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Inspiring Mississippi Entrepreneurs: Event Planner Dr. Zetella Gooch

Creative, passionate, and focused are all words to describe this Jackson area strategic event planner who incorporates three generations of family into her business.

Dr. Zetella Gooch is the founder of Gooch Consulting and Event Services, LLC. The company provides complete consulting and management for special events and celebrations in the Jackson area. As a licensed strategic event planner, decorator, florist, and provider of event rentals, Zetella brings her knowledge and many years of experience to meet client’s needs. Earning a doctorate degree in December 2022, Dr. Zetella Gooch, a life-long learner is well-educated on risk management, executive leadership, team-building and organizational leadership.

Zetella and I recently sat down and talked about her journey as an entrepreneur, what she loves about owning her own family business, and her advice to anyone considering becoming an entrepreneur.

What got you started as an entrepreneur?

“I have always loved talking to people. At 17, I sold Avon door-to-door, which paid for my undergraduate degree. When my daughter, Q’Essence, was born premature, I really had to figure out how to work from home. I took what I knew of sales and realty and began taking courses to invest in myself. “

Zetella has been recognized with the Spirit of Promise Award by Susan G. Komen and is a currently officer and volunteer with The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary. She has been recognized as a Top 50 Business Women 2017 and Top 10 Business Woman of the Year by the Mississippi Business Journal. During her work for Business Network International, she received many national awards like Highest Net Growth for Mississippi and Hall of Fame for Chapter Growth. Gooch was also recently chosen as one of the Top 3 Wedding Planners in 2022 by WeddingRule.

What are some benefits of running your own business?

“When our family gets up in the morning, we aren’t all going separate ways. I know that if they see something that needs to be done, they are going to take care of it, because that takes care of all of us. I get to be an example and spend time with my girls. When I went back to school for my doctorate, two of my daughters were inspired to go back to school, one recently graduating with her masters. My mother, Ruby Walker, was a florist before me. It is so wonderful to work with her and be together as a family.”

What would you tell someone interested in opening their own business? 

“First, be passionate about what you do. That passion keeps you focused on the positive and brings out the best in you, even in the toughest situations.  

Keep yourself sharp, be a front-runner in your specialty. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, don’t just try to wing it. Do the research. If there is a part of it you can’t be great at, that is ok. Find someone that can do that for you better, costs the same, and saves you from stress. Play to your strengths and focus on what you can do masterfully. 

Stay humble, knowing that whatever you do, you are a servant first, be ethical in what you do and have morality in everything you do. I know that even if my kids don’t take over the family business, I leave a legacy to my kids by my example of running an ethical business.

Lastly, I would say be sure to give back, my aunt always said, “Birds of a feather flock together.” The power of networking and being in places with other like-minded business owners and clients has taught me so much. Receiving referrals through networking is more likely to lead to someone taking a chance on using you than social media or a search engine. Find your passion, and people will take notice.” 

Where can people find your business?

We can be found on Facebook, Instagram, or on our website at


Written by Keri Davis

Keri Davis is the owner of Pacesetter Gallery in Flowood, MS, which features original work by over 60 Mississippi artists. Her art can be found in residential and commercial spaces. A member of the duo Keri and Richard, she has been a professional singer for the last 30 years. She is dedicated to promoting the Arts in Mississippi, organizing events including poetry nights, live painting, music, comedy, theatre and art shows hosted by the gallery. Her writing has been published in magazines and newspapers and art featured on the cover Mississippi Poetry Journal 2022.


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