Carla McDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Salonniere, the award-winning website dedicated exclusively to the art of entertaining. Before founding The Salonniere in 2013, Carla spent more than 20 years in the public relations business, first as an agency executive in New York City, and then in Austin, Texas, where she ran her own successful PR firm. During her career, Carla has planned events and parties for many of the world’s top luxury and consumer brands, as well as celebrities and international dignitaries. In addition, she served for four years as the on-air television host of a weekly arts and entertainment segment on the local Austin news and for two years as a columnist for Austin’s leading arts and culture magazine.
Carla is often cited in the media as an expert on entertaining and throwing great parties. She has been quoted in notable publications, including Town & Country, Veranda, Elle Decor, Women’s Wear Daily, Southern Living, Real Simple, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. In addition, she will be featured in the upcoming book, Entertaining at Home: Personal Reflections from Seasoned Hosts (Rizzoli) by Ronda Carman.
A passionate advocate for education and the arts, Carla has chaired more than 20 non-profit events, fundraisers, and galas over the last 15 years, and served on the boards of numerous prominent non-profit and charitable organizations. Carla loves to entertain at her homes on Nantucket, and in Austin, where she has been described as “Austin’s Queen of Entertaining.” Carla wishes she could go back in time to attend Truman Capote’s legendary Black and White Ball, which is known as the “Party of the Century.” Her giggle water of choice is gin, and her favorite party trick is analyzing handwriting—just ask her about George Clooney’s.