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Meet Bonnie Foster of Bonnie Foster Productions in Cardiff

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bonnie Foster.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am the fourth and youngest daughter of two unique and special individuals, Marin and Wayne Foster, who have a magical, musical love story that continues to this day. My father, Wayne Foster, a totally blind since birth musician and entrepreneur, started playing the accordion at age 3, and then graduated to the piano. My mother, Marin Foster, a true angel, came into the picture when she was 16 and Wayne was 17. Their band in New York, Wayne Foster Music, was hired for society parties, country clubs and inaugurations at the White House. They experienced success in New York, got married, had four daughters and in 1972 moved to California.

Now based in Southern California, the Foster family built their client list and fan club one successful party at a time. They produced live musical entertainment for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, corporate events and fundraisers. Their four daughters, Susan, Jackie, Nancy and I, all learned music and became part of the act and subsequently part of the family business. The company has provided music for legends and athletes such as Oprah, Quincy, Dr. Phil, Magic Johnson, Steven Spielberg, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ben Roethlisberger, Corey Maggette, Barry Gordy, Harrison Ford, Julio Iglesias, etc… and they have entertained close to six million guests at over 25,000 weddings and events in the last 50 years, at beautiful resorts, country clubs and venues throughout the United States.

From my earliest childhood memory, musical entertainment was a significant part of my life. At age six I started performing with the band on stage, singing and dancing and infusing good energy and entertainment value into the private parties my parents produced. I learned all aspects of the business throughout high school: from auditioning, contracting and booking talent, to meeting with clients, selling bands and orchestras, to basic bookkeeping.

Throughout my college years at UCLA, I would fly to and perform wherever we had an event. After college, I got married and was blessed with two beautiful children, Isidor Maxwell and Samantha Nicole. I spent their first five years as a stay at home Mom. Eager to resume my full-time involvement in the family business once my children were in school, I focused on business development and within five years I doubled gross sales. I believed in our product and felt passion for making people happy and their events memorable with music.

My other job in the company was as Master of Ceremonies and Conductor for the New Wayne Foster Dance Orchestra, while my father, Wayne Foster played his signature white baby grand piano and my mother, Marin Foster, produced all aspects of the show. The biggest lessons I learned from my parents were to have a tenacious work ethic, a drive for perfection and yet to keep life light, fun and happy. Plan a party every once in a while, inspire your inner dancing queen with great live music. Seize the reasons to celebrate and make them extraordinary! Cheers to maximizing life’s happy times while we can.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The road to success is never a straight line, and mine was no exception. The unexpected necessity of having to leave my family’s long-established business felt like a setback. It required a hard reset and re-branding of my services. It was very difficult emotionally to step away from working with my family. But, it provided strength, awareness and priceless lessons that rapidly propelled my current business to heights beyond my own imagination.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Bonnie Foster Productions provides music and entertainment for weddings, fundraisers, private parties, and corporate events. We provide music of every style, genre and era – from classic hits, to top 40. We offer any size Dance Band as well as DJ’s and Hybrid Packages, which is a combination of recorded and live music. We also offer world-class event production and entertainment services. We are known for simplifying and streamlining the event planning process for our clients by providing full-service event packages.

I have been fortunate enough to have and use the wisdom of my parents’ 50-year-old company and apply fresh ideas to create a contemporary product, with the help of an expert crew to make celebrations and events hip, memorable and stress-free.

What were you like growing up?
I was born in New York, the youngest of four girls, in the ideal birth order seat to be able to learn from my three older sisters’ good and bad choices, which made me mature faster than my peers. I started working in the family music business at a very young age, approximately nine years old. Since music was a huge part of our childhood, I developed an appreciation for all genres and eras of music and a passion for performing for people of all cultures, ages and regions of the world. I loved making people happy with our live musical experience and felt proud that my blind father was so skilled at playing the piano, even having never seen in his life.

I became addicted to the adrenaline rush of affecting a whole room full of celebratory guests and so proud of what we contributed to our community and the U.S. at all types of celebrations. I was also a perfectionist who wanted to follow the rules and be the best at whatever I attempted. I excelled in school, studying Philosophy at UCLA, and instead of following my college sweetheart to Harvard Law School, I moved back to San Diego, to finish my last two-quarters of college and receive my B.A. in Philosophy from Warren College at UCSD.

Having a totally blind since his birth father, who was driven to succeed despite his handicap, inspired me to appreciate the basic human abilities most people take for granted. This unique perspective I had as a child blossomed into my personal life view of being grateful for even basic life skills. I figured if my father could be successful in business, without his eyes, I certainly can reach and maybe exceed this success as a sighted person.

He did have a unique advantage, his wife and protector and my glorious mother, Marin, who is to this day the most inspiring, selfless, dedicated, talented, hard-working (even at 81 years old) woman I have ever met. They have been married 63 years which alone is a huge accomplishment and so rare to find. I had my share of childhood difficulties but they seemed to propel my drive to succeed instead of weakening me.

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