Hatch Tribe Hero | Christy Loftin
“I can coordinate thousands of guests, multiple stages, air conditioned tents and multi-day events for massive companies….but ask me to have people over for dinner?” Christy Loftin, a long-time events coordinator based in Charleston with two of her own events companies, laughs at the thought of her own dinner party. “I’d be a mess.”
Like many business owners, Loftin often feels like she’s herding cats, but decades in the fast-paced events industry have accustomed her to the craziness. After hurdling tough bosses, transfers and huge events, she says she’s never lost one account. That’s one of many reason’s she’s our Hatch Tribe Hero of the month.
What is your favorite part of being an entrepreneur?
My favorite part of being an entrepreneur is being in control of my own destiny ...I can do anything I put my mind to and I think each of us really can have it all. It's just that having it all carries a different meaning to each of us. Equally I love feeling like I just might inspire others, especially young girls , to find their dream and chase it down.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
No one will take care of you like YOU. Next best advice: Make sure you can sleep at night. (Meaning always do the right thing - not the easy thing)
What keeps you up at night?
Nights are crazy. I don't require tons of sleep - perhaps in part the aging process, part excitement for so much on the horizon, and part worrying about, making sure I have taken care of everyone and everything - especially keeping the cash flow flowing if you know what I mean.
What ignited the spark in you to start your business?
I always side hustled my own events business while working for others. I never hid it from employers and 100% of them were supportive of the endeavor, however my last "corporate" job decided to close operations and reposition themselves in the industry - shifting more towards festival production. I was offered the opportunity to move and keep a job but decided this is it. It's time to fly with no safety net, so I took one of my employees with me and never looked back.
What personality trait are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my integrity, which is probably not personality but it is what I'm most proud of. My ability to quickly gain people’s trust and think quickly on my feet.
In one word characterize your life as an entrepreneur. #TallOrder
What sacrifices have you made to be a successful entrepreneur?
I don't see it as sacrifice but I definitely have had to choose work over fun many nights, and a few grey hairs, and an ever increasing waistline from stress eating. But I have gained so much more!
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Follow your dreams earlier; travel whenever possible; eat the cake, drink the champagne, take the chance. And learn from everything you do!
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration largely in music, also youth and architecture, and of course my parents’ and friends’ support and encouragement. It's also extremely inspiring to consistently produce successful events that create customer loyalty and referrals.
How do you handle fear?
PRAY. I have a strong belief system and prayer gets me through.
What would you do with one extra hour in the day?
An extra hour in the day?? Lordy—I'd practice yoga, learn to speak another foreign language, spend more time with my dog Morrissey, and friends, cook more, go to the beach. I never have enough hours.
What do you love to come home to?
I love coming home to a clean house and the unconditional love of my Portuguese Water Dog Morrissey.
Name a women entrepreneur past or present you admire, and tell us why.
Darla Moore and Sallie Krawcheck. While I don't personally know them, they are small town southern girls who have made a mark in education and ultimate "sheBOSS" recognition.
When did you know your purpose?
I think your purpose changes. I don't know that I truly really know what my purpose is. Perhaps it’s more more motivating and inspiring others than event planning. It’s important to open your heart and mind to listen for the signs.
What would you say are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful business owner?
Listening ears, flexibility, and a good accountant. The 4th (which might actually be the first) is the ability to laugh—at yourself and with others.
In your opinion, what does it take to be a great boss?
A great boss is one who listens to employees, makes them feel important, doesn't micromanage, praises publicly, and remains calm and gives credit where credit is due.
What lessons did you learn from your best & worst boss?
My best boss encouraged me to take responsibility and let me fail/fall sometimes so I could learn the lesson. The worst took my good ideas as their own and put blame when something didn't go well.
When you’re not working, what is your favorite way to spend your free time?
Tennis with friends, walking my dog, travel, cooking out with family and friends.
About Christy Loftin
As the first South Carolinian to earn ADMEI’s DMCP designation, Christy Loftin has been a go-to resource for corporate and nonprofit event planning, travel and meetings across the region with experience around the globe. She’s also headed guest services for corporate and private groups for Charleston’s most renowned inns and hotels.
Connect with Christy