If you ask me, the growth of the party and events industry is a direct result of the raw talent of suppliers and just how accessible they’ve made it for everyone to create memorable occasions. You’ll find many of them on our LLC directory!
It’s a fantastic industry of support among suppliers, but the big winners are the consumers who can now turn any occasion into something special with the amount of inspiration, professionals and DIY options now available.
This was a driving force behind starting LIfe’s Little Celebrations and why we now have our first conference to look forward to, continuing to learn, inspire and grow with each other. I’m so excited for Celebrate in August and look forward to seeing some familiar faces and meeting new. There are still tickets available so be quick to secure yours here and join us for what is set to be a fantastic day.
One of our Celebrate sponsors is a shining example of just how this industry is making gorgeous occasions accessible for everyone – because let’s face it, we can’t all bake and decorate like a pro, but we like to give it a red hot go!
Michelle Bailey own’s Custom Icing, which enables you to turn homemade or purchased cakes, cupcakes or cookies into something spectacular. Even the pros are partial to using Michelle’s edible cake images to add the extra WOW factor to a creation.
Incredible, huh?! The edible images from Custom Icing can make a huge difference to your cakes as well as cupcakes and even chocolates!
Customised cupcakes make a great impression at any occasion, and these simple discs are so simple but so effective on a plain iced cupcake with colour coordinated baking cases.
What kid doesn’t love seeing their face on a cake?!
I love how Custom Icing enables just about anyone to be a master baker and turn an occasion into something special. Whether you’re handy with fondant or not, edible cake images can turn cakes into show stoppers and help bring together themes with a little creativity.
You can find out more about Custom Icing, including printing on chocolate, and shop online here.
Happy creating and we hope to see you at celebrate!
There are so many talented and creative women in business who are part of Life’s Little Celebrations! I’ll be regularly spotlighting on them in the blog so that you can be inspired in your own business or creative pursuits and also get to know the amazing businesses listed on the Directory pages.
Today I have a Q and A with the lovely Kyrie Shepphard as she shares about her business Glistening Occasions which creates beautiful cake toppers for birthdays, baby showers, christenings, weddings and any event big or small!
1) Describe your business in 1-2 sentences:
Custom designed acrylic and timber cake toppers
2) When and how Glistening Occasions come about?:
Glistening Occasions really had such an organic start. I got married in August of 2011 and always being an arty person I decided I wanted to create my cake toppers, cake and knife servers, ring box, Lolly table signs, the list goes on but these were all encrusted in crystals. A couple of our wedding guests said they would like me to make some items for their special occasions so as soon as I got home from our honeymoon I created a Facebook page and Glistening Occasions was born!
Cake topper by Glistening Occasions. Cake by Sweet Bakes
3) How has your business evolved over the years?:
Glistening Occasions has evolved in many ways over the past few years. The major ones I would say were:
-Removing the crystallised option from my range. The busier I started to get the less time I had as at this stage I was still working full time and I was spending hours sticking tiny crystals on each cake topper so by removing this option I then had to ability to take on more work.
– For years I was having to outsource my laser cutting until I decided to bite the bullet, cut out the middle man and purchase my own laser cutter. Whilst it was a huge investment and a scary step at the time it was the best decision ever made as I could then afford to show off what I can really do as before the outsourcing was costing a small fortune that I could only order toppers when I got the orders booked in rather than just have a play when an idea sprang to mind.
My business then started growing quicker than I could keep up, I was staying up all night then going to my full time job the next day. I decided to follow my heart and see where I could take Glistening Occasions so I quit my job to make the business my full time job. Here I was thinking I would now have more time on my hands and funnily enough I’m back to late nights to try and keep up with the demand.
4) What did you do before starting your business?
I worked full time as a Graphic Designer on the Gold Coast for an advertising company.
Cake topper – Glistening Occasions
5) What is one of your business achievements you are most proud of?:
Whilst I have been absolutely blessed to have created cake toppers for some well known celebrities the fact that I am self made and have grown my business to the level it is at today is by far my proudest achievement.
6) What do you love about running your own business?
I love that even though I work many more hours now than I did when being employed by someone else I wake up each morning excited for the jobs ahead. It’s a wonderful feeling doing what you love daily.
I think it helps that every single order is different, it is never repetitive and I also love my work space. I have my own studio down the back of our block fitted out with baby pink, mint green and gold with too many cake stands with a cake topper on each and sometimes I sit back, look at the toppers on display and smile at the thought that I made that!
Frozen cake topper – Glistening Occasions
7) What is one thing you would like to achieve in 2016 for your business?
If Glistening Occasions keeps growing like it is in 2016 I would really like to put someone on to ease the workload and have the ability to take on even more orders as I’m currently having to turn some urgent orders away due to being booked to capacity so it would be great to be able to take on every single order so no one has to miss out on adding that Glistening to their Occasions.
