Throughout my career, I’ve had the chance to work with many of the wonderful individuals in the Cleveland events community. Seeing the end results of all their planning and coordination is always a treat, but it’s important to remember the amount of hard work, dedication and the sheer amount of STUFF that goes into each and every one of those weddings, galas, conferences and so on. Many designers collect all those items for their own collections, so imagine how many incredible things one designer would have after 40 years!
After decades of designing events for the world’s tastemakers including Martha Stewart and Gloria Vanderbilt, as well as our region’s well-heeled elite (think members of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Cleveland Indians), Stephen Tokar of Tokar Event Design is closing his business and moving to Europe. But as one could imagine, after that many years in business, Stephen has collected quite the inventory and is now ready to get rid of it all! He is hosting a Million Dollar Inventory Sale where shoppers will have the opportunity to see the elements that went into Tokar’s many designs — and purchase them for their own use.
The Million Dollar Inventory Sale doesn’t formally begin until Thursday, but Stephen invited me to his warehouse to get a sneak peek… and do a little shopping. As I don’t consider home decor my strong suit, I brought some reinforcements: my “work husband”, Vince and new-gal-to-our-team, Hannah. We took the opportunity to sneak out of the office on a Friday-before-a-holiday to kick off our weekend at Stephen’s warehouse.
As we shopped, we had the chance to catch up with Stephen as he and his team assisted shoppers. As we walked his warehouse together, he shared incredible stories about pieces we found, how he was still finding new ways to style items together and even making suggestions on how to use pieces for our own homes and events. We asked him about his plans post-sale — as Stephen is of Hungarian descent, he’s moving to Budapest for the next chapter in his adventure. You could tell he didn’t make the decision to close his business and move from Cleveland lightly, but you could also see the excitement in his eyes for what was in store in his future.
If you’re not in the industry, you may not know what to expect when walking through Tokar Event Design’s warehouse. Think furniture of all sizes and styles, theatrical props, mirrors, chandeliers, candelabras, so much luxury fabric (we were in heaven!) and much, much more. It was almost overhwelming as there were so many gems to choose from — I didn’t know where to start! But we ended up finding some incredible items, including a really great desk lamp and this wonderful statement piece that will be finding its new home in my living room.
Stay tuned as I get this beauty into my house and onto Instagram next week!
Interested in some shopping?! Tokar Event Design’s sale takes place at Stephen’s Midtown Cleveland studio at 7029 Euclid Avenue from 10AM to 6PM on Thursday, May 30th, Friday, May 31st and Saturday, June 1st. Prices range from $5 for designer pillows and candlesticks to $2,500 for Italianate room-sized garden pergolas and gorgeous Grecian statuary. There’s really something for everyone! Tell your friends about this mega sale at the Facebook event page.