Celebrating nine years with Bold this month, Kristine Polstra is one of Bold’s talented designers. When she’s not plotting plans for showstopping installations and florals for her clients, Kristine enjoys kicking back on her couch to catch up on reality TV, brewery hopping with her husband or indulging in an (extra) dirty martini and flatbread at Ecco. Learn more about Kristine’s path and inspiration to becoming an event sales designer in today’s #FGRFamily spotlight!
Where are you from originally?
I’m originally from Columbus, Indiana, but I’ve been living in Atlanta for 11 years. I go back and visit sometimes, but Atlanta feels like home to me now. I originally moved here temporarily for an internship and lived with my sister at the time, but ended up finding a place, loving it and staying!
How did you get into the event industry?
When I moved to Atlanta, my sister was a wedding planner at the time. She knew Steve Bales, so I interviewed with him, started in August 2010 and have been here ever since!
How long have you been a part of the FGR family?
Nine years at the end of August!
What is your position and what are your responsibilities in this role?
When I first started, I assisted Steve and another designer as an event coordinator. I learned a lot, from installing and dismantling events, to making floral pieces. After getting my feet wet, we restructured our team and I became Steve’s full-time assistant for a year. At the end of 2012, I stepped into a sales role and am currently an event sales designer. I do a mix of corporate and social events and my responsibilities include meeting with clients and reviewing their design vision — from flowers, colors, linens — all of it! Next, I design the proposal and work with our production team to bring my client’s event to life.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was little, I used to draw wedding dresses and wanted to go into wedding dress design. I was into art in general and making pretty things — always sketching things like my dream home, crafting projects to hang on the wall for my mom, and creating wreaths to hang at Christmas. During my senior year in high school, I interned with an interior designer and did a final project redecorating my bedroom. I painted, I made my own curtains and constructed my own bed with my dad. I loved houses and every Sunday, my mom and I would drive around, look at home listings in the newspaper and visit open houses. It all worked out, because I ended up getting an interior design degree.
Describe your design aesthetic in three words.
Floral. Texture. Hanging. I love hanging installations at events and creating a “wow” factor focal point.
What is the most memorable event you’ve helped bring to life?
Definitely Mailchimp’s holiday party. Their team is amazing and really lets us run with the theme they come up with. This year’s event was at The Fairmont – a total blank canvas – and had a modern-day play on prom theme. We did a twist on ’80s and early ’90s with a floral truck passing out wrist corsages and boutonnieres for guests, a chocolate fountain, hanging floral chandelier and even recreated a mini gymnasium with basketball court graphics, bleachers and hanging floral basketball hoops. They also wanted to utilize balloons, which is a really hot trend right now, so we worked with a vendor to do balloon garlands, lit up balloons, etc.
What is your most popular request from clients?
Hanging installations. One of my recent weddings at Puritan Mill featured bright, vibrant colors. The bride loved florals, so we did a 16-foot, boho-inspired hanging installation with carnations strung on fishing line, looped throughout and hung organically with coral charm peonies and dahlias tucked in. Another popular request is soft seating.
What are your favorite Bold menu items?
I really, really love Bold’s tomato appetizer with a pipette of Bloody Mary and gorgonzola cheese. It’s fresh and bursts in your mouth. I also love the goat cheese balls, and mac and cheese is my absolute favorite!
If you were planning a decade-themed party, which decade would you choose?
I’ve decorated these before and love it. My favorite is the 1920’s with flappers and speakeasy theme. I’ve done a few parties like this featuring a secret wall, where someone stands behind a secret door, slides it open and guests have to give a secret password to get in. I also love the ’60s and ’70s, incorporating a funky disco theme with colors, patterns, textures and more.
What’s the first thing you do when an event is over?
I love taking photos of every event that I do, so the next day I will post photos on Instagram. One of my guilty pleasures is watching reality TV. My favorite shows include Survivor, Big Brother, The Real Housewives (New York City and Beverly Hills are the best!), Vanderpump Rules and Summerhouse. My husband makes fun of me all the time, but it’s good after a busy day because reality TV is mindless, entertaining and mellows me out. I also love a good beer. My husband used to brew, so I’ve started diving into different styles. Sweetwater 420 is my all-time favorite!
What’s your favorite part of town + why?
East Atlanta. My husband and I bought our first home there a year ago, two miles from the Village. I also love Candler Park and Grant Park — the quaint Atlanta neighborhoods with markets and cute houses.
If you could eat at one FGR restaurant every day for the rest of your life, which one would you choose?
Ecco Midtown. The goat cheese balls are dynamite. I’m a big pizza person, so I also love the flatbreads. Other go-tos include the charcuterie board, pappardelle and ice cream. To drink, I love to order an old faithful Tito’s vodka with lime or a dirty martini. I love olives so much, I sometimes request it “extra dirty.”
What do you do on your days off?
I love going to the home shows around town. My hometown is known for architecture and the last time I was there, I went into some really fun houses. My family also visits a lot, so we hang out with them a lot. I love shopping! My favorite stores include Fab’rik, Target, Francesca’s and Lily Rain at Ponce City Market. I also enjoy going to movies, concerts and breweries.
What is your favorite part of being in the FGR Family?
The people. I love everyone I work with! We’re not just co-workers, we’re friends and hang out outside of work.