Black Metro Detroit business owners share success stories in event-planning industry

Chalcee Norwood, Nikki Howard-Combs discuss their event-planning careers

Black event planners talk about business in industry during pandemic

From weddings to major events, these Black business owners do it all. Whether it’s an event on location or from the comfort of your own home, they have some pretty big clientele.

“I like doing it because I’m just a creative person and I love seeing clients reactions,” Chalcee Norwood said. “That really gives me the drive to keep going.”

For the past three years, Norwood has been planning events for her clients. She’s the owner of Designed by Chalcee.

“I started off working in my church, actually, on events that we would host and from there I went to college,” Norwood said. “I studied tourism and event planning, and once I graduated and came home, I started my company.”

Some of her clientele, most recently, includes gospel recording artist Kierra Sheard.

“I have designed weddings,” Norwood said. “I have designed elaborate baby showers. I have done birthday parties. I’ve done just family get togethers. I’ve done Christmas dinners, Christmas trees. So anything that you can think of, I can probably create it.”

At just 27 years old, this Black business owner has experienced prejudice -- not just because of her age, but also when it comes to funding. She’s not letting that stop her.

“It also gives you the drive to keep going and to prove that I do deserve to be here,” Norwood said.

“With COVID-19, we’re pivoting,” Nikki Howard-Combs said. “We’re doing smaller, more intimate events for smaller groups of people.”

But don’t let that fool you, Howard-Combs and 12NV Events is a veteran in the event-planning industry. She set up an elaborate casual breakfast display for our crew. That’s her specialty.

“No matter what event I do, if the budget is smaller or larger, I’m gonna put my all into it,” Howard-Combs said. “It’s going to be a beautiful event and I’m gonna make it one to envy. I’m gonna make your guests walk out with a wow.”

She’s been doing that for 15 years as a full time event planner, overcoming obstacles as a Black business owner.

“As a Black business owner, as a Black person, we have to work harder,” Howard-Combs said. “We have to convince people that we are even worthy to come into the door, but when we get there, we have to work that much harder to show them what we can do. When you love what you do, you’re going to make it work. You’re going to fight and you’re going to make it work.”

Click the links below if you’d like to contact 12NV Events or Designed by Chalcee.