Charlotte native Sikky Rogers has spent 35 years as one of the most sought after event designers in the region. The trust she’s built with her exclusive list of clients plus her exquisite taste, high standards and creativity have earned her the status of a legend.
She was one of the founding owners of The Buttercup, a popular gift and stationery store, before becoming a self-taught event designer at the urging of family members after spending a year planning her own daughter’s wedding.
Her original event design company, Entertain The Idea, has now morphed into Rogers & Gala where she works with business partner Angela Gala. “I still love what I do - the creativity and working with people - but I do not like the paperwork,” Sikky says. “Angela does a lot of that for me because she’s good with numbers and figures and budgets.”
At this point in her career, Sikky picks and chooses what she wants to do. “As with everyone who grows into being a more mature person, you figure out what’s important and how you want to spend your time and with whom," she says.
Her favorite events are still weddings and her favorite clients are those who let her do what she does best without any micromanagement. In turn, Sikky applies that same philosophy to the vendors she works with - to let creative people be creative. Among her favorites are John Lupton (“He’s a genius”), The Blossom Shop (“I love them”), Kathryn Meyer at Party Reflections (“She’s so knowledgable about her craft”) and caterer Melodie McAbee (“She has the most cutting edge menus”).
Sikky loves her career but does not describe it as easy or glamorous. “When you’re doing something that’s so important to someone else it’s not to be taken lightly,” she says. “There are always hardships and problems. It’s a wonderful way to make people happy, but you don’t always make them happy. It’s a lot of work, long hours and very stressful.”
She believes in never acting like a guest at the events she designs, but she still has moments of fun. One of her most recent successful parties involved a bacon bar, a bourbon bar and a palm reader. “I left at 1 a.m. and there were still guests in line for the palm reader,” she says.
When Sikky isn’t designing events she loves to work in her garden and paint. “Right now I’m doing a series of watercolor birds. I love the details and working with lots of colors. I get lost in it. It’s magical.”
Sikky graciously took the time to answer our questions about everything ranging from the newest party trends to the best business advice she's ever received and her most treasured article of clothing.
What's the biggest mistake people make when hosting a party?
Not having the correct guest list and not having an open bar.
What's your favorite host/hostess gift to bring to a party?
Are there any new party trends that you’re excited about?
All really good things eventually come back such as black tie events. People want to dress up again. Also, long dinner tables with floral arrangements that are low down the center of the table, especially succulents; cocktail dinner parties that are less formal with seating around a room; and passed small plates or carts passing food and cocktails. And a little comfort food to give people a chance to indulge themselves.
What inspires you?
Life and the chance to create.
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
Give good service.
What would others be surprised to know about you?
I am shy.
What’s your design style?
What are your favorite colors?
Blue, green and white.
What's your favorite flower?
Lily of the Valley.
Do you have a motto or words that you live by?
Always be true to yourself.
Which rules do you suggest breaking?
Anything that does not hurt someone else.
What do you like to do in your downtime?
Paint, read and garden.
How do you like to get your day started?
A good cup of coffee.
What’s in your glass during Happy Hour?
Tonic, olives and lime.
What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
Chocolate and nuts.
I work hard not to be obsessed with anything.
Where are your favorite places to travel?
California, Italy, France and England.
How do you stay in shape?
Walk, walk, walk.
What’s one of the best beauty tips you’ve learned?
Wear the right colors for your skin tone.
What are your must-have beauty products?
Retin-A, Airflash Spray Foundation by Dior and Visible Difference moisturizer by Elizabeth Arden.
How do you protect your skin from the sun?
SkinCeuticals Sport UV Defense SPF 50.
How would you describe your personal style?
What are some of your favorite pieces in your wardrobe?
Skinny jeans, sweaters and short boots.
What are your favorite fashion labels?
I don’t really like fashion labels.
Who's your biggest style influence?
It was my stepmother-in-law.
Anything you've worn and regretted?
Anything you'll never wear?
What’s your must treasured article of clothing?
A pink dress covered in pearls that I wore to my daughter's wedding.
What’s your most treasured accessory?
A Judith Leiber purse my mother-in-law gave me.
What would you like to bring back in style?
Pretty shoes that don’t draw attention to feet.
What’s your most treasured home decor item?
An antique pitcher I bought in New Orleans.
What's your favorite restaurant for a big night out?
What’s your favorite brunch spot?
What’s your favorite restaurant for lunch?
Brio Tuscan Grille.
Any museum exhibits or arts performances you’ve either seen recently, or plan to see soon?
The Louvre in Paris.
What are some of your favorite movies?
Tootsie, Play Misty for Me and Gone With the Wind.
What are some of your favorite books?
A Woman of Substance, Doctor Zhivago and Jane Eyre.
Is there anything you loved as a child that still influences you today?
What brings you joy?
Family, friends, work, flowers, colors, nature, books, puzzles, art, chocolate and animals.
What do you love about this stage of your life?
That I can just be me.
What are your favorite charitable causes?
Children and animals.
Any words of wisdom?
Own up to any mistakes. Be true to yourself. Trust your instincts.