NEW YORK Amy Atlas knows where to source treats of all kinds, from macaroons in the perfect shade of purple to centerpiece-worthy layer cakes. Trained as a lawyer, she has spent many years searching for unique store-bought desserts and arranging them at her own parties as a hobby. “I used to love to bake, but it became too much work, so I started to use desserts by other people,” she says. Word got around, and soon she was designing tables for private and corporate events, eventually going full time with her business, Amy Atlas Events, in spring 2007. “I’ve always been interested in bringing artistry to dessert,” Atlas says. “I’ve been to lots of events that had incredible design, but it wasn’t incorporated into dessert. I want to bring dessert into the rest of event design.”
Atlas’s tables can serve as the focal point of a room or blend seamlessly with another designer’s work. She calls her style tailored and sophisticated, saying she can make the most kid-friendly party look tasteful (like a monkey-themed bash done in shades of brown and cream). Last March, she created a striking yellow and black display for the launch of Pilates NYC’s pre- and post-natal programs. “It was a hit. No one had ever seen anything like it before,” says owner Randi Stone.
Describing herself as a general contractor, Atlas works with clients to create a concept then brings together a variety of resources. She has built a database of sweets that she sources from around the world; serving vessels come from rental houses or her own collection; and for the crucial finishing touches, she works with graphic designers, florists, and stylists. “I’ve spoken to many event planners who are caught between the florist and the caterer [trying] to do these buffets. And they don’t have time to put in this level of detail,” she says. That time requirement means Atlas only takes on a few events a month. “I’m not looking for volume; I’m looking for quality,” she says. “I want each table to be an Amy Atlas table and don’t want people to think they’re getting any less than that.”