Tara Wilson has created a successful business out of the things she loves: entertaining and crafting. She knows what's in -- such as a scotch-tasting bar -- and she gets others in the know, too.
"I'm an event designer and entertaining expert, so my idea is to teach people how to entertain with ease; affordability yet with elegance and confidence," Wilson said.
Her weddings and parties are written about in local magazines, and the International Special Events Society give her the 2009 award for Best Wedding Budget ($75,000-$200,000).
"My tag line is, 'Be stylish. Be unexpected. Be savvy,'" Wilson said. "Friends send me messages: 'Is it OK to wear a long dress to a wedding?' Or, 'Where should I go for dinner on my anniversary?' People know I'm on the cutting edge of trends. Hence, the savvy girl."
Wilson uses a website, a blog and social-networking sites to create a following and define her brand.
"Savvy is about knowing about many things," she said. "It's about what's important to you and living an authentic life and lifestyle you want. It doesn't mean it has to be expensive."
"We're going to show viewers how they can incorporate affordable yet elegant ideas into their entertaining here at the end of summer," she said.
It's an opportunity she has dreamed about since launching Tara Wilson Events in 2007. Previously, she spent 10 years as a financial adviser before realizing she wasn't living her passion.
"I knew I loved the whole world of crafting and throwing parties and design," she said. "Leap, and the net will appear. So in February 2007, I leapt, the net appeared, and I've never looked back."
Wilson's sense of style and entertaining stretches back to childhood.
"I like to say I learned the art of entertaining at the hem of my mother's skirt," she said.
Wilson said that what women did so naturally decades ago is harder for today's woman.
"Now that women are working outside the home more and raising families and sometimes doing it on their own, we kind of have lost the art of entertaining and the art of Southern hospitality," she said.
Wilson wants to give women permission to find their own style of entertaining, saying that perfection is not required.
She hopes to take her know-how to a national level and wishes for a TV show, books and a line of products to teach people how to entertain with ease at an affordable way "and live a savvy lifestyle."