The Coterie Retreat is a three-day annual retreat hosted by Munaluchi, for wedding professionals that cater to the fast-growing multicultural market. Our mission is to create an environment where collaboration and community triumph. We do this by bringing the best of the wedding industry together in a relaxed, non-intimidating setting for deep reflection, much-needed downtime, and education.
This year, our retreat took place at the luxurious Henderson Beach Resort in Destin, Florida featuring the most breathtaking stretches of white sand in the world, and the gorgeous jeweled waters of the Gulf of Mexico. After postponing our 2020 retreat due to the pandemic, we were excited to finally host over 30 speakers and 70 + guests for three days of learning, networking. relaxing and partying in the Florida sun.
The final day of our retreat was kicked off by our emcee Karli Raymond got our audience warmed up for their last day of learning.
Fireside Chat- Richelieu Dennis and Jackie Nwobu
As you are building your business you want to get full value for your business, not just [what some would deem] black value.Richelieu Dennis
Richelieu Dennis, Founder/Chair of Essence Ventures, and Founder of New Voices shared his amazing journey from selling shea butter, black soap, and natural beauty products on the streets of Harlem to having his products stocked in stores worldwide, owning Essence Magazine, and more!
His journey was riddled with tribulations. He shared, “It took us 16 years of selling on the street and sidewalk to eventually open our own stores.” But, he held on to his mother’s advice, “It’s never as good as you think it is, and it’s never as bad as it feels,” and he revolutionized the way brands looked at black beauty and black beauty products.
His advice to grow Black businesses:
- Purpose- Does your business stand for something more?
- Access- Do you have the right people, resouces, tools, understand?
- Captial- Do you have a source of capital, and what you are going to do with it?
- Expertise- Can you do it, and can you build a team that can do it?
How to Achieve Longevity in the Wedding/Events Industry- Panel
Being a creative will not end your business; not running your business, will end it.Kawania Wooten
Legends in the industry, William P. Miller of WP Special Events, Kawania Wooten of Howerton+Wooten Events, and Andre Wells of Events by Andre Wells , shared thier secrets to longevity in the events industry. Including:
- Diversify. You can diversify within the wedding industry or expand to offer services outside the industry, such as corporate events. But remember you have transferable skills.
- Know your strengths and weakness. Hire people who are good at what they do, and let them do it. You are not going to be good at everything.
- Continual learning. Come to events such as the Coterie retreat to network and learn.
The Tech-Savvy Wedding Pro: Tech Tools that will Enhance Your Business- Panel
You should not be spending 500 hours to do something that you can do in 50 hours by utilizing technology.Eddie Babbage
Eddie Babbage of Timeline Genius, Jamie Quickert of Allseated, Trevor Wessman-Lavelle of Aisle Planner, andAnja Winkk of Maroo shared how their software companies can transform your business, and help you work smarter, not harder!
From client management, seating charts, managing finances and payments, virtual venue tours and so much more, these are the software platforms you need to run your business smoothly and efficiently and connect with the technology-driven clients of today and tomorrow.
Crisis Management and Emergency Preparedness for Entreprenuers- Kawania Wooten
As wedding and event planners, crises, threats and diasters happen to all of us. But the best of us know how to prepare for and handle anything comes our way.Kawania Wooten
You must have a solid plan to protect people, property, information, finances, and your image and reputation, if you are an event planner. Kawania Wooten of Howerton+Wooten Events shared how we can prepare for risks, emergencies, and crises ahead of time. You should:
- Have solid contracts
- Have an emergency plan in place. Check it every year.
- Invest in insurance
- Build an emergency response team
Closing Keytone- Diann Valentine
You should be constantly preparing for what the next iteration of what your life is going to be.Diann Valentine
The illustrious event planner, author, TV Host and personality, and entrepreneur Diann Valentine shared her secrets with us for living a “Life Fulfilled”- a life where dreams, hopes, and vision collide. Reaching levels of fulfillment means you must have resilience, perseverance to get through the tough times so that you can reach a state of triumph.
What else do you need to run your own race? Diann says have…
- Faith: Faith is the secret of success because it is the foundation of everything. Faith causes you to expect success because it is your birthright.
- Purpose: Identify the reason for your existence, the why behind your work. It will drive you to choose projects that are truly aligned with you. If a project includes your purpose you are on the right path.
- Pivot- You should be constantly preparing for what the next iteration of what your life is going to be.
Diann shared, “The work we do [as event planners] is so incredibly vital because we are ushering in the next generation of black families/leaders. It’s more than pretty parties.” Now that’s purpose.
After three days of presentations and workshops, it was time to celebrate in style. This year, our annual Gala had a garden theme, and attendees showed up in their gorgeous garden-inspired attire. The Flower Guy Bron stunned guests yet again with his amazing floral arrangements that gave the feeling of walking into a technicolored garden, with florals in colors of pink, blue, purple, and yellow.
Several awards were given to four special Coterie members including Rising Star: Mia Lopez of @ivory.oak; Collaborator of the Year: Felicia Graham of @Feliciagrahambeauty; Valor: Kawania Wooten of @howertonwooten and Vanguard: March Wilson of @thestylemarc.
See our beautiful attendees below!
90s After Party
You know, after the party there’s the after-party, and this year the theme was the 90s. Attendees donned their hats to the back, their overalls and baggie jeans, parachute pants, baseball jerseys, and everything 90s attire! To top it off, DJ Spinderella played all of the 90s hits, and everyone couldn’t stay off the dancefloor. Take a look.
Stay tuned to MunaLuchi social media for news and updates about the 2021 MunaLuchi Coterie Retreat. Click here for information on becoming a Coterie member. View the Summer 2021 Issue of MunaLuchi Bride magazine here!
- Photography: Trene Forbes Photography– @treneforbesphotography; KFinch Photography– @kfinchphotography
- Video: Felicity Moments– @felicitymoments @tristanbarrocks
- Planning: Tiffany Chalk Events– @tiffanychalkevents
- Rentals: RW Events– @rwevents
- Beauty: Felicia Graham Beauty– @feliciagrahambeauty; Gold Karatz Beauty– @goldkaratzbeauty; Shaleria Smith Bridal – @shaleirasmith
- Floral design:The Flower Guy Bron– @theflowerguybron
- Stationery: Sandi Spells Designs– @sandispells
- Dance floor wrap: The Brimstone Group- @thebrimstonegroup
- Floral workshops: Larger Than Life Events @largerthanlifeevents; Leah T Williams Events -@leahtwilliamsevents
- Entertainment: DJ Exeqtive– @djexeqtive
- Gifting: Miscellaneous Market- @misc.market
- After party DJ: DJ Spinderella @djspinderella