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Daily Inspiration: Meet Jenae Gay

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenae Gay. 

Hi Jenae, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
From a very young age, I always knew I wanted to have a career in events and entertainment. I spent my youth as a dancer, learning different styles and performing. My father was very passionate about music and the arts which exposed me to a wide variety of entertainment. I always had a love for live productions and watching performances and knew my life would fall somewhere in that industry. My mother always planned and hosted social events which of course she had me assist her with. She briefly owned an event planning company as well. I grew up watching all of the wedding and event planning shows which influenced my interest in event planning. The combination of those experiences and interests is what lead my to where I am today! 

I received my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Central Florida in Entertainment Management with a minor in Marketing. Throughout my time in college and after graduating, I worked in several positions in the hospitality and events industries to gain well-rounded experience, a unique perspective, and a diverse approach to all things regarding hospitality and entertainment. I have planned and coordinated events ranging from fashion shows and concerts to conferences and birthday surprises. I have several career goals that I plan to achieve and with all of the experience I gained, I knew it was time to accomplish one of my goals of starting something of my own. So, I finally took the leap to officially launch JGE Event Design this past February! 

Living and enjoying life experiences is very important to me. I’m a super celebratory person and I think it’s vital to make life experiences special as often as you can. I love all things beautiful and grande. Personally, I believe events should be a production, whether it’s small or large! With my background in events, me being a celebratory person, and my love of beauty and aesthetics, I decided to create the Jenae Gay Experience; focusing primarily on event design and exceeding experience expectations for clients! JGE Event Design strives to create an experience through decor and design that elevates events to the next level. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
I graduated from UCF in December of 2019, right before the pandemic. As a recent graduate, attempting to start a career in a field that does not have a clear-cut path to success is already challenging. So, adding the pandemic to that was definitely not easy. The events and entertainment industry was basically nonexistent because large gatherings could not occur. So, I went through several different positions during that time which was discouraging. However, I took that time period to network and learn more skills in those positions I held that could be later utilized for when the events industry would become more active again. The challenges and obstacles from the pandemic also helped to push me in the direction of business ownership and closer toward my goals of launching JGE Event Design. 

Now that my company is launched, of course, that comes with some obstacles as well. Starting a small business is surely a learning experience and journey but it has truly helped me grow in several areas. I’m excited to see the continued growth of my company professionally, and myself as the owner personally. 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
JGE Event Design provides event design and decor services. We decorate spaces for all different celebrations and occasions ranging from luxury picnics to weddings. We create and design balloon decor, photo backdrops, table decor setups, and several other decor needs that one may request to enhance the visuals of their event. 

I am most proud of the support and praise that I have received from my community, clients, family, and friends. As such a new small business, I truly feel that I have received tons of support and interest from people, which is such a blessing. It motivates me and means so much more to me than people know. All of the love that people have shown definitely keeps me excited for all that is in store for the future of JGE Event Design. 

I believe what sets me apart from other event designers and planners is my number one goal of going the extra mile to surpass my client’s vision. My motivating factor and priority when planning, is the reaction my client expresses once they experience their event. Adding additional touches and ideas to an event that my client would have never expected, will always be what I take pride in doing. That’s what makes my events the Jenae Gay Experience and that’s what makes my company different. As the company motto states the goal of “Exceeding Experience Expectations” will always be the key factor in setting us apart. 

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
I first must thank God for blessing me with the talent, resources, and support system to operate JGE Event Design. In addition, all of my friends and family have been extremely supportive and invested in the success of my company, from pre-launch to present day. If I need help with setup or breakdown of an event, they are always available to call on! Friends and people I have met from elementary school, all the way through college, have all shared my business for more exposure or even just praised me and acknowledged the work that I am doing. I also have to mention my organization, the Nu Chi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity. They have been super supportive in sharing my business and spreading the word so people are aware of my services. I am forever grateful to everyone that has ever given love, support, time, effort, and funds towards JGE Event Design! They have all contributed to the successes and strides of the company. 

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