We had the good fortune of connecting with Katherine Frost and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katherine, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I never thought of myself as a risk taker until I saw this question. I was 27 when I decided to start my first company, a luxury event planning company. I started working for a Destination Management Company or DMC, when I was 24 and wanted to shake up how local corporate and nonprofits were planning their events. I also wanted to get into the wedding market and loved listening to all my clients and planning the smallest of details to make their event special. Along the way of building my company with employees and clients, I started to think to myself, there has to be an easier way to plan all of these events rather than the systems I have been using. So I started thinking to myself, what would I want from an app as a planner so I can access all of my event details in one central location. The light bulb went off and ORO was born. It took two years to get it off the ground but my planning platform and app are everything a planner needs to plan extraordinary events more efficiently than ever before. I took a risk not only jumping a corporate planning job to start my own, but half way through I decided to jump into tech, because this is what the industry is demanding.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Being a tech platform in the events industry has been a welcomed change. I always described my industry as operating in the dark ages until now! Event planners meet with clients and take notes on paper, send emails to vendors for quotes and have to piece all these emails and pieces of papers together in excel or word to organize everything not only for our clients to understand how their event will shape up but also so we can keep track of the event details. My excel timelines would be anywhere from 3-20 pages long and have separate sheets for the budget but if one little thing changed, I had to remember where that one item was everywhere and make sure it was changed too, and make sure my client was aware of the changes. I also had to ask vendors for invoices to send to my clients to make sure we didn’t fall behind on payments, but I had to double check the invoices with prior emails, if there were changes, with my timeline, and the budget. I felt like I was constantly checking and rechecking event details instead of focusing on my favorite part which is coming up with the theme or using my creativity to make the event memorable for all that attend. The events industry has needed a platform that is all in one, can be accessed anywhere in the world, and streamlines the communication process between planner, vendors and clients. With the hospitality industry as a whole taking such a hard hit over the last, almost year of our lives, we have to evolve with the times more than ever. ORO is setting the gold standard in event planning and I do not take this lightly. We have had our own set of challenges not only in the two years it took to develop the software but also launching during a pandemic. We have such a passion for what we do and spreading the word about all of its amazing features that it just adds fuel to the fire to continue to help the events industry.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
With a background in events, these are frequent questions I am asked and excited to answer! It depends on the time of year for what my recommendations would be but on a surface level, I love visiting Vail and Beaver Creek. I have grown up skiing the mountains and love the family vibe you get while visiting. I also love to golf the many lush courses the Eagle valley has to offer. Two of my favorite restaurants are both locally owned, The Golden Eagle in Beaver Creek and the Left Bank in Vail. On my way back to Denver from this snow-globe of an area would be to stop at Red Rocks for a work out on my way to Boulder! People are fascinated by the music scene of Boulder but I am personally more of a fan of the Flat Irons and hiking through them. The street performers are a must see as well! I live in Downtown Denver and with all the sporting events that are all within walking distance its hard not to stay downtown! Eating ice cream at Union Station or sipping on cocktails in the great hall is a must. Eating dinner at Guard and Grace is one of my favorite places. Finishing up with a late night cocktail at Elways bar at the Ritz Carlton would make for an action packed week! I have lived in several other states and I always come back to Colorado. There is no place like it, especially for beautiful weather, so I am the first person to talk up and tailor peoples experiences here! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many people that helped me get to where I am today, from signing an event contract, to believing in my own company; not just once but twice. I will have to say though that my mom has always been my biggest fan. I remember vividly the day she very casually told me to start my planning company. I was at a total loss of what to do, unhappy on the track I was heading down for corporate life and not loving my options as I sent out my resume to companies. My mom said, “Katherine, you can do this, just start your own company.” The next day I was having business cards printed and never looked back. I guess in my own mind, I thought I was too young to start my own business but having someone else believe in me and give me a little nudge was all I needed to push myself into this amazing direction.
I couldn’t upload the rest of the pictures for some reason so if there are doubles I am so sorry! But I was trying for 5 and only saw 3 upload.