Kimberly Brown gets the party started in her community as a professional event planner, but it it’s her self storage unit that is the backbone of her business.
Her side-hustle business started with little more than a smile and a passion for planning office parties and events for friends: holidays, retirements, baby showers. Everyone started asking her to put her magic touch on their parties, and eventually she created Essential Events 10 years ago, a small business she runs in her spare time in Tampa, Florida. During the day she’s a contract administrator at a local university.
In the decade since starting, she’s gone from planning small office parties to graduation celebrations, weddings and even community events.
“Having this storage unit is an absolute must,” said Brown. “After 10 years of event planning, you accumulate quite a bit of stuff, and I wouldn’t have been able to stay in business without Public Storage to keep me organized.”
Over the years she’s accumulated a trove of table cloth linens in every shape, size, and color. Not to mention decorations for the various themes.
About six years ago, Brown’s garage was filled to the brim with her small business inventory so she turned to Public Storage for some much-needed storage space.
“Tell us what your needs are and we’ll guide you to the best storage unit for your business,” said Silvi Nicholas, a district manager in the Tampa area.
Nicholas has a tip for small business owners who already store with us: if you need more space, just open the Public Storage app and you’ll be able to add another unit to your account. Our app also makes it easier for them to keep track of their billing and payments.
As an event planner, Brown said she has to be ready to meet her client’s needs. If a client wants a pink linen, or yellow linen Brown said she wants to make sure she has it in stock in her storage unit.
“It’s very rewarding,” Brown said. “I love knowing someone has invited me to plan something special for them. That makes me feel really good.”
Even though Brown still works for a local university full-time, her event planning business has continued to grow. Two years ago she was able to open an office where she meets with clients. She relocated her storage unit to a facility closer to her office for easy access to her inventory.
Having a unit that nearby is not only convenient but saves her time.
“Right now I’m about a block away,” she exclaimed. “It’s perfect because I can pick up stuff relatively easy.”
She acknowledged in her early years of running the business she could memorize her inventory. Now that her unit is fully stocked with plastic storage containers of linens and decorations, she needs to be able to stay organized.
“I can’t waste any time digging for stuff, I have to have everything organized,” Brown said of her 10x10 unit.
Right now she has two rectangle tables along her unit where she stacks bins above and below. Each bin is labeled so Brown can return them to its proper place after an event. Twice a year Brown goes into her unit to do a complete audit of her inventory.
“My unit is very organized inside and I can easily retrieve and return items. It’s a staple in my business,” she said.