Boneshia Perri knows how to look after people’s needs. She began her event planning career at the American Society of Travel Agents or ASTA (formerly Global Advocates for Travel) in Alexandria, Virginia, and then went on to work for President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton at the White House. After that she moved to Southern California and took a position as an events specialist for the J. Paul Getty Trust at the Getty Museum. Next up, event manager of the Office of Protocol and Events at the University of Southern California.
With key experience in government, the arts and academia, Perri decided to open her own firm, Bodacious Events & Concierge Services in March 2016. She’s since produced large charity events, political fundraisers and weddings, along with other corporate and social events. Her concierge services are wide ranging; she has provided personal chefs, helped clients with decorating their homes and offices, and curated luxury vacation experiences.
The young company is thriving, in part because of a happy synergy between the two types of services Perri offers. “Often, clients who have used our concierge services will have a function coming up or a charity that they’re involved with and they’ll ask if we can help them with that, too. So, the concierge side has really fed the event side.”
Perri sometimes finds herself feeling like a proud and (nearly) overwhelmed new mother. “My little baby business is now definitely a toddler that is teething,” she says with a laugh, adding, “I’m not talking about two teeth coming in at one time. I feel like all 32 are coming in at once.”
That’s meant mastering some new skills in her 50s. “Learning how to put together contracts, learning how to put together event agreements, was a big part of my learning curve. I discovered that I need to be covered when an event client decides—which happened to me—‘I loved everything that you did except for this one little thing that has made me decide that I’m never going to pay you.’ That was a really important lesson from my first year in business, and one that’s helped me grow and become a savvier business owner and a better event planner.”