Being an event planner is sure to be a 24/7 job, but imagine being one for celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker, P Diddy, Jennifer Lopez, Liv Tyler and many more. The job gets twice as demanding, but celebrity event planner Jes Gordon knows just how to keep it together and with style too. Take a peek inside Jes’s working world of celebrities, parties, planning and more.
Interviewed by Sayeh, the Office Stylist herself
1. Describe your typical workday: Well since I am bi-coastal my work day can start uber early most of the time. I start answering emails and calls at about 4am. Then if i need to go to the flower market, i usually arrive there at around 7am… then back to the office and emails and then the client meetings start from about 11am until 2pm for a break to catch up on the emails I missed. When there is a production happening, my team of designers come in around 10am and I sit with them for about an hour to go over the floral or set designs for the day.
At about 3pm I check in on the designs with my team and troubleshoot anything that needs to be resolved. I usually take a coffee or chocolate break at about 4pm. My client meetings tend to start up again at about 5:30 pm and go until about 8pm. I am definitely not a night owl when I am not working on events so I often try to hoof it home by 8:30, pop something in the microwave and sit down for some sort of reality tv and continue to answer emails and write proposals for my clients until about 10pm. When I am on events on the weekends or corporate during the week day, it is not uncommon for me to work 24 hours in a row sometimes more. It ain’t glamorous over here!
2. If you could work anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Well I already work in the best place in the world and that is NYC! If it isn’t NYC then it would be London. I need a bustling city that is constantly changing to keep me inspired for my events. A walking city is key for me so I can see all of the new things that open like the new hot spot clubs, restauarants, museums etc. I also love cities that a huge melting pots and NY and London are right on target with that. I take different cultural aspects and apply them to many of my events. I also take seasonal changes as an inspiration too, so primarily cities on the East Coast tend to feed this monster for me. Though I will say that an incredible sunset over a California beach or the clear blue water of the Maldives certainly can rock my boat more often that not too.
3. How would you describe your workspace? My work space is an eclectic palette of everything I do and everything I have done “event-wise.” We have an awesome loft space on the flower market in NYC and a really chic beach side Venice office in California. Both are raw spaces but neatly contained with all of our “stuff.” Both spaces are not intimidating and far from perfect, but tend to attract a lot of folks that just simply want to stop by, take it all in and say hello. The spaces really are an extension of me that simply can’t fit into our house!
4. Your favorite thing about your workspace I love that it’s a contained mess. I often dream of one of those chic slick uber clean spaces that have everything hidden, but it’s just not going to happen with what we do, so I embrace that face that it’s a feast for the senses when you walk into either space.
5. What is one “work item” you can’t live without? I have been very loyal to my blackberry and it has been loyal to me. This and my Macbook Air laptop which is so light for traveling are crucial to my daily existence.
6. If you could switch careers for a day, what would you do? That’s easy. I would be a Rock Star!
7. What is one tip you would give someone wanting to do what you do? Realize and embrace the fact that this is a lifestyle not a profession. Be ready to give up your week ends, and understand that it should please you to please others more than yourself….
About: Jes Gordon has been one of the leading event designers and producers in New York City and Los Angeles for over 20 years, with numerous private commissions from celebrities; she has also designed events for a range of corporate clients. She is the owner of jesGORDON/properFUN and divides her time between New York and Los Angeles.