As day one of the MunaLuchi Coterie retreat wraps up, the coterie members celebrate in Bourbon Street chic cocktail attire at the Roosevelt hotel’s historic “Blue Room” – a club room dating back to the 1930s that has hosted performances by the most iconic of entertainers, from Louis Armstrong and Ray Charles, to Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and so many more. The room, elegant and stylishly decorated, features a custom dance floor and lovely floral display of white roses, hydrangeas, and amaranths by Nadia Johnson-Beard of Studio 82 Events & Design.
Coterie members share laughs over drinks and dine on “Spices of Louisiana” New Orleans cuisine, such as Jambalaya, fried green tomatoes and delicious meat pies. A small line forms at the Coterie “move-booth,” recording brief moving-image memories that will be cherished for years to come.
Our party’s hosts, Andre Wells, Darryl Wilson, and Marc Wilson – whose animated images grace the custom Inkredible Dance Floor – take the stage to welcome everyone to the 2016 MunaLuchi Coterie Retreat, New Orleans, and to thank MunaLuchi co-founders, Jacqueline and Chike Nwobu for all their hard work and dedication. After a hearty round of applause, our party hosts return us to the live music performed by one of New Orleans’ most famous “street bands”, the Treme Brass Brand – offering up an endless lineup of New Orleans heart and soul.
Day one truly began the previous evening, Sunday night, in the Orpheum Ballroom at the Makeup Master Class in partnership with Fashion Fair Cosmetics. Featuring tips and techniques of fashion masters, including Katrese Kirk, and a special appearance by Desiree Rogers , Fashion Fair CEO and former Social Secretary to President Barack Obama.
Monday Morning began with the opening conference set in the grand Waldorf Astoria Ballroom, featuring a stunning “fireside” lounge stage design by Dure Events. Conference moderator Darryl Wilson danced his way to the stage down the walkway, further livening up the already excited Coterie crowd exploring the contents of their “swag-bags.” Co-founders Jacqueline and Chike Nwobu were greeted with an applause of great appreciation, adoration and admiration as they spoke to the future and movement that is MunaLuchi and the multicultural bridal and events market.
Coterie members were enthralled by Q&A session conference speakers including Wedding & Event Planner phenom, Kathy Romero in her “What to Expect When You’re Expecting to be a Luxury Vendor” segment, award winning event planner and acclaimed speaker Brian Green’s “Think Beyond a Mentor: Build Your Personal Board of Directors,” and Keynote speaker Desire Rogers – Fashion Fair CEO and former Social Secretary to President Obama.
Following a lunch break with numerous New Orleans landmark restaurants to choose from in the immediate area, retreat attendees were then divided up into focus groups of their choosing. The exciting lineup featured Lisa Zachery and April Davenport of Papered Wonders in their “Paper: To Have and To Hold” class, “Business Basics: Essential Fundamentals Every Business Owner Should Know” by Laconya Murray ESQ., a book signing and “Brush Embroidery Cake Decorating Class by the wonderful Toba Garrett, renowned wedding photographer Susan Stripling, and luxury invitation designer Ceci Johnson‘s watercolor course.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s followup and more news from the 2016 MunaLuchi Coterie Retreat, New Orleans!
Click here for Days 2 and 3 recaps.