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Cardinal Events seeks to find niche market in event planning

Casey Johnson (third from left) participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony in June. It officially marked her new business, Cardinal Events and Occassions, as a member of the Prescott Chamber of Commerce. Photo courtesy of Casey Johnson

Almost everyone can relate to the stress in throwing a big party. Buying every item that's necessary, the planning and even the worrying makes it almost impossible to manage everything. But a new business in Prescott is trying to let people enjoy their important events.

Cardinal Events and Occasions is attempting to make life easier by providing a quality way to organize gatherings and events. Owner Casey Johnson started the company in January with plans of capitalizing on a missing component in the area.

"Basically, the idea is to create these experiences and be the one that does the work so that people can live in the moment," Johnson said.

Johnson lived in Washington, D.C., for 15 years before moving to the Prescott area two years ago to be with her now-husband, Chad Johnson. They met at a friend's wedding five years ago, and she made the move after being in a long-distance relationship for three years.

"I don't know if I'd ever really thought about starting my own business, but there was a sequence of events that the opportunity presented itself. I looked at what I enjoyed in previous jobs and what I'm good at in organization and details," Johnson said.

She's seen the business as an interesting and fun way to get to know people in her new setting. Her new home plus her networking and contacts from DC have helped her get a good start to the project.

"I feel pretty good about the future of it. With any start-up in small business like this, there are good days and bad days. It's not always easy but it's fun, and as long as I continue to enjoy it I'm on the right path," Johnson added.

One event she is particularly excited for is the Hastings-Prescott Area Arts Council event in October. It's one of her first local gigs, with most of her recent events developing from her previous work in D.C.

"It started from me recently volunteering for an arts organization here in Prescott. The arts association seemed to come to the conclusion that to put on a full month's worth of events, they need someone dedicated to that since the rest have full-time jobs," Johnson said.

Most smaller communities draw from the same people for time and money to plan events, according to Johnson. This is in addition to those people having full-time jobs and having to find time to plan when they have a moment to focus on it.

"I think there's a niche out there for this kind of thing. Once the word comes out and the networking comes, and it's about connecting those dots and seeing the value," Johnson said.

But like with any new owner, Johnson is still constantly on the lookout for business opportunities and partnerships. Cardinal Events and Occasions recently became a part of the Prescott Chamber of Commerce, which was documented in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in June.

Johnson has been contacted and questioned about weddings before, but isn't too interested in getting into that already-specific line of event planning.

"My goal is more to find those other areas and community-based efforts that could use the service," Johnson said.

She holds goals of growing to have an employee or two, since it is currently a one-woman show. Johnson said she has been especially pleased with local contractors and graphic designers in her first months with the business.

Learn more about the type of experiences the company has to offer at cardinaleventsplanning.com or call Johnson at 703-969-2629.

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