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Gequinn Mattox of ‘Yourz by Dezign Events’: “Always allow time for yourself”

Never allow others to get in your head and make you believe you can’t do this or you aren’t capable of doing the job. Sometimes things go wrong but keep pushing and grow from it. Don’t doubt yourself and use that doubt and negativity to fuel your fire! You must be realistic and know that sometimes […]

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Never allow others to get in your head and make you believe you can’t do this or you aren’t capable of doing the job.

Sometimes things go wrong but keep pushing and grow from it. Don’t doubt yourself and use that doubt and negativity to fuel your fire! You must be realistic and know that sometimes things will go wrong. At this one event, things did go wrong. I allowed it to take over and was ready to quit. I was told that someone, who happened be a person I considered a friend, commented that I did not know what I was doing and that I did it wrong. I had to rebound from this and blessings for me, I had enough people around me that supported me and knew my potential, supported the fact that all things that go wrong are out of my control. I was the only person on an entire team…and I was the chair of the event. Lesson learned.


The COVID19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. But sometimes disruptions can be times of opportunity. Many people’s livelihoods have been hurt by the pandemic. But some saw this as an opportune time to take their lives in a new direction.

As a part of this series called “How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Gequinn Mattox.

Gequinn Mattox is an Event Planner and also the CEO & Founder of Yourz by Dezign Events in Colorado. Although she has been planning events for well over a decade, she didn’t officially launch her business until September 2020. She is a member of the Event Planners Association & Club, The Planner’s Vault and she participated in 3 of the David Tutera Create Your Dream Event Planner Challenges this year.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

I grew up in a small steel mill town in Pennsylvania. It was during a time where everybody knew everybody, neighbors got along and helped each other out. We celebrated every life’s moment and every holiday as family!

It was in a time when people loved to sit out on their porches, always spoke to one another and looked out for each other’s children.

Both sides of my family were BIG on spending time together…planned and unplanned gatherings. 😊 We were taught and shown how to love each other and also to take up for each other when needed. When I had my daughter, I instilled the same values in her.

I believe that family is everything even when we disagree. All of the adults in my life had a strong work ethic and drive. It’s no different for me in how I go about life today. I didn’t realize it back then that my family genetics are why I have this drive. Since becoming an adult, I truly appreciate ALL of them and the way in which I was brought up. That’s to love & respect one another, work hard & play hard, and to love God with all your heart!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“It’s Nice to be Nice” is the life lesson that was taught & engrained into me by my late grandfather. I reflect back on this even more now given the times we are living in. We need more people to be kind to one another.

We do not always know what people are going through so that one gesture of kindness from me may be the encouragement they need.

Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

“Self-Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker”. She was “the first black woman millionaire in America”. She made her fortune by creating her own line of homemade hair care products for black women.

Her story of resilience, her persistence with her belief in herself really inspired me! I share that same passion and drive when it comes to me and my business.

Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before the Pandemic began?

I was, and still am, working a fulltime job as a Program Coordinator. I have been on my job for 17 years as of this December. Over the years, this job has provided some gratification by allowing me to utilize my coordinating, planning and execution skills for the workshops, conferences and meetings that I manage.

I’ve been, and am, involved with events including being the Luncheon Chair for a non-profit org for their annual tribute luncheon and also the planning of banquets for private orgs, family reunions, and weddings over the past years.

What did you do to pivot as a result of the Pandemic?

I decided to move ahead and officially launch my event planning business. To many it was like a death wish but for me, it was an opportunity to not only challenge but to reinvent myself doing these times while events are being scaled back and even cancelled.

I wanted to find a way to still celebrate life regardless of COVID, instead of giving up and throwing in the towel, I decided to move forward! I was not going to allow this pandemic or myself to put me on the backburner…again. I began to do research on how I could move forward; how I could still be there for my clients and much to my delight, I found a way to move forward albeit on a smaller scale with a window to grow through. Not in ambiance but in number only! Therefore, my team and I created minimony & microwedding packages and mini meeting, conference, and dinner packages (including virtual & hybrid events) that would work now and even after we go back to normal.

Can you tell us about the specific “Aha moment” that gave you the idea to start this new path?

During this time of COVID, I’ve had a lot of time to think, reflect and put into perspective what’s really important. It allowed me to act on what I have always wanted to do but never had the time to do. Therefore, I did some research and sought out the resources I needed to get started. I also wanted to use my business to create generational wealth for my daughter and grandsons. I would have something to leave her to help provide for herself and her sons.

