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VOL. 128 | NO. 17 | Friday, January 25, 2013

Pink Robin Avenue Founder Grows Business

By Andy Meek

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By explaining at the recent Upstart Memphis 48 Hour Launch how the average American attends or hosts 16 social parties or holiday events a year, Danielle Inez set up the need she’s filling with her startup, Pink Robin Avenue.

“The typical host spends 20 hours doing research, overspending or struggling through do-it-yourself,” Inez explained while presenting the idea behind Pink Robin Avenue.

It’s an event-planning concept, and since presenting the winning pitch at last month’s 48 Hour Launch, Inez has been winning customers and preparing for next month’s big Everywhere Else conference in Memphis. She’s participating in that conference on several fronts, including fielding questions on one of the panels. And like the conference, Inez is a product of the startup ecosystem that’s beginning to flourish in Memphis.

The focus of the conference is startup innovation and development from everywhere else besides the hotspots of Silicon Valley and New York.

The launch at which Inez presented was the first such event from the relatively new Upstart Memphis, an initiative designed to kick-start entrepreneurship among women in Memphis.

“This scene in Memphis is awesome. I also think it’s still a big secret.”

–Danielle Inez
Owner, Pink Robin Avenue

Separate from her own work, Inez is eager to support and promote all the interlocking entrepreneurship ventures in Memphis. So much so that when standing up to introduce herself to the Leadership Memphis group with which she’s involved, she used it as an opportunity to plug everything going on inside the EmergeMemphis building Downtown – the home of the Seed Hatchery accelerator and the EmergeMemphis business incubator, among other things.

“This scene in Memphis is awesome,” Inez said. “I also think it’s still a big secret – meaning if you don’t have a tie to the actual people, then you could be living two ZIP codes away and not have any idea what’s going on and not have any idea how big these things are in just this little part of Downtown Memphis.”

Inez’s first business was traditional event planning, in which she dealt almost entirely with wedding clients. Since then, she has owned a public relations firm for about three years.

She advertises her new venture as an online destination that provides a fully customizable, streamlined process for event planning.

In most tech businesses, Inez explains, doing new things for customers is often limited until after the product or an app has been finished. Yet Inez already is plugging away, and earlier this month, two local clients ordered events that included a college graduation party in May and a sweet 16 celebration in August.

“With Pink Robin Avenue, I felt people have been approaching event planning the same way for a super long time,” Inez said. “You could either get a really expensive event planner to handle all the details for you, or you could try to go about doing it yourself. But the problem with doing it yourself is you end up being confined to your creativity.

“But you don’t have to be limited in what your final output is, because you can come to Pink Robin Avenue and we’ll create those things. And then, that way, it’s the best of both worlds. You get to be as creative as you want and you don’t have to worry about having ‘do-it-yourself fails’ when you try to put your creativity into practice.”

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