Carmen Shah

Carmen’s Story

Once upon a time, there was a little girl with two very special grandmas.

Every morning, as the little girl’s mother went to work, her Grandma Molly would wake her up, make her breakfast, dress her for school, and shuffle her off in just the nick of time.

When she visited her Grandma Donna, she toured the beach and the fair, ate tapioca pudding and chateaubriand, and watched back-to-back movies at the local theater.

The little girl loved both of her grandmas very much. She spent many an hour with them, doing all sorts of old-fashioned things she didn’t even realize were old-fashioned. She learned to sew and cook. She ironed hankies and hosted tea parties for callers. She watched Lawrence Welk, mastered Gin Rummy, and played dress-up with stockings and gaudy clip-on earrings.

Then, when the little girl grew up, she found herself analyzing e-commerce trends for a change-management consulting firm. She longed to do something more creative, something sweeter, something more in-line with who she was and where she had come from.

One day, she had a bright idea.

Jocelyn Arnold

Jocelyn’s Story

Daughter of Portland interior designer and granddaughter of Palo Alto socialite, Jocelyn Eberle Arnold comes from a long and illustrious line of party throwers. Both generations of women believed there was no higher calling than throwing a good party, so by age twelve Jocelyn was well versed in how to set a formal dinner service, how to best entertain a group of 100, and the mysterious ins and outs of high tea – technically a light dinner; not just tea and crumpets, dear.

As many young women are wont to do, Jocelyn left it behind for a more serious, and less party-centric, career path. She spent two years in project management, followed by a few more in Autism research, all the while finding herself dabbling on the side in the events game: catering, floral design, volunteers parties at Portland Art Museum, and even a stint in gowns. Luckily, she eventually found herself in an exciting spot, rubbing elbows with Carmen and Kara as a creative consultant. Today, Jocelyn continues to perfect her own party-throwing and project management skills as an event planner for Ella Events, leaving her own stamp on Ella’s brand of happily-ever-afters.

Hallie Creswell

Hallie’s Story

Growing up on California’s Central Coast, Hallie was raised amidst a thriving culture of food and wine set on the back drop of the rugged beauty of the West Coast. As a little girl, she was constantly marking pages in her mother’s Martha Stewart Living, and following the directions for dinner party timelines and craft projects like gospel. Creative instincts led Hallie to pursue a degree in Graphic Communication from California Polytechnic State University, where she cultivated her passion for graphic design and printing.

After marrying her adventurous husband, she was soon inspired to leave behind her small town life and move to Portland (the Not-So-Big city). However, after a successful stint as a graphic designer, her dabbling in paper goods, flowers and crafting left her wanting to design outside the page and the screen…until she met the ladies of Ella Events.

Today, Hallie continues to use her graphic design and project management background as an event planner and designer for Ella Events. Their most recent collaboration: a beautiful line of paper goods that combine Hallie’s charming aesthetic with 15 years of event wisdom.

Sara Bergqvist

Sara Bergqvist

Sara’s Story

Sara grew up in cold and beautiful Sweden. She always knew she was destined for helping people live better, more fulfilling lives. Early on, Sara chose a career as a Psychologist. Although she found it rewarding helping people during their hardest times, she was longed to be a helping hand during happier ones.

She moved to London and, excited to explore her creative side, took work in Styling and Photo Shoot management. She found that she was in her right element, using her gift for organization and project management, in combination with her love for design. The years spent in London turned out to be a great education and stepping stone to her career as an event project manager.

Following love, Sara found herself settling in Portland. Wanting to marry her three major passions – helping others, project management and styling – she thanked her lucky star for meeting the Ella ladies!

Ariel Dupes

Ariel’s Story

Born and raised in sunny San Diego, Ariel grew up spending hours on end with her toes in the sand, chasing the tide and perfecting the art of the beach picnic.

With her love for turning concepts to reality and a steady hand for project management, she started down a path of planning and executing events around the country. While exploring the great 50 states and assisting individuals reach their goals, she gained a deep passion for the rewarding world of event planning.

As time went on, Ariel was faced with a pivotal, yet simple decision. She had the choice to leave her career and Southern California roots behind to listen to her heart and relocate to Portland in pursuit of love. She took that risk…

Shortly following the adventure Northwest, two worlds collided when she met the Ella dream team. The event guru in Ariel now shares her years of experience to create magic at Ella Events.