I began following Chloe on Instagram a couple of years ago 1) ‘cause she is bad! 2) ‘cause she wasn’t afraid to say what she was thinking 3) ‘cause she was always working and those are the kind of women that I like. At the time she was still teaching full-time as she began to embark on building what would soon become her full-time job, Chloe Cook Events. To me it seems like it took no time but over the course of just a few years, Chloe has set the standard for parties in every facet while giving her followers a real look at how extensive, difficult and rewarding hard work is.
I read on one of your Instagram posts that a lot of your childhood visions come to life in your CCEP kids parties. Was event planning always your vision?
As a kid, I was a dreamer…well I still am a dreamer, but as a kid I daydreamed a lot. Call me weird, but I was always brainstorming and picturing myself in different lifestyles. You know how Barbie gets to have everything? Well that was me as a kid envisioning a fun life doing what I loved. I had birthday parties growing up but not as many as I wish I could have had. I remember when I was 8 years old turning 9, I told my Ganny it was time for me to have a birthday celebration (it had been far too long). I planned my entire 9th birthday on my own. It was a two story McDonald’s in the Galleria area (fancy lol) and all of my friend’s got to sleepover at the Holiday Inn (even fancier right?). I also had chauffeured transportation to pick up my friends…well not really chauffeured but we borrowed a family friend’s van and my Ganny picked everyone up. I realized if an 8 year old could plan an event so organized and detailed, clearly an adult could do the same. Years later, Chloe Cook Events came about…
Who would you say had the biggest effect on shaping you into the woman you are today and what characteristics did that person instill in you?
Ganny, my grandmother…she’s so fancy. Just a class act! She instilled greatness in me and what a lady truly stands for. She exudes elegance and style. I would watch her when I was little and think “Gosh this lady is like a queen!” She worked hard and her husband worked even harder as an entrepreneur. Whereas most people watched their parents and grandparents work for others, there’s nothing like watching people work for themselves and it inspiring you to do the same.
How does being an entrepreneur effect your dating life and what qualities do you think a man needs to have in order to date a woman like you?
Bah humbug…Dating can be so depressing as an entrepreneur. You have to find someone that “gets it.” They don’t understand that CEO’s don’t sleep often. They don’t understand that you will approached by other men because hey…you’re beautiful AND successful! It takes a confident man to deal with successful women. You can’t be easily intimidated with a woman like me. I deal with insecurities more than any other negative trait in relationships. Whether it’s my degrees, my success…sometimes it makes you want to downplay who you are. I’ve learned if I have to feel the need to downplay myself, you are not the one for me. Even in friendships, when you say you’re busy all the time, they think you’re acting funny. It’s not easy.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you get a couple of hours to yourself? What’s necessary to help you recharge?
Food! I love great restaurants and spending time with my family. I also love reading. My guilty pleasure is a staycation where I stay in my city and check into fancy hotels, wear PJ’s all day and order room service for the weekend. That definitely gets my batteries recharged!
You were a teenage mother who went on to get two degrees, teach for 7 years, aspire to be a principal, then embarked on a journey to begin your own event planning company that started with a Canon camera. Was there a perfect time to get started or did you take chances and step out on faith?
There’s no such thing as perfect. I am however a believer in God and he’s always taken care of me. Even when I struggled, I was never evicted nor did my child and I ever starve. I definitely know how to make ends meet and get a job if needed so I knew taking a chance and resigning from my career wouldn’t be that bad. It was life changing but I wouldn’t ever have known how I would benefit from it had I not stepped out on faith in May of 2014. Sleeping in and quiet times in my office never felt so good! Much different than a noisy Kindergarten classroom!
What do other young women who want to build a business need to be prepared for and what advice do you think is essential?
Take care of yourself. Many women these days are seeking a man to take care of them. Get out there and get it on your own. Success attracts success so you will meet your match. Don’t worry about start ups and finances. God will make a way. You just have to believe. Stay classy and confident. Know your shit and if you don’t know, act like you do. Research the hell out of what you didn’t know but don’t let people see you sweat. The minute people lose faith in you, you’ve lost a lot.
What has sacrifice meant for you up until now and what fears did you have to suck up and get over to get to this point?
See, now I’m getting emotional. Stepping out on faith means sacrifice. My son and I lived in a one bedroom apartment and people laughed like “wow it’s so small” but they didn’t see the bigger picture and my bank account increasing every month and my security blanket never letting me down…all because I lived within my means. Fears? Hmmm..cockroaches. I hate them. No, seriously, worrying about what others think of me. I stopped doing this long ago. When you’re working for yourself people don’t understand your actions and such. This is my story that God has written for me and I’m enjoying every minute of it. Each day I learn something new and I am grateful for the experience.
What has been your biggest accomplishment thus far?
Leaving a career making $46,000 annually and as soon as I resigned and tapped into myself and my dreams, I watched my annual income increase to a six figure salary. I realized that tapping into my talents would help me be better than ever. That would’ve never happened in a classroom with 24 students everyday.
You’ve given back on multiple occasions, my personal favorite being #IDoTakeTwo2014. Why is it important to you to do for others?
I’m a giver. It’s one of my passions. I believe in giving back to others because I know where I came from. I have lived in some of the best conditions and some of the worse. I know what it’s like to not have things so if I can make one person smile by giving back, it means the world to me.
What is your B Werd and why?
Don’t laugh, but my B Werd is Barbaric. No, I’m not cruel or impolite but I am wild and crazy when it comes to accomplishing my dreams and helping others around me succeed as well. I’m also very impulsive, yet driven. If God tells me to do it and step out there to give something a try, I don’t think twice…just like a crazy untamed animal. Nothing can hold me back! Rrrrrrrrrr….(that’s my roar) lol