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Meet the Vendor
Meet Event Stylist: Jesi Haack
by Chris Carver
on May 13, 2015
Photo by Team Jesi Haack Design

FIRST OFF: Congrats goes out to the Haack Fam. This past Saturday, May 9th they welcomed this little “gem” into the world: Emerald Kate Haack (otherwise known as #QuatroHaack).

Photo Cred: @mrhaack

Rumor has it she came out with camera in hand and took this picture.

Photo Cred: Emerald Kate Haack

The purpose of the Meet The Vendor Series was to find out how various incredibly creative people do “it”. And by “it” I don’t mean “the dirty”. I mean how they constantly create amazingly cool shit, while still dealing with all the noise and stress that is life.

Well. Freakin’ jackpot! Because this Jesi Haack is a ringer. Her wikipedia bio basically reads: “Bad Ass”. Bad ass stylist, planner, mom of 4, comedian, wife, designer, radio personality (or just personality), mentor, etc. She’s a walking example of Girl Boss.

Literally, it’s like Martha, Tina Fey and Ryan Seacrest raised a wonder kid.

So for those that made it this far (that includes you too mom and Mr. Haack of course), get ready to take notes and tinkle, just a tad.

Enjoy. I sure did.

Chris
Co-Creator - Lennd

Photo Cred: Brit + Co

LET’S SET THE SCENE

Actually - forget about setting the scene, just think of this 8 month pregnant girl, telling you story after story about her run-ins with Martha Stewart, NSYNC’s bus driver and Chris Harrison, or the fact that she has Ryan Seacrest on speed dial and don’t forget her wedding night story. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I wanted to. Well I guess I could, but I’m not sure it would be better than the real thing.

The fact is Jesi Haack is is absa-freakin-lutely one of a kind. And as I was interviewing her, I got a glimpse of the magic.

Alright, first things first.

If your friends were a little tipsy, how would they describe your style?
Whacked. With a touch of class.

Annnnd that’s why people pay you the big bucks.

Photo Cred: Mr. Haack

Favorite NSYNC Member.
Oh easy, Justin Timberlake - no doubt about it.

Is that why you decided to sneak onto their tour bus.
Well yeah, obviously. You do, what you have to do.

And when was this?
I was 25 (umm well let’s say 21 for the purposes of the interview). Either way I was entirely too old to do what I was doing.

You do, what you have to do.

According to Mr. Haack - Britney Spears is a big part of your life. Which Britney song is your fave?
I’d say it has to be her cheesy ballad “Lucky”. It’s like a story of her life: Just a normal girl that needs real friends.

And more importantly, which of her breakups hit you the hardest?
Absolutely her and Justin.

Sticking with pop: Taylor Swift has the "Swifties", Katy has “Katycats”, Gaga had the “Little Monsters”, If you had a fan club, what would the name be?
The fact that you know all of the pop princess's fan club names gives me pause.  And also makes me think YOU should name my fan club.

I can’t believe I get the honors of naming such a prestigious club.

How about #LittleHaackers? Feels edgy. We definitely need t-shirts or a tanks made, because it’s gonna be HUGE!

Sorry! Fan club kits are sold out.

Let’s take it back to before your NSYNC days, what was 5-year old Jesi like?
I would imagine a perfect angel, with a bit of sass. I’m POSITIVE that’s what my mom would say.

Photo Cred: Jesi’s parents

What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?
I drank a lot at the bars and then went to the skate parks with my best friend and skated. Injuries ensued. And running from cops.

#LittleHackers #earmuffs

Any favorite memories?
We had the best road trip ever. We moved from Ohio to Phoenix so my dad bought an old school bus, gutted it, put all of our belongings in it, but left the four seats for me, my brother and my mom and dad. We had to pee and poo in a coffee cup.

Photo Cred: Jesi’s parents #tbt

Did your car in high school have a name?
The Omn - it was a 1983 Dodge Omni. It was half orange, half bauge. When they brought it home, I was so distraught. It had handicap license plates. It broke down 13 times in 3 months. It would just shut down and start again in an hour. In highschool I would come out and it would be humping another car.

The Omn in all it’s glory

Who’s one Instagrammer that you absolutely love?
@MrHaack. Like, literally. I love him.

Speaking of, what pick up line did Mr. Haack use to pick you up?
“We are gonna be GREAT friends.” And then he ignored me for 2 years. I thought at the time that he just wasn’t that into me. He tells a different story, but I’m not sure I buy it. Us girls like to lie to ourselves and tell us stories why the guy might not be giving us the attention.

Or maybe you were just really intimidating. That hard outer shell.

Photo Cred: Aaron Young Photography; Ryan + Jesi

So I’ve been told there is a story surrounding your wedding night? Care to comment?
Basically the wedding was really classy. Kelly Clarkson’s Moment Like This, glow sticks: it was a dream. Then a limo takes us to an unknown place, I start getting car sick. I don’t look like a pretty bride at this point. We pull up to a really fancy St. Regis, and I get this crazy look from the people at the desk. Ryan carries me in, and we have a major romantic moment. It’s going to be the first time. We get in the bath, but we didn’t take out the candles. I burn myself on a floating candle. Ryan goes to get ice and yard sales on the bathroom floor. I hear Ryan screaming my name. All of the candles lit a robe on fire. We’re both naked trying to put out the fire.

Tears. So many tears right now.

Photo Cred: Jesi + Ryan's Wedding

Okay, okay let’s talk a little business.

