Cloche Designs | Chic Chapeaux 2019
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Chic Chapeaux 2019

By: Laura Nell Burton

Each year on a beautiful April Thursday over 500 ladies donning fabulous hats gather to raise funds for Autism Community Network (ACN) at Le Brunch des Chapeaux. Last week, ACN invited us to lunch to celebrate with this year’s beautiful chairs (inside and out!) Linda Leavitt and Liz Lamoureux. We’re thrilled to share their 2019 event net profit along with all the beautiful details today in our blog. P.S. Tables are already committed for 2020 and this luncheon sells out fast so email soon!But first, a little background…over the past two years, Cloche has worked strategically with our client to elevate Le Brunch (its largest annual fundraiser) yet increase the luncheon’s profit back to the families ACN serves. When we were engaged for 2018, profit from the event had been flat at $70,000 annually. The 2018 goal was aggressive—to double the net return. Hiring Cloche for the 2018 luncheon was the first time ACN had engaged a professional event planner. We analyzed the budget and offered more value to guests at all table levels (for an added return to ACN). We introduced new table sponsorship opportunities (we discovered through our event diagramming software that The Argyle lawn had never been fully maximized in terms of tables relative to available real estate). We opened up the third-floor balcony for exclusive seating which secured a title sponsorship never before sold. Finally, we eliminated historically low-impact floral and decor expenses and concentrated dollars on high-impact moments including upgrades to the fashion show runway and arrival activations. The 2018 event chairs, Camille Mandigo and Katherine Gainey, knocked it out of the park with increased table sales, significant underwriting support and an added “paddles up” ask to their run of show.

THE 2018 RESULTS: In 2018, the overall net return goal was not only met but exceeded, raising $146,000. Here are a few pretty moments from 2018!The 2019 RESULTS: Cloche was re-engaged for 2019. First and foremost, so much gratitude goes out to all the 2019 Le Brunch sponsors, especially La Brasada Foundation and the Quintanilla Family. And despite additional design upgrades, we’re thrilled to report that expenses were flat (2018 as compared to 2019) and net dollars raised were $167,000. We were able to help our clients accomplish this in part by underwriting our time to produce high-impact decor in-house. If Le Brunch had stayed status quo continuing to raise $70,000 per year (for a total $140,000 net event profit over two years), then $173,000 (for a total of $313,000 net event profit over two years) wouldn’t have been raised to-date benefitting families in our community affected by autism. This is a testament that hiring a professional event company can be a significant value-add in the end. Did you know Cloche’s creative director worked in the Big Four accounting industry for eight years? We never lose sight of the math at the expense of beauty. We stay laser focused on balancing both priorities for our non-profit clients and we’ve already analyzed how we’ll further grow net dollars raised for ACN in 2020. Stay tuned!

Here are the mood boards we presented to our clients at their initial design meeting. Le Brunch 2019 was inspired by a Dorothy Draper room pictured below (lower left corner) that we’ve always loved at The Greenbrier Hotel. We’re so grateful to our vendors (also significant Le Brunch underwriters) who brought our vision to life including Illusions and Botanical No. 9.Every fabulous party should bloom from a pretty paper suite, and Gina Langford blew us all away (per usual) with her watercolor art. Gina, we can’t adequately express how much we love you! Your talents are beyond, you’re truly AMAZING!! TradeCraft (who donates significant time and talents to our non-profit community) designed a breathtaking paper suite printed by our friends at Triangle Reproductions and finished off with Callirosa’s beautiful calligraphy.
Here’s a close up of those cookies above. Our bestie at Baked Goodness underwrote dessert, giving guests the sweetest ending to a perfect day.We created a tasteful step and repeat for photos. P.S. The Cloche Girls always match the party!We designed a wow arrival moment where guests lingered with champagne flowing in the center of The Argyle parking lot. Custom flooring and treillage walls finished in Farrow & Ball paint made this moment magical.We dreamed up a special podium moment for the run of show! Gina Langford’s art was enlarged and produced to wrap the podium and our bestie Jenna Kingman of J.W.K. Style fabricated that darling Dorothy Draper bow (that we will never quite get over)!Mistress of ceremonies KSAT-TV anchorwoman Ursula Pari led the crowd and guest speaker Michelle Harrison, parent liaison for Alamo Heights Independent School District Special Education shared her story to a sold-out audience of autism’s impact on her family with candor, humility and grace. Each year our friends at Julian Gold put on the most fabulous Le Brunch fashion show. This year along with Worth & Associates they donated generous Supergoop favors (yellow to match the party!) and their swag bags (awarded to “paddles up” donors along with lemon drop shots passed on silver trays) were valued at over $500 each! We adorned their runway in canary yellow carpet finished off with Dorothy Draper-inspired skirting fit for featured designer, world-renowned Caroline Constas (who made a personal appearance as an honored guest). Raffle items were donated by Julian Gold, Kelly Wade Jewelers, Lee Michaels Jewelers and Shetler Fine Jewelers.Shop the looks below at Julian Gold!The new executive chef at The Argyle, Jesse Villanueva, didn’t disappoint (even though the president of the United States and his entourage had been guests for an election fundraiser at The Argyle less than 24 hours before). Bless that entire staff…we love you, Jesse, Mary Rice and your team!To Tiffany Fresher and Patty Vela at ACN, and to the 2018 and 2019 event chairs, Linda, Liz, Camille and Katherine, thank you for trusting us with such an important day. We love this cause so much and working alongside you to bring this event to fruition is pure joy! À votre santé Le Brunch!


The Cloche Girls ♥