Courtney Dial puts the Pizzaz in Pizzazzerie. Yep, that's right she is basically a party planning genius. Well, not basically - she is a genius! Not only is she just beyond amazing and so genuine - she is the complete brain behind the one & only - Pizzazerie. We were just thrilled to sit down and chat with Courtney! And by the way - isn't she like the cutest little thing ever! We just want to put her in our pocket. We adore her! Not just because she is a hard working entrepreneur under the age of 25 but she has amazing passion as the creator and editor of Pizzazzerie.com -- all about the art of entertaining. It is your go to place for recipes, ideas and DIY parties - she was even featured on MarthaStewart.com. Basically, she is perfection in a nutshell.
What is behind the name, Pizzazzerie?
The word pizzazz means "an attractive combination of energy and style", and I have always loved the French word pâtisserie so I combined them. That's where I got Pizzazzerie! :) It's definitely not a site about pizza to some people's dismay though we did just write an article on a fun gourmet pizza party!
When you first started the site, did you ever dream it would turn into something so amazing so quick?
Never! I thought it would be something that I did every couple of nights as a fun hobby. I had no idea that within 3 months, I would be leaving my full-time job at Vanderbilt University to manage Pizzazzerie! It's been a whirlwind but a blessing. I am so thankful and honored to have met the amazing industry professionals and readers that I interact with daily.
When you aren't busy with Pizzazzerie - what can we catch you doing? What other things do you enjoy?
When I'm not busy with Pizzazzerie, you can find me headed to an Auburn or Vanderbilt football game with my boyfriend, outside running, or spending time with my friends over a great glass of wine at one of Nashville's fun restaurants. I always have to find time to get away from "work" as an entrepreneur because it's easy to get caught up in working 24/7. My friends and family are very supportive and love dragging me away to go on a vacation, catch a movie, or even go on a long walk.
Do you have a favorite party to date?
This is a tough one, the parties I have thrown lately have all been so different (from a peacock themed engagement party to a beer tasting party). I would say my favorite to date would be a Berries & Bellinis party I hosted this past summer for a dear friend. We had a build-your-own-berry-cobbler bar that was so yummy. We had bowls of fresh berries and raspberry bellinis. Delicious!
Though I helped her a bit with a recent sip 'n see, getting to fully plan an event with Tori Spelling (who is also an amazing party designer) would be my choice! She's such a doll and has been a supporter of Pizzazzerie so I would absolutely love to put our heads together for a fabulous event. Other celebrities I'd love to decorate an event for would be Faith Hill and Alyssa Milano.
What is your favorite part about having Pizzazzerie?
My favorite party is the creation stage, when the ideas are flowing about a party design. I love pulling together all those ideas to come up with a unique and creative party design. That is where I am the happiest - designing and creating!
What do you think is your biggest accomplishment?
I would say my biggest accomplishment (besides being interviewed for the fabulous CupcakeMag - so thrilled!!) - would be completing my Masters in Organizational Leadership and being an entrepreneur at 25. Not being afraid to walk away from a full-time, secure job in order to follow my dream.
10 Things You Don't Know About Courtney
1.) I was born in Texas but grew up in the Carolinas (Charleston & Raleigh)
2.) Prior to Pizzazzerie, I was a career counselor at Vanderbilt University, recruiting engineering companies on campus and helping students find jobs out of school.
3.) I wanted to be a genetic counselor when I grew up.
4.) My Mom used to film segments about table ideas as well as write for entertaining magazines.
5.) I am a big Duke basketball fan (my brother went there). I'm a big college sports fan in general.
6.) I'm addicted to really cheesy Lifetime Movies.
7.) I love anything banana flavored - banana pudding is the best!
8.) I used to teach ceramics on the pottery wheel in the summers.
9.) In graduate school, I started a custom cookie business called "The Sweets Boutique" named after my 95 year old grandmother, who we call "Sweet". But graduate school demands were tough, so that was the end of the Sweets Boutique :)
10.) My favorite foods are mashed potatoes, queso, birthday cake ice cream, and chocolate cake (can we say carbs?).