The driving force behind Alicia’s innovative vision for her company is pretty simple: Mom. Raised by a single mother, Alicia quickly learned the importance of a strong work ethic and commitment to being the best. After Alicia was born, her mother moved them from the Jersey Shore to the West Coast. They settled in San Francisco, where her mom launched her floral company. Growing up in the city, Alicia was a member of one of the first female classes at the prestigious college prep school, Saint Ignatius. With determination on her side and a strong belief in community, Alicia went on to graduate from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a B.A. in Sociology.
After graduation, her adventurous spirit led her on a journey to foreign lands. She traveled around the world, exploring Europe, the South Pacific, and Southeast Asia, where she met her Australian soul mate. Bringing home one very special souvenir, she and her Aussie husband have been happily married nearly ten years. “My travels gave me perspective and insight and most of all – depth. I carry those experiences close to my heart and they encourage my journey as a designer.”
It was evident from an early age that Alicia shared and admired her mother’s passion for entertaining. After growing up in the “biz” Alicia entered the service industry as a college student to pay the bills, soon realizing this wasn’t just a job for her, but a passion and soon a career. She then went on to begin her own business, Alicia K Designs in 2001 out of her garage – determined to build a successful event firm. With friends and family as her first employees, she began to build a name for herself and a business she would be proud of. “when I started I did everything on my own; planning flowers, set up, break down… I did whatever it took to put an event together.”
With the courage it takes to branch out on your own and start something from scratch, Alicia is no stranger to facing her fears head on. One of her biggest challenges also turned out to be life changing. In 2005, while aboard a small plane returning from scouting an event in the Bahamas, Alicia’s tenacity and bravery kicked into high gear when the plane dove into the Atlantic, six miles from the Miami coastline. An avid scuba diver and adventurist, she is among the seven passengers who survived the accident. She not only lived to tell the tale, but was determined enough to coordinate the event at the Bahaman location just six months later.
Now a mother of two, a wife, and independent business owner, Alicia has honed her craft by planning and designing nearly three hundred private and corporate events. Her expertise and professionalism have landed her on television travel spotlights and wedding programs. The dream that began when she was a little girl emulating her mother, continues today through the success of AK Designs. “I have always dreamed of creating a company where not only our clients are happy but the employees are happy. Creating a workplace that puts importance on team work, laughter, and encourages a work life balance.” At the heart of her ambition is the determination to give her mother the security she never had as a young, single parent.
At AK Designs, great events transcend the ordinary and offer the extraordinary. From inspired weddings to unforgettable corporate gatherings – from destination events to special celebrations…event designer Alicia Falango continues to create one of a kind experiences. Intimately involved in every aspect of event design, coordination and execution, Alicia and the Alicia K Designs team work side by side with clients, to ensure that each event embodies the distinctive vision, charm and personality of its hosts.
Jessica loves meeting with new brides and grooms and helping them to achieve the wedding of their dreams. Jessica entered the world of event planning while attending school at San Francisco State University. She worked several internships in the Bay Area and after assisting with her first wedding in 2009, she knew she had found a way to tie her passions together – a career in event planning + design. After graduating in 2011, Jessica joined Alicia K Designs as a full time lead coordinator. She finds that her friendly charisma, attention to detail, and creativity is key to her role as a hands-on event planner. San Francisco inspires her every day, as do AKD’s incredible clients she has had the chance to work side by side with. Jessica always looks for ways to personalize every event for her clients and loves working to make each event unique and memorable!
A bookkeeper by trade, Marguerite is an integral part of the AK Design team. She oversees the financial operations as the business and accounting manager. Previous to working in the event planning industry, Marguerite worked in the wine industry. Known around AKD as “Team Mom”, Marguerite goes above and beyond to make sure everyone always has what they need. Marguerite works behind the scenes to ensure that the company runs smooth and efficiently, allowing the event coordination team to focus all of their energies on what matters- the clients. If it weren’t for Marguerite, there would be no Alicia K Designs, she is Alicia’s inspiration and motivation.