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  • Writer's pictureHeather Burkett-Ocasio

Vendor Series: The Barn on Blair Event Venue (Owned by Katie L. Gray)

The Lake At the Barn on Blair

I turn right off Blair Road as the GPS instructs, down a narrow pathway that winds between tall trees.  To my left is an older building with a rustic pier that juts out into the water and to the right, is another small, older building.

The one lane path curves to the right around a serene lake and as I move further down the path, the tree line clears revealing a beautiful white Barn-style venue with dark accents.

I haven’t even gone inside yet, and the picturesque scenery is taking my breath away.

The Barn on Blair belongs to entrepreneur and life coach, Katie Gray, but it is more than just a beautiful event venue – it is the home of what truly inspires Katie most. You see, Katie’s true passion is coaching; guiding women and girls to find and curate their true confidence and live happier, fuller lives.


I have the great fortune of sitting across from the sweet, hazel-eyed venue owner and learning more about her work behind the scenes.

Katie L. Gray - Owner of the Barn on Blair

Katie is a certified health and life coach.  Her journey helping women and girls build their confidence started about ten years ago, when she and two friends used their skills to start a running club for girls.

“GROW” – or “Girls Run Our World” – was such a confidence booster for the young athletes that Katie became enamored with helping empower people.  “The projects that light me up and really make me excited are growing my business to little girls and their mamas, and franchising it soon, and writing a book.”

During Covid, Katie expanded her services to include online confidence classes for women.  The original program featured four weekly online sessions where participants could interact from the comfort of home, and tackle homework individually between sessions.  She hopes to repeat the program, possibly expanding it to include two additional sessions.

Then, last fall, Katie expanded her services once again by hosting in-person workshops for young ladies one Saturday a month, with hopes to start the next program this Spring.

Her philosophy compares each of us to a growing flower, with the seed being our true, inner identity.  From there, she believes that our “soil” is the family, friends and coworkers that surround us.  Growth through the program is the stem of the flower, with the resulting confidence being the bloom that we share with the world.

Katie is quick to give a lot of credit to her mentors, citing Alina Grayson, Tonya Leigh and Oprah as being some of the most inspirational women in her life.

Me with Katie L. Gray, Owner of the Barn on Blair

As we ended our deep, soul-searching conversation, I decided to end things on a lighter note:

HeatherIn your opinion, what is the best kind of food to serve at a party?


KatieFinger Foods.  Yeah, appetizers, hors d’oeuvres, that kind of stuff.

Heather:  Do you prefer – for décor – balloons, flowers, or crafty décor? 

KatieCan I say all of it?  All of it!  Confetti, sprinkles, balloons, no, I seriously do! 

Heather:  For you, what makes a party or event truly unforgettable?  Like, what is the thing you look forward to that makes you say “Wow, that was a party”? 

Katie:  I think just how well the people connect.  I really do think it is.  We recently hosted my husband’s class reunion, but I completely enjoyed it as if it was my class reunion.  All the people just loved each other, they were so happy, it was just a very – I don’t know – warm atmosphere…just a warm energy…and I feel like that’s what makes all the difference in the world.  Now I do love the ambiance…I do love the music, I feel like all that stuff adds to it but if nobody’s connecting, you’re going to have the most miserable time.

You can learn more about Katie, her confidence workshops, and the Barn on Blair at her website:

I’d like to personally thank Katie for being so gracious and wish her the very best in her many varied endeavors!


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