The 37-year-old graduate of Dominican is founder and creative director of Dream A Little Dream Events, a premiere wedding and event planning company in San Francisco. She plans events of all sizes and budgets, and has been active in the event industry for 12 years.
However in 2004, two months after graduating from the Humanities program at Dominican, she took a step back and sized up her career options. Working full-time for a wine brokerage firm doing corporate events, she had taken classes on nights and weekends at Dominican and wanted to utilize what she had learned in psychology and ethics.
“I decided it was time to take the leap into my dream job. I had experience in accounting and marketing as well, so it all came together to give me the skills I needed to start and run my own business.”
Kalabokes opened her new business in her dining room in Greenbrae and slowly but surely invested her earnings into the business and climbed the altar of success, so to speak. She now has an office in the City with eight employees and says she does 90 percent of her business through the Internet via a website she built herself and still pays $20 a month to use.
She has listened to experienced professionals in her line of work, networked with others, cut expenses and focused on the couples’ experience to create a reputable company that was voted best event planner in Northern California by the Knot magazine 2008-09.
It’s been a match made in heaven, though Kalabokes realizes her business has hit some bumps in the road on her way up.“Any business owner will say that they had many sleepless nights wondering if they made the right decision or if they would be able to pay the bills that month,” Kalabokes says. “I had many of those, but I stuck it out with support from my family and friends and eating a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.”