For this week’s Creatives Who Inspire installment we interviewed Jessica Whitney, Owner and Event Producer behind ZOē Productions, a live event production company that connects exceptional design and logistics to create out-of-this-world events. We’ve been lucky enough to work with her over the years and have come to know Jessica and her team very well. They execute special events in all forms: corporate events, charity galas, conferences, weddings, and awards shows located all over the world. Their list of clients ranges all the way from The Alzheimer’s Association to Warner Bros. International. Keep reading to learn more about Jessica, her favorite meal, and where she finds inspiration.
First thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Kiss my husband, then my daughter, then get a big glass of water with apple cider vinegar.
What’s your all-time favorite movie?
The Wizard of Oz
(Pulp Fiction and Moulin Rouge in a tie for a close second.)
What’s one thing you love about the event industry?
Impossible – it’s not just one thing.🙂
A few of my FAVORITE things though:
-It’s a storytelling medium in which you can eat and drink (in fact – the food is often a PART of the story).
-Events are truly one of the most effective ways to create long-lasting memories; they are almost magical in the way they exist in a singular time and place, never to be recreated exactly the same way, each with a completely unique gathering of people, and in a completely unique environment. They stand out from everyday life and form indelible marks in our minds.
-Producing events gives you the opportunity to tap into right brain and left brain, as well as the chance to collaborate with some of the most tremendous people in the world. It’s incredibly fulfilling to see an event come to life.
Tell us about your pet(s).
We have a 12-year-old Golden Lab named Django. My grandfather used to say he had soulful eyes, and he was right. He has a soulful way of being all-around. Very loving, very loyal, and very snuggly.
What does your day-to-day look like right now?
Just like before the pandemic – no two days look the same.
My husband and I run our company together. So, we’re at home tackling what arises on the business front, but also sharing responsibilities to care for, educate, advance the mental development of, play with, and entertain our 3-year-old daughter. (For all the strife the pandemic has brought – it has been a beautiful opportunity to spend more time with her during such a crucial time in her development and a really fun time to enjoy her squishy antics.)
On the work front – it’s a ton of Zoom meetings of course; We have had regular production meetings with our team at ZOē and then a lot of outreach with clients, vendors and collaborators. The conversation varies from how to respond to all the changes around us, to strategizing how to overcome, to tackling how to be creative when we feel so unsettled, to venting about how hard hit our industry is, to figuring out if there’s really such a thing as a ‘socially distant event’, to sharing recipes….. And everything in between.
What’s your favorite quote to live by?
“The power of imagination makes us infinite.” – John Muir
Describe your favorite meal.
It ends with crème brûlée.
It likely includes macaroni and cheese.
It definitely includes a glass of wine.
Other than that, I earnestly love food and choosing a favorite is so incredibly difficult. It depends what city I’m in, what I’ve done that day (or haven’t done) 🙂 and what season it is.
I do love good bread, good cheese, and chicken spiced with cinnamon. 🙂
Where do you look for inspiration?
Public art and exhibitions
Film (particularly Wes Anderson films)
Print ads from the 1960’s
Name three things you can’t live without.
My computer (I’m on a Macbook Pro….. die-hard Mac lover and will never turn back.)
Soul Pad Camping Tent
Where can we find you?
Read last week’s interview with Deborah James of Bella Vita Events.