About

SHA SHA HARNIK

LEAD EVENT DESIGNER OWNER

Sha Sha has been the creative force behind some of the most memorable events in Charleston over the last decade. She has produced signature experiences for a diverse range of clients including Fortune 500 corporations, non-profit organizations, premiere social occasions and more. A calm, experienced presence at the center of the planning and production process, Sha Sha is the lead designer for all major events.

  • WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?

    I grew up in Columbia SC, and my family moved to Hilton Head Island in the early 80’s. I’m a South Carolina girl.
  • WHERE DID YOU GO TO SCHOOL?

    Emory University – BA in Anthropology
  • WHAT DID YOU DO PRIOR TO WORKING FOR DISTINCTIVE EVENTS?

    I got my real estate license out of college and helped my mother who is a real estate guru, then left to pursue a career in event design and production. I moved to Charleston in 1998, and traveled all over the country and internationally planning destination meeting and incentive events.
  • WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB?

    I love that I never have to do the same thing each day. This would probably drive some people crazy, but I love the skillset that I’ve developed from having planned and produced so many wonderful events. It’s a very creative field, and I thrive on stress and the thrill of doing something innovative and fun. I really love the personalities that I get to interact with on a daily basis. It’s nice to bring fun and beauty into peoples lives.
  • WHAT SPECIAL SKILLS TO YOU BRING TO THE WORK YOU DO?

    My creativity and design aesthetic are important skills to my clients. I have a slightly wacky, “out of the box” way of thinking that drives innovative concepts, but also a very logical side that I rely on to drive my process into fruition. Making the concepts a reality is a skill that I am proud of. The production side is what I really thrive on. It’s one thing to have a great idea, and talk about it, but quite another to fully implement it.
  • WHAT DO CLIENTS MOST OFTEN REMEMBER ABOUT WORKING WITH YOU?

    Well they definitely remember my name because it’s unique. They also remember the beautiful events and how much fun they had. I recently had a client thank me for for being calm and clear – and I’ve heard many times through the years that I really make my clients feel calmer and take their stress away. This is a big goal for me when interacting with clients. I want to be the “wind beneath their wings.”
  • DESCRIBE THE MOST INTERESTING PROJECT YOU’VE WORKED ON FOR DISTINCTIVE EVENTS AND WHAT MADE IT SO MEMORABLE.

    In 2005 we designed the décor for the Arthur Ravenel bridge opening. This was a great chance to work with the city of Charleston on an amazing project. Imagine having a full blown party on top of the longest span bridge in the US, complete with a full orchestra, gorgeous lighting, beautiful décor, and fabulous food. It was such a great challenge and created so many wonderful memories.
  • WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES DISTINCTIVE EVENTS DISTINCTIVE, UNIQUE, WONDERFUL?

    A strong sense of balance is important to us. We strive to connect with our clients goals and visions and really listen to what they want. A great event engages all the senses – touch, taste, visuals, sound, and smell and then has an extra sense of magic when it all comes together beautifully. Our goal is to create this magic whenever possible. We have a strong sense of the elements that make a great design, and really look for fresh and innovative themes as well as redesigning classic ideas to give them a fresh perspective. Our rental inventory is always being refreshed with the newest and latest styles. We look at the flow and balance of the event from many different angles, viewing each event as a “mini movie” from the production side, and go the extra mile to deliver amazing quality for the budget. In reality there are many companies out there who strive to do what we do. The difference between them and us is our level of expertise, and the quality of our product and attention to detail.

LEESA PHIPPS

LEAD FLORAL DESIGNER

With more than 30 years of experience in the design field, Leesa’s unique talents include a full spectrum of floral design perspectives ranging from modern contemporary to classic European, from romantic Victorian table settings to unique theme parties and special occasions for celebration. Leesa’s particular strength lies is in her attention to the special details, notes, amenities, mementos and memorabilia that bring just the right note of perfection to social, corporate and charitable events.

  • WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?

    I had a great childhood in the Blue Ridge Mtns ----GALAX, VA.
  • WHERE DID YOU GO TO SCHOOL?

    In wonderful country schools where my parents taught, then community college and many continuing education design classes.
  • WHAT DID YOU DO PRIOR TO WORKING FOR DISTINCTIVE EVENTS?

    I owned a Hallmark card shop for 12 years (youngest Hallmark dealer ever)----designed flowers from the age of 16 years until now. I have worked for a couple of event companies.
  • WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB?

    The personalities at Distinctive Events are a happy mix and we are more like family than co-workers. The respect level we have with our clients is also wonderful.
  • WHAT SPECIAL SKILLS TO YOU BRING TO THE WORK YOU DO?

    I’m happiest helping clients create a moment in time, with a company or individual, that creates great memories to cherish.
  • WHAT DO CLIENTS MOST OFTEN REMEMBER ABOUT WORKING WITH YOU?

