Thursday, January 21, 2021 -
Print Edition

Three decades on, ‘hobby’ is big business

Leslie Heins, l, and Lisa CookAffair with Flair, the event-planning boutique run by Lisa Cook and Leslie Heins, is now in its 31st year of making memories for families, corporations and non-profits.

“We celebrated our 30th anniversary last summer,” Cook says as she tends to two granddaughters born within 18 days of each other.

She traces the genesis of the successful business to her ability to craft beautiful invitations for friends.

“One day I was at a party for which I’d written the invitations and a friend said, ‘You should really get paid for this.’” Cook considered the idea and decided to pursue it.

“Instead of being so focused on invitations, I knew I wanted to branch out into all aspects of event planning.”

Dream became reality.

In the beginning, Cook didn’t even have a phone number. “Sounds crazy, right?” she laughs. “Finally one of my vendors said, ‘This is not a hobby anymore, this is a full-fledged business.’ So I got a phone number.”

Heins joined the company three years after its inception.

“Both Leslie and I are Denver natives,” Cook says. “We started out as partners and ended up best friends — almost like sisters. We even finish one another’s sentences.

“Yet we have totally different strengths, which makes us a better team. We come to the table (literally) very equipped.”

In addition to Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and weddings, Affair with Flair coordinates Shalom Care’s gala dinner, the Civic Center Park Foundation gala and the Navy Seals Foundation’s annual fundraiser for troops who have been injured or killed in action.

The rest of this article is available in the IJN’s print edition only. Contact Carol to order your copy at (303) 861-2234 or email

IJN Senior Writer |

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