What does your business do?
We plan weddings, parties and corporate events. We plan menus, find venues, customize decorations, set up table settings, customized banners, find vendors, we do everything from food, décor, activities and entertainment to party set up and break down. You select your theme, we customize your needs based on your budget and we provide the decorations (personalized) to make it work for your event.
When and why did you start the biz?
I officially started T-Parties in November of 2015. I have been planning parties and events for more than 15 years. I got involved with this business when I began planning my daughter's first birthday party. I shopped several different stores for decorations and would find that prices for the same type of décor was different everywhere I went. I also found it difficult to find customized banners and décor for my daughter's name and theme. I began coming up with ways to customize some of the products that I bought. I also found it hard to find products that were the "IT" factor of the party. Whether it be a clown for entertainment, a petting zoo for fun, or a margarita machine for adults, I needed something extra that left everyone amazed at the details that went into the party. So I started planning parties for my friends and family that offered affordable and customized themes and décor as well as an extra flair of entertainment, activities, games or prizes that left guests wondering what would happen the following year. I basically wanted to give everyday people an affordable option for a fantastic event!
How Many People are in your Company?
Where's your office?
We have a storage room for our décor and themed decorations. However, I run our business from my dining room table. I have a section set up that everyone knows not to touch!
What's the toughest part of running your biz?
Marketing and advertising my business has been the most difficult part. I get a lot of word of mouth business, but it is not consistent enough to sustain a profitable business. I also need more employees to assist with personalizing centerpieces. I need more collaboration with other business owners so that we can benefit more from using each other's services. Also, I need more money in the bank to be able to purchase items that would help our business (linens, tents, cardstock, etc) when those items are on sale or at a discounted price. I have to budget for so many different avenues, that I don't always have the cash needed when something such as an outdoor tent goes on sale for half the cost that it would normally cost me. I feel like I'm losing out on saving cash which prevents me from offering discounts to my customers.
What's the most fun part?
I love the reward I feel when I plan a wedding and the bride and groom tell me that I surpassed their expectations. I love hearing parents at a child's birthday party say things such as "I never would have thought of that!" I love it when a child who loves Spiderman gets excited when Spiderman actually shows up at his party. I love when a business owner does not think they can afford a Christmas party for their employees but still wants to honor them, comes to me and I tell them that we can work with their budget, and I give them an event that does not look thrown together, but that actually looks put together. The fun part is in the details. It's in the saying "Yes, we can do that." and making it happen. Plus, parties are generally fun anyway!
Anything you would have done differently?
Research marketing strategies and techniques that work for a service such as mine, instead of going all in on the general marketing strategies that work for business a little different than mine.
What's next on the horizon for your biz?
T-Parties is continuing to offer customized décor. We are going to offer more in the sense of invitations and thank you cards. We want to do more with corporate events and grand openings.
What advice do you have for others?
Stay committed and do what you can every day for your business. If it means creating a blog and making posts every day and not publishing them until you business takes off. If it means shopping bargain sections or looking for clearances, keep at it. If it means building your websites from scratch, do your research and do small pieces to achieve your goal until you can see the big picture. Start small and watch it grow.
How do you use Idea Cafe to help your biz?
I plan to network and connect with others starting their own businesses. Gather some ideas, take what I need and give what I know.
School (where, still in school, degree)?
University of Houston
Is there any one person or event in your life that led
you to go into business for yourself?
My husband has always been my biggest supporter and cheerleader.
9016 Saratoga Road
Fort Worth, TX 76244