What’s On My Desk: Amy Zaroff, Founder/Creative Director of Amy Zaroff Events + Design
The desk of Amy Zaroff.

What’s On My Desk: Amy Zaroff, Founder/Creative Director of Amy Zaroff Events + Design

Inspiration abounds for this event planner.

The heart and soul of Amy Zaroff’s work happens out in the world—at meetings, events, and occasionally, on dance floors. As founder and creative director of Amy Zaroff Events + Design, she spends much of her time meeting clients at their offices or favorite coffee shops.

“That’s where my best work is done—out and about. I feed off of other people’s energy and get excited by immersing myself in their environments to produce events that embody their brand.” That has included everything from Target brand launches and corporate celebrations to major philanthropic events, like Big Game Big Give during Super Bowl 52.

But occasionally, Zaroff does need to return to her Minneapolis office, where she intentionally positioned her desk facing a wall to minimize distractions—for herself, and perhaps even more so, for her team of four (plus an intern).

She may need a different desk chair.

“I simply spin my chair around, and the show begins,” Zaroff says. “I love to engage with everyone. I think they actually prefer when I am out of the office, so they can get their work done in peace!

No surprise, she was more than willing to set the papers aside and give us a desk tour.

Core values document. This is always on my desk. We live by those values. I hire, fire, reward, and review by them. Our culture is driven by them. 

Motivational quotes. I always have a lot of motivational quotes lying around. A couple of my faves: “Don’t overthink it!” and “If you get, give. If you learn, teach.” I also think it is more fun to eat dessert first and that poster is from my 40th birthday party many, many years ago. The “I Love Your Hair” poster is from my dear friend Danielle. I guess she knows a great head of hair when she sees it. Ha.

Notebooks. I love to use pen and paper and fill tons and tons of notebooks, which I then keep and look back at years later. It’s amazing to see ideas come to life or get tossed and be able to understand why upon review.  

Time to Party watch.  From the Birthday Party Project, an organization I am involved with that provides homeless children with birthday parties around the country. 

Private office or open work environment? Totally open. I am right there with the team.

View from your desk? A gorgeous matte white wall. 

Can you work at a messy desk? I need organized chaos. I actually have OCD so despite appearing like everything is spread out and in a little disarray on my desk, I know exactly where everything is and it typically stays just like that until new items become necessary and old ones get tossed.