Coming to the United States at the age of just three months, Imelda Lorena Huerta has achieved considerable success in the hospitality industry due to her passion, care and work ethic. Starting out in food service, she spent time as a sever, banquet lead server, captain and food and beverage assistant for three hotels, the Marriott, the Westin and the Renaissance in California. Once she became the person in charge of events, she realized how difficult it was to obtain specialty linens, having to order them from places as far afield as Texas and New York and then having to pack them all up and send them back after the event. This inspired her to see if she could do something about the problem herself.
Starting with chair covers, Ms. Lorena Huerta began her own specialty linen business while continuing her positions with the three hotels. Eventually, the success of her business allowed her to make her linen business her full-time job and she founded Stephanie’s Linens & Event Rentals, named for her daughter Stephanie, 17 years ago. She was so well-loved by the hotels she worked for that she was immediately hired back as a linen vendor when she left her food service positions. Furthermore, both Ms. Lorena Huerta’s husband and daughter have been instrumental in the success of Stephanie’s Linens. Her husband left his job at his landscaping firm to help her run the company and Stephanie has maintained the company website since she was just 10 years old.
Today, Stephanie’s Linens & Event Rentals excels in event design, working conventions, weddings, balls, dinners and more. With two locations that serve the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, Ms. Lorena Huerta has also worked with other hotels, such as The Queen Mary, and 12 golf courses, including the Trump National Golf Club. One recent event that they serviced was a 9/11 memorial event. In addition to working directly with clients, Ms. Lorena Huerta also takes the time to supervise her 33 employees and involves herself in all aspects of the event design process. Furthermore, she makes sure to be available to clients 24/7 in case of emergencies. Their after-hours number is her personal cell phone number, so that if a call comes in at 1 am or 3 am she is able to respond.
Above all she has accomplished, Ms. Lorena Huerta considers her most notable achievement to be establishing her own business and successfully running and managing it for over 15 years. She treats every client as special and notes that seeing her clients satisfied is the most important thing for her. Among the most memorable events she has worked was the U.S. Army Ball, an event where they bring together and celebrate roughly 1,000 high ranking officers. She worked as a server for this event for seven years and was specifically requested by the woman who managed the event. When she left to start Stephanie’s Linens, she had the opportunity to come back and work the event again, this time as the linen provider. She set up the food tasting prior to the event for the senior officials and they were greatly impressed by her work.
For her excellence, Ms. Lorena Huerta has been the recipient of a number of honors and accolades. She is particularly proud of Stephanie’s Linens receiving the Long Beach Hospitality Alliance Award in 2017. Earlier, the business was named a Top Rated Wedding Vendor for Best Wedding Props in Long Beach in 2016 and the Best Party Supplier in the Signal Hill area in 2015. Looking toward the future, Ms. Lorena Huerta hopes to expand her business in Orange County with the help of her daughter. Furthermore, she hopes to leave a legacy as someone who loves what she does, is always involved in the design process and is available to help when problems arise.