Elle Nucci of EN Events: They Told Me It Was Impossible And I Did It Anyway
Failure is not an option. My mom said this to me almost every day when I first started. I keep telling myself that. People have suggested I find a new career, close my office, move on, especially during this pandemic. While I have considered it, I just remind myself what my mom has been saying since day one.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Elle Nucci. Widely recognized as a leading producer of Los Angeles area events, Elle Nucci, the Founder and creative force behind EN Events, is a 15-year veteran of the food and beverage industry with a wide range of successes ranging from full festival productions for EDM’s giants Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) and HARD to catering & bar development for Madame Tussauds’ Wax Museum and A- list Hollywood Oscar parties.
With an underlying passion for concert experiences that stems from years spent following her favorite 90’s era boy bands touring across the country; she’s become is a proud “Blockhead,” still attending as many New Kids on the Block shows as she can.
Bringing her live music insights full circle into her work, she offers a no-nonsense approach and keen eye for detail while striving to push her creative energy into everything she produces.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to ‘get to know you’ a bit better. Can you tell us your ‘backstory’?
I am the Founder of EN Events, an LA based beverage catering and events company that specializes in corporate events and Music Festivals from staffing to fully licensed Bar Services. I offer a versatility that not all companies can and that stems from many years of working my way up from being a bartender at nightclubs to working behind the scenes in venue management. As a festival fan myself, I’ve seen the best and worst practices happening in real time and bring that knowledge to my clients to create the best execution of their vision.
Are you working on any new or exciting projects now? How do you think that will help people?
When the events industry shut down, as COVID-19 was fully acknowledged as a threat to humanity, all of my work, either in progress or confirmed for later in 2020 came to a halt with no end or start date currently in sight. It’s understated trying to convey what this did to my community, my staff and colleagues who rely on this regular work and don’t have safety nets and huge savings to fall back on. It’s a tough question to respond to when your employees ask you, “When will events and concerts happen again?” It’s all so unknown and hard to imagine, but as a busybody and someone who is endlessly planning, I had to pivot and find a way to keep my business alive, to support those around me and also be safe at the same time. This is where my idea for a drink and snack delivery service was born. I had so much stock in my warehouse- alcohol, juices, food, cleaning products; things all bought in bulk and far in advance for events about to happen around the shut down and now I was stuck with them, so I started creating care packages for my friends and family, who told their friends and family and it all just took off! Suddenly I had requests for drink menus, custom orders, and larger delivery areas and I had to hire some of my staff to help and that’s when I knew I was on to something. It’s become a daily thing now that’s kept me busy and I love being there to help! I have friends who have kids and can’t leave the house or are immunocompromised and it feels good knowing they can get things they need from a safe, clean and friendly masked face in times like this.
As things start to resume back to “normal” we are working on some “out of the box” ideas for when events can happen again. Taking all of the necessary precautions to reopen but also including a better experience.
In your opinion, what do you think makes your company or organization stand out from the crowd?
I have always based my business on relationships. This month will mark four years for ENE. I believe in loyalty when it comes to clients, vendors and employees.
In addition, our logo is a Red Rose based on me always having worn a red rose in my hair and it somehow became my signature. The staff wears branded shirts, hats and uses branded bar tools. People always seem to comment on it and remember us from it.
Ok, thank you for that. I’d like to jump to the main focus of this interview. Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us? What was your idea? What was the reaction of the naysayers? And how did you overcome that?
Before going out on my own, my entire career had been spent working for others. As a bartender, event manager, ultimately running a company, but at the end of the day I was not able to really do what I wanted and believed in. One day, I just realized I was too passionate to just do as I’m told, so I took the leap and EN Events was born. There were of course naysayers who said, no don’t do it, just take the check and let others deal with the hassle of payroll and insurance, but I knew I had the skills to make it happen. It just needed to finally feel like the time was right and I had to take the risk.
In the end, how were all the naysayers proven wrong? :-)
EN Events continues to thrive, even in a pandemic! I have clients calling me regularly to check in and let me know about the directions they are going in and finding ways to align with what I can help them with. When the time to pivot comes along again, I will do so with a new confidence that reminds me of our company motto that began at my dining room table turned office, “We got this!”
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
When I was 21, I was hired as a receptionist for my first “real office job.” The Owner was a dynamic businesswoman with funky clothes and pink hair. I learned a lot from her. You don’t have to wear a suit and look the part to succeed. I eventually left to pursue acting, but I always thought of her along the way when I eventually returned to the office world.
It must not have been easy to ignore all the naysayers. Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share the story with us?
I come from a family of performers, as my older sister is a theater singer and dancer and my older brother is an actor. We grew up in LA, auditioning constantly and learning to hear the word no. I want to think that it built us a thicker skin that doesn’t let failure get to us as deeply.
Based on your experience, can you share 5 strategies that people can use to harness the sense of tenacity and do what naysayers think is impossible? (Please share a story or an example for each)
Don’t overthink — I often questioned things before I even tried. Once I stopped letting fear rule my brain, I stopped thinking and started doing.
Other people are not me — Often people with the best intentions offer unsolicited advice about how hard owning a business can be. That is their experience and I will have mine and while it can be hard, I am always up for the challenge.
Failure is not an option. My mom said this to me almost every day when I first started. I keep telling myself that. People have suggested I find a new career, close my office, move on, especially during this pandemic. While I have considered it, I just remind myself what my mom has been saying since day 1.
Sincerity — Be sincere, speak your truth, be honest, stay humble, and admit when you are wrong. Don’t be afraid to apologize. Self-realization is important.
Fool me once… Learn from your mistakes. I use past experiences to dictate how I will handle the next event or client. It’s ok to say no, it’s ok to believe in something and to not.
What is your favorite quote or personal philosophy that relates to the concept of resilience?
I succeeded by saying what everyone else is thinking — Joan Rivers
I have always loved this quote because as a sensitive person I can often seem confrontational when I feel strongly about something. It can be off putting, but most of the time I feel that expressing what you feel, speaking out and being forward has been well received by most and it’s easier to solve our differences than pretending everything is fine, in an effort not to ruffle feathers.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
Adequate job training and opportunity for everyone. Pre -Covid I found many underprivileged communities have a hard time finding decent paying jobs and are often overlooked. I also find that being “overqualified” is a huge issue for people that have spent their lives working on a craft and then dismissed for less qualified candidates.
Can our readers follow you on social media?
@ENEventsLA & @Ellenooch
Thank you for these great stories. We wish you only continued success!