We had the good fortune of connecting with Christopher McKinley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christopher, let’s talk legacy – what do you want yours to be?
I want my legacy to show how much I gave back. It’s my hope to have impacted lives and jump started careers with the connections, knowledge, and opportunities I am afforded. I think it’ll be really funny to have people realize how intentional I was about giving all that I’ve had after I’m gone. I would imagine them to say “that darn Chris planned this all along.” I truly believe that we are placed here on earth to make each others journey a lot easier. We can’t do it alone. I’m making it my mission to make sure that those behind me don’t.
What should our readers know about your business?
Chris McKinley Events started out as Chris McKinley Consultants and Events. I had this amazing idea to do wardrobe styling AND event planning/design. It literally wore me out. It took a lot out of me because I gave my all in each styling and event. Today we’ve focused on planning and designing only luxurious weddings and events. Our motto is “Celebrate Luxuriously.” We pride ourselves on providing the absolute best service to our clients in every detail. This is what sets us apart. We spare no detail in the development of any of our events.
Our team at Chris McKinley Events has evolved over time through professional developments and hands on mentoring from some of the long time jewels on the industry. We realized that you’ve got to volunteer and help others, get the necessary experience and training, and develop the niche that you want to grow in. It wasn’t always easy but we had to grind it out to gain the knowledge needed for our clients.
One of the most important things that I’ve learned along the way is to stay in your own lane, listen, and observe. Your work environment, industry, peers etc. will reveal everything you need to know on how to make that next step. It may seem like a really deep answer to you now but just try it. It never fails. I’m always able to clearly see what I need to do next.
I want the world to know that Chris McKinley Events is a legacy. I started this company in 2015 but my family has been putting on events for years. It’s been in me since I was a little one. I dedicate every success and every mile stone to the two that made this dream of mine come true. Those two people would be Christopher and Netta McKinley, my amazing parents. My mother isn’t physically here to see our growth but she is always with us in spirit. I think of her with every toast and every fluff of a bridal train. I am honored to continue their legacy of celebrations.
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 soooo many people that have helped me along the way. I would say that my BIGGEST cheerleader was my amazing mother. She supported and jumped in to help wherever she was needed. I honestly believe that she believed in me more than I did. This lady always reminded me that when she retired it was going to be time for her next job and that was working with me. Anytime I have a successful event, I know that she was right there with me in spirit. My brothers from Next Generation Pioneers gave a platform AND most of my first event inventory. They have trusted me to chair every gala since we started over 6 years ago. I am truly grateful for them. Lastly, I’d like to acknowledge every friend and client that has come to help or given me an opportunity to create an event. Words cannot express how much I appreciate each of you.
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