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Seeking More From Baltimore Nightlife With Heidi Klotzman

Entrepreneur Heidi Klotzman - Photo by Arianne Teeple
Entrepreneur Heidi Klotzman - Photo by Arianne Teeple
In the last few years, social networking has come to mean sitting by yourself in front of a computer. Making friends requires only the click of a mouse, and chatting yields no sounds but the click-clack of a keyboard.

This has rendered Baltimorean Heidi Klotzman's work novel. Perhaps even radical. Because Klotzman's (not-so) 9-to-5 involves the all-but-forgotten art of social networking as it existed before Facebook and Twitter -- meeting people face to face, talking, partying, and laughing.

With her mega-watt smile, infectious laugh, and unrelenting drive, Klotzman has turned her special event and entertainment firm, HeidnSeek, into one of Baltimore's top nightlife and event coordinating players.

In short, Klotzman has been hanging out with friends like it's her job.

"The idea came from me wanting to enjoy what I do for a living," she says, "and provide that same enjoyment for other people. I think entertainment can be a great distraction from the pressures of life, but I also wanted it to be a window into deeper meaning for myself and for future clientele. ... When you meet new people, they can become friends or clients or romantic interests. At an event you can be educated by that experience."

Klotzman was indoctrinated into the entertainment industry at an early age, with her father working as a concert promoter and her mother as a celebrity event planner. By 17, the Roland Park Country School student with a passion for singing and songwriting had organized a concert to benefit VH1's Save the Music Foundation.

The penchant for organizing large events seamlessly transferred to Klotzman's life at Goucher College in Towson. During that time, she worked part-time as a club promoter for Club One.

"I was like, well, this is rad," she says. "This is pretty cool. Back then it was a few dollars a head to bring into the venue, but I was pretty good at it, and they brought me in to run Saturday nights. So I went from just a street team member to running it for close to a year."

When the club changed ownership in 2005, Klotzman decided to go out on her own, and with the help of her mother, Helene Miller, she founded HeidnSeek.

Since then, Klotzman has developed the business, working with many of Baltimore's upscale restaurants and clubs like Red Maple, Cazbar, the Get Down Lounge, and Club LuX.

"My clientele in the past six years has been about getting dressed up, going out and having a classy night out with a lot of ambience, good service, whether it's romantic or you're celebrating a birthday or a special occasion," Klotzman says. "I don't want us to be any old thing. I want it to be special."

For young professionals, Klotzman has paired with Baltimore Business Networking to host Schmooze, monthly business networking events at local high-end restaurants.

All the while, Klotzman worked slavishly on her weekly newsletter, advertising her events and expanding her readership by the thousands. Soon, local businesses, charities, and organizations sought spots in the newsletter, which Klotzman said she wants to evolve into a more "bloggish" magazine.

The improvements to the newsletter aren't Klotzman's only current aspirations, however. She says this year has been about rolling out new ideas that she has patiently waited to launch, like HeidnSeek Boomers, which Miller, the head of the private events division, is facilitating for those ages 40 and up.

"I thought this would be great because I think there's a void for this kind of programming for older people," Klotzman said. "I go out all the time, and there's nowhere to dance if you're older, there's nowhere to do anything, and its kind of sad because I mean, I'm gonna be jammin' when I'm that age."

Klotzman also launched HeidnSeek Outreach earlier this year, an organization that allows people to contribute to charitable endeavors. Selecting ambassadors for each organization HeidnSeek supports, like House of Ruth and the Maryland SPCA, Klotzman leads the way in holding events to benefit the community.

Drawing from her passion for music, Klotzman also held her first monthly Rock & Soul Music Showcase at Meli in Fells Point June 16. One Thursday every month, Klotzman plans to showcase three or four of Baltimore best local talent.

And Klotzman's ability to use her experience and passion as a catalyst for new ideas doesn't stop there.

"[We're starting] Jill of All Trades, an organization for young women in business, primarily business owners in their 20s and 30s," she says. "We're going to bring in young women, I'm already friends with a group of them, entrepreneurs. Once a month, we're going to sit with them, go around and talk about what we do, our challenges, how we can support each other, tips ... and then emotional things, of what it is like to work for yourself, work at home, the lack of structure, and the kind of lifestyle that supports what we're doing.

"And I really need that. I created that because I need that. I need other women in my life pushing me and me pushing them and helping them to be where they want to be. Because to be on your own pretty much completely, (except I've had the privilege of having my mom, but many people don't), you really need that support system with consistency."

But Klotzman makes it look easy. She says she believes achieving a balance between work and personal life is a constant challenge and recognizes that in order to be successful professionally, one must be happy outside of work as well.
The majority of her time isn't occupied by glamorous nights out and drinks on the house, but instead by paperwork, invoices, contracts, proposals, and above all nurturing relationships with clients and customers.

And those are the relationships Klotzman says make her job satisfying.

"I can't emphasize enough how stressed out and under pressure people are," she says. "And not just during the week, but in their lives. Their lives are hard, and to be able to present a vehicle for people to enjoy themselves in, to let go, to feel good, to laugh, to just let their hair down and just have a great time, I'm fulfilled by that.

"And I'm also fulfilled by the things that we do in music since I'm a writer and I write music and sing. The events that are closest to my heart are ones such as Rock & Soul or maybe some open-mic events specialized just for poetry, things where real meaning is exchanged. The noisy parties, that's all cool. They have their place, they really do. But at this point, as I'm getting older and my priorities are changing, what I enjoy changes, and so the programming will change."

And while to us it may seem that she has conquered the Baltimore social scene, she's showing no signs of slowing down.

"It just feels like barely scraping at what I've wanted to do."

Staci Wolfson is a Baltimore-born, NYU-educated writer and editor based in Charm City. In addition to BmoreMedia, you can read her writing on Patch.com and her Just for Kicks & Giggles soccer blog.

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Photos by Arianne Teeple:

- Entrepreneur Heidi Klotzman
- The Absolut Rock & Roll menu presented by HeidnSeek Entertainment & ABSOLUT Vodka at Meli Restaurant in the Fells Point neighborhood of Baltimore
- HeidnSeek Entertainment CEO/Owner Heidi Klotzman and Entertainment Chairperson Helene Miller
- A HeidnSeek Entertainment event at Meli
- A HeidnSeek Entertainment event at Meli
- Entrepreneur Heidi Klotzman
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