New event planning business vows to do good for community

rdymond@bradenton.comJanuary 19, 2013 

MANATEE -- Visitors to a special Palma Sola Farmer's Market on a recent Sunday at Geraldson Farms munched grilled marinated vegetables with local goat cheese while listening to musicians from the Sarasota music scene.

The tableau looked so natural it seemed spontaneous.

But the vendors and music and other details all were created for the farmer's market by Thread Events, a 6-month-old event planning business co-owned by ChrisAnn Esformes of Bradenton and Sally Weigand of Sarasota.

Perhaps what makes this new business different is that the owners wish to connect local businesses with not-for-profits to benefit the community as a whole.

"We live in a place that has a beautiful natural environment and there are many organizations that support that beauty," Esformes said. "Our mission is to not only keep this great community alive, but to help it grow."

Esformes and Weigand say their chief assets are that they have known each other for 25 years, have a love for the area and are well-connected in the community.

They also say they are experts at using social media, like Facebook, to reach out to clients and customers.

At least one client who hired them says they are a new wave of event-planners, publicists or marketers with a social consciousness.

"They think globally, act locally," said Janet Aubry, co-owner of Bob Brown Gallery on Anna Maria Island.

Back in November, Aubrey wanted to publicize her gallery in a holistic way, relying just on local support,

she said.

"ChrisAnn is brilliant," said Aubry, whose gallery is part of The Green Village, a group of Anna Maria businesses that are self-sustaining. "She has great ideas. She thinks outside the circle. She is the kind of woman I like to work with. These girls are efficient. They are thorough. They don't come up with same old ideas -- it gives me hope for the future."

Esformes, 35, got a master's degree in video journalism from the University of Florida in 2003. She also worked for JM Public Relations in Orlando for three years and represented such clients as Planet Hollywood.

"We grew up in this community," Esformes said. "We recently moved back and decided we wanted to combine our unique skills to benefit the community as much as possible by providing a specialized service, which is to create imaginative, interesting, events that will benefit everyone."

Weigand worked for an event called Shinefest for two years in Charleston, S.C., which provided school supplies for children in need. Shinefest also incorporated such well-known acts as Blues Traveler and The Original Whalers.

"She has experience doing nightlife events and I have experience doing weddings and photojournalism," Esformes said. "We have an excellent rapport."

Esforme's father was the late Dr. Marvin Silver, who died in 2007 and was a well-known practitioner of internal medicine and cardiology. He started his practice in Bradenton in 1954.

Esformes said her father would be thrilled at the new business she has taken on.

"He was so community-driven that he would be completely supportive," Esformes said. "He would be so honored that we are doing what we are doing to help benefit this area. He often said as soon as he got here, he knew this is where he wanted to establish a practice."

Thread Events can be reached at 941-538-8002, or threadevents@gmail.com or threadeventdesign.com.

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