We had the good fortune of connecting with Jillian Greenwood and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jillian, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
When I think about “risk”, I think about doing something that could fail or be successful and something that takes me completely out of my comfort zone. My personality doesn’t normally allow me to do things that are uncertain. It has always been a must that I know the outcome. In January of 2005, I took the biggest risk of my life and purchased my home without even having a job! I had recently relocated from Bowie, Maryland where I lived for 7 years while attending Bowie State University. I was working for a company there and because of my amazing family, I was able to save money that assisted in my relocation. By the grace of God, I was hired in February 2005 by Coweta County School System as a Special Education Teacher. With the need to do all “new home” related things and also having to purchase a car in that same year; I decided to take my passion for crafting and turn it into more than just a hobby. I started out planning and decorating my niece’s birthday parties. Guests would come and be intrigued by the decor, which led to it becoming more than just a family thing. The birthday parties turned into baby showers. The baby showers turned into bridal showers. I’ve even had the honor of doing a house warming and a Christmas party. Not long after, I was taken out of my comfort zone once again and asked to complete 200 wedding invitations. Now how was I supposed to pull this off? I’m a one wo”man” show with no industrial printer or any type of equipment that could mass produce anything. This was an exciting risk that I was taking because I just knew that I could pull it off and I did just that. Now we’re in 2021 and I’ve added soo many more things to Unique Event Designs! We offer bits and pieces for events that include games, centerpieces and/or favors. There’s also “all things vinyl” that include t-shirts, onesies, bibs, wine tumblers, wine glasses, tote bags, Welcome wood signs, etc. Since 2005, UED has become soo much more than just event planning. Taking the “risk” of starting over in a different state led me to take a risk of sharing my passion with others. It has certainly taught me that sometimes you just have to step out on FAITH!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a Special Education Teacher and I teach Preschool Self Contained. My students are 3, 4 and 5 with a wide range of disabilities. The 2021-2022 school year will be the start of my 18th year in Education. I absolutely LOVE what I do and I would not trade it for anything!! To see the joy on my parents’ faces when I tell them about their child using the potty for the first time or holding a spoon to feed themselves is like nothing I’ve experienced before. To hear my students mimic a sound I’ve made or put together a simple puzzle is cause enough for loud yells and high fives. Once a student enters my classroom, they become my child and I often refer to them as “my kid”. When I first began taking classes in my major, I was very headstrong that I NEVER wanted to teach Special Education. My second interview turned out to be for a Modified Self Contained class in which the students ranged from K-5. I told myself, Jillian take it just to get your foot in the door. Seventeen years later, both feet are planted and refuse to be moved.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My best friend lovesss my Grandmother’s pound cake, as well as my family, so our first stop would be to my small hometown in Alabama to visit. She enjoys shopping so during the day we would visit Cumberland Mall, Atlantic Station, Lenox Square, and Phipps Plaza to name a few. It’s a must that she cooks and prepares cocktails for us so we would visit Fresh Market and a local “beverage” store. Healthy eating is a must for her and I have bragged soo much about their food so we will be having lunch at Tassili’s Raw Reality Cafe and Slutty Vegan. Brunch will be done at bqe. After full days out and about, we will enjoy some night life at St. James Live for wind down and Harold’s Chicken & Ice Bar for the turn up! If she wants some roof top action, 5Church Atlanta it is!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to give thanks to my father for raising us as a single dad! He made sure we had everything we needed and went many extra miles to provide! Thanks also goes out to Marcus and Tonda Price who took me into their home and made it possible for me to obtain my degree AND finish debt free. Last but not least, to my fiance for saving me from overworking myself but also for encouraging me to keep pushing to be the best that I can be.

Instagram: uniqueeventdesignsbyjill

Facebook: Unique Event Designs

Image Credits
Mae Grace Photography

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