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The Fruits of Labor

Janie Haas’ long and complex journey in event planning gives her a lot to be grateful for

By Linden M. Bayliss

For many, the road to a successful and fulfilling career is a winding one—things don’t always go as planned. For Janie Haas, founder and president of Janie Haas Events based in both North Andover and Boston, Massachusetts, a long and accomplished career in event planning began in an unexpected way: with a song.

Event planner Janie Haas
Event planner Janie Haas || Photo by Genevieve de Manio Photography

Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Haas jump-started her career in the planning business while she was working on a master’s degree in psychology at Boston College and living near her older sister in the late ’70s. Growing up, the two sisters loved to rhyme and be creative—as adults, they turned this talent into a unique gig: creating typed-out songs and poetic verses for clients to use as event invitations, even getting on calls with clients to ensure they could sing the invitation songs correctly. “We were both on different career paths, but we did this sort of as a side gig, and we loved it,” Haas says. Soon after, the sisters decided to turn their melodic side hustle into a full-blown event-planning business
in the Boston area called Hopple Popple. A move to Massachusetts’ North Shore 26 years later prompted Haas to start her own business in 2003—Janie Haas Events.

Haas specializes in the grand, the over-the-top, and the blowout. Haas’ team consists of seven other planners who work on a freelance basis—with Haas putting together a specially crafted team for each event. “I call it that client’s ‘A-Team,’”  Haas says. “Each of the seven people in addition to me, I think, comes with a different skill set.” She also brings one person on from day one to serve as her second-in-command in case of a day-of emergency. “Always have a plan B,” Haas says with certainty. “I learned it’s better to be proactive than reactive.”

While event planning is difficult and can be demanding, Haas says the reward is almost inexplicable. “There’s no bigger high than watching people having a great time and enjoying the fruits of your labor,” she says. Haas says she also loves people and getting to meet so many wonderful folks in the business. “Not just the clients but, you know, the back of the house people and the vendors with whom we work, people from diverse backgrounds and all walks of life. That has made my life so much more enriched.”