I would also love to invest in another laser cutter, a big bopper so that I can expand my range and capabilities even further!
8) What advice could you offer to other small business owners?:
I had someone tell me the other day that I’m so lucky to have gotten to where I am with my business but it has nothing to do with luck and all to do with hard work.
Find your spot in the market, be original and stick with it. Owning your own business is hard work but if you really love what you do then you will make it work even if it is just on a small scale because that joy you feel doing something you really love is worth it.
If there comes a day when cake toppers are no longer fashionable then I will certainly still be making them for my family and friends so that I can always feel that little bit of happiness each time I create something.
Eiffel tower cake topper – Glistening Occasions
Thanks so much Kyrie for sharing your advice and experience with all of us today!
Be sure to have a browse of the Glistening Occasions website and facebook page and instagram account when you next need toppers for a birthday party, christening, baby shower or other celebration!
As part of the “Styling Secrets, Business Brains” series I am very excited today to be sharing some tips from Lisa – half of the duo that is “Lettuce & Co”
I love their style which is always unique, classy and fun! Enjoy this post filled with wonderful party tips and some snapshots of the amazing styling of Lettuce & Co!
Three party styling/planning tips for mums
1. Plan your planning!
Organization is key to make hosting a breeze.
There are a few questions that need answered to get started…when will it be? (the date and time – think a time where the birthday boy/girl has had their nap and will be refreshed to enjoy the celebration). where will you choose to host it? (the pro in having it at home is that it is convenient but then there is the post party clean up). How many guests will be there and of these how many are kids? And of what age group?
If you opt for entertainment, you would want it most suitable for the majority of the children to get involved in.
Work party prep into your week ie. Write up your checklist during your lunch hour at work or whilst kiddies are napping.
Plan the food you’re going to serve, write it down and allocate some to friends and families. Make dishes one at a time throughout the week, so by the time the weekend comes, you’re ready to go. Regardless of the age group, selection and healthy food options are favoured by guest’s parents.
2. It’s all in the details!
Instead of serving beverages in jugs, serve them in labeled mini plastic bottles (similar to the mini glass milk bottles but kid friendly) with adorable straws and write the names of all sweet delicacies on place cards.
Think outside the bag. Of course, we love a goody/party bag but why not package your party gifts in a more creative way?
If you are having a themed party try and factor that into the packaging i.e. for a sprinkles party paint some coloured dots all over a white paper bag.
And what kid doesn’t love craft? Rather than fill bags with lollies and sugary foods that probably get thrown out by the health and tooth nazi guest mother, throw in a crayon or stickers. To keep costs down simply purchase a packet of crayons or textas and buy a little book of stickers, tear a page and just put one of each into each bag.
3. Don’t go OTT on the theming
If you are going with a character theme, don’t over do the ‘character’- carry across a primary colour or story element.
For example for our Pinocchio themed party, rather than putting Pinocchio’s cute little face on everything which was oh so tempting, we highlighted the colours from his overalls; red, yellow and blue into the food styling ie Yellow macarons and red jaffas filled apothecary jars, topped mini cupcakes with a blue flag, red apple shaped biscuits and blue jelly which represented Monstro the whale (a character from the Pinocchio story)
Tip for any mum in business
Perhaps not a tip but a quote:
“if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life”
Thank’s so much Lisa for sharing your wisdom with us all! View more of the work Lettuce & Co here.
Dani from Once Upon a Table is the talented stylist we are hearing from this week. Once Upon a Table is a Brisbane based Event Styling business covering from Sunshine Coast to Byron Bay.
Dani is sharing some fantastic tips for party planning as well as running your own business while being a mum – hope you enjoy the read!
Confetti Fair – Bohemian Chic Dessert Table with Native American Indian Influences
1. Be inspired to be different
I love looking at Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Blogs and it is definitely a great way to source inspiration and ideas. But it is also great to think outside the box and do something different. Event ideas and themes can come from the strangest places.
I got the idea for our Confetti Fair table while sitting in my daughter’s teepee. I had been struggling to come up with a unique theme, and as I sat there watching my daughter play with her drum, I knew instantly I wanted to create a table that incorporated Native American Indian elements. We made a wooden teepee to cover the drink dispenser, used a dreamcatcher for the “O” in our name, a feather headpiece to wrap our cake and an Indian Wedding Blessing as our table sign. A lot of the elements we used on the table were not necessarily intended to be used on a party table, but we adapted them to suit our theme.
When you start planning an event, use an Inspiration Board to collate your ideas and create a vision for your event. Don’t limit yourself to just party pictures, as you never know what you can create by looking in different places. The more creative you can be, the more you will enjoy the process and your guests will be blown away by the end result.