I’ll start with a cliche’ question: How did you decide to get into the wedding biz and start Jesi Haack Designs?
I kind of fell into the wedding business after I got married. Typical story. I was the first of all our friends to get married, so once everyone else started getting married, they came to me for help, since I kinda knew what to do. Then friends of friends started asking me for help, then people started offering to PAY me. Um, YES! Then I had an actual paying client that was getting married on a yacht in Newport. Well, the yacht wedding coordinator was very threatened that my clients hired me. She actually talked crap on me to the photographer, who happened to be MY HUSBAND. So at the end of the rehearsal, she was being very nice to me and asked for my business card. Well, shit. I didn’t have a business card. Or an actual website. Or a freaking logo for that matter. So of course I told her I forgot my business cards and that I would bring her one the next day at the wedding. So I went home that night, built a website on a template, made a logo, and printed out business cards on those perforated cards you can buy at staples. Ain't no way that chick was gonna talk crap about me and I was gonna look unprofessional

What is the dream for Jesi Haack Designs?
To do the wedding of Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears and all the guests have to wear head to toe denim outfits. Duh. No offense Jessica.

What's the most rewarding part of your job?
Seeing my clients walk out and look at the finished design of their wedding and seeing that we somehow, nailed their vision and personality through our visual displays. It gets me EVERY TIME.

Photo Cred: Scott Clark; Hummingbird Nest Ranch Wedding

So for all of those aspiring stylists and #LittleHaackers, do you have a routine to your work day?
The routine to my work day looks like this: get my shit done whenever I have a spare second. I have no regular babysitting, so office hours do not exist.

If you could redesign any event what would it be?
The set of After The Final Rose on the Bachelor. COME ONNNN. We need something new.

If only @chrisbharrison knew he made your wall of fame.

Photo Cred: Scott Clark; Hummingbird Nest Ranch Wedding

I see @RyanSeacrest also made it on the wall of fame. Maybe he can pull some strings.
I have his number in my favorites. I’ve called in a few times to give him my opinion. One time he was just having an off day. Just kind of really grumpy. He told me he was having issues with with his blackberry ball. So I told him one ball is better than no balls.

I’m sure he loved that - I mean everybody loves a good ball joke.

Yep - enough to make it the official sign-off for the day.

#SeacrestOut

Now, walk me through exactly how you asked Martha Stewart to take a selfie with you? Was it pre-planned?
Nope. I was in town visiting the offices and my contacts there. As we were getting a tour of the office, we walked by this room where an official looking meeting was going on. I looked in since the walls were made of glass. After we walked by, someone called out, “Wait, what are you guys doing?”  Michael, my lovely friend who works with Martha, responds “Just giving a tour…”. I thought for sure we were about to get kicked out of Martha Stewarts HQ, since she has street cred and all. Then she goes, “Who are they?”  as she points to us, to which Michael responds with a grand sweeping gesture of his arms in my direction and shouts, “Why, this is Jesssssssiiiiii HAAAAACK”. So I sheepishly walk into her office and say “Hi.”.  And Martha goes, “Well Jesi Haack, were you just gonna walk by without saying ‘Hi’?” And I walk up to her and go, “Well, of course not Martha!”. She then asks what I’m doing there, and I respond with “I’m in your spring issue, and I’m in NYC promoting my East Coast branch.” We have a bit more small talk and she introduces me to her “people” sitting around the table at her meeting. I then say “Martha, can I get a picture?”  and she says, “as long as you tweet me.” So I go next to her when one of the men in the meeting asks if he can take it. I say, “No thanks, Martha and I like selfies.” And I snap our pic. I say goodbye and thank her for chatting. BEST MOMENT EVER.

Photo Cred: @jesihaackdesign; the selfie of all selfies

Now that’s a story that takes two balls. Sorry Seacrest, the @MarthaStewart story wins. Nice work!

I’m pulling together book recommendations from everyone I interview. What would your recommendation be and why?
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. It’s about Mt. Everest. I have a weird obsession with it. It’s the most amazing thing in the world. I just want to know how it feels to be up there. I thinks it’s the most insane experience. Most people find out about my obsession and automatically think I would actually climb it, but HELL NO. I’m way to lazy. But I would LOVE to think that I could. So if I was immortal for a day, I would just go for it. #YOLO

BTW, our hearts go out to the earthquake victims and their families. So sad.

Who would you want me to interview next? And what are three questions we have to ask him or her?
Ryan Haack

Photo Cred: @mrhaack

Ask him why he took so long to make a move on me. Maybe it was because he was hangin with the Baywatch Crew then.

My Take Away

Wow. Jesi needs to go on a speaking circuit or at least write a book. Whether it’s how she deals with chaos, or her approach to life, family, work, etc. It’s already a bestseller. She’d literally break kickstarter if she floated the idea. They talk about nature versus nurture, but the stuff she pulls off with everything going on around her: I’m not sure you can teach.

However, what I really found refreshing about Jesi is that she knows who she is and she owns it. So many people we meet, put up this front of flawless, perfection. Not Jesi. What you see is what you get. She takes those little imperfections and turns them into gems (Emeralds :)). It’s part of her brand, part of who she is and people flock to her.

By the end of the interview, my jaw hurt from laughing, my hands were cramping from trying to catch it all, then it all came into focus: I looked up from my notes (8:58 AM)  and there is this beautifully styled table that definitely wasn’t there when we started an hour earlier. No big deal - she just put it together during the interview. Just in time for her clients to walk in and fall in love with the setting.

Jesi Haack OUUUT!

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