We had the good fortune of connecting with Carline Beaubrun and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carline, as a parent, what do you feel is the most meaningful thing you’ve done for them?
Being a mother to three beautiful children has been the greatest joy of my life. I have two boys (one is 17 and the other is 13) and a 15 year old girl. They’ve been with me through thick and thin and have observed my fighting spirit both in life and business.
There are so many things I realize they’ve learnt from me that it’s hard for me to pinpoint one and call it the most important. What I’ll say is this – my kids have learnt tenacity, vulnerability and strength from observing everything I do and being an integral part of my life.
All my kids are entrepreneurs. My eldest owns a clothing line and is a music producer, my girl owns a scrubs business and my youngest earns money through gaming. They each have go-getter attitudes and put in the work to make their businesses succeed because they’ve garnered practical experience about running a business after being my sidekicks for 13 years.
They’ve seen me at my best and at my worst. There have even been times when I’ve cried in front of them. I’ve never hid the reality of our situation from them and I believe doing this has helped them (especially the boys) understand that it’s okay to be vulnerable. What matters most is how quickly you get back up. My kids are actually quite self-sufficient.
I come from a family of entrepreneurs. My mother migrated from Haiti with only $20 in her pocket and started a hair salon that has been her bread and butter for 38 years. In fact, I worked in that salon for several years before starting my own businesses. The money I earned there is actually what paid for my college education. So, my kids have been raised in a family of hard workers and they emulate the qualities we portray.
This question takes me all the way back to when I was a five-year-old girl. I never knew it then, but I was honing my skills as an event planner and event designer. My family would always call on me to plan and decorate family celebrations. I loved doing it and the tradition continued well into my teenage years. Event planning and designing was (and still is) my passion.
However, that’s not where my career really began. I was 13 years old and sitting in my mother’s hair salon. You could say I grew up in that salon and, on that day, I felt I had seen enough to step up and play a more active role. The salon was busy and a lady wanted her hair to be quickly shampooed. There I was, eager and willing to be at her service.
She loved how I shampooed her hair and I quickly became the official shampoo girl at the salon. Three years later, clients were lining up for me to be their hair stylist. I got my hair styling license soon after I graduated high school and that was my career for the next few years while I completed college.
I graduated top of my class with a degree in Event Management, Tourism and Business Management. But, I knew that hair styling wasn’t my passion. So, I took the plunge and opened my first event management business, E New York Events, in 2008. It was one of the biggest risks I took because I was starting from nothing and eventually left that business with nothing.
My financial burdens continued to weigh me down. I did some event planning on the side while returning to my roots at the hair salon. My mom retired in 2012 and I took over managing the hair salon (though she’s still here doing her thing).
I wasn’t going to let go of my passion for event planning, so I revived my business under a new name. Events by Carline has blossomed into a sought-after event planning agency for all types of businesses. It has even segued into a digital media agency I started in 2018 called “Event Pros Let’s Talk” where I provide all types of content and support for people who want to enter the event industry. It doesn’t stop there though.
The immense struggles I faced in 2008/2009 with my divorce, the recession and starting then closing a business I was passionate about really wore me thin. A group of people closest to me got together for a pajama party on my birthday that year and we had such a great time. I felt like I was in a safe space where I could be vulnerable, separate myself from the hustle and bustle of life, and rekindle my purpose.
I had to share this experience with other women and decided to make it an annual event. The Pajamas and Purpose movement was born and was formally registered as a non-profit organization in 2018. It’s now a network of amazing women across the United States who provide much needed love and support to each other both during and after our annual pajama parties. My vision is to make it an international organization.
Challenges have also been a part of my journey through this COVID-19 pandemic. We had to close the salon for a few months and our clients hand to fend for themselves. They decided to transition from permed to natural hair as a result and no longer really need our services. Our focus had to change to reestablishing our relevance.
Events by Carline also took a hit. I had to pivot quickly and now focus on virtual events. It has been fun creating 3D virtual events for a variety of small business owners.
- You can’t really learn how to run a business through traditional education. A lot of it is about trial and error which comes through practical experience.
- Balance is important. I have to balance work across multiple industries while also finding time for myself. That “me” time is so important.
- Mentors provide the wisdom you need to continue. My parents have been my biggest mentors. Christy Long, a professor at George Washington University, has also been a fantastic mentor. She spoke life into my dreams and continues to help me grow.
- Build genuine relationships so that you don’t have to pay for advice. There will always be someone in your contact list who you can call on.
- Learn to say, “No!”. I had developed this bad habit of quickly responding to emails and accepting every opportunity that came my way. Some opportunities really aren’t worth my time and I’ve learnt to accept that. I now take 24 to 48 hours to respond to an email so that I have enough time to think about the value of what’s being offered.
- Stop micromanaging. I now trust myself to lead by allowing others to do what they’re good at. This frees up my time so that I can act on more pressing matters.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love seafood, Jamaican food and Haitian food and there are a lot of these restaurants all over New York. In terms of venues, I would recommend the Chelsea Piers. I love having events there because it’s right by the water and absolutely gorgeous. There’s also lots to do – boat rides, bowling and a lot of interactive experiences. I also love the Burger and Lobster restaurant that’s right by the pier.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My parents and siblings have been my backbone. They have helped me in so many ways. I’ve learnt a lot about grit and sticktoittiveness from my parents. My brother has helped me a lot with supporting my kids in their extra-curricular sporting events. One of my sisters was my court buddy when I was going through the divorce; she was with me at every court hearing. Both of my sisters would also be willing to have a girl’s night out when I needed to get away from the craziness of it all.
EJ CREATIVES PHOTOGRAPHY, BIG TIME BULLY PHOTOGRAPHY, Don Hwang Photography