Cute As A Button 1st Birthday – Pastel Button Party Table
2. Make it personal
An event draws people together and it is where memories are created, so it is always so special to be able to make it personal. Choose a theme that says something about the person – that tells their story. For example, our daughter’s nickname is Button, so we did a “Cute as a Button” 1st Birthday Party.
We also had a lovely customer who wanted to do a Raggedy Ann 1st Birthday because her daughter was photographed with a Raggedy Ann doll as a newborn and it was her daughter’s favourite toy. If you don’t want to theme your event, use colours, props, photos or quotes to make it more meaningful. It is also great to involve your guests and create a lasting memory by having a unique guestbook. An old typewriter for guests to type a message, a time capsule, a photo booth or even a thumbprint picture are all great ways to capture the memories of the event.
Lovely Lace & Pearl Christening – Dessert Table incorporating pink, lace and pearls
3. It’s the little details
It is great to incorporate as many little details into an event as you can. It is so rewarding to watch people’s eyes light up as they notice different elements at a party, and it is the little extras that will transform your event into something memorable.
It doesn’t have to cost a fortune either, as handmade items or DIY projects can be so much fun leading up to an event. Involve friends and family too, as they will love to see their creations used on the day. Don’t forget to be creative and think of new things you can include on your table – they will really stand out!
Finally, if you are going to include lots of different elements at a party make sure you plan ahead. Doing a project or two each week is much more enjoyable than trying to get everything done in the last week. You want to enjoy the party, so the more organised you are, the more time you will have to actually enjoy the special day.
A Darling Affair – Vintage Chic Dessert Table with lace, feathers and fresh florals
I started Once Upon A Table while I was on maternity leave with my second child in 2012, and have since returned to work as a Business Development Manager in Banking.
Juggling a very busy job, 2 children and a new business has been exciting, but also very challenging. I am certainly very sleep deprived and my house is a little messier, but I absolutely love what I do.
I think this is so important, as being passionate definitely shows in your work and it also helps you get through when you are tired or busy.
Sweetie Pie Table – Rustic Pie Table
I am also lucky enough to have a great support network. I have a fantastic husband who builds all of our props, furniture and backdrops, and is always there to listen to my new (and sometimes crazy) ideas. I also have an amazing 15 year old son who is always on hand to help out. There aren’t many teenage boys who would hold ribbon, sort doilies or stay up to talk to their Mum on those late nights working on an event!
My 18 month old just loves playing with all of my craft stuff and often contributes to a rather big mess on our kitchen table. My family are my biggest supporters and they really push me to live my dream and grow our business.
Through the business I have also met so many wonderful people who have become my close friends. The support in this industry is amazing and everyone is always available to give advice. We are often emailing or texting late at night and it is always good to know that I am not the only one up after midnight working on a party.
I have also found that collaborating with other suppliers or friends not only helps take your vision in a different and more creative direction, but also cuts down on the number of late nights. When I started I would do absolutely everything myself, but now I enlist the help of some amazingly talented florists, cake decorators, paperie designers and so on. Working together with other creative people is so rewarding and can really take your event to another level.
Thank you so much Dani for sharing your party planning advice and business wisdom with all of us!
You can follow more of Dani’s work on the Once Upon a Table facebook page here.
I’m starting a new series on the blog where some of the professional event stylists and vendors on the Children’s party directory share their top party planning & styling tips as well as business advice for managing a business along with a family and other commitments.
Launching this series is the very talented Nat from Events by Nat in Sydney who I had the pleasure of meeting at Confetti Fair. She has styled some of the most amazing parties including my personal favorite – the enchanted Fairy party below.
Here are Nat’s styling secrets and planning tips:
Plan well in advance – this will give you time to obtain items online and from overseas without stressing whether they will arrive on time or not.
Be as creative as possible – There is no need to spend an arm or leg on party decor.
Try crafting some of your own decor. For example look at online tutorials on how to make a paper rosette or flower. Use these tips and tutorials to craft your own. This will add that personal or unique touch to your next party.
Pinwheel christening – Events by Nat
Be Inspired – I often get most of my inspiration from objects rather than the internet or other parties. I never have a set plan on where I want the styling to go. I often work with items I come into contact with.
The best example is look around your home and see what items you think you can use. Remember the item does not have to be party related. Sometimes you can use a book as a riser. Another example is the pasta jars you buy from Coles or Woolworths can be used as vases.
Madagascar dessert table – Events by Nat
I start full-time work next week. Not only do I have my styling business to juggle, I now also have the added stress of full-time office work and juggling my family.
My best tip would be make sure you are surrounded by supportive people and do not hesitate to use the support. Also, make sure you are extremely organised with lists of items you need to buy and a Diary/Planner handy.
I know everything I do would not be possible without all of the above.
Ocean Swirl Nautical party – Events by Nat
Thank you so much Nat for sharing your thoughts and wisdom for with us!
Make sure you join the Events by Nat facebook page to see more of Nat’s amazing work!