We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarai Thompson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarai, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I love telling people my backstory. I feel like a hybrid in a way. I was born in Boston, Massachusetts and my family and I moved to Atlanta, GA a few weeks after the 96′ Olympics (and for those who know their history, they’ll know Atlanta was the home of the Olympics in 96′). The city was a hotbed for those who wanted to move and experience living in a home or apartment for a fraction of the price of other major cities. From there I grew up in the small town of Lawrenceville, GA with my two younger brothers, my parents and me. My parents were born in Jamaica and both immigrated to New York (at different times) so, I never got a Southern accent. On the contrary, I actually hear that I sound like I’m from up North or that I have an accent like I’m from the island (you see why I call myself a hybrid now?). I ate a lot of stew chicken and was consistently reminded by my parents to never forget my culture. My household was loving, fun and full of people and music on a daily basis. My parents encouraged our creativity. From coloring books, reading competitions and running in our backyard, my parents didn’t realize it then, but they raised children that would eventually pursue dreams in the creative field. Although my dad was a scientist and my mother a nurse, my siblings and I did not do anything in that field. Creativity was in our bones. My creativity lead me through Mountain View High School, Georgia State University and to my move to New York when I got accepted to attend Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications for my master’s degree. From there, I briefly worked at Popsugar as an assistant beauty editor, freelanced for Harlem’s Fashion Row, started my photo book Black Faces in Gossip Girl Spaces and now work at CNN Underscored as a Social Media Coordinator full-time. Although fashion and journalism were my biggest passions growing up, I knew I was more than those core elements. My creativity was always ready for a new challenge to add to my Thanksgiving table worth of talents. NYC will do that to you. It’s is the city where you’ll meet an accountant/actor, a baker/city worker, and a teacher/photographer. Event planning was my hobby. I was always the friend that curated the travel itinerary and got the car rental payments together. So, after being asked to be the day of coordinator for my best friend’s wedding and people asking me for business cards, I knew that I needed to take my planning talents seriously. Shout out to my parents for allowing me to be a kid that dreams and explores the possibilities. My exploration leads me to where I am today. A creative, content creating, fashionista, journalist event planner.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Luxe & Chic Company is my event planning and curation company that I founded June 2021 in Brooklyn, NY. We’re all about servicing creatives and allowing them to give the work to someone else (for once!). We work with you regardless of your budget and I think that’s so important, especially in today’s economy! Everyone should have the opportunity to get the luxurious experience of having an event planner! I currently have my team planning my birthday and it’s been so nice. One less thing for me to plan and I know it’s going to be done right. We’re approaching our year anniversary and we’ve planned everything from talent showcases, bachelor and bachelorette trips, live podcast shows and we’re only getting started! I’m so excited for the new clients that we’ll have in the future! They’re our Luxe Fam (as we like to call them). The road has not been easy. I’ve been not only an event planner, but therapist, financial advisor, PR manager, and everything in between for clients. Some of the creatives I’ve worked with don’t have a team and I want to be there for them as best as possible and make the planning process seamless and stress-free. At this time, we’re not charging for the additional work that we put in because it’s more than just money, it’s about helping creatives. That’s my goal and mission. Of course, I will say, get paid your worth. Whether it’s a family member or someone you don’t know, your time is money. Don’t let anyone take advantage of that time. I’ve learned that in this first year as a business owner. All-in-all I want the world to know that Luxe & Chic Company is here to stay, we have big events coming for our clients in year 2 and we’re only getting started! Remember this name! Big things are happening.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Atlanta is my first home and it has grown so much so, to be honest, I’m still learning about the new things available in this city! But, I’ll give you a free-of-charge Luxe & Chic Company Atlanta Itinerary. Of course, if you want something more personalized for you, book us!
Brunch at BQE Restaurant
Party the night way at Rum Punch Brunch
Brunch at Another Broken Egg
Explore the World of Coke, Georgia Aquarium, and the National Civil Rights Museum (all in the same area)
Happy hour drinks at 5Church Atlanta
Dinner at Poor Calvins
Party the night away at Red Martini
Brunch at West Egg Cafe
Go to Zoo Atlanta
(Go home and shower because that’s a hot day boo!)
Taco Tuesday at Blu Cantina in the East Atlanta Village
Brunch at Atlanta Breakfast Club
Take a walking tour of Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn Avenue (learn about Atlanta’s Black history!)
Eat at Harold’s Chicken and Ice Bar for lunch
Return for dinner and partying at Cafe Cirque on Edgewood Ave (one black from Auburn Ave)
Brunch at The Ponce Room
Spend a day at the pool at the new Rooftop LOA
Get dressed up and have dinner at Little Trouble
Party at Living Room
Brunch at Le Petite Marche
Have a tea party at the Ivy Tea House
Drive around the city with the windows down
Pre-game at Lily’s Restaurant
Party at Rock Steady
Brunch at Atlantis Restaurant
Continue the party and get drinks at Jojo’s Beloved
Hookah and chill at Cru Lounge
End the night at 2 Mr Soul
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to shout out the Luxe & Chic Company team! Nadia Suleman my executive assistant and Reggie Knight my resident event stylist. We’re all newbies to the events world so, the fact that they get everything done so seamlessly is amazing. There is no way that I could run this company without them. I just hope I could pour into them as much as possible and help them grow as creatives. They are so talented! Reggie is the diva of taking a space and making it look good. He’s my therapist when I’m panicking about an event and my best friend. So grateful to have him apart! I would trust Nadia with my entire company and that’s why she has executive next to her name! She’s a bombshell. From graphics, organization, and planning, Nadia is on it. She’s my right-hand girl. When she told me she would love to help me with my company I was so honored. We went from being on the e-board for our alma mater’s magazine (shout out to Renegade Magazine- Syracuse University) to working on a company together. It’s amazing the people God puts in your life. He really is the driver and EIC of Luxe & Chic’s story.
Image Cred: Abdullah Yusuf of Quickk Shot Photography @quickk_shotphotography