We had the good fortune of connecting with Ebony Stewart and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ebony, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was born and raised in Belize City, Belize. I left and came to the US at age 16 years old. I was raised by a single mother who was strong and tough and taught my brother and I, that success came with hard work, consistency and many sacrifices. I always aspire to become a business owner as a kid. What business? I wasn’t sure but I knew I wanted to make a difference and change the world. I wanted to make people smile, laugh, feel good about themselves.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Ebony Cattouse Events is a event planning and production company located in New York City. We provide event planning services for corporate clients and clients of the most discerning tastes. Here at Ebony Cattouse Events we execute events at a premium level. From large scale galas, conferences, private soiree’s, retreats, corporate dinners to brand activation, pop ups and product launches. I believe what sets me apart is the beginning. Not having an idea of what business I wanted to start yet I had a plan for where I was going? I started in the event industry back in 2009/2010 with no vision or idea of making it a business. I simply got hired to do weddings, corporate events and private celebrations at the time. I’m proud of how I started my business. invested in started and growing my business without an investor or any funding at all. I saved and invested my own money from the labor of my work. I’ve made so many mistakes in my business, Who hasn’t right? Again my mother always said “To be successful requires hard work, commitment and a lot of sacrifices.” and boy have I made a lot of sacrifices. When I started my business back in 2014 I worked full time and part time jobs to pay the bills and yet not investing, saving and budgeting smart and I hired too quickly, and not learning the importance of systems earlier in my business and not to mention paying more attention to the event planning industry. Right after my wedding in 2017 I got pregnant had 3 major contracts signed and lost them all after 3 months of giving birth. Why? Well, my clients at the time believed as a new mom I wouldn’t be able to produce events to my full potential post mom life. Was that true no. However; I lost everything I’ve built in my business, by not “planning” for my future. After loosing everything in my business that I’ve build in 2014(which you may say is nothing much) I gave birth to my son and a fire was lit and burning like never before. It no longer had to do with me. But everything to do with future clients to come and the legacy I want to leave behind. I rebranded my self, and showcase more of my talents and expertise in the various services of the event market. Specifically to the corporate market “BINGO” it was a hit and an instant passion. I picked up a lot of my clients through linkedIn. Past clients, who have used my services for milestone events referred me to their companies and various jobs and organizations and “BOOM” I was back in 2019. Booking clients both on corporate levels and private clients. while I was home raising my new born, my business scale and began to pick up within the next few months; so did my personal and collaborative events which also required me to add systems needed for my business and also creating more meaningful services for my clients. I became a certified travel specialists and gained my certification in Hospitality and Tourism in early 2020 which provided me to do more for my clients and my clients can get more for the money they spend working with Ebony Cattouse Events. This added more value and tremendous growth to my business because clients wanted the same experience just in a complete different destination and location. What I learned is this, Research, resarch, research, research. Know your industry and understand your market and know your Nitch. Not everyone is for you. I want the world to know that my brand is not just here to change lives but to create and be apart of memorable experiences for a lifetime. My story is to encourage, support and be a reminder that it doesn’t matter where you are, who you are and where you come from. Just go for it!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m a foody at heart and love to entertain. I must say my favorite time of the year to welcome my friends to New York City is summer. Why is that? Well, there is nothing like a Brooklyn backyard party and all the West Indian celebrations leading up to the Labor Day Parade on Eastern Parkway. There is so much to do in New York City especially during the summer time. Restaurants Sofrito – Hispanic restaurant on the waters with elegant decor and view of Yonkers. Sylvias- Delicious soul food, just like mama makes it. It is black owned, and have all your favorite southern comfort food and a Harlem staple. Suede – A classy, chic venue with a sophisticated in service and mouth watering, delicious taste of all it’s meals. Located in Brooklyn and has all your favorite Caribbean meals. Sip & Chat- Located in Brooklyn and a perfect place to hang out with a delicious cocktail , beer or home style cooking of your choice of West Indian side dishes or meals. P.J. Clarks – All American restaurant. The must visit located would be Battery Park, Manhattan. Over looking the view of the Hudson river try their beer battered, Fish & Chips. Carmine’s- Well known for their delicious family style Italian meals including seafood. Places to Visit Statue of Liberty Ellis island ( Take a Ride on the Staten Island Ferry Tour on the Hudson Coney Island Tour on the double decker bus (those are fun)
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to give credit to and shoutout to my sisters of SHE WINS organization and it’s Founder including one of my mentor and coach Koereyelle Dubose. Andromeda Raheem, founder of SHE WINS have encouraged and support my growth as a woman and entrepreneur, through genuine sisterhood, educational workshops and so much more. Koereyelle Dubose, has coached and provided information for me to take my skills and business to the next level consistently. Especially through her new program WERK UNIVERSITY.
Youtube: Moments with Ebony
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