La Fete | We go behind the scenes

Founded in 2016 by Charlotte Ricard-Quesada, La Fete has extensive experience with the ideation, development, and execution of high-end weddings, exclusive events, and boundary-pushing photoshoots. Charlotte’s multicultural background and fluency in four languages enable her to create flawlessly organised events globally, always ensuring we provide once in a lifetime experiences for our clients.

We go behind the scenes to find out all about the La Fête magic.

Wow! La Fete has come so far… how does it feel?

“In one word: incredible. In our near-three years of business, we have achieved so much: working with wonderful clients, both private and corporate, been featured in the international press and truly created an instantly recognisable La Fête stamp. I am quite self-critical though, so sometimes I get pulled back into the negative thoughts of ‘I should be making more money, ‘I should have more clients’, but I need to remember that we’re laying the foundations to grow healthily over the years.”

It must have been quite the journey, what are the biggest lessons you have learnt?

“There have been quite a few lessons over the years! One would definitely be surrounding yourself with the right team. Through trial and error, I have finally found my dream team (quite quickly, I will admit!) and we all work fantastically well together. It’s about respecting each other’s contributions and ideas, and we’ve definitely got that down. Another lesson that I have learned is to say no. When you start your business, it’s hard to refuse an opportunity that comes your way as you feel so desperate for experience and to prove yourself. It’s absolutely vital though to make sure that the opportunity is right for your business and the image you want to project.”

You help design creative bespoke events and parties. What sparked the need for your business?

“I’ve always loved organising and from being a teenager, was always tasked with planning family get-togethers and events. As a fashion merchandising student in Florence, I interned with a luxury wedding planner and completely fell in love with the industry. My path was already underway in luxury fashion, but I knew I’d come back to weddings and events one day. During my time working for brands such as Dior and Tom Ford, I attended parties and shows internationally and always came to the same conclusion: organising destination events is hard, as is planning with someone who has a culturally different understanding of what the client might want.

That’s when the idea of La Fête slowly started to grow, as I am a quadrilingual and bi-national European who grew up in Switzerland, feeling simultaneously at home and a foreigner wherever I am. I knew that my languages and culturally varied approach could make me stand out, especially in the niche industry of luxury planning. And so I took the plunge.”

What has been your favourite event to date?

“It’s definitely hard to pick! I adore working with private clients, but corporate clients present a whole new and unexpected set of challenges. I’ve been fortunate to work repeatedly with the Condé Nast group, consulting on the last two editions of the Glamour Beauty Festival and the upcoming one in March.”

What has been your most challenging event?

“I’d have to say that the GQ Men of the Year Awards 2018 was challenging as I was tasked with organising logistics and accommodation for all the celebrity attendees. It was an experience like never before: definitely stressful, but I loved every minute!”

London is a constant source of inspiration to us for the world of events – from new exhibitions to the people we meet, what inspires you and your work?

“I’m inspired by so many different things, from a photograph or painting to a building or piece of furniture. I’m a very visual person and can’t get enough of shapes and colours; which is also why I adore spearheading our very own photoshoots. I’m also endlessly inspired by fashion, of course!”

Have you got any exciting new concepts that you’re working on at the moment?

“We do indeed. We’ve partnered with the Franklin Hotel in London, styling their limited edition afternoon tea, inspired by the V&A’s Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition. We want to share the La Fête experience and truly revolutionise the traditional afternoon tea. So definitely check it out until 14th July 2019!”

Have you conquered the work life balance?

“It’s a slow process and I don’t ever think you can have a perfect balance: I still sometimes take my laptop on holiday and feel guilty for reading emails, or my husband tells me off! But I’m learning every day and making sure to always factor in essential me-time.”

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self now?

“Work hard and don’t worry so much. I still have to tell myself that now sometimes, a decade on!”

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