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Five on the Fly with Amanda McPhail

5 Questions with Amanda McPhail, Owner of Creative Affairs Inc. Event Planning and Operating Manager of The Ultimate Skybox event venue in Downtown San Diego

1.    First and foremost, you are a wife and mother to your 3-year old daughter Grace; you also own and operate Creative Affairs, Inc., consistently voted #1 Event & Wedding Planner in our Best of Coronado survey. What helps you manage your time?

I would not be where I am without my team of support. The 12 women that make up Creative Affairs, Inc., keep me organized and motivated. I would not be able to operate without them. Of course, my espresso machine and Starbucks refreshers help me get through the day, too.

2.    Do you remember the first event you created?

For years I worked in the industry prior to starting my own company in 2004. My first official paid job with Creative Affairs was on New Year’s Eve for Bart and Michele Albin’s wedding at the Admiral Kidd Club in San Diego. It was an unforgettable night for everyone and it reassured me that I had made the right decision in taking a leap of faith.

We have hosted over 1,500 events since that day.

3.    What is the best part about your career choice? Most difficult?

The best part about my job is knowing that we are helping our clients create a backdrop for one of the most important days of their lives. We want it to be a day they will never forget, whether it is a wedding or a fundraising gala. There is only one opportunity to make it perfect, and we take that seriously.

The most difficult part about my career is without a doubt being away from my daughter.

4.    You were awarded Volunteer of the Year in 2008 by the Coronado Chamber of Commerce and continue to give of your time and resources. What makes you passionate about doing so?

It’s easy for us to get caught up in day-to-day life, especially living in such an ideal environment, so I encourage others to get outside their usual surroundings to make time for others. While I may not have thousands of dollars to gift to a particular nonprofit, I can provide my expertise in event planning and vendor resources to help them raise that money for their event. You can always find a way to give.

My daughter was born two weeks before Christmas in 2012, a day we will always remember. Each year we want to give others a gift they will always remember, so I help raise money for a family in need by reaching out to Coronado residents in hopes of donation and together we help make another family’s Christmas.

You can easily tell your children that they should do nice things for others, but I have always believed that actions speak louder than words.

5.    Most memorable moments?

Because I grew up in Coronado, I have been able to produce weddings for family and friends that I have known most my life. Being in a room and counting all the couples I have worked with over the years is always my favorite moment during an event. I feel appreciative when friends ask me to plan their important occasion, and even more gratified when that same family comes back to us to plan another family members wedding.

Amanda McPhail with husband Chris Russell and daughter, Grace.
Amanda McPhail pictured with husband Chris Russell and daughter Grace.