By Molly Ingram | I was fortunate to have coffee with the ever “in motion” Jodie Miller recently. A Beaufort native who attended Beaufort Academy before heading off for her under-graduate degree from Randolph-Macon College, Jodie is a fixture on the local scene. Her company, Plum Productions, works with a slew of local corporations and non-profits on their various events held annually around the Beaufort area.
Jodie started in event management in Baltimore with two partners shortly after she graduated from college in 2003. Her company handled major events along the New York/Washington corridor from weddings to large non-profit fundraisers with 1,000’s of attendees. While living in Baltimore, Jodie added a degree from the Culinary School of the Baltimore International College. Her goal was to enhance her value to customers of the event planning business through a thorough knowledge of food preparation, presentation and delivery. “I could never do what a professional chef does, but I love food and the art behind it in both my personal and professional life,” she said.
With the addition of two children, the pull of the Lowcountry began to entice Jodie to come home and in 2011 that is exactly what she did. “I decided to raise my two children in the special place I was privileged to call home.”
Once settled back in Beaufort, Jodie started letting her entrepreneurial mind roam free and look for opportunity niches in the local market. Surprisingly, she found that opportunity in the events area. 2012 saw the launch of Plum Productions which she set up to apply large market concepts and design philosophies to local events.
Jodie will tell you she let the company grow too fast. There was definitely a need for a solid events company in Beaufort but handling 99 events in 2014 was too many events– both for Jodie and her team of six full time event managers. So she retrenched, reworked the business plan, and has cut the number of projects she handles down to a reasonable 30 events in 2016. Her full time staff has been replaced with seasonal or part-timers hired to handle a specific party or festival. And she is hands-on with each and every client and their event.
When you hire Plum Productions, you get 100% of Jodie.
In addition to dozens and dozens of elegantly planned weddings, the list of local events that her and Plum Productions have put together and managed include a whos-who in local Beaufort fun: The Port Royal Soft Shell Crab Festival, The Tomato Festival, The Habersham Harvest Festival, Bands Brews & BBQ, the Bridges Prep Shrimp & Grits Cookoff, The Annual Beaufort International Film Festival, Festival of Trees, DragonBoat Beaufort’s Race Day, Bottles & Barrels in Habersham and many more.
That’s a lot of fun coming from one creative mind.
I asked her what she did with her spare time and laughingly, she said, “laundry.” Her two children, Ann-Murphy (7) and Nate (6), take up any and all of her free time so while she is doing laundry, she is probably also playing with the children, sharing her love of science-fiction or planning the next trip to the beach.
Jodie doesn’t believe in Murphy’s Law. She believes that is why you would hire an event planner in the first place – to make sure those pesly details that can fall through the cracks today and later cause untold chaos at the event don’t happen. Most everything can be fixed with the right people onsite but sometimes thins just do go wrong. “I remember having a bride that was so nervous about getting married that the threw up when she got to the altar. And, of course, we had a microphone on the minister. I’m pretty sure nobody is going to forget that wedding,” she told me.
Being a single mom and owning her own business is a tough balancing act but Jodie seems to have it well in hand. She is cheery, interesting, a good thinker, and an all-around nice young lady.
If you get a chance to meet Jodie, you should do so. Whether it is helping pull off that dream wedding or even branding help with a new product or store or some ideas for fundraising events, Jodie is a good person to have in your Rolodex. Does anybody still have a Rolodex besides me? OK, in your list of contacts.
You can reach her at Plum Productions (843-812-1844) or find her on Facebook.