Cortnie Fausner began her career in event design. After nearly 9 years of producing beautiful weddings and parties – and getting published over 20 times by the likes of Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides Magazine, and even us at Rue – she wanted to try her hand at a little something different. In the years leading up to this decision, Cortnie noticed a major need in the industry – knowledge and documentation of the best venues! And voila. The Venue Report was born. The Venue Report exists to make choosing a location for your event super easy. Their talented team travels the world and takes copious notes, and as a result the first part of event planning – choosing a venue – is easy as pie. We wanted to learn more, and gave Cortnie our #5MinutesWith treatment:
MY LIGHTBULB MOMENT:
Once upon a time I was an event designer. I struggled pretty dang hard to find beautiful gathering spots. A client would contact me and say “I am throwing a birthday party but WHERE should I have it? WHERE should I have a dinner party? WHERE should I get married?” It was the same question time and time again. I would search and sift through countless directories, looking at venue after venue and hotel after hotel. But they rarely had the design aesthetic I was looking for. I struggled to even find restaurants in the area with well designed private dining rooms. I realized that while there are countless travel sites, there was nothing to help me find the event spaces across the world. Finally, I knew I would have to create it myself. So the adventure to launch a visual platform to search for curated gathering spaces across the globe was born. The name was inspired by the fact that at times it was so hard to find a venue that I felt like an investigative reporter!
In 2010, I went to an event for wedding planners at The Viceroy in Palm Springs and had a ton of conversations with other planners experiencing the same thing. That was the day that the little lightbulb started blinding me, ouch! I finally got the courage to move forward with the idea.
I CAN’T START MY DAY UNTIL:
I spend about 20 minutes with my toddler in her rocking chair reading books to her each morning. So yes, sometimes I start my day with “Goodnight Moon” (a little backwards, but I don’t argue with my toddler when it comes to story time). I then HAVE to get a large iced coffee with a light splash of coconut milk and cinnamon sprinkled on top. I follow that up with a Kombucha (or two). Sometimes the day needs to be rounded off with another drink, like a glass of wine (or two).
Creating something while being COMPLETELY UTTERLY honest and authentic and not hurting anyone along the way.
YOU’LL NEVER SEE ME WITHOUT:
My phone, computer and giant bag of crud. By crud I mean a Mary Poppins type of bag where I could pretty much pull anything out of it. Since being a mom and being on the road a lot, I don’t travel light. Crayons, coloring books, cell phone chords, receipts, lipstick, loose change, computer, sunscreen, a hairbrush. You never know what I may pull out of that puppy. Please don’t ask me to do a “What’s in your bag?” feature. It’s not pretty in there.
MY DREAM COLLABORATION:
Would be with Suzy Menkes from Vogue who is an incredible writer, artist Donald Roberstson who is an incredible painter and Elon Musk an incredible business man. We would go on a trip to produce and write a travel inspired photo shoot via one of Elon Musks eco-friendly modes of transportation.
THE ONLY PLACE BETTER THAN LA:
Mi Casa in San Diego.
WHEN I FEEL UNINSPIRED:
I take a break. That’s the only way to get re-inspired. Mental breaks. Turn it ALL OFF, put the phone down. Seriously, put the phone down.
ADVICE I WISH I HAD 5 YEARS AGO:
The real deal about tech start ups. They are sooooo hard. Not going to lie. It took almost 4 years to even get our website off of the ground. There were so many details, the wrong programmers, having to start our site over from scratch. Hire the right people. Hiring the wrong people can set you back years and cost way too much money. Speaking of money, don’t try to cut corners unless you want to spend even more money and more time!
IN 5 YEARS FIND ME:
Helping other women entrepreneurs. I would love to be a huge pillar of support and a cheerleader. I am a HUGE fan of collaboration. Healthy competition is necessary but I have gotten so much more out of collaborating than anything. I also have a HUGE soft spot for children and animals (so much so that I am a vegetarian). Basically, I would like to be involved in a lot, lot, lot more charity work.
ABOVE ALL ELSE:
Be kind. Be honorable. Be honest. SUPPORT other business owners. DON’T be jealous. Realize that a win for female business is a win for us all. We are all on the same team. Let’s start acting like it.