I launched The Invisible Hostess in 2006 with the primary intention of assisting home entertainers with hostessing duties so the client could relax and enjoy his or her party.
Inspired by frantically hosting a baby shower, I was frazzled in the kitchen, couldn’t greet guests and felt like a spinning Tasmanian Devil at my own fete.
The light bulb moment occurred and The Invisible Hostess was born.
Shortly after launching the business in March of 2006, I was handed a Wedding Coordination opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I recall the conversation going something like this:
Parents of the Bride: “Do you do weddings?”
Sheena: “Um, sure!”
Wedding coordination jobs trickled in based on referrals and as I gained more experience, I realized it was a trade I was good at and knew it should become a larger part of my business.
Let’s call it what it was – my best friends pitched in when I was already booked or needed more help. In 2007 and 2008 I turned my friends-doing-favors into official “Hostesses” because during the height of the recession, business started to boom unexpectedly. We were losing clients who threw elaborate house parties and gaining couples who were getting married and looking for economical ways to have a reception. The need for multiple Hostesses became apparent and the company evolved into an event staffing operation.
In 2010 The Invisible Hostesses added bartending services. When clients booked a Hostess, the natural next question would be, “and do you bartend?” We were turning away a lot of business so I decided to expand our offerings and offer bartending. I had the great fortune of having really skilled bartenders help me launch this service and teach me the questions I need to ask in order to do a job well done. I’ve continued to be fortunate by finding some of the friendliest bartenders around.
In 2012 we officially welcomed some “hosts” to the team. I never turned guys away before, but we had never really had a guy express interest until now. With bartending and our fast pace growth, we couldn’t afford to turn quality help away! The guys have been putting up with being called Hostesses this whole time. After a party guest asked me if I was the “Ghost Host” I chuckled thinking of our guys. That name could work, no?
From a “shoe money” job to 45+ employees, hundreds of events, and deepening roots in the event industry, The Invisible Hostess is no longer a singular “Hostess” cleaning kitchens at house parties (though we still do it!). My company is made up of much more:
Five wedding coordinators, myself, Afton Vander Pol, and Natasha Larsen, Jocelyn Foreshee and Mary Brown
Event Manager, Natasha, who greets your every email and call
40+ regular employees rocking receptions every weekend
Interns who are excited to learn and give their time to grow in the event industry
I’ve expanded my experience into corporate, social and religious event coordination
Exclusive relationships with prominent venues
Official office space on the waters of North Lake Union
We’re guys, girls, bartenders, event planners, servers, cupcake lovers and all around “glue” that keeps your event together and running smooth. The original vision of my company is in tact, it’s just the faces and ways of doing it that have grown over time.
Founder & Boss Lady