Guest Editor’s Letter: Meet Cody Shown, Senior Project Manager of ‘Makers’ Curated Experiences

Photography by Melissa Delgadillo

By Cody Shown | April 2019

It happens to all of us, except for the very lucky few that know exactly what they want to be when they grow up. We know some of the things that we’re talented at, but haven’t found the career that fulfills us on a deeper level…the one that you experience working harder than you ever have before, but are also the happiest you’ve ever been, because it’s not really “work,” but your life’s purpose.  

I grew up in an atmosphere that was very competitive, where girls tore each other apart and so many relationships were insincere. It wasn’t until recently that I found a group of immensely talented women who truly facilitate each other’s successes. I very clearly remember a moment at a party when I was surrounded by so many rockstar women in the same room who were supporting each other in a genuine and collaborative way, and I held back tears of joy for most of the event because this was shockingly foreign to me, and so amazing to watch.  

I have just accepted the role of my dream job, and as I reflect on the path so far while I prepare for my transition, I owe this opportunity to the women that have lifted me up to this point. 

From friends encouraging me to be a blogger or to open a retail store, to the professional groups and nonprofits that have invited me to serve as their programming chairs because they could see that events are my second nature, to managing a pop up shop program for the City of San Antonio…all of these puzzle pieces over the past several years have come together for me recently in a role that has been created for me at The CE Group, San Antonio’s top event and experience planning company. It has been a winding and (at times) frustrating road, but I have realized that listening closely to the supportive whispers from my allies has been the answer. A word of advice to anyone who can relate to my circumstances: one day, those whispers will become louder and louder until you know what you need to do to correct your course and step into your truth, if you’re brave enough.  

One of my dearest mentors, a woman business owner I have admired for years (who is now my new boss) Janet Holliday is a fearless leader, and someone who was instrumental in facilitating this next step for me. She gave me hours of her time over many months, helping me recognize the fork in the career road where I found myself, and what my options might be for a role that converged all of my passions into one path. We talked openly about things that I struggle with, the things I love, and my perceived lack of direction.  

After eight months and many brainstorming sessions, Janet created a place for me in her company family, and I am joining The CE Group to produce their new Makers Curated Experiences for San Antonio. The CE Group has specialized in creative bravery for the past 29 years, and has curated some of San Antonio’s most iconic experiences for clients. I am honored to be trusted with the initiative that turns the tables to curate new experiences, both big and small, that urge attendees to disconnect from their daily demands in order to reconnect with self, others and the community. These experiences will shine a spotlight on visionaries, innovators, doers and experience Makers of San Antonio. Everyone is craving authentic connection. Let’s create that together. 

In this issue, several women are highlighted that embody female empowerment and how to embrace your passion to live your truth and give back to those around you. Jessica Brown of Red Cat & Co and Michelle Cook of Chic’tique owned two of the early pop up shops downtown, one at Hemisfair and one at historic La Villita. They followed their dreams of curating creative retail and now both have permanent spaces at Broadway News. Olivia Villa, who did the hair and makeup for our cover feature shoot, is on the board of Fashion Group International – San Antonio and was awarded Makeup Innovator of the Year at the 2018 San Antonio Fashion Awards. I wanted to introduce them to ELEANORA’s digital community, because they have been essential to my in-person community, and together I like to think that we all embody 360-degree influence. It takes a village to achieve anything, and I am deeply appreciative of every woman who is a member of mine.

With gratitude and excitement for what’s to come,

–Cody Shown

Cody Shown

Cody Shown

Guest Editor

Cody Shown is the Senior Project Manager for The CE Group’s newest initiative, Makers Curated Experiences. In her role, she creates and collaborates with the top San Antonio-based event planning agency to curate live events featuring local creatives. Shown has a background in live-event curation and innovative strategic planning to better connect community members with local experiences. She also serves as Regional Director-Elect for Fashion Group International of San Antonio, and President-Elect of the Urban Management Association of South Texas. Shown has a Bachelor of Science in International Business from Pepperdine University and is a San Antonio native. Connect with her on LinkedIn and on Instagram @cocoshownel