Katie Huebel and Beverly VanGysel
A Mother and Daughter Pair Who Know How to Entertain
By Wendy Pollitzer
Featured in The Island News
July 15, 2010
Katie Huebel and Beverly (Bev) VanGysel
The relationship between a Mother and Daughter is special. The bond the two share is immeasurable, and the connection is priceless. And this Mother/Daughter pair not only lives, laughs and loves together, but they also work together.
Katie Huebel and Beverly (Bev) VanGysel invited me to Bev’s Pleasant Point home recently and chatted about their relationship, the advantages of collaborating together and the success of their two independent, yet similar businesses.
Beverly started her business, HB Stem 16 years ago. The wife of a Marine Corps Colonel, VanGysel was used to entertaining and arranging for events like the Marine Corps birthday and various balls. Her friends convinced her to move her talent from hobby to career. While in Japan, she studied formally and when she got back to the U.S. designed florals at her first wedding.
She loved it! From that moment, she knew she wanted to do this for a living. She had a knack for choosing unique containers and arranging with style and class. Her mother was a flower show judge; and her aunt collected vases and grew gorgeous antique roses that Bev always admired.
Well, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Katie picked up her mother’s talents very easily. Katie was used to her mother setting the dinner table every night. And her home was always beautifully appointed. She saw her mother entertain with such ease and verve. It only came naturally for Katie. In fact, Katie was in charge of all of her Sorority’s parties in college. Her peers knew then that Katie had a passion for planning elegant affairs.
So she started her business, cleverly dubbed WED or Wedding.Event.Design. WED has been in business now for 12 years, not only designing for the Charleston, Bluffton, Beaufort, Savannah and Southeastern markets, but also throughout the US and worldwide. Katie’s business has a storefront location on Spring Street in Downtown Charleston and will enthusiastically travel anywhere a client chooses as their destination.
WED is a full service event designing firm, involved in the planning processas much as the client prefers. WED ensures that every detail is covered, from the ceremony and reception music to the florals to the bridesmaids’ and groomsmens’ gift. If interested in using WED to help with your event, please take a look at their website,www.CharlestonEvent.com.
Katie and Bev collaborate on most events together. Their favorite venues in Beaufort? Huebel says, “We do a lot of work at the Rhett House Inn and the Anchorage. We also frequent Dataw and Palmetto Bluff quite a bit. And in the Lowcountry, we tend to see many weddings at private plantations. All of these are wonderful venues.”
Katie continues, “We want every event to be different. But all of our events have one central theme. They’re all classically elegant. Whether it’s a super fancy or traditional affair, it will be elegant. We’ve done New York Meets Beaufort, the Garden of Eden and numerous weddings at The Rhett House. They’ve all been completely different.”
And Bev agrees. “I’d like to have creative freedom at each and every event. I don’t like doing the same things twice. Every bride is different. Her wedding should reflect her personality, her taste.”
And Katie and Bev can do just that. In their spare time, they love to go antiquing. They travel to the Atlanta Market together and are always on the lookout for a container or decorative accent. They get ideas from magazines and storefronts, always searching for and appreciating a new color palette.
When they do an event together, Katie admits, “It’s not always kumbaya! But we have a healthy respect for each other and our individual professions. The main reason it is so great is because of an unspoken connection. We have a natural ability to communicate.”
Bev adds, “I know Katie is very professional. Her events are super because she thinks of every detail. And because I know this about Katie, we never disrespect each other at events. We’ve always been so close. It’s been just the three of us. When we were in Korea, Gary (Bev’s husband) was often out of the country. Katie and I did a lot together and got to understand each other.”
And I can attest to their loving bond. Katie bragged about her Mom’s décor and gave me a tour through the house while her mom equally sang Katie’s praises about being such a great mother. Katie has two children, Amelia and Jared and a loving husband, Scott. They live in the Coosaw Point subdivision on Lady’s Island.
I could feel the bond between Katie and Beverly. Their positive energy, gracious manner and candid conversation impressed me, as I’m sure it’s impressed hundreds of clients. And their hospitality was sincere.
Thank you Mrs. Huebel and Mrs. VanGysel for a pleasant visit and fun talk. You are both very talented at what you do. I think it’s because of two things: you love what you do, and you continue to learn from the very best…each other.
I think I’ll call my Mom now.