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The Inception of Atlas Design

Welcome to the blog! I wanted to create a space where I can share with you Atlas weddings as well as give you planning advice and help answer any questions along the way. To get started I wanted to first share a little bit about me and how Atlas Design came to be.

A little bit about me...

My name is Katie Hillenga (soon to be Ray!) and I live in Santa Cruz, California. I moved around a bit for school - studying business in Santa Barbara, fashion in New York, and finishing with journalism at Monterey Bay State, and I love living on both the East and West coasts.

I live right by the beach with my now fiancé, Michael, and my golden retriever, Jax. And yes, I treat Jax as if he was my child. Michael is obsessed with surfing, Jax loves the water, and I love the beach so you can usually find us at one of the beaches nearby when we aren't working. Other than being a beach bum, I love traveling, hosting summer BBQs, and drinking good wine. I am absolutely obsessed with Honey Mama's chocolate and Beyonce's Lemonade album.

How I started event planning...

When I was younger I was always the person who would host parties with my friends and plan every activity with the crew. I hadn't even thought of choosing event planning as a possible career until a family friend was starting her own planning business and offered that I intern with her for a season while I was in college. I started doing weddings with her and I was hooked. Weddings are so much fun to be a part of - seeing those special moments with all of the family and friends around - not to mention I get to be outdoors in beautiful locations all the time. I loved the fast pace and ever changing work so I continued my planning career by spending a few years with a luxury event planning company and a couple more years at a wedding venue perfecting my venue, catering, and planning background.

How Atlas came to be...

I have always dreamed of owning a business and being my own boss (doesn't everyone??). As I was doing more events, I started having previous clients request to have me do their friends weddings. I began to do some weddings here and there until I felt that it was time to go out on my own. And so here I am! I started Atlas at the beginning of 2019 and left my 9-5 job to go into it full time. And I am so thankful for all of the support that I have received from family, friends and my wedding community! I can't wait to see what 2020 brings - especially since I get to plan a wedding of my own!


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