Hello, My Name Is: Julie Shanklin


Name: Julie Shanklin

Title: Principal

Years at Syzygy: I am the founder of the company: This April we have been in business for 9 years

What is your event expertise? I have over 20 years of experience in event décor.  The product has grown and transformed over the years.  With my team of amazing designers we can create any event given to us!

Where are you from?  Lived in Maryland my entire life

What’s your favorite color?  Yellow has always been my favorite color

What’s your go-to color palette for 2014? Gray is one of my favorites as a base color because you can pop so many bright colors off of it

Tell us your craziest or funniest behind-the-scenes event story:  Once when I was 9 months pregnant I had to get into a fountain to get the flowers placed for an event.  The water was extreamly cold so I had to wear Hip Waiters:   Hip Waiters pulled up over a Big 9 month Belly is very sexy!

Advice to brides planning their own wedding: Relax and let the professionals take care of it!

Favorite Syzygy event so far: I loved the event we did in the Bahamas for the grand opening of their new stadium.  Outside in the sunshine always makes me happy.  We did a card stunt at the stadium and the organizers said the people would never do it. ( A card stunt is where you give each person a big card and you have them hold them up with a message or colors or what every you want.  We did Bahamian flags)  The people not only did the stunt they loved it and did the wave and held the cards up long after they could have put them down.

What’s your event mantra:

“Be Amazing”:  I live by it everyday and try to teach my crew to do the same


Let’s Talk Oscars Party with Let’s Talk Live!


We had a great time today with the girls at Let’s Talk Live! We want to extend a big THANK YOU for inviting us to talk with them.

Smile for the camera!

Smile for the camera!

As promised, we have additional information to help you make your Oscar Party A-List worthy…

Focus on items that are easy to make and present, so you can enjoy the show too!

For an outside-the-box Cheese display, check out the photo gallery – we found those cheese stands at our local Home Goods store.

Popcorn –  Who doesn’t love popcorn while watching an awards show!  We got these great flavors from Al’s Popcorn.  They have every flavor imaginable!

Today we featured the following cheese pairings…

  • Manchego with Quince paste and Salty Date Crackers
  • Brie with Marconi almonds, Organic Fig spread and natural crackers
  • Piave with Orange Blossom Honey, Caramelized Pecans and a Baguette

If you’re looking for more great suggestions visit Joana  in the cheese department at the Whole Foods in Georgetown

Keep the bar simple & stick with what you like.  We are big fans of anything with bubbles….

Sparkling Rose makes a great alternative to champagne.  On today’s segment we featured Billecart magnum, Rose Moet, Pommery Pink Pop.  If you want a little help choosing a champagne or rose that’s right for you head over to Macarthur Beverage.  Their team is so knowledgeable they will be sure to help you find the right match!

Dessert! – Godiva of course!  As a major sponsor of an after party in LA, adding some Godiva to your party is a way of bringing a little of the AList to your guests.

Creating a Red Carpet Backdrop that doubles as a photo wall/step & repeat – take advantage of the opportunity to capture some fun images of you with your friends.  Using a few props and you iPhone camera and you can be ready to go.

SPECIAL NOTE:  Use the Slow Motion camera option on your iPhone for some really hilarious images.

With these tips you’ll be able to throw together an A-List viewing party in a flash!

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Road Trip: The Special Event Conference and Trade Show

Taylor Jenkins and I were recently privileged to have the opportunity to go to the Special Event Conference and Trade Show at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tennessee. The purpose of our trip was to represent our fellow Syzygy team, at the International Special Event Awards Ceremony and Gala for our nomination in the category for an event valued over $250,000.00. For us, this was National Geographic’s 125th Anniversary at the National Building Museum. Our competition was tough, but our nerves couldn’t be rattled- we were confident in the spectacular event that we had produced.

Nat Geo Nat Geo On the evening of the Awards Ceremony and Gala, Taylor and I dressed in our finest and even took the time prior to primp, which included getting our nails done and hair perfect. Rested and relaxed, (an absolutely rare moment for an event designer) we headed to the cocktail party and awards ceremony.  We didn’t really know anyone as the audience for the gala drew people from all around the world. It was amazing to look around the room at people who had come from as far as Germany, China, Australia, Canada – all across the USA.  Taylor and I kept mental notes from other acceptance speeches to make sure we covered everything when and if we were to win. Finally, our award category came up and much to our sadness we did not win.  For a moment, I was a little sad and then realized that there was no reason to feel this way.

National Geographic’s 125th Anniversary was 100% a win for us in every single way – A true, over the top spectacle down to the smallest detail. The design team created the most beautiful schemes that encompassed digital mapping across the multiple tall columns of the National Building Museum to an extremely impressive reverse curved kabuki that measured over 80 feet tall and 80 feet wide; setting the precedence as a curve never done in the United States in that size or scale before. A bonus was the capability to use the tremendous film footage provided by National Geographic. Taylor took care of every desire of our clients, fulfilling every wish they could have ever dreamed of, for many months leading up to the event. In the end, they truly surpassed their clients’ expectations. Our manufacturing team created 80 custom tables which included custom etched compass tables and topography tables influenced and driven from actual National Geographic maps. In addition to the 80 custom tables, a custom stage of epic size was erected to hold an entire orchestra and 100 of National Geographic’s top explorers. I was responsible for all of the centerpieces which represented earthscapes varying in character from the oceans, desserts, bogs, icebergs and the jungle floor. Each centerpiece was unique with custom details to discover within each design.  And finally, last but not least, our installation managers and warehouse team were spectacular throughout the entire packing, loading, install and removal process.   Nat Geo

The moral to this story is simple: “It takes a village,” a famous quote from one of my favorite people alive.  It’s quite perfect in this circumstance.  No one person can ever create the magic that was achieved that evening, and we will ever more be thankful to our entire team for everything contributed by each and every person’s hands and hearts.

xo Julie

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