Hiram Smith’s signature flair and showmanship that he brings to his work as one of the most sought-after event management and consultant professionals in the Houston area and beyond may well be driven by his birthright. The grandson of a musician who played with one of Louis Armstrong’s earliest groups, Hiram fully absorbed the cultural roots of his native New Orleans from childhood, while developing an enduring interest in superb staging and execution.
With this background and passion, Smith went on to chart a career course culminating in his current leadership of HiramStyle, LLC—an international event design, consultant, and management firm which is an outgrowth of innate design gifts, related professional experience, and specialized training and apprenticeships to perfect his craft.
Hiram attended public schools in New Orleans, where his mother, late father, and other family members were outstanding educators. After pursuing a Public Relations curriculum at Xavier University, his talents were soon called upon to assist in coordinating local events for the Orleans Parish Public School System and the Department of Recreation, among other city-wide entities.
But a larger entertainment arena beckoned and Hiram expanded his focus to the local music scene and concert promotion. Under the banner of The Citi-Life Group, he brought successful shows to the city and region, including Maze and Teena Marie, the Eazy-E Memorial AIDS Benefit featuring Tupac Shakur and other top Death Row acts, Will Downing and Chante Moore, and Donnie McClurkin, among others. He also aligned himself with New Orleans-based music legends such as Dave Bartholomew, with whom he worked closely in local festival and other national appearances.
As Hiram gained increasing recognition for his work as an event producer, he redirected his interests toward the field of event design and management. His reputation for creativity and excellence attracted diverse public and private sector clients throughout the nation—and later, Mexico and the Caribbean. His award-winning décor for the historic Mansion on Bourbon in the French Quarter, a key venue for many of his local and destination events, was a professional highlight that further enhanced the respect and acceptance enjoyed by his company. Through this association, he customized a “Marquis Experience” for each client.
The roster of his clientele has ranged from the Office of the Mayor of New Orleans (Christmas and Mardi Gras celebrations) to the National Shiners’ Convention, Continental Airlines, Bayou Classic, National Association of Market Developers, Southern and Dillard Universities, the Baby Phat and Phat Farm enterprises, and Odyssey Couleur travel magazine, as well as a host of political and religious organizations. More recently, Hiram has also served as a subcontractor on major national events with other companies, such as a Time-Warner celebration, Elton John Katrina Benefit, and the “Lestat” Broadway opening party with noted New York floral designer/event planner Saundra Parks of The Daily Blossom.
Despite its triumphs, Hiram’s career has faced character-testing challenges. In late August 2005, with business booming and plans for a major destination weekend event, Fashion on Bourbon, on the drawing board, Hurricane Katrina destroyed Hiram Smith’s company in New Orleans. He lost everything but his dreams and his steadfast determination to implement them. He recently returned to New Orleans to conduct the Fashion Lab program to provide exposure and training in the fashion design and retail industry for high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds, especially those dislocated by the hurricane.
While his subsequent relocation to Houston now returning to New Orleans required a major regrouping and rebuilding effort, Hiram Smith soon re-emerged as the President and Creative Director of HiramStyle, LLC. Through prayer, faith, a commitment to excellence and strong word-of-mouth response from clients, the company has amassed an unbroken chain of successful events in his adopted city, where he had frequently visited with family since childhood and already considered a second home.
“This is what I was born to do,” Hiram Smith says. “All the years of mastering the art of event management and the design of customized decor have come together here in Houston through HiramStyle. I am committed to give my best to the community that welcomed me, gave me the opportunity to rebuild my career, and even dream larger dreams.”