It’s one thing to be a couple making business moves together, but it’s another thing to be a couple and giving back to the community. Onnie Bella and LaRonn (The Tycoon) are legit goals, yet they are modest when they hear the compliment. From throwing parties for “young professionals” to living out their passion and goals of giving back to the community.
DELUX was granted the opportunity to interview this busy couple and get to know them better.
DELUX: Hey you two. Thanks for talking with me and congratulations on your engagement.
Onnie & LaRonn: Thank you so much! We are literally still trying to make time to soak it up. It’s still fresh and new, but we’re super busy and find new projects or community events to start planning almost weekly [laughs].
DELUX: So, let’s get started. How did you all meet?
O&L: So, it’s crazy because I ended up at a party he was throwing, I came with my friends, kicked it, and left. About a month later I get a message from him thanking me for coming out to the event and asking for my feedback on the event. I gave my feedback, which I think was super helpful and constructive [laughs], and from there he asked if I would ever come back, and I think I said something like “If you invite me and I’m free, I’ll come.” I literally meant like free as in have nothing to do, and he thought I meant like didn’t have to pay [laughs], and instantly sent his number like “I can make that happen.” A week later we were texting and the rest is history.
DELUX: Do you all have power couple inspirations? Like Beyoncé and Jay-Z of course do music together and Jada & Will own a production company together.
O&L: We don’t have a power couple inspiration. We aren’t all that into idolizing stars or other people at all for that matter. If you focus on what you have without trying to compare it or make it like someone else’s journey, your free to make mistakes, learn from them, and not feel pressured to fit into a box of “how it’s supposed to be.” We’ve made our relationship our own and it just so happens we are a power couple. We do get a lot of “#goals” comments and things of that nature.
Of course, we appreciate it and we’re flattered and that’s a dope hashtag for someone to associate with us, but our hope is honestly that associating us with “#goals” means more than just that. We hope we can remind folks that love still exists, building something concrete still exists, and that it doesn’t have to look like a cookie cutter version of what you see on tv.
DELUX: What made you so comfortable with starting a business together? Some couples wait until they’re married sometimes.
O&L: I think the fact we both had done events in some type of capacity made us feel confident about hosting events together. We also have a great balance as business partners. We both bring different things to the table when it comes to our strengths and weaknesses and we complement each other, so it makes for a great team. We didn’t even hesitate over the fact we weren’t married when we thought of going into this together. We both believed in the brand and each other, so we ran with it.
DELUX: That’s so inspiring!! You two make a great team. How did you come up with the name SAUCE for your brand?
O&L: That’s funny because we went back and forth for a while. I think we were texting and just throwing names back and forth that would best represent having a good time, but still having flavor and style. The urban dictionary definition of Sauce is used to describe someone who has a style, confidence, and attraction about them.
Usually someone who is well-dressed, fashionable, and has an aura about themselves. For us, that’s who we want to appeal to, people with Sauce. It took us maybe a day of back and forth sending each other names, and BAM! Sauce was born.
DELUX: With the brand, what made you two want to start throwing parties for millennials?
O&L: Honestly, millennials are the category in Saint Louis we most fit into. Being a part of that group, it was kind of like we had an insider view of the need for millennials/young professionals to have somewhere to be just that, young professionals. We still want to hear the latest R&B, the latest hip-hop, but we also want the crowd to be full of people our age, who dress the part, look the part, and bring that vibe of “we’re here to enjoy ourselves.”
We wanted to attract people who are there to enjoy themselves and live their best lives, after a long day of entrepreneurship or their 9-5. But, we also wanted to provide that safe place for young professionals to kick it, have a couple drinks, and not have to worry about the crowd.
DELUX: What made you or even motivated you all to branch out and start offering community service opportunities for people and giving back to the community?
O&L: We have both always taken the time to do community service and are part of organizations that give back to the community—so we have always had service and giving back as a part of our goals/passions. Saint Louis is a beautiful place, but there are some areas that need improvement and instead of waiting on someone else to start improving things, or to start helping people, we figured we could do it ourselves.
We have a nice following and our hope is to literally make community service and volunteering the cool thing to do. Our Volunteer list is always full of people who attend our social events, so although its community service, it’s usually fun. We knew we had the support of people in the city attending our events, so why not use that same support to provide other positivity in our city. Our community service events have been flourishing ever since we started.
DELUX: You all just put together a free Halloween Trunk or Treat for the kiddos, what inspired that?
O&L: Well not only are we business partners, but we are engaged too, so naturally we spend a lot of time together just living life. One day we were riding in the car talking about what we could do to impact the community in October, and the trunk or treat idea was born. Literally during a five minute conversation in the car. We absolutely love children and we have both worked with youth in some capacity, so the passion to do something for them and the fact that Halloween was coming up made it perfect.
DELUX: I went to the event and it was a great turnout, how was it behind the scenes? Was it everything you all wanted it to be?
O&L: Believe it or not, the event was met with adversity created by people who did not see the event having the potential to be as big of a success as it was. Despite that, we were able to provide a successful and safe event that families really enjoyed themselves at. Behind the scenes, it was a process as far as organizing everything and making sure all the pieces of the puzzle ran efficiently. But this is where our passion lies, and we kept our faith in our vision and made it happen. The event was even better than we could’ve imagined!
The volunteers and trunk organizers really helped to make the event a true success and they helped from our vision into exactly what we wanted it to be and it literally ran like a well-oiled machine! It was amazing! We appreciate everyone for coming out and helping the event a success and are really looking forward to next year!
DELUX: So, from throwing parties, to providing community service helping building playground, to putting together events for children, what’s next since you all are hitting all the different age demographics (lol)? Anything for the older folks (jokingly)?
O&L: Ha! So, it’s crazy because we are opening a new sector of our business. We recently made Sauce Event Productions a legit business, so we are now Sauce Event Productions LLC and we will be offering event planning. Anything from a child’s birthday party, to an engagement party, to a special date, to a 50th anniversary.
We are big on providing an experience and we are super passionate about what we do, so for us the next step would be moving on to planning people’s special days and making sure they are memorable and nothing short of amazing.
DELUX: So, while running a business and planning a wedding, has it been stressful lately?
O&L: It’s not an easy thing to do. Normally when we have an event coming up, we have that event and another one we are in the process of planning, so it can get a little stressful. But it’s what we love. We are blessed to say we had the chance to do what we love and even better, we get to do it together, so it’s dope. We literally will go from spending eight hours at our day job to six to seven more hours working on an event once we get off work – couple that with juggling a 5-year-old, and just trying to have a life, it can get tricky.
But to be honest, our wedding won’t be until 2020, since we both have people close to us getting married next year, so we are taking our time with the planning process. We thought about hiring a wedding planner, but we are so OCD about planning events, I don’t think we could bare to not have our hands deep into every aspect lol.
DELUX: Are you all looking to expand your SAUCE Brand to different states?
O&L: That is something that is on the books for the near future. We have talked to a couple of people in other cities about bringing our brand to their city, so stay tuned!
DELUX: Congratulations again and I look forward to seeing what other events you throw in the future!
O&L: Thank you so much Bri.
Make sure you follow them on their social media pages to get more information on their upcoming events: @SauceEventProductions