Katelyn Ford-Bey is a woman converged on many different paths of life: she is a mother of two; she is a native West Coaster, as well as a New Yorker; an alumnus of The Fashion Institute of Technology; and a co-founder of Top Knotch Events. From an early age, Katelyn knew what she liked and how she liked it; her passions included fashion, beauty, and events. Fast forward to a B.S. in Advertising & Marketing Communications and following that up with 17 years in the tech and media industries— and you have a force to be reckoned with (or as we call her, Katelyn).
Being an innovator, forward thinker, and barrier breaker, Katelyn wove her past experiences and passions into Top Knotch Events. With a primary focus on designing and producing branded activations, experiential marketing, and event activations, Top Knotch Event is becoming the do-all for any gathering (intimate and full-scale).
In this Turndown Service, Katelyn gives us an inside look into her life; teases us with something called a “nappetizer”; informs us on how to ensure a work-life balance (especially when dealing with chronic health issues); and hands us some tips as to staying stress-free when hosting a party at home. Read on for all that and more.
What are your favorite (hidden) oases? Favorite places to be - parks, cities, bars, any place you absolutely adore!
NYC has always been my happy place. When I needed to clear my head I would take long walks along the Hudson river starting at Battery Park and making my way north. It’s the place where I feel the most alive and zen at the same time.
What oasis is on your bucket list? Travel wishlist!!
Travel has always been a big part of our lives and we look forward to continuing to explore the world together as a family. Next on our bucket list is Europe (maybe Spain or Greece) and then hopefully we can explore more exotic locations as our kids get older.
What book are you currently unwinding with?
The Happiness Trap and Raising Good Humans
What 4-5 songs make up the sound track of your life?
Deep down inside I’m a romantic at heart. I would have a slow jam playlist going at all times if I could. I even like to exercise to slow songs (the more dramatic the better!). I also love any song I can dance to, especially throwbacks from the late 90’s/early 2000s.
Where is your favorite hidden space in your home?
Not exactly hidden, but my bed! There’s nothing better than sinking down into the pillowy soft comforter after a long day…
What is your personal “turndown routine” that helps you transition from day to night?
After the kids go down, I unwind with some Netflix and / or what I like to call a “nappetizer” (a mini nap before I officially go to bed lol!).
What is something you do just for you?
I adjusted my “work hard play hard” mentality when I was diagnosed with Graves Disease 8 years ago. Instead, I focus my energy on continuously developing a healthy, well rounded lifestyle (physically, mentally, and emotionally). When I feel depleted in any area I know it’s time to rebalance.
What’s your favorite maxi dress or jumpsuit and why?
Maxi dresses and jumpsuits are my fave. I’m currently obsessed with my Cult Gaia Maxi which is so versatile it can be dressed up or down.
As an event planner, what are your top tips to stay stress free when hosting events at home (i.e. holiday dinner party, New Year’s Eve party, etc)?
When hosting events at home, try to make the process fun, keep it simple, and delegate as much as you feel comfortable. Guests usually remember the overall experience more than the minute details so focus your energy on a few major elements that touch the major senses.
- Good food and drinks - everyone congregates around food and the bar so put some time into planning the food and drink menu and the dining experience as a whole.
- Music or entertainment to set the mood.
- One focal point such as a beautiful tablescape, a champagne bar, a dessert display, etc.
What is the best event you’ve ever been to and why? And what event do you have on your bucket list to plan - either for a client or yourself!!
We recently planned a 40th birthday for a friend at Glasshouse in the city. The venue was stunning, the catering and cocktails were exquisite, the music was on point, but the energy from the guests made this a truly epic event!
We would love to expand our portfolio by designing branded activations for fashion, beauty and/or sports brands. Traveling internationally for installations is also on my bucket list!