Austin firm has de­signs on in­au­gu­ral ball

Com­pany re­spon­si­ble for mar­ket­ing, de­sign and theme of Black Tie and Boots In­au­gu­ral Ball.

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS - By Lay­lan Copelin lcopelin@states­ Lara Kennedy Ho­gan’s firm worked with a com­pany run by a child­hood friend. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED BY KENNEDY AND COM­PANY Con­tact Copelin at 445-3617.

Austin startup Kennedy and Com­pany is re­spon­si­ble for the “look” of one of Washington, D.C.’s sig­na­ture events: the Black Tie and Boots In­au­gu­ral Ball.

“We are a small busi­ness do­ing some big things,” said Lara Kennedy Ho­gan, pres­i­dent of Kennedy and Com­pany, a mar­ket­ing, pub­lic re­la­tions and de­sign firm. “In less than two years since we opened our doors, we are thrilled to have a na­tional client of this cal­iber.”

Ho­gan worked as a con­gres­sional staffer be­fore re­turn­ing to Austin, her home­town, and found­ing her firm in 2010.

Her com­pany, along with a part­ner, cre­ated the over­all de­sign, theme and mar­ket­ing ma­te­ri­als, in­clud­ing in­vi­ta­tions, the event’s web­site and a pro­mo­tional video. Ho­gan was also in­volved in the de­sign of many com­mem­o­ra­tive items, in­clud­ing belt buck­les, cuff­links and Kona gui­tars.

“De­sign­ing the com­mem­o­ra­tive gui­tars for the event was an unique ex­pe­ri­ence,” Ho­gan said. “We can hardly wait to ‘boot-scoot’ un­der the very ban­ner we de­signed to mu­si­cians play­ing the gui­tars that we helped cre­ate.”

The Jan. 19 party, which will in­clude 20 Texas per­form­ers on six stages, is ex­pected to draw 15,000 at­ten­dees. The Texas State So­ci­ety of Washington, D.C. is host­ing the event at Gay­lord Na­tional Re­sort and Con­ven­tion Cen­ter on the banks of the Po­tomac River.

An added bonus, Ho­gan said, is work­ing with friends on the Black Tie and Boots project.

Her part­ner, Peck­ish De­sign & Mar­ket­ing, was started by a friend from the first grade. Ho­gan caught up with her friend, Feli­cia Rateliff of Mis­souri, at a class re­u­nion. They dis­cov­ered they were both in mar­ket­ing and de­sign.

“We’ve been work­ing to­gether (on Black Tie and Boots) since July,” Ho­gan said. “It’s been a lot of fun.”

An­other friend, Polly Shrew­bury of Austin, is a part­ner in Pollyseon, which is pro­vid­ing em­broi­dered travel bags for the in­au­gu­ral event.

Ho­gan said the three friends will be to­gether at the ball.

“It’s truly a one-of-a-kind oc­ca­sion, and I am proud to be a part of it,” she said.

Kennedy and Com­pany helped de­sign com­mem­o­ra­tive belt buck­les.

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