Meet Arica Haro, Olivette’s Independent Event Liaison!

Posted on: April 1, 2019, by :

As anyone who has ever visited Olivette – or even seen a picture – knows, we are privileged to be located in one of the most beautiful places in the world! Between the French Broad River and the Blue Ridge Mountains, Olivette is just about the most gorgeous backdrop nature could possibly devise… Which might sound like we’re a little biased, except that so many people agree. Almost from the first moment we opened we’ve had a steady stream of event requests, people envisioning their perfect event in our perfect setting. Arica Haro, our Independent Event Liaison, has the pleasure of making these grand visions into reality. Today, Arica is in the hot seat, answering questions about herself, giving insight into events at Olivette and offering tips based on her experience as a female entrepreneur!


How did you first become involved in event planning, and how did you first become involved in event planning for Olivette? 
I first became involved with event planning when I happened upon the Recreation Management program at Appalachian State University. It was a natural fit for me, and I have been doing it ever since graduation. I discovered Olivette and got involved at a very opportune networking event that I almost didn’t attend. I am so glad I did though! (So are we!)
From an event planning perspective, what makes Olivette different from other locations and venues? How does the location help enhance the events you plan here? Do any aspects of the venue pose special challenges, and how do you solve those? 
Olivette stands out for its natural beauty. I love how great it looks with minimal effort. The river also provides entertainment and relaxation. You notice a visible difference at Olivette events because of how people can relax together and entertain themselves. The only challenge that pops up occasionally is mother nature, but it is easy to set up tents while maintaining the river view. There is no real loss of asthetics even if it rains.
What is your favorite event that you’ve planned at Olivette, and why did you love it? 
My favorite event thus far has been our Farm To Table Dinner by the river. It was such a great collaboration of amazing local talent like 50/Fifty: art of dessert, Over Easy Cafe, Cordial and Craft, and Olivette Farm. Over Easy’s Chef Eric was roasting squash over the open fire pit, Cordial and Craft created amazing farm inspired fall cocktails and decorated the pavilion, and 50/Fifty designed the desserts that were almost too pretty to eat, but were too delicious not to. Everything showcased immaculately as the sun set over the French Broad river.
The dinner was dedicated to the great works of Greenworks who keep our river systems so clean. Guests got to cozy up to the fire and hear about each course from the chefs and farmer involved and learn more about the efforts of Greenworks. It was such a great community event, I look forward to more!
What kind of event would you love to plan at Olivette but haven’t yet had the chance to do so? 
The park is perfect for some kind of community festival. An event that brings families together with food, music and activities would be a natural fit.
What advice do you have for anyone just beginning the process of finding an event venue? What are some things they should look for and questions they should ask to make sure the venue they choose is the right fit? 
When choosing a venue, I tell couples and interested groups that I am not in the sales business. Venues are either a match or they are not, and they should trust their gut. If a natural outdoor setting like Olivette speaks to them, then we will be a perfect match. It would be very costly to convert an interior of a venue into a natural outdoor setting. Likewise, if they want a more urban look, it would be very costly to convert Olivette into that theme. It is good to ask venues if they have required vendors or services. We proudly do not have many requirements because we want everyone to make their event unique to them and within their budget. Not having restrictions also supports the many hardworking local small business that bring a level of excellence and personal touch to every event that they do.
Is there any effort made to be environmentally conscious when planning events at Olivette, and what different things do you do to minimize environmental impact? 
We have infrastructure in place that reduces the need to bring in a lot of disposable decorations. Our ceremony circle is located on an island and is surrounded by a rock garden that is planted with live seasonal flowers. We include a natural wood arbor. There is very little needed to make this place feel special. We also have recycling services included, and have restrictions on decorations that could harm the environment/river (i.e. balloons). All of our landscaping is done with natural ingredients to prevent harmful runoff into the river. We are very conscious about how we impact the river.
What advice to you have for any female entrepreneurs looking to start their own business? 
Asheville is a great city for advocating for entrepreneurs. There are so many free resources and continuing education. I would reach out to places like Mountain Bizworks and discover as many resources you can take advantage of. Also, networking is key. Never miss an opportunity to network and develop relationships.

If you’d like to get in touch with Arica about an event, you can do so here!

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