As wallets tightened and jobs evaporated, people turned away from some of the consumerism that drove them in the pre-recession era.
"Most of us have more than we need because we've been so consumer-oriented with things. And I think now we're looking at, 'Wait a second! What do we really value?' " said Patti Klainot, owner of Jaunt Events and Excursions.
For a growing number of people, the value has been found in making memories - even if that means paying someone, like Klainot, to help construct them.
It's a business Klainot dreamed up as she looked for an alternative to her career as a certified occupational therapy assistant.
"What I came up with is what I had been doing - and not even realizing - and that was special event management," Klainot said.
As a co-creator of the Village Green Street Fair and volunteer for Diva Night with the Wauwatosa Business Improvement District, Klainot had years of experience organizing large-scale events in the village. She also had experience with business events, planning day trips for a retirement community and co-producing a travel program for about 20 years for her husband's company.
"I really just enjoy helping people create memories," Klainot said. "I thought the only deficit I had was I really wanted some education behind me."
So, she spent two years at Milwaukee Area Technical College, formally studying event management while working her full-time job, plus a part-time gig. Last year, she started Jaunt Events and Excursions, a name she hoped would embody the spirit of her business.
"Jaunt means journey and expedition and frolic. Our life is an adventure. Everything we do in our lives is a journey. And events tie that all together," Klainot said.
So far, she has done everything from planning weddings to organizing a health fair for a local chiropractor. In the future, Klainot hopes to delve into culinary events and cultural tourism, perhaps working with the Wolf River Council on Tourism to share the culture of a Native American tribe in Crandon, or creating tours of German neighborhoods in Chicago, where people could shop the markets for ethnic food and hear the native language.
"It's not just a drive-by; it's experiencing that culture," Klainot explained. "… It's memorable and so much more rewarding than a thing you leave behind."
JUST THE FACTS
BUSINESS: Jaunt Events and Excursions
ADDRESS: 1843 Church St.
PHONE: (414) 258-1185
OWNER: Patti Klainot
- Business Spotlight: Cranky Al's has grown from desperation to a Wauwatosa institution
- Business Spotlight: Duckpin bowling alley has been an exercise in creative thinking
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: The Flower Lady stays true to the Village, and finds room to grow
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: Perspective Design specializes in being a generalist
- Business Spotlight: Tosa Bowl and Bun
- Business Spotlight: For Loriena Harrington, the land kept calling her back
- Colonel Hart's is a bar that will make you feel like family
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: At Legacy Gym, it's not just about abs
- Business Spotlight: The Wauwatosa Historical Society keeps up to date with the past
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: Chiropractor found his way by a fortunate accident
- Business Spotlight: On a quest for good brews, they found a World of Beer
- Business Spotlight: Jenny Kyle Smith hits the sweet spot after years of struggle
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: Kirchen's Car Sick Art is more art than cars
- Business Spotlight: Wauwatosa-based Irish Fest Center does more than put on a summer festival
- Business Spotlight: Sheeley Service puts the zip in your beverage of choice
- Business Spotlight: Face time is the best time for photographer Stephanie Bartz
- Dog trainer finds it's people who need aid
- Business Spotlight: Russ Drover finds beauty in the original
- Wauwatosa Business Spotlight: When he left the corporate world, he made new arrangements
- Business Spotlight: For Ruckus & Glee toy store in Wauwatosa, it's all about play