-19, Fauxcades is excited to service the roaring twenties of our lifetime and help their clients safely gather together again to celebrate.