Hello! Thanks for stopping by. My name is Katie Quade, and I am the founder of Don’t Blink Events.
Ever since I was in high school, I had this feeling that I wanted to open my own business. I wasn’t sure what kind of business I wanted – maybe a flower shop. I’ve always loved planning events. I’m typically the planner of my friends – always organizing dinners and parties. My husband and I have a tradition with our friends back in the states called Friendsgiving, where everyone brings a dish, we provide the wine and there you have it, it's a party. There's something about events, bringing people together around food, music and wine that always makes me excited.
Side note: Friends back home, if you want to celebrate Friendsgiving this year, we’ll host – Aussie style. First come first serve on the beds!
Born in Duluth, Minnesota - I'm a born and raised Minnesotan, which some Australians frequently confuse with being Canadian. I graduated from the College of St. Benedict in a small town called St. Joseph, Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. When I graduated, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do, because honestly does anyone know what they want to do right out of college? I knew I loved planning events - and maybe that was something I wanted to explore.
That’s when my friend contacted me about an internship at the ad agency where she was working. I decided to give it a shot, and they took a chance on me. I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into – but I wouldn’t change it for a second. There’s a certain magic about the ad industry – especially the creative community in Minneapolis that I love.
Fast-forward 7 years - I have worked at three agencies in Minneapolis with a background in account services and experiential marketing (aka planning events / experiences for brands). I loved my jobs in Minneapolis. I loved the people I met along the way, clients and co-workers alike. I loved the projects I worked on, how they challenged me, and how they presented situations that you really just had to figure out. Google it, call people, talk to smart people – do what you need to do to find a creative solution. During the past few weeks I’ve been searching, trying to figure out what I really love about the work that I do, and the parts I don’t like. What I do know is being surrounded by smart, creative people, figuring shit out, and planning things - that's my jam.
So, here I am - sitting in a coffee shop in Manly, Australia writing a blog post about how I decided to start my own business. My husband and I relocated here three months ago to gain some international business experience, and fulfil our dream of living back in Australia - where we studied abroad together, and started dating.
One of the scariest things about starting a new business is actually doing it. The thought of needing some big, scary business plan, needing to be liked, or better than all of the other millions of businesses out there. The thought of failure or not doing a good job. There’s certainly a lot of barriers that have crossed my mind in the past few weeks – but more than that I feel compelled to take the plunge, and give this thing a shot.
So that’s it ladies and gentlemen. The name “Don’t Blink” comes from the homily our priest gave at our wedding. He ended the homily saying, “Make it a good ride, enjoy each day, keep smiling, keep having fun, stay close to God, and by all means, don’t blink." I’m not sure I’ll ever forget those words, rather every day I’ll strive to live by them. I’m here to help people – to take the stress of planning off you, so at the end of the day you know you got to enjoy every minute of your special event – because it'll be over in a blink.