“For Years I Wanted To Spoil The World, But At The End Of The Day, I Forgot To Spoil Myself” With Samantha Goldberg
Spoil yourself. It took many years of my wanting to spoil the world, and at the end of the day, I forgot to spoil myself. I know that when people watch you on TV or they see your success, they automatically assume that you’re spoiling yourself silly. I don’t think I’ve ever heard an agent in any capacity tell me to take the day off and spoil myself silly. It’s just not one of those things I grew up doing. I was raised to be a giver not a taker, so I’m learning. But I still love to give, and anytime someone needs advice, just a hug (even a complete stranger), I am open arms every time.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Samantha Goldberg, Celebrity Wedding Planner & Lifestyle Beauty Expert as seen on the Style Networks, “Whose Wedding Is It Anyway” and various other networks.
Thank you so much for joining us! What is your “backstory”?
I’ve lived in Chicago city for most of my life. My parents divorced when I was 2 1/2 years old, and I don’t remember much except for my mother telling me at an older age 7 that if I could move out I would. I guess you could say that my independence started at a very young age, and I was considered an old soul.
As I reached my teens, I sang. I was in concert choir, worked in a recording studio, was the lead singer in a band Quinxiotica, and would sing for all kinds of occasions for 12 years in total and told very few people about my talent!
During the WWII era, my grandmother used to sing to the troops in five different languages to keep them happy. In addition to Red Cross efforts, she was also in the Marines. My mother used to model and had a great voice too. She started her own marketing advertising company in her early 30s and was a very successful single parent. She was both talented and beautiful. I guess you could say I’m a third child prodigy. From there, I thrusted my drive into full force and I haven’t stopped since.
When I was 19, I was also in pageantry and wore the same dress when my mom was crowned Miss Chicago/Lincoln Square. I later was chosen to be a finalist as Miss IL into the Mrs.
America/IL pageant and wore my grandmother’s same dress — and that lucky dress was worn from my mom too! When I was 33, I married and became pregnant the year of my 35th birthday.
I was told that my husband at the time had a relocation opportunity to increase his resume, so I left a successful career in the professional beauty and fashion industry. My husband mentioned that maybe I should do consulting work for the companies I used to work and so I did for a short period of time. I then branched off into other distribution/manufactures on the East Coast.
After surgeries with my daughter who had a Cavernous Hemangioma growing in her mouth that needed to be handled, I knew I needed something more interactive, creative, and fun. That’s when my husband at the time, suggested that I get some business cards made and maybe do some side Weddings, like I did in Chicago. It wasn’t easy in the beginning, but six months later, I had 40 clients and was on an international television show about weddings.
Let’s just say that was the beginning to my multi-tiered empire that consists of me being the brand, celebrity major brand spokesperson, SMT specialist, television personality radio show host, talk show host, and celebrity wedding designer/lifestyle expert. I still read over my accomplishments and still get a pit in my stomach, which is a good one, but it leads me to question if I’m ready for something else.
I finally found the right mix of people to get me here. As the saying goes, just take the path you were led to lead, and the rest will follow.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your acting/directing/performing/hosting career?
If I were to share a story, it would have to be about my experience in working with brides on the East Coast. Never in my career have I ever had a bride request a leather couch, a bookshelf with stuffed animals, books, and junk, to basically be centered off the area of a dance floor in the corner.
All I know is that it the first time I walked off camera. The couple seemed to young and a “know- it-all” personalities. It’s hard to tell people your opinions, especially when they are so headstrong, which made it really difficult and caused me to walk off the set.
I really wasn’t going to come back. I think that was when I gained tough skin and decided to become a straight-forward TV personality. If it doesn’t work with the strong people in this world, so be it.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I am most excited to share that I will be starting a few ventures to include a radio show! I have my own podcast show on the “Wedding Network” called “Get Real with Samantha Goldberg,” basically a tougher gal hearing woes and war stories. It was truly a blast and life-changing, as I have the opportunity to share stories of abnormal anything.
This adventure on the radio is not only an Art Bell-owned entity, but also mixed with a partner known worldwide in her expertise who speaks about the spooky and paranormal. This also ties in wonderfully with a spin-off feature as she spooks me on homes that look scary on another show called “She’s Flipping Out,” slated for 2019. This show basically involves me flipping homes with 40 handsome contractors whom I will hire, fire, and have do labor too! Basically, I screw up and they fix it. The premise of the show is that I have been on screens for over 20 years now in their homes about weddings.
Lastly, I am also in contract with a party supply company in China. I was contacted to use my name on products, since I have had the relationship with Party City as their Celebrity Spokesperson/Celebrations Expert. Now it’s time to get my own name out there on the tables and more! Amazon will happen later this fall, and I am ecstatic!
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with?
