Most businesses start with a particular need and for Jamie Whittaker, co-founder and president of Venuelust, it was all about finding a beach house for her sister-inlaw’s wedding. Whittaker worked for a special events company in California at the time. “My job was visiting venues and getting on their preferred vendor list,” she explains. When talking with her sister-inlaw, she couldn’t believe how difficult it was to find a unique venue. She launched Estate Weddings and Events in 2008 and rebranded it as Venuelust one year ago.
From farms, ranches and exclusive private homes to boutique hotels, Venuelust connects planners to venues around the world. “We are an online resource for offthe- beaten-path spots,” she says. From retreats to award dinners to meetings, “we cater to corporate or social planners who don’t want to be in a hotel,” she explains. Streamlined to avoid too much information, “we’ve found that some planners get overwhelmed when trying to page through so much,” she says. Planners are able to search by location, venue type or event type and are then provided an overview of each venue’s capacities and amenities. Just one click submits RFPs directly to the venues.
While Venuelust is based in San Diego, its local spotlight includes Meadowburn farm in Vernon. This 590-acre working dairy farm is perfect for retreats and brainstorming sessions where getting away from it all is exactly what’s prescribed.