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Don't Sweat Your Next Soirée

A summer surprise party launches Westcott Shaw's boutique events business

Around this time last year, Westcott Shaw started scheming to throw a surprise 60th birthday party for husband Dirk Dominick. A lover of the classic dinner party, she honed in on an intimate, thoughtful gathering of loved ones near and far which would take place at the family’s farm.

After 15 years in commercial property management, Westcott found herself looking for a creative outlet that would utilize her organizational expertise and ability to keep calm while keeping juggling emotions, expectations and multiple balls in the air.

Months of planning all the little details of Dirk’s party found Westcott happier than ever—planning the dinner menu with the chefs of small batch, considering florals with Occasions with Symone Shaw, deciding to use mismatched family napkins, and crafting invitations with Key Circle Press. From the welcome Watermelon Margaritas to the parting gift of Honeycreeper bonbons, the party was a labor of love. 

The lightbulb moment came when Westcott’s mother, Margot Shaw, seeing the joy of the planning process light up her daughter, exclaimed “you need to do this for a living! You’re animated, it’s creative—you should really do this!”

Westcott’s recently launched Shaw Events aims to fill a missing segment of the local event industry—crafting and managing smaller-scale events, from dinner parties to garden club luncheons to corporate cocktail gatherings. “l’m not trying to be a huge event person, but I know that everyone could use an extra hand when planning a child’s birthday, whether it is full event planning or a just a pair of helping hands the day of the event,” she says.

Always up for a challenge—like moving an outdoor dinner party to a new location as July rains threaten to dampen spirits—and seeing no task as too small or insignificant, Westcott is building her business based on relationships and thoughtful listening to clients’ wishes in order to craft meaningful, stress-free experiences.

Find Shaw Events on Instagram @shaw_westcott_events and on Facebook at Shaw Westcott Events

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