How are things going with this new initiative?

Things are going great and I feel so thankful and blessed to be on the path to live out my passion doing what I love. I have made some awesome connections to help me reach my goals and to work alongside me on this new path.

Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My father…without a doubt. He has ALWAYS expected the best and provided the best that he could for me and my brother. Little did he know, it was his love for me and my brother being the man and father he was, his love for my mom as a husband and his love for his family as the provider and protector for us taught me a lot about family. He worked while going to school, and even was a part-time substitute teacher at our high school showed me how work hard and to work smart for it is not always easy but get the job done anyway. I have always admired all those things about him. He treats people with respect and humility, and he is one of the kindest, gentlest people you will ever meet. He was just like his father, my grandfather, and I am so thankful to God for creating them just for me, and to have their blood running through my veins. My grandfather was a Baptist preacher for over 50 years and until his passing. My dad is my role model, my hero, and it is because of him, and God, that I am the person I am today.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?

Someone that I met by chance a few years ago as the limo driver for my ride to the airport (he was actually the owner), is now back in my life and playing a big role of helping me to move my business forward. He has had his business for at least 15 years. It never crossed my mind back then that one day we’d collaborate for my event planning business nor that we would also begin to work on new business ventures that we will work on together.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1. Never allow others to get in your head and make you believe you can’t do this or you aren’t capable of doing the job.

Sometimes things go wrong but keep pushing and grow from it. Don’t doubt yourself and use that doubt and negativity to fuel your fire! You must be realistic and know that sometimes things will go wrong. At this one event, things did go wrong. I allowed it to take over and was ready to quit. I was told that someone, who happened be a person I considered a friend, commented that I did not know what I was doing and that I did it wrong. I had to rebound from this and blessings for me, I had enough people around me that supported me and knew my potential, supported the fact that all things that go wrong are out of my control. I was the only person on an entire team…and I was the chair of the event. Lesson learned.

2. Just because someone is in business does not mean they have the same drive, work ethic and “let’s do this” type of attitude as you do. Be careful who you work with!

I used to get frustrated with others I had to collab with to put together and execute an event. I had to come to the realization, that some are in it for the money and do not have the same type of passion like myself even though it was their business. Their commitment was also stagnant no matter what method I used to inspire them. They were good at what they do but at what cost.

3. Always allow time for yourself.

I used to feel that if I was not continually working, I was not serious about my work or my clients. I literally would feel guilty if I wasn’t constantly working and wasn’t always available 24/7, I wasn’t doing my job. I had to learn that it is OK to say “no”, or I will get back to you at another time, or I’m taking a day to rest.

4. Do not take constructive criticism personally.

I used to take all criticism personally. I lumped the constructive/good stuff in with the bad/negative stuff. I had to cypher out someone trying to help me and someone just being mean and/or jealous. Use it as an opportunity to do a quick self-examination. If there is validity in it, USE IT. If not, throw it out and do not allow it to hinder you. Allow what you have learned to elevate yourself.

5. Never stop looking for ways and opportunities to learn and grow.

As a business owner, we should never stop learning. If we find a way to do something and it works, that’s great. BUT…there’s always room to grow or to do what you do better. Always refresh yourself and how you are doing things. When you don’t continue to learn and grow, we die…get left behind. We don’t know it all so always be open to learn and continue to strive to improve yourself and your business! “Under promise and over deliver” is the mindset I continue for work on.

So many of us have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. Can you share the strategies that you have used to optimize your mental wellness during this stressful period?

I pray, I attend church (in person & online), I listen to gospel music, and I dive deep into my work. I also take time to do NOTHING that requires me to think. 😊 I watch movies that make me feel good and I spend time with my beautiful daughter and my 3 precious grandsons. A little retail therapy now and again is helpful too! 😉

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

To treat each other with kindness and humility. To go out of your own way to make people feel happy and loved. We have enough hate in the world to go around it many times. To wipe out this notion that a person is better than someone because of the color of their skin. We all bleed red and we all have a place in the world. We need each other and we should act accordingly.

Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!

Barack Obama! Such an intelligent man with so much wisdom and knowledge, and such a classy man. I would love to talk to him about how he maintains his composure even amid adversity. Although, a lot of the attributes he has cannot be taught. It is either in you or it’s not. I truly admire him for being a caring human being regardless of his position & status. We could all learn a thing or two from him.

How can our readers follow you online?

My website and my FB business page is currently under construction but they can reach me at [email protected] or on my personal Facebook page.

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

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