Barrie Schwartz, 27, works in New Orleans as founder and CEO of My House NOLA. As a 2017 40 Under 40 honoree, Schwartz discusses her passion for the events industry.
What I do: I’m the leader of an all-female team. With My House NOLA, I am changing the events industry by bringing something new, fresh and relevant to the culinary side of corporate events. We collaborate with the most innovative and entrepreneurial chefs to offer guests unique menus that wow. My role is to dream big and scale My House NOLA while staying true to what really matters—our relationships with the chefs with whom we partner. I love helping build up their businesses and bring their talent to new audiences.
How I got here: I graduated from University of Michigan and moved to New Orleans in 2011 with zero plans, contacts or job prospects. While interviewing for jobs I was working as a waitress, and I started hosting dinner parties with friends in my house. First it was fun, then we started charging people to cover our costs and then we charged a little more than our cost, and before long we could not keep up with the demand. My House NOLA was born. What started out as a creative culinary production company focusing on food truck festivals and acting on wild and crazy ideas has morphed into an established food-centric event production company.
What I’m most proud of: Tales of the Cocktail is the world’s premier series of cocktail festivals, highlighting what’s now, next and new in the spirits industry. Every year, spirits companies from across the globe convene in New Orleans to educate on their product as well as throw parties to market their brand. Leblon Cachaca is a premium artisanal brand of the spirit cachaca made in Brazil and owned by Bacardi. In 2016, they decided they wanted something different from the usual hotel cocktail party and hired My House NOLA to create a new type of event for them that was casual, tropical, hip and high-end. My House NOLA produced all aspects of the event: securing the venue, permits, a big-name band, floral, lighting and sound, rentals and food. The event took place in July at the French Market, a venue rarely used for events, and included Glen David Andrews, vintage rentals to create dining and lounge spaces, and food trucks serving tapas. It was a great event and propelled us to the big leagues.