I have worked with John Stamos, P-Diddy, Red Foxx, Buddy Hackett, Trump, Sen Joe Vitale, Malinda Williams, Grammy Winning D’Nice, Vanessa Williams, Michael Bradley (Gold Olympian Soccer), Sean O’Brian (Giants) Bears, NJ Devils, Oprah, Gary Shandling, Richard Simmons, White House officials, the Secret Service, and more.
I met Donald Trump at his new property in Bedminster, NJ, and we just hit it off. I have worked on celebrity events and high-end affairs, and he’s been part of my non-profit Dream Team giving free weddings for those who have gone through various hardships, such as death or deployment.
He’s a giving man whom is proud of his family and enjoys golf. He’s great with his employees, and yes, his immediate family is polished. We have had conversations about life and is very interesting (away from cameras). It was a great compliment to hear him call me “Sam,” and you make my place “look amazing.” He wasn’t the President when I met him. I thought he was just a successful guy, and I am a successful gal who can hold my own. I wasn’t intimidated by him. I had to just imagine him as a mentor. I hate to say it, but I have some of his positive traits.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
The five things that I wish someone told me before I started…
1. Since I had event planning experience in the professional world, that was a plus, however, working on personal events is very different, and there’s much more emotion behind it. I wish I would’ve taken the time to focus on hiring more people first with multiple personalities who could mirror. Nobody told me this when I moved here from Chicago 15 years ago.
2. I wish there was someone or some group who would sit down and go through the logistics of the industry. Even though there are conferences, nobody ever covers that. They talk about ideas that have worked for them or strategies, but logistics never happen. So I started my own for the past four years, and it’s been successful ever since. Truthfully, I would just like to partner with my peers, but it seems like most of them just branch off on their own, which is sad.
3. Don’t say yes to everything! Throughout my career, I have been blessed with being on television, commercials, faces of hundreds of companies, such as Hilton, Party City Bloomingdales, and being a major brand spokesperson for multiple beauty brands/lifestyle, host of my own talk show, being on three wedding shows, pretty much every news channel out there, magazines, newspaper, and modeling. Now, I have my own party-at-home product line. I feel as though I can handle it a lot better now.
I have made some mistakes. I became ill in front of 80+ countries, and I worked regardless, which was a mistake. I burned the candle at both ends and could’ve lost everything. I wish I had someone that told me to slow down, but my career continues to morph into other things. Now that I am wiser, I continue to go upward making choices that are best for my brand, which is me.
4. Stop and smell your success! I wish I had someone tell me to sit back and enjoy the ride. I can’t compare my career path to anyone else except for who you see on TV, and they likely share the same desire to be able to do what they love but not overextend themselves.
Some of the people I could compare myself to would be: Mario Lopez, Kelly Ripa, Ryan Seacrest, and even Oprah. Granted they are much bigger scale than I am, but they are into so many different things and that continues to build their brand. Ultimately I want to reach an even bigger audience and have tangible brands whom I represent.
5. Spoil yourself. It took many years of my wanting to spoil the world, and at the end of the day, I forgot to spoil myself. I know that when people watch you on TV or they see your success, they automatically assume that you’re spoiling yourself silly. But when you hear it from your own husband about having a “nephew day,” and not even knowing what that means, and not even being able to do it, that’s pretty sad. I don’t think I’ve ever heard an agent in any capacity tell me to take the day off and spoil myself silly.
It’s just not one of those things I grew up doing. In closing, I was raised to be a giver not a taker, so I’m learning. But I still love to give, and anytime someone needs advice, just a hug (even a complete stranger), I am open arms every time.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Nobody was ever called stupid for trying. Sometimes, sheer stupidity has caused success. In some ways, I started here 15 years ago not knowing anyone, and I jumped in with whatever tools I have had my whole life — and created my own dreams along the way. That was my own daily quote as I looked in the mirror. “Sam, no regrets, right? Yes, no regrets…Not even today!”
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a person whom you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I wish I could name one person — perhaps my friends who are like family. They accepted me when I screwed up and when I succeeded. My own family, not so much, but don’t your friends and now peers become your family too? They were amazing-. They still are and I love them for wanting me to reach my potential even when I fall. I have had friends even fly here to NYC when I couldn’t handle events or press, and needed a push or companion.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. :-)
Honestly, I would want a private lunch today with Trump. I was surprised with his choice in event coordination and fundraising. I am entitled to my opinion and am not alone. I can hit any goal — let’s talk Donald.
The other person is Oprah. I have met her and Steadman working out many times. She is also a multi-purpose personal. She’s made mistakes too. I would love to interview her to see how she now focuses on building her brand. Both Trump and Oprah, while different in personal mission, have the same goal — what’s next? How am I any different? Save the world or save ourselves from the world, right?