About Us

Jan Levie-Photo
Jan Levie-Photo

About us, Handy Entertainment, and me–but most of all, a big welcome to you!

The way events seemed

When I started Handy Entertainment, my focus was on creating connections between people. All the event entertainment I saw seemed to be the same things, done in the same ways. So I kept looking for great events and entertainment that was different and not so predictable.

It became clear to me that there was an enormous need for event production and entertainment that was unique to each event, each host, each specific company. We  love to delight people, bring them together, and give them the time of their lives!

What I wanted

My passion is producing events and creating amazing event entertainment that captures who you are and what you value.

We are an Atlanta based, WBENC and  SBA-certified, Woman-Owned Small Business. Our mission is to connect people at events. We are proud to work with people who are diverse and for people who welcome diversity. All of our people are multiculturally trained and ready to accommodate every kind of diversity.

Why I do it

Handy Entertainment was founded on the principle that everybody is at the table–that we create a richer world by making diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging an integral part of our company and our events.

We create a welcoming environment for everyone: our clients, their guests, and very importantly, for the people who work with us. Handy Entertainment seeks out, trains, hires people with physical, intellectual, and emotional disabilities and we PAY THEM WELL. Ask us what we mean by that.

How do we do this? Events are adaptable and we are nimble. This makes it possible to adapt positions to the person to create a work environments where everyone can succeed. All our staff are trained in multicultural competency and know how to make each and ever guest and attendee feel welcomed and valued.

What we love most is creating customized and engaging specialty event entertainment for corporate, social, and fundraising events.

We are not for everyone. As a matter of fact, we are not your low price leaders, nor are we your bad idea entertainment.

Need original, limited editions of interactive entertainment that connect people? We are your people.

Want to show who your guests who you really are? We are your people.

Education, the arts, technology, and multiculturalism are the basis of our work. We’ve expanded into artist representation, event production and  design, and provide event consulting that saves time, money, and anguish. We are proud to work with the best vendors in the world.

I look forward to working with you!

– Jan Levie, Owner, she/her


p.s. more ‘About Us’…the back story:

Although the first iteration of Handy was launched in 2009, we made it official in 2012 and really started to hit our stride in 2016. Fast forward to December 2021. While on the road, I asked my favorite son if he knew why I started the business. His answer, “Because you wanted something to do?” “No,” I said, “I already had plenty to do.”

In 2009, he was nine years old and struggling. He was struggling in school, he was struggling socially, he absolutely was struggling at home, everywhere. The only thing we knew was that he had “stuff,” but we didn’t know what.

I took a deep breath and told my young adult boy that I’d started the business to make sure that no matter what he ended up being capable of doing, no matter what his diagnosis, we would find a way to create meaningful work for him and help him be able to earn a living.

Silence. He looked at me. He was astonished. Proud?

Then I asked him how he felt about that. He said he felt fine. A pause. “Why didn’t you tell me that before?” he asked. “I didn’t want to embarrass you.”
He said, “You should tell people that.” “I can’t,” I said, “it would be labelling you as someone who has ‘stuff.'”

Laughing, he said, “I tell people I’ve just met that I have ‘stuff’ and that I struggle. Not as an excuse, but to explain why I do things the way I do.”

Then he told me to tell this story.


Coda

He has worked with Handy in various capacities over the years. All of them have been short, one-off jobs and projects, because, quite frankly, who wants to work for their Mom?

Throughout his school years, I met so many other kids, teens, and young adults really struggling to get a toe-hold. Oh, and their families, families who tried literally everything to help their kids find their place in this world. That’s how I got the idea of creating jobs for people with physical, mental, and intellectual disabilities.

My Own Private Idaho

To answer those questions you’re mulling over—yes, we know his diagnoses, at least most of them.

He’s extremely dyslexic, and dysgraphic. There is some other ’stuff’ in the mix, as well, but let’s just say that he, too, has learned to expect the best and prepare for the worst—whether working in production, operations, manufacturing, documentation, performing, or as an engineer.

This young man graduated in Spring 2022 with a certification for a skilled trade. He was recruited before he’d even graduated for a classified position that requiring security clearance! (How cool is THAT??!)


Things you might not be aware of about people with disabilities

The reason I’m telling you this is because Handy Entertainment has the bandwidth to find, train, and hire people with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities and pay them well.

That last part “pay them well,” is really important. As of 2023, 13 states (including Georgia) still allow for people with disabilities to be legally paid what is referred to by the U.S. Department of Labor as “subminimum wage.” “Nah,” you say, “that can’t be.” Oh, but it is, and the wages are not tied to the individuals production level or skills. Steps are being taken in Georgia to change that.

The prevailing hiring practice in the U.S. is to post a job listing and expect candidates to apply for them. With the right skill set, background, attitude, presentation, and above all, key words, the candidate ostensibly advances and is eventually hired. Many folks with disabilities don’t stand a chance in this paradigm. Did you know that 26% of adults in the U.S. live with some form of disability? It is also the only minority group that ANYONE can join.

What if we flip that? What happens when we create the job to match the individual? I can see your brow furrow as you think over how labor intensive that would be.

Tell me this: is seeking, training, and retaining great employees working the way it is currently being practiced? No. But when we tailor the work to the individual, everyone is a winner.


Then there’s that other question people always ask: “How did you come up with your company name?”  Inspiration hit me smack between the ears when I heard that Andrew Lloyd Weber‘s company was named ‘The Really Useful Group.’ Our de facto name is A Handy Little Company, LLC. Need I say more? This is turning into a chapter book….


Our Values

SERVICE

We serve people well. Even more, we work with every kind of person. We are not event planners, but we can help you source what you need for your event through our highly-qualified, vetted, and trusted partners.

DIVERSITY

Our team looks like real people (ok, maybe some are wearing weird make-up and costumes!) because they are real people. We look beyond the surface to the individual so we can provide truly engaging entertainment. 

INCLUSION

We are proud to hire and train people who have physical, emotional, or intellectual disabilities. We can conduct an interview that sees past limitations and spotlights nascent abilities. Then we make the time and have the adaptability to tailor work to the individual.

HELPING YOU: HELPING US

Do you have a friend, colleague or family member having an event? We love your referrals! Whether we have what they need or not, we will always provide good, honest service, and help them source what they need from the best in the business!



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