Charese John, Creative Director & Partner at Revive Events & Catering
How'd you get into the industry you're in?
While working in a Law Firm in Chicago watching people go through the daily motions of Life, I realized that I didn’t want to just work to live but really enjoy my life and what I did for a living. I asked myself one day what that was? And the answer was Hospitality. I wanted to be at the source of people’s HAPPINESS…
What woman has inspired you throughout your life?
There have been a group of women that have been extremely inspirational in my life. My mother and my God mothers (my mom’s best friends) have shown me what to do by living their best lives. They have all taught me invaluable lessons. I have had a front seat in watching these women raise families, start businesses and operate in excellence. I am still inspired by them all!
What's one of the biggest challenges you've had and what lesson did you learn from it?
One of the biggest challenges I had was when my partner and I started Revive Events & Catering and everyone would tell me that I needed to be LESS of everything (fancy, expensive and formal). They told us you were just starting out and you needed to get every client by any means necessary. I would often tell my partner that we need to operate in the space that we wanted to be in which was in excellence. I learned that you should NEVER sell yourself short to fit someone else’s model!
Why do you think having a village of friends who supports you is important?
We all need great relationships to thrive, but I specifically think a village of friends is important because everyone serves a different role. One friend is great to run ideas by. Another friend is also an entrepreneur mom that understands the complexity of balancing work and family. Another friend has been there since my college days and has made a great business partner while another is my go-to prayer partner. Everyone offers support in different ways. I wouldn't trade my village for anything.
What are your favorite ways to self-care?
I love pampering myself with a weekly manicure. I work with my hands, so I have to make sure they look great!
What do you love most about D.C.?
I love that DC can be so many things to so many people. When I grew up here it was just known as a political scene, but now with the boom of so many creative industries, our area offers so much more. Now we are an arts town and a new food destination. In the summer, we have lots of great outdoor music festival venues and in the winter our skies are lit up with the National Christmas Tree. There are gems in every neighborhood that give me so many reasons to love D.C.
What's your ultimate goal career wise?
Creating a Lifestyle brand that is inclusive and representative of people of color and opens its doors to be a safe space for diversity. My ultimate career goal is to be the New Black Martha Steward... lol
What do you want your legacy to be?
I want my legacy to be that I helped broaden the scope of elevated experiences for people of color in food & hospitality.
My early career was rooted in traditional fine dining but my mission in every client experience is to broaden the scope of what it means to elevate special moments. Especially for communities of color where we are often excluded from mainstream hospitality.
For every time, we were not given a seat at the table; my goal is to create our OWN table!