Regina Burns is the owner and founder of RISE Event Production, a full-service event production company specializing in corporate event marketing and luxury wedding planning.
Regina's primary focus is to form the unbreakable bond that exists between coordinator and client; one full of trust, loyalty and endless laughter. She will bring innovation, creativity and one hell of a good time to an event of any kind.
What got you into event production?
My guardian angel, my mama, Diana Burns. She owned her own special events production company and would bring me along to her events; I even had a company polo with “jr.” on the back! I remember watching her work at home, casting models for a fashion show at the MFA Boston, or organizing her production binder for the next work trip to Block Island. On-site, I would look up to her in amazement; seeing her work, designs and visions come to life -- all while bringing nothing but joy to every person in the room, I fell in love. She is my inspiration.
What brought you back to working on the east coast after your move to California?
A forever goal of mine has always been to follow in my mother’s footsteps and go into business for myself, with my headquarters on the east coast. I come from a family of warrior women and entrepreneurs who have all made me believe that anything is possible; my mother - events, my grandmother - real estate, my aunt - interior design and my brother opened his own business while attending college in Boston too, the strength of entrepreneurship is in my blood! I knew I couldn’t just open a business after design school; I wasn’t ready. I knew that I had to make it out to LA, work in the mecca of entertainment and events, and soak it ALL up. So I found a job, and I went.
I was zooming out in Cali; luxury weddings, special events, celebrity appearances, you name it. I was quickly promoted to Director of Special Events Department, while still producing weddings. Every project that was offered to me, I said yes and then created the capacity for more to come. It was such an exciting time in my life, with so much personal growth and professional development; I am forever grateful.
I eventually hit a point in LA where things were not aligning: my new apartment fell through, in the most confusing, creepy, you can’t make this up kind of way.. it led to nothing but conflict and stress - and then it hit me. Maybe the universe was trying to tell me something? Perhaps I was ready? I did a lot of soul searching within and had some different conversations with my fiance, my brother and my best friend who also lives in LA, and we all landed on the same verdict. I was ready. I came, I saw, I conquered, and it was time to channel my inner Diana strength, take all the tools that I gathered, all of the experience I absorbed and went for it. I was on the next flight out to Boston.
What has been the biggest difference between working on the West Coast vs. the East Coast?
Other than the winter? LOL. But seriously, because there is no winter, there is a full 12-months worth of perfect-weather potential, this makes the volume of opportunities for events massive. Out on the west coast, there is not only an event happening every day, but 50 events are also happening every day or more. So many industries are housed there, because of the weather, that you can tap into - think music, film, television, sports, fashion, technology, automotive, real estate, food, hospitality, media, etc. There is an abundance of celebration. It’s about time the east coast gets on that level - with a little help from RISE!
What is your favorite type of event to work on?
I love them all! Special events allow me the creative freedom to be as wild as I can be. I am usually given two things from clients at the start of a special event planning journey; 1. A goal, and 2. Trust. This means that the planning, design, and the overall vision to get to that goal, is all mine to create.
On the flip side, weddings pull at my heart-strings. There aren’t words to describe what it is like to be a part of a couple’s journey to “I do.” Being able to give the gift of peace and time to my couples and their favorite people along that journey so they can enjoy one of the best times of their lives -- no words. My heart fills up whenever we go live on the wedding day; I cry EVERY time, it never gets old.
What is the most rewarding part of owning your own business?
I do everything I do with a heart-centered approach. I love creating events and producing events for people to enjoy. An event can bring enjoyment to an infinite amount of people - it could be an intimate dinner party with ten guests, a wedding for 150, or a large tech convention with over 100,000 in attendance, the event experience is reaching each one of those people. To be a mad scientist behind that experience, knowing you’ve brought genuine joy to people, that is the most rewarding part.
What is the most outrageous or unusual request you’ve been asked to do while planning an event?
Sexy firefighters, lighting off fireworks, at a 70th birthday party! [#GOALS]
What does being a woman business owner mean to you?
It is a superpower. As a woman business owner, you have the opportunity to inspire, to reach people in a way that you never knew you could. It is a proud representation of the women entrepreneurs that personally paved the way for me; my mom, grandmother and aunt, and a proud representation of every girl out there with a dream to jump on the journey of entrepreneurship. If believing in myself can inspire even just one girl to begin believing in herself??? Game, set, match. What could be greater than that? That is the superpower of being a woman business owner.
Every business faces its challenges, how are you empowered to overcome yours? Evolution. Every day my business is faced with a challenge, and, as the owner, it is my challenge to overcome. These challenges force me to dig deep, take risks, be creative, resilient, and tenacious, and I always, always, always come out greater than I was the day before. I know that the challenges will test me, they will test my mind, my patience, my overall balance in life, and with every chance I have to face them, I come out stronger. I learn. I grow. I evolve. I don’t ever want the challenges to stop, and I am so empowered to go head to head with any and everyone in the efforts of personal evolution. Game on.
What is the most important thing when planning an event?
Having a planner!
To end, please tell our readers (in one word) how you would describe your boss-chik business? Here.
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Chiks, it’s officially July! One of my favorite parts during the summer months is time I get to spend with family or friends by the water with a nice summer drink. Whether it’s by the pool, at the beach or even inside on a rainy day, I always enjoy a nice cold glass of lemonade. Almost everyone will agree that the epitome of summer is relishing in nice fruity drinks in the warm sunshine.
The Blueberry Lemonade Margarita takes everyone’s favorite summer drink and ties in some fresh fruit with a little bit of a kick. Blueberries can be switched out for other fruit you have on hand, such as peaches, strawberries or raspberries. This fun twist on a classic lemonade is perfect for a backyard BBQs or a relaxing pool day and is sure to be a hit.
Makes 4 (For 1 serving)
FOR THE SYRUP
1/2 c. granulated sugar (2 tbsp)
1/2 c. water (2 tbsp)
1 c. blueberries (1/4 cup)
Zest of 1 lime (1/4)
FOR THE MARGARITA
2 tbsp. kosher salt (1/2 tbsp)
2 tbsp. granulated sugar (1/2 tbsp)
1 lemon, cut into wedges (1 wedge)
8 oz. tequila (2 oz)
4 oz. triple sec (1 oz)
3 oz. lemonade (.75 oz)
Directions: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water and stir until sugar has dissolved. Add blueberries and lime zest and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer mixture until blueberries have burst, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes, then strain mixture into a clean jar. Let cool completely.
On a small plate, stir together sugar and salt. Rim each glass with a lime wedge, then dip in sugar salt mixture. Divide tequila, triple sec and lemonade between 4 glasses. Fill each glass with ice, then top with blueberry syrup. Garnish with a lemon wedge and serve.
Don't forget to let us know how you made out with this recipe and make sure to comment and share some of your favorite summer concoctions on our Facebook page!
Until next time, chiks!
Blog by Editorial Contributor Shahd Abulhassan
Hey girl (and guy), we're so glad you're here. ChikChat is our version of an informative blog that keeps you up to date on all the latest marketing trends, fabulous business owners and must-see hot spots. So pour a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and get comfy.