Meet one amazing mom to our community, Ryan Abney. She juggles two incredible local businesses in our community and has a beautiful teenager. I love how she says “you can do anything, just not everything.” Read more about Ryan, RA Event Design, Curated (The Collection) and her family.
How many children do you have and what are their names and ages?
I have a 13 year old daughter, Sienna.
What made you decide to raise your family here?
We moved to Birmingham almost 15 years ago for the beautiful neighborhoods, walkability, schools, and quaint downtown shopping options. Education, safety, and walkability have always been at the top of our list when deciding on a community to raise our family in. Birmingham provided what we were looking for and has continued to evolve over the years we have lived here.
What’s your favorite family activity to do during the holiday time?
A family favorite activity during the holiday time (and well anytime) is playing board games together. We have so much fun being fully present with each other, disconnecting from electronics, and laughing about our antics in previous game play.
What are you and your family looking forward to in 2022?
We are looking forward to travel. Travel is another large part of our family time together; we could not travel in 2020 and we chose not to travel this past year. With that being said, we are looking forward to visiting Greece, Spain, and Ireland in the coming years.
You’re an entrepreneur. Tell us all about your businesses, Ryan Abney Event Design and Curated.
A love of planning and organization have always been a part of my life. This love became my career choice. I launched RA Event Design in 2012 after leaving my corporate job.
I specialize in personalizing diverse events for each client and handling event situations with grace. No matter what may come my way, I will have solutions; delivered with calm. My signature is creative and intentional designs with attention to detail and a structured logistical event flow.
I recently added a concierge service. I have worked with many businesses over the years and want to provide a service that allows clients access to these connections without the stress of making them. We have all experienced a circumstance when we need a referral for someone who does the thing we are looking for, within our area, meeting the price point, and having a quality reputation. I want to provide those referrals for clients seeking to hire small businesses within the hospitality industry. This is the vision for Ryan Abney Event Concierge or RA Event Concierge.
In addition, I launched Curated (The Collection). Curated has both a gifting and hosting category. The tablescapes are designed with intention to reduce the stress of hosting. Gifting options are selected to provide unique inclusions while featuring women owned small businesses, when possible. The inclusion of local and small business products is something we feel passionate about.
What are you most proud of when it comes to your businesses?
I am pushing boundaries as a woman owned Black business in the wedding and event industry. There are not many Black women owned businesses operating full time in the events industry. This industry has historically been dominated by men, followed closely by white women.
So no, it has not been an easy road. I would not change any of my struggles over the years; as they have greatly shaped how I manage the company. I attempt to approach difficulties with grace and understanding. I also believe in supporting other women owned businesses and highlighting their products whenever possible.
Let’s talk about Curated. I love these. What makes them special?
Curated (The Collection) has both a gifting and hosting category. The Gifting category is a collection of items that both celebrate small businesses, their products, and the
recipient themselves. Curated is about how people feel when they receive these boxes. Unique, Special, Valued. Each inclusion is carefully selected to align with these statements — “Curated by Us, For You”. The Hosting category is a collection of elements styled for intimate dinners and in home events. We have partnered with a collective of businesses to produce a customized tablescape for entertaining and social gatherings. Curated, gives you not only the tools and products, but also a guide and instructions for an easy setup and celebration.
Your event décor is beautiful. What are your top 3 tips for someone who is having a small get together with close friends at home?
— Select a color palette or theme (it will guide you in decision making)
— Avoid inclusions that hinder communication (ie: tall centerpieces or too much clutter on the table)
— Have fun (don’t overthink things; the ultimate goal is to enjoy each others company)
What do you do to balance your own life and motherhood? What do you do for “me” time? Juggling your own business and kids is always hardwork?
I schedule “me time” as I would any appointment. I learned early on that without an official calendar event marking the occasion; I would not take time for myself. Now, I have a standing self-care appointments, such as: manicure, pedicure, facial, and massage. The guilt of taking time for myself has ebbed as it became part of the normal routine.
What’s your best parenting advice?
“You can do anything, but you can’t do everything”.
This piece of advice is important for parents (especially moms) that are putting pressure on themselves to do and be all things. Please remember — It is easier together, than alone.