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The Golden State Partyer!
By: Tyson Paul
From Juvi to VIP! people always say that once you’re at the bottom, the only way you can go is up. For a young Anthony Schlander, you could’ve easily mistaken the bottom for quicksand. Unlike so many others, Anthony didn’t sink; using hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit, he worked his way back up to the top and eventually became the go-to-guy for nightlife in the Bay Area. Kaboom! Magazine recently got a chance to chat with Anthony and discussed everything such as his troubled youth, how he got into the nightlife business, the success of Sundaze, and hanging out with celebrities like Karrueche Tran, Steph Curry, and Drake. He also gives us some valuable tips and tricks on how you can be successful in the nightlife business in your area. When a guy puts Taz from Taz’s Angels on hold just to talk to you…you’re in good company.
Let’s get this party started Anthony…
Anthony Schlander Info:
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Occupation: Event Planner/Entrepreneur
Personal Website: www.anthonypresents.com
The most amount of money you’ve spent on an event?
Over $100,000 for a Halloween Party at the Cow Palace in 2008. No sponsors, no investors, all my own money. I didn’t make much of a profit, but it was a great party nonetheless and I wouldn’t change that night for anything.
If you could party with one person past or present, who would it be?
Michael Jackson….Black Michael Jackson tho.
What are some of your life experiences that pushed you towards Entrepreneurship?
Actually working at the gym, mingling, and working out with other entrepreneurs is sort of the reason why I became an entrepreneur. Just sparking a conversation with “How’s it going?” “What is it that you do?” and basically going from there. Growing up I wasn’t a very social kid. I didn’t even like going to parties as I thought they were hella annoying. I ended up in Juvanile Hall a few times due to hanging out with the wrong crowd. I didn’t even get to take my girlfriend at the time to the prom (Which is a horrible feeling). Even going through all that at young age, it was a good life lesson. It helped me get my life back in order. I got the chance to hangout with CEOs and club owners, getting free drinks all night, partying with girls, and watched them make major deals. They were still very humble people, you would of thought these guys were the janitors of the place rather than the owners. It showed me that you always gotta remain humble and thankful in this business. That’s why I treat my guests the same whether they’re a baller buying bottles in VIP or just a regular college student spending their last $20 on a drink and a good time. Because I’ve been both people and they both want the same results for the night which is a good time.
What are some of your past, present, and future ventures?
I have been putting on events since 2003. I’ve done weeknights in nightclubs, the big Halloween party at the cow palace, pop-up parties, rooftop parties, but I’m probably most recognized for my Sundaze day parties. Future projects I can talk about right now is the event I have coming up in May which is “Prom Night” basically it’s an idea I came up with where adults can get all dressed up in formal attire and relive their prom night from high school. I kind of feel like I’m giving myself and others a 2nd chance at a good prom night. I had to miss my prom which I know pissed off my girlfriend at the time. Other projects in the works are a Cinco De Mayo pre-party, a few pop-up parties, and summer events.
Who are some of your entrepreneurial influences, or favorite entrepreneurs?
Richard Branson of Virgin, Eric Thomas a lot of people may not know much about him, but I suggest everyone google him. Jay Z another one and Kobe Bryant. I love Kobe Bryant, since I’m from the Bay Area, I gotta tell people all the time that I’m not a Lakers fan I’m a Kobe Bryant fan. His drive and determination just motivates me to never settle and always get better. I’m already well-established in nightlife, but I’m still always looking to get better and stay ahead of the curve. Never be satisfied, you can always get better.
As an entrepreneur, what do you think are your strengths and weaknesses?
I’ve been doing this for a very long time and I started from the very bottom, so I have many strengths including experience. I would have to say that my strengths are my work ethic and ambition. Growing up I wanted to be a professional athlete, but I’m only 5’10” and there’s not many athletes that size in sports. That didn’t take away from my competitiveness or work ethic. I also read a lot, I’m always looking to improve and expand so I’m always challenging myself by creating new projects. My weakness is sometimes I can be very anxious and impatient with my business. I’ll come up with ideas in my head and immediately call my team and say “We need to do this now, LET’S GO!” I always feel like if I don’t put the event on right now, another guy gonna put it together and I’m gonna end up kicking myself for it. But that just goes with the pro’s and con’s of being so ambitious. Sometimes you’ll have to be patient and let an event simmer before you put it out there and get people excited to attend when it’s ready.
