Brown builds her own brand

After nine years of working for Tribble Creative Group, SouthPark resident Cassie Brown decided to make a change. So she bought the company and assumed the role of president and CEO.

Cassie Brown

Brown purchased the company and has since given it a serious makeover, renaming and rebranding it as TCG Events.

“I’ve slowly changed everything from the office location to the name,” Brown said. “Event planning has always been my dream job.”

TCG Events plans, designs and executes corporate, nonprofit and social events for clients. In addition to an extensive network of vendors at the company’s fingertips, TCG Events also focuses on bringing “collective, clever creativity backed by thoughtful, calculated logistics” to make each event come together, Brown said.

Many have misconceptions about TCG Events that she’s working to correct, Brown said.

“Most people think we only do large-scale, over-the-top, big-budget events,” she said. “We do events of all sizes for companies, organizations and individuals.”

Although she was saved from many of the typical start-up problems business owners might face, Brown said the transition from employee to owner has been difficult.

“(It) has its own challenges, such as time management,” she said. “In addition to event planning, I have to wear a lot of hats, from sales to (human resources).”

In her time at the company, Brown has produced and managed programs for Fortune 500 companies, professional sports teams, national associations and foundations, as well as various dignitaries. Notable figures Brown has hosted include Warren Buffet, Tom Wolfe, Gov. Bev Perdue, Elizabeth Edwards, Sen. Elizabeth Dole, Linda Hudson and Melody Barnes.

The way of approaching work varied drastically from one position to the other, she said.

“Adjusting to thinking more strategically versus task-oriented is different,” she added.

Brown’s work has earned the company several awards. In her previous role as director of events for TCG, Brown helped launch “Girls Rock the House,” a national initiative that focuses on engaging and educating eighth-grade girls in politics and government, in conjunction with an advisory board of 12 U.S. congresswomen.

Brown said she doesn’t think that she faced any unique challenges in owning her own business because of her gender.

“I think being an entrepreneur is tough, but rewarding regardless of gender.”

Brown’s advice to others hoping to start their own business is to enjoy what you do.

“Do what you love and it won’t seem like work,” she said. “Find a mentor who has experienced the same challenges.”

Brown said it’s unfortunate women-owned businesses, though on the rise in the United States, still do not grow as quickly as male-owned businesses.

“Women-owned businesses play an important role in the economy,” she said. “Women and girls should be encouraged to start their own businesses!”

Brown recommended the organization Count Me In, which helps women-owned businesses get to the next level with resources for startup businesses on their website, www.makemineamillion.org.

Brown is originally from Lexington, Ky., and holds a master’s degree in tourism administration and event management from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in hotel, restaurant and tourism administration from the University of South Carolina. Brown was an adjunct professor at Johnson and Wales University and has taught courses on event management at Central Piedmont Community College. Brown serves as the president of the Charlotte chapter of the International Special Events Society.

“Charlotte is a great city for event planning,” she said. “Charlotte companies understand hospitality and return on investment from entertaining.”

Find more on Brown and her business at the group’s website, www.eventwithtcg.com.

South Charlotte Weekly will continue to feature local women-owned small businesses. To suggest a business for a story, email news@thecharlotteweekly.com with the subject line “women-owned small business.”

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