By Lauren Sable Freiman | Photo by Doug Khrenovsky
So, off went a letter to a master Amish carpenter, seeking the perfect farm table to complete the client’s vision. After much collaboration on design and finishes, 40 handcrafted farm tables arrived. They paired perfectly with the chiavari chairs, making the client’s dream a reality.
“Ours is a 100 percent customer-driven business,” Arthur Brown, the president and CEO of All Occasions and its sister company, Marbella Event Furniture and Décor Rental, says. “This was never more evident than in the case of the farm table.”
When, a few months later, All Occasions received a call from a party planner looking for farm tables for the Western Reserve Land Conservancy’s Ever Green Ever Blue: The Ultimate Block Party event, Cleveland regional account representative Deborah French-Gorman knew she had the perfect table. The only catch was they needed 44 tables – four more than All Occasions had commissioned for the previous event. Following another letter to Amish country, four more tables arrived in time to complete the event.
“Delivered on time by a horde of drivers and carefully assembled, one by one, the farm tables and chairs were exactly as my client and I had imagined,” Deborah Smythe Hermann, the chairwoman and CEO of GhostLight Productions, which produced the Ever Green Ever Blue event, says. “The event site was at a private home, and the entire All Occasions delivery and set-up team carefully hand carried the heavy tables, one by one, across a magnificently manicured lawn into the massive tent. Who does that?”
Though All Occasions began in Pittsburgh in 1978 as a general rental company, renting tools and equipment to contractors and homeowners as well as party equipment and supplies, the company sold off the tool business in 2001 to focus on its growing party rental business. A few years ago the company expanded into the Cleveland and Columbus markets.
“My job is part field trip,” French-Gorman, a Pennsylvania resident who spends several days in Cleveland each week, says. “I have had a great time learning about different Cleveland venues and their history. And I have met some truly interesting people along the way.”
This year All Occasions, a comprehensive rental company, will provide tenting, tabletops, linens, tables, chairs, furniture, décor, serving pieces, food service equipment, flooring, staging and event branding and printing for hundreds of events in Cleveland. The depth of the company’s inventory means that All Occasions can fill all of its clients needs — from the ordinary tenting, dishes and dance floors to the extraordinary monogrammed bars and custom event branding. The company can even create a CAD drawing of the event space, allowing clients to easily envision the event’s set-up and flow.
“The comprehensive inventory and the depth of inventory is one of the features of our company that makes us stand out,” French-Gorman says. “Our delivery crew delivers, sets up, strikes and returns the product for any event the customer chooses. It’s a worry-free process. Our delivery fee to Ohio is the same price as our delivery fee here in Pittsburgh. It’s another way we make sure to bring more to the table for our special Ohio customers.”
Though her father, an officer in the Army, was briefly stationed in Cleveland in the 1950s, and her husband’s extended family lives in Cleveland, French-Gorman was fairly unfamiliar with the city before she began working with Cleveland clients. Her affiliation with the International Special Events Society proved invaluable for building local contacts and connections.
“I just finished my term as president of the Pittsburgh chapter,” French-Gorman says. “When I first started working in northeast Ohio, the Cleveland chapter was a wonderful resource for meeting folks in the industry. Those relationships are really key.”
As All Occasions steadily builds a client base and other partnerships in the Cleveland market, the company remains focused on what it does best – bringing more to the table for every event, whether it’s a fundraiser at a private residence or corporate event for thousands of guests.
“Our customers have one chance to make that one event on that one day phenomenal,” French-Gorman says. “We’re here to make that process as easy as possible.”
While the expansion into the Cleveland market has been exciting for All Occasions, it has been a positive experience for French-Gorman as well.
“This is really the best time for both Pittsburgh and Cleveland,” French-Gorman says. “It is encouraging to see two rust belt cities shake that image and come out stronger for it. Right now, both cities are receiving some very well deserved press from the national media. We have always known how great the cities are so it is great to see others recognize that and applaud us.”
For more information: allparty.com