We are so thankful for Cass Concepts, the presenting sponsor of our upcoming fundraiser, Picnic with the Peonies! Specializing in marketing, events, and public relations for small businesses, Cass Concepts founder and CEO Cassie Yoder has a unique history with Allerton. Read on to learn more:
Q: Can you tell us about your company including your services, mission, and goals?
A: “Cass Concepts is a full service marketing firm but, ultimately, we are storytellers. We believe that businesses and boutiques of all shapes and sizes should have the same opportunities to tap into the expertise and knowledge of a marketing firm. It is our belief system that customers are smart and savvy. They don’t fall for cheap thrills, which means that our firm strategizes and implements business coaching and marketing content that connects, educates, and explains the impact of “shopping local.” We specialize in social media management and content, video storytelling campaigns, website design, collateral and branding, etc.”
Q: How long have you been in business and where are you located?
A: “I began in the events industry in 2005 and knew that events required marketing or required collateral, and it became an easy expansion to handle all things in-house instead of sending someone over to get programs created and someone else to another company to create a website that would allow for registration. Therefore, it was a natural progression to go from events into marketing and public relations services.
Our firm has grown to help artists, boutiques, and unique craftsmanship by launching Prairie Commons Business Collective. This marketing collective partnership is full of creative and innovative individuals who are wanting to showcase their products and online stores to the masses. Growing as a collective builds stronger branding and a distinct community that provides support.
With these ventures, we have found that there is always a behind-the-scenes, or a story that no one has ever told. Those stories intrigued me deeply, and when I would meet or coach businesses, I found many people left things behind in order to move forward or to get out of their own way. That is when the idea of a podcast and video blog came about, and we launched “Left at the Door,” which has become the place for people to tell the stories of what they “left at the door” in order to grow, succeed, love, survive.”
Q: What will people get from your business that they will not get anywhere else?
A: “I understand both the needs, constraints, and dreams of small businesses and boutiques, and yet also have held the accounts of major enterprises for over a decade. Our firm is rooted in community, while becoming an extension of their current team. We have clients that we do everything from marketing to business coaching, to other clients for whom we solely handle one aspect of a campaign. We are real, and we are reachable. It isn’t the Wizard of Oz, “man behind the curtain” where you don’t know what they are doing or the end goal. Our clients’ goals are a representation of our successes, and the only way we can help someone succeed is to show up and help them daily.”
Q: How would you describe your customers?
A: “Professionally we may call them clients, but they are truly our friends. Behind every business is a person who had a brilliant idea or solution to a problem. Inside that person is a story that is waiting to unfold and be told. We have the privilege of letting the world know that story exists. I believe that people genuinely support people and buy into people. It doesn’t necessarily matter how great a product or service is, consumers often fall in love with brands because the people at the core of that company, boutique, or enterprise is truly making a difference.”
Q: Tell us a little about your interest in Allerton.
A: “In 2006, I was a wide-eyed, eager young college graduate who embarked on a wedding and special events career here at Allerton…and it was a catalyst. The relationships, both personally and professionally, that began on the Allerton estate changed my entire life. I came into this role shaking things up and shifting things around. I saw opportunity in these gardens and mansion and began changing and adding more time slots for more events to occur. And, while the set-up crew may have not been very fond of the added workload, I realized I could make an impact here doing something I did well…executing events and marketing something amazing!
The legacy of the Allerton estate was a story that needed to be told, and I loved coming to work everyday and being able to provide tours to showcase the brilliance of Robert Allerton and what he left behind. It was here at Allerton, that I met my two dearest friends, Betty Lacy and the late Steph Shonkwiler. We spent long hours here together…often the first ones to arrive and the last ones to leave.
Betty and I still joke constantly that we should write a book about our adventures and the thousands and thousands of people that crossed our paths in these gardens. I have certain spots on the estate that carry so much meaning. People come to these gardens to see the sculptures for a multitude of reasons, but I am a hopeless romantic. For me, one of my favorite sculptures has always been the Three Graces inside the Peony Garden. Year after year, I walk through the garden with over 70 variations of vibrant peonies and see that sculpture, and it reminds me of the Shakieb Orgunwall quote: With some, we’re certain our hearts must have been acquainted, long before we ever met them.
It was at Allerton that my heart felt at home and it is a place that changed me and my perspective on what a legacy truly means and what impact I can make. But most importantly, Allerton exemplifies that people who dream and have ideas like Robert Allerton did aren’t foolish…if anything, they are beyond courageous to follow their hearts.”
Q: Is there anything else you would like to audience to know?
A: “I am sure I have so many stories and memories of Allerton, where do I begin? The cats that walked down the aisle on leashes? Making bouquets from flowers from the estate when the wedding florist did not show up? Standing in the Garden of Chinese Musicians laughing and chatting as squirrels darted in front of wedding guests that walked by? There is truly some thing for everyone at Allerton, sights to be seen and memories to be made.”
Learn more about the Picnic with the Peonies here.