By Ilana Greene and Kathy Stewart
Cece and Melinda may look like party girls. The reality is they can put on a party and create a successful business all at the same time. These two really have it all. Cece and Melinda, who created and now operate Raymi Productions, can boast about being both a minority-owned and a women-owned business enterprise that has been in operation for the past three years.
“Raymi” means “Event” or “Festival” in Quechua, which is a language indigenous to the Andean region of South America. Quechua is spoken by over 13 million people in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Northern Chile, Argentina and Southern Colombia.
Cece and Melinda specialize in brand strategy. This dynamic duo helps companies of all sizes successfully innovate and grow. Through trade shows and other events, they help business and marketing professionals build strong brands. In a world of infinite choices within every product category, entrepreneurs, companies, manufacturers and retailers go to Cece and Melinda for their expertise and passion. Cece and Melinda help their clients introduce new products to the market in a way that quickly brings tangible results. Cece states, “We are working in a cut throat market, but companies have grown to learn to trust us with their products. We are very selective. We only work with certain brands.”
Whether hosting intimate parties or large scale productions, Cece and Melinda create unique, out-of-the-box events that focus on food, fashion and philanthropy. Their attention to detail, location and venue ensures that each product receives superior results. Melinda states, “We have planned out each event a year in advance. We have menus, backup’s, photographers all lined up. We are constantly working and organising.”
Last Saturday, they celebrated their three-year anniversary. “Three years of tolerating each other,” they joked. The reality is that although Cece and Melinda have opposite personalities, they work great as a team. Melinda is more even-tempered, while Cece is a bit more expressive. Melinda states, “We really complement each other.”
The team continues to move forward. They have a plethora of events lined up. On November 16th, they are hosting Champagne Bubble & Bites. Some of their regularly scheduled Signature Events, which Cece and Melinda created and branded from scratch, include The Taste of the Gold Coast, which is held annually, and Shop IN Chicago, held semiannually. Shop In Chicago is hosted at the classic Drake Hotel, and this year it is being held on December 6. Many local talented designers will be present and will be offering terrific discounts to the attendees. All functions target the 30+ audience. Melinda states, “The commonality in all the events is that they are value added. All the events are opportunities for people around the city to have a chance to experience something whether they are tasting food or supporting local designers.”
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