How is it running one of the hottest nightclub and day parties on the west coast? Is it a dream come true?
It’s an amazing feeling! I don’t want to say it was a “Dream Come True” because I’ve always set high goals for myself. A lot of the people that are a part of this business only do it for financial reasons. For me, I love just showing people a good time and putting on events. People don’t know this, but I’ve put together plenty of events where I didn’t make any money, but I considered them to still be successful because everyone came out and had a great time. I remember when I did the Halloween Party at the Cow Palace in 2008; my mom was the coat check person that night and back then, she was still on my case asking what I was gonna do with my life? and begging me to go back to school. That night when she saw all of the people that showed up to my event and the response I got, she finally understood that I wasn’t just partying all night wasting my life away. I was actually working on something I loved and she gave me her approval. Getting my mom’s approval was better than any amount of money I could of made that night. So you could say that my mom’s approval was my “Dream Come True” moment. I’ve always learned that if you do what you love, money will eventually come with your success. You can easily burn yourself out and over stress in this business because you’re worrying too much about money.
Rome was never built in a day and you weren’t the go-to-guy for parties in the bay overnight. How did you struggle to build your empire?
I started back in 2003 and when I tell you I started from the bottom I MEAN I STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM! I started standing outside of the club in the rain, trying to get people to come in. I caught pneumonia a few times. I would go to colleges that I didn’t even attend, acting like I was a student that went there with a backpack that looked like books were in it, but it was really just event fliers. I got parking tickets because I didn’t have a campus parking pass and I had a lot of failures. But I stuck with it because I loved it, I never burnt any bridges, and I always treated everyone I came across with respect. Throughout the years, it helped me create a buzz and a following that I’m proud of and appreciate greatly. It’s truly a blessing to see what my brand has become. Even though we’re already well-established and have a nice reputation; I still worry before events like no one is going to show up. Instead now I’m not saying “I think only 5 people are going to show up.” I’m more worried like “I think only 700 people are showing up tonight.” Like I said I’m never satisfied.
How was your first night ever being a promoter?
(Laughs) It was okay, I was really nervous that entire night, but I did have friends show up and the owner was pleased with me. I didn’t make any money, but that night showed me that I was able to do this and be good at it.
What are the perks of working your own weekly events?
Perks?….hmmm! Well of course FREE DRINKS! (Laughs) but the biggest perk of the job is just meeting new people and building business connections of every kind. It’s nothing like having people coming up to you and thanking you for making it the best birthday, graduation, or night they’ve ever had. I’ve also been fortunate to meet so many celebrities when they were just starting out like IAMSU, YG, G-Eazy, Kehlani, Ty Dolla $ign, Matt Barnes, Chris Brown, Taz Angels, and others from putting together events starting out and now their megastars, but they still come out to what I’m doing like our rooftop parties, pop up parties, or Sundaze while out in the bay and have fun. They don’t act like their unapproachable either, they party like we’re all the same and that’s what I love about it.
What are the negatives of working your own weekly events?
You can’t please everybody! You have to be okay with people not being able to get into your events, it’s just not possible. Remember you would rather be over capacity than everyone being able to get it and the club only be half full. You also have to accept that people will steal your ideas and copy you. I remember when I started the rooftop parties, a week later there were three rooftop parties going on. It is annoying, but it does let you know that you’re doing something right.
How hard is it to be a successful club event planner/entrepreneur in the Bay Area?
It’s very difficult because it’s always something going on and you’re competing with everything. Also lack of sleep is big because if you’re a good promoter, you’re promoting an upcoming event atleast 18 hours day. It’s extremely hard, but it’s well worth it.
Describe the atmosphere that is Sundaze?
Crazy thing about Sundaze, I tried to start it back in 2011 and it was horrible only 5 people showed up I think. But like I said before, sometimes you have to let events simmer and wait for the right time. I tried it again in 2014, it was a success and quickly became one of the biggest parties on the west coast. People are not just talking about Sundaze in San Fran, but in Vegas, LA, San Diego, Arizona, New York, and Miami. It’s basically a day party that has mixture of college kids, business people, and celebrities all in one spot and just having fun. We usually go from Late March to October and run it from 10am to midnight.
Does it all come down to networking or a strong promotional team?
