Welcome to Miami – the city of beaches, bikini-clad beauties and perfect party weather! We’re pretty sure that the all-white party originated here and is still going strong, but is there more than meets the eye in this palm tree paradise? We turned to Jassi Lekach, of J Group Events, to hear about her version of Miami and get the real scoop on what’s happening down south. Spoiler alert: there’s more to see than just acrylic bars and glow lights.
Nüage Designs: Tell us your story – how did you begin designing and planning weddings & events?
Jassi Lekach: I grew up with a large family that was constantly hosting events, from weekly Friday night dinners to countless weddings, bar mitzvahs, birthday parties, and brises. So when I interned for Conde Nast incorporate sales during my first summer of college, it was only natural that I should gravitate to the corporate events department. After interning and later working at Karla Conceptual Event Experiences in Miami, there was no denying my love for designing events.
ND: We know you do a good bit of corporate work, how is this a different process from the wedding and social events process?
JL: When planning corporate events, we are working with experienced professionals who have a clear vision, budget, and goals for their event. Whereas with social and wedding clients, it’s a more emotional process, since we are working with people who are celebrating the most special times of their lives and they usually need more guidance in executing their vision.
ND: You’re always coming up with fresh concepts to incorporate at events, where does this inspiration come from?
JL: I am inspired by life, music, art, interior design, and random observations. Naturally curious, I always seek out new experiences, restaurants, and destinations to visit. I also love Instagram & Pinterest, but will go offline when I am designing something totally new.
ND: How is the collaboration process with your clients? Do you ever find it difficult to push them towards what they might see as an “edgy” design?
JL: Most clients come to us saying they want something totally new, different, and never seen before, so we don’t really have to push them to let us get edgy on the design. If they are more classic in their tastes, we also love to create events that are wholly elegant and traditional – we just do it with a stylized precision.
ND: Miami is changing, has been changing so quickly these past years, do you find a lot of inspiration in the direction it’s taking?
JL: Definitely! Miami has grown up to become a cultured city with amazing museums, buildings, restaurants, and performance spaces, many with an oceanfront view.
ND: What does a perfect day in Miami look like to you?
JL: A morning at the beach with my family and friends, children’s philharmonic concert at the New World Symphony, late lunch & book shopping at Books & Books on Lincoln road, ending with watching the sunset & the cruise ships from South Pointe Park.
ND: What are your favorite places to hang out, eat, have a drink, relax, dance late into the night?
JL: Some of my favorite places include the Perez Art Museum (lunch & art with great views), Zak the Baker, The Dutch at the W hotel, being poolside at The Edition, the spa at the Ritz Carlton Bal Harbour, The Mandarin Oriental (they always have great music and the restaurants and views are perfection). I also love going by boat to Seaspice or Zuma. I also love walking around Wynwood, the Design District, Coconut Grove, and Sunset Harbor.
ND: You’re a full-time business owner, lovely wife and incredible mom, how do you make it all happen?
JL: I could not do any of this without the incredible support of my family (especially my mother), my team, and all of the amazing vendors I work with. I make it all happen with my calendar, to-do lists, and working without interruption in the evening hours after my kids are asleep. I also observe the Sabbath, which is the greatest day to recharge my battery and spend quality time with my husband and kids.
ND: What are your life-essentials?
JL: My iPhone, laptop, my car (which is like my second home), workouts, books, great music and Instacart.
ND: We have to pick your brain while we have you, what trends do you see for the fall wedding season? Any color palettes or themes that you’re dying to use? Is there a Nüage linen that you’re obsessing over right now?
JL: I see metallics like rose gold, brass, silver, and gold, especially mixed, as a big trend for fall 2016. Jewel tones softened by pastel colors are also going to be big for fall. We are loving statement napkin rings, unconventional printing methods, and personal touches incorporated into weddings. I was dying to create a large scale digitally mapped flower wall which a very cool couple let me do for their wedding this past January.
Right now I am obsessed with the Sultry Beige Anita, Black Alumettes, Grey Laurel, and any cool swatches I find in your sample closet.
ND: If you could leave us with one piece of advice, what would it be?
JL: Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.