Shelia Mants has designed hundreds of events in Atlanta through her company Added Pizzazz,and with every event, she knows to expect the unexpected. No matter how prepared she is for every job, she realizes the likelihood of a challenge will inevitably happen.
She recalled one local event where she had to hustle and recreate an indoor event space three hours before an event due to the oppressive Southern heat. Her team had to move several tables indoors at the former site of Tyler Perry Studios and rearrange setups for the bar, deejay, food trucks and mobile massage units while still aligning with the vision. In the end, her team managed to pull the event off as guests were entertained while they visited house to house on the studio lots. Mants calls this line of work her passion.
“I love it,” she said. “I know that it’s a gift when I can wow myself.”
Mants, a native Atlantan, previously was a crisis counselor and later owned a kiosk at
Underground Atlanta. In the past, she would throw elaborate events in her spare time. She also studied floral design and attended balloon school to build her skills that she refers to as God-given.
“It’s kind of a natural talent," Mants said. "It’s one of my gifts. We’ve all got them. I’m a creative and that’s my talent.”
Mants’ Added Pizzazz offers services including event design, event management, catering,
venue rental and additional services with a deejay, bands, photography and videography. She has worked with local celebrities, government entities and major corporations. She built her clientele by partnering with celebrity event planners who lacked design skills. That is where she steps in to transform spaces based on a client’s vision.
“Whatever your imagination is, I create experiences for people,” Mants said.
Mants said planning an event can vary and she prefers to work with people who share her same passion. One of the trends that she has noticed among local events include stations. Stations can range from a themed food station, like a dessert station to an “action” station where a chef prepares food live.
Another design trend includes using spandex covering instead of linens to create a sleek effect, while millennials tend to favor natural design elements with moss, wood and earthy features.
Mants prides herself in being a detail-oriented person. She keeps a consistent theme in every element including a sports-themed event featuring professional football players and a bouncy-house printed with soccer balls.
The Mants Estate includes a five-acre ranch with a private lake for events. She saw the need for the venue in her hometown of South Fulton and hopes to create more memorable experiences for her clients.
“Little details, to me, makes it happen,” she said. “People tease me and say, ‘you can walk in a room with a thousand balloons and if one string is not curled, you see it’ and it’s true.”
When asked about her favorite or most memorable event, she referenced her 50th birthday
where she showcased an Academy Awards theme at Atlanta’s City Hall together with a red carpet, award categories, awards and a Diana Ross impersonator.
Mants' upcoming events includes the Taste of South Fulton and the annual It’s All About Me event in October at Morehouse School of Medicine featuring fashion, beauty, career and alternative health vendors for women.