Both! You gotta be able to network and you have to have a strong team around you who is motivated. You’re only as strong as your weakest link and if I’m the weakest person on my staff, then I have a pretty strong staff. My guy Jorge is my right hand man and I wouldn’t be anything if it wasn’t for people like him. Sometimes we will be working on multiple events at the same time, so you have to have a team that can multi-task. He even has to be my voice of reason at times that will calm me down when I have one of my crazy ideas that I want done right now.
Being in the Bay Area you see celebrites all the time. Who are some of your celebrity regulars?
I’ve been blessed to have a lot of celebrites come out to my events. I put together YG first live show in the bay when he had his hit song “Toot It & Boot It” out. Same with Ty Dolla $ign and HBK Gang when they were first starting out. Other celebrites I’ve worked with are Chris Brown, Matt Barnes, Golden State Warriors, Drake, G-Eazy, A$AP Rocky, and Karruche Tran. I was recently apart of the team that put an event together for Steph & Ayesha Curry birthday. That was a cool night they are such cool people and very humble. They flew from Houston to my New Year’s Eve party last year which I thought was crazy.
Who is your favorite celebrity to work with?
Karruche HANDS DOWN! I know she’s not as big as say Steph Curry or Drake or even Chris Brown, but she is such a cool person to be around. Very down to earth and loves her fans. If 300 people wanted to take picture with her, she would stay to make sure all 300 people get a picture with her. When she’s partying, she’s out there on the dancefloor with everybody and having fun.
What is the wildest celebrity experience you’ve had during one of your events?
Ummm that would have to be Drake’s christmas party last year. Drake was in the Bay Area and hit up a friend of mines and said he wanted to throw party on Christmas Eve. We had to pull a lot strings and we even used an old club on 6th st. which is not the safest area to be in (He looked a few times like “Where R U fuckin taking me?”), but we made it happen in 6 hours and it was epic. I’ve had many crazy nights, but it not everyday you get that call from Drizzy.
What is the most someone has spent at one of your events?
Actually this is gonna be alittle weird, but I had some tech guys one time spend about $15,000 on VIP bottles. Here’s the funny part, they only stayed there for an hour and didn’t drink not one bottle. They said they were only doing it just to see something and then they split. I’ve seen guys in Vegas, Miami, and LA drop serious amount of cash on VIP and treat it like it was nothing to them. I’m not at that level yet, if I drop $15,000 on bottles, we’re not living until they’re all gone or I’m taking them home with me (which you can’t do, so don’t try it.).
How does it feel when you see people partying and having a good time in VIP and it’s all thanks to you?
It feels great! But not just in VIP, people out at my events having a good time in general is great to me.
Do you see yourself continuing in the club business, or do you have other plans?
Yes I’m actually working on a few things right now in regards to owning my club. I can’t give you a timetable of when that’s going to happen, but it will be very soon. I’m also working on putting together events in other cities such as LA, San Diego, Las Vegas, and around the Bay Area.
Say there’s a young kid in New Mexico and he wants to become a big-time entrepreneur. What are your five tools to success that you will give to him?
1.Know your market.
2.Know that you will fail at times.
3.Don’t burn bridges.
4.Think long term (Anyone can have one good event, but how are you gonna have good events consistently?)
Where do you see the club scene in the Bay Area in the next 3 or 4 years?
I think the club scene in the Bay Area will continue to be great as long as people don’t mess it up. I know I talk about all the great things that go on at clubs, but there’s a lot of bad sh*t that happens too. It only takes a few bad things to happen for people to get turned off from the club scene and just go back to staying home.
What future projects do you have coming up in 2016?
Well I’ve already talked about Prom Night at the W Hotel, Rooftop, Pop Up Nights, and Sundazes, but I also got other stuff in the works for the summer like a Warriors championship party, but I don’t want to jinx anything and have everyone mad at me. Also our annual Halloween and New Years Eve events. We will make sure to keep Kaboom! posted on what we have coming up.
How can people get on your VIP list?
Well they can always DM me on social media @anthonypresents or they can go to my website www.anthonypresents.com or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay updated on upcoming events from Anthony Presents by visiting www.anthonypresents.com
FOLLOW ANTHONY PRESENTS ON THESE FOLLOWING SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITES:
Personal Website: www.anthonypresents.com