By Brenda L. Holmes
AVON — Brian Whitis has been in the event industry for more than 20 years. He is a DJ and partner in the Debut Event Gallery and has recently opened a new business called Gallery 52 Event Rental.
Gallery 52 can rent decor, lighting, and sound for any event.
“We officially opened in September,” Whitis said. “But we started with a soft opening and will be having a grand opening celebration next month.”
The business offers rentals for weddings, anniversary parties, fundraisers, or any special occasion.
“We have center pieces, candelabras, and lighting,” he said. “We can do special effects lighting such as lighting fire and water.”
He got his start in the event/wedding industry while working as a DJ and lighting professional.
“I have been to a lot of weddings,” Whitis said. “Every weekend I get to see events so I stay up on what’s new and popular.”
He said the rental business was born out of the “do-it-yourself” craze in weddings.
“So many more people are doing the planning themselves,” he said. “And if you rent items, it can cut down on your price.”
Whitis said when a bride purchases all of the items for a center piece she can spend upwards of $24 to $30 per table.
“We can do the same thing for like $9.75 per table,” he said. “When brides hear this, they seem to be tickled to cut their decor budget in half.”
The rentals come complete with candles and any fill required, such as colored marbles or stones.
“Brides will often go to places like Hobby Lobby to pick out a flower that matches their colors to float in water,” he said. “Then that is all they’ll actually have to purchase. They’ll rent the rest from us.”
When there is an event scheduled for a weekend, Whitis has everything ready to pick up on a Thursday.
“Then they just drop off on Monday,” he said.
Since the business is still new, he’s very open minded on ordering items for those who rent.
“We’re still getting our inventory up,” he said. “So if you see something on Pinterest, print it out and bring it in. Come in and play. When I have a bride come in, this counter gets filled. It really is a lot of fun.”
Whitis has been married to his wife, Kimberly, for 7 years.
“She likes to come and help with the flowers,” he said. “She is in charge of the softer side of the business and also works a full-time job.”
Gallery 52 also has a photo booth available for rental.
The business is at 5252 E. Main St., Avon, and is open by appointment.
A grand opening celebration is planned for 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 16.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, call Whitis at 718-9999.