    I customize each event so it is unique and different.
  • DESCRIBE THE MOST INTERESTING PROJECT YOU’VE WORKED ON FOR DISTINCTIVE EVENTS AND WHAT MADE IT SO MEMORABLE.

    There is no one project… there are many, and it depends on my current thoughts and what just occurred in our bag of tricks!
  • WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES DISTINCTIVE EVENTS DISTINCTIVE, UNIQUE, WONDERFUL?

    We take each project as a challenge to bring out the creative edge in all our staff and we listen to our client, using their thoughts and vision to create the perfect experience for them. We believe in what we do - we have integrity.

CHRISTOPHER DURAND

LIGHTING & SOUND

Christopher’s area of expertise is in all things relating to lighting and audio/ visual. At Loluma, we believe “lighting is everything” and Christopher brings this statement to life with his talents, experience and production skills. His greatest passion when it comes to lighting is transforming an ordinary or expected space into something completely extraordinary but still familiar.

MORIAH WHITE

EVENT COORDINATOR

Recently relocating from the San Francisco Bay area and returning to her true Southern roots, Moriah has immersed herself into her passion for event planning and design. Moriah’s background in production ranges from creating one-of-a-kind unique crafts and accessories, to staging custom photography environments and sets for advertising, all leading to her unique insight into each and every event detail that our clients desire. A great love of horses (her 21 year old thoroughbred horse, ‘Morgan,’ resides in Awendaw) contributes to her calm and unflappable demeanor, which is a grounding element during the entire event planning process.

ZACK WILSON

PRODUCTION MANAGER CARPENTER

Our newest addition to the team, Zack brings an incredible skillset to the DE production department. With over 10 years in the special event design biz, Zack’s special talents include construction of custom stage sets, decor, and props. Zack wears the hats of both project manager and special event manager. We are in awe of his creativity and talent!

  • WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?

    Southern New Hampshire
  • WHERE DID YOU GO TO SCHOOL?

    A regional high school in a very small town in southern New Hampshire.
  • WHAT DID YOU DO PRIOR TO WORKING FOR DISTINCTIVE EVENTS?

    I have worked in and around the event industry since my 18th birthday. I have worked for a few different event companies over the years, each with their own special focus. I have also been a member of A.I.T.S.E. Local 320 doing stage hand and carpentry work, as well as owned/operated a fabrication business. Most of my focus over the last few years has been on design and fabrication.
  • WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB?

    My favorite thing about my job is that I am always getting to do and learn new things all the time! That makes for a very rewarding and fulfilling experience, as well as keeping your work feeling new and fresh.
  • WHAT SPECIAL SKILLS TO YOU BRING TO THE WORK YOU DO?

    I have been fortunate enough to have grown up learning about carpentry and upholstery from a very young age. Then I spent a lot of time doing sequential art, illustration and some sculpture. In the last ten years I have really come back to mixed media fabrication and am loving it!
  • WHAT DO CLIENTS MOST OFTEN REMEMBER ABOUT WORKING WITH YOU?

    What I usually hear clients say about working with me is that I tend to go above and beyond. I always try to make sure a client gets 125% of what they are expecting, there is nothing like seeing the surprised face of someone happier with the outcome than they ever though possible!
  • DESCRIBE THE MOST INTERESTING PROJECT YOU’VE WORKED ON FOR DISTINCTIVE EVENTS AND WHAT MADE IT SO MEMORABLE.

    Since joining D.E. full time this year, I would have to say the most interesting project so far, has been the addition of a climate controlled office inside of our warehouse this summer. Moriah, Chris, and I worked very hard on that office, and we did it all ourselves. From concept right through to completion, Moriah and I were able to make a really great and unique space to call our own.
  • WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES DISTINCTIVE EVENTS DISTINCTIVE, UNIQUE, WONDERFUL?

    The best part about D.E. is the dedicated people that work so hard doing what they love to do. The amount of care and attention to each detail is amazing! They are what make this such a unique and wonderful company, and I am very proud to have been asked to be apart of it.

Victoria Evans

My career in the event industry came rather unexpectedly. I was working for a consulting firm in Chicago doing media production work both domestically and internationally. After just a few months on the job, I got pulled onto the conference design and coordination team. It was love at first sight. After successfully executing my first large-scale conference I knew where my real passion was and I haven’t stopped since. Years in the industry have granted me the honor of planning many weddings, social events, birthdays, incentive events, awards nights, executive retreats, trade shows, conferences, and so much more. I love creating events for my clients where they have meaningful experiences that foster lasting feelings and memories. Watching that excitement and emotion unfold within each person is truly rewarding. Two main mantras: Always tailor events to each individual client, do not regurgitate designs. Always make your client feel as they are a guest to, not the host of, the event. Bring light. Bring inspiration. Bring superlative.