Allison Hart Seizes the Occasion to Own her Own Local Business
As a child, Allison Hart gained firsthand exposure to the world of event planning and preparation. Her mother first owned a florist and later began a catering business, and Allison lent a helping hand. Though she took a different path after college, working as a corporate educator for Paducah’s CSI, Allison continued to help her mom with weddings and other special events in the evenings and on weekends.
A few years passed and Allison and husband Ian had a child of their own. “When I had Isaac, I wanted to stop traveling, which my job required,” says Allison. “I had rented a lot of stuff from Tom Roberts, who owned Occasions Unlimited, and thought I would love to own the business myself.”
Allison approached Tom and the timing was right; Tom was ready to retire.Allison and Ian quickly became the new owners of Occasions Unlimited, located at 1103 Jefferson Street in Paducah. The business focuses on coordination of special events, including weddings, anniversary parties, bridal and baby showers, and Sweet 16 parties. Rental of tents, tables, chairs, wedding equipment, decorations, tableware and related items is available, as are custom florals and social stationery. And Allison still works with her mom, who owns Simply Unique Catering. “We work in tandem on many events and can be a one-stop shop for any occasion someone wants to celebrate,” says Allison.
“Something I bring to the business is wedding planning," she continues. “It’s nice to have someone who is actually working for the bride and groom: setting up the ceremony, setting up the reception, making sure everything goes smoothly so the families can be stress-free.” Allison notes that when she began wedding planning about six years ago, she handled three or four weddings a year and is now up to 12 weddings a year. She believes that more and more people are seeing the benefit of having a wedding planner. “What I really enjoy about this job is that you can make this special time of a couple’s life go smoothly. It can be the day they always dreamed of.” Allison credits Paducah Bank with helping things go smoothly as well. “Paducah Bank being locally owned means a lot. They provide a great atmosphere for small business owners.” Allison recently marked her first anniversary as a small business owner, and that, she says, is an occasion to celebrate.