A day to Celebrate!

I’m delighted to share with you the photos from the first ever “Celebrate” conference day on the 15th August!

This event came about from my vision to bring together business owners within the party, event and baking industry and provide them an opportunity to network and also learn some relevant business tools to flourish their business.

Held at The Deckhouse in Sydney the venue was styled in only 1.5hours that very morning! With such a limited time we kept things simple but beautiful and stylist Shelley Davis of Paper Face Party coordinated all the styling for the venue and as you can see – she made the venue even more beautiful and a truly gorgeous setting for everyone to enjoy. Beautiful balloon decor was used throughout the venue thanks to Party Splendour and Born To Party who did an amazing job at helping to bring a stylish party feel to the room with their balloons.

All the beautiful photos are thanks to Captured by Kirri. Celebrate-306

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We enjoyed daylong beautiful views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and water from the venue and thankfully Sydney put on a lovely sunny winters day!

From the initial planning of the event I knew I wanted it to be a day where I could showcase items from Life’s Little Celebration vendors and the beauty of the day really came together because of so many lovely contributions as well as the support of our lovely sponsors Ruby Rabbit Partyware, Custom Icing, Sugarlicious Parties, Sweet Heavenly Events, Merc & Jones, Foamtastic party decor, Sugared events and Fairy La La Land!

As soon as guests entered they were met with a welcoming lounge area which was created using furniture and props from The Original Silver Teapot and it was a beautiful space on the day for attendees to enjoy during the break times.

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This balloon arch at the front of the venue by Born To Party was stunning and a real talking point

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Gorgeous jumbo balloons by Party Splendour created another feature in the room with fun tassels by Paper Face party and giant foam letters from Foamtastic 

 

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Each attendee received a handbook and gold Life’s Little Celebrations pen and each of the centrepieces styled by Paper Face Party were unique –  styled with flowers as well as custom timber toppers from A La Roch and mini pinatas from Party Pony Designer Pinatas!

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I just love these unique timber toppers by A La Roch!

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The stylish mini pinatas were also a hit!

 

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Guests were greeted with bright and fun signage to lead them into the venue with the design by Pretty and Print and printing by Jo’s Signs by Design:

 

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Each attendee received a handmade glittery name tag with gold foil printing and the cutest little tassel! These were created by the