#LunchWithLainney is a weekly series inspired by Keith Ferrazzi's Never Eat Alone, This series will highlight upcoming brands and entrepreneurs in Los Angeles, while featuring the best restaurants and happy hours Los Angeles has to offer. #LunchWithLainney was created to inspire Los Angeles creatives to connect and learn with one another more often while experiencing the best that the L.A. food scene can offer.
I first met Waverly through working with Cornerstone Agency/The FADER in marketing campaigns and events. She's passionate about her work and you can tell. As the founder of United We Function, an LA-based event planning and production company, Waverly's worked with brands and artists ranging from Puma, Microsoft, The Weeknd and more. Additionally, Function also acts as a platform for female professionals from an array of career fields to connect. Through #UnitedWeSweat and #UnitedWeBrunch, Waverly's events aim to unify and empower women through good workouts and a good meal (with a side of bottomless mimosas). I caught up with Waverly at one of her favorite spots, Sushi Stop to talk about creating work you love, the best business lesson she's learned and more:
Tell us about your hustle.
I hustle event decor items around the city for clients. Currently between LA and NYC, I plan events and weddings.
What inspired you to create United We Function?
My first year working with Fader/Cornerstone Promotions (May 2012) I was tasked with handing out promo material for The Weeknd's Trilogy album. I was excited about the project because I love me some Abel but not so excited out doing hand to hand stuff outside concert venues, music stores, colleges etc. I knew there had to be a better way to get unfamiliar folks excited about the project.
My best friend and I put our heads together and collaborated with two other people on an event. What was the event? It was a simple listening party and we used all the promo material from the label as decor. The bestie located this amazing 3 story loft downtown to go with the theme-the first floor was covered in balloons (House of Balloons..still his best work!). Fader gifted us with a ton of Bushmills and we just sent out invites to everyone. The DJ played the album and the label loved it. Party goers loved us AND we got photos of folks holding the promo stuff to show the label. With over 250 people in attendance, it was quite the successful event.
A few months later I was invited to work the popular Fader Fort and promoted to Varsity rep, and that's when I knew I needed to live and breathe events. Events never feel like "work".
What's your biggest lesson in having your own business?
Stop talking about your ideas, just execute.
What's your favorite spot in LA that's underrated?
I love Sushi Stop on Sawtelle. Their blue crab hand roll is to die for, and their sake prices are A-OK with me. I also spend a lot of time at Barnes & Noble; I love astrology and decor.
Thanks Waverly for a great lunch! Be sure to follow her on Instagram at @WaverlyMColeman and stay tuned for her upcoming events by subscribing to United We Function's newsletter here.
Know a Los Angeles-based business or entrepreneur we should interview? Comment below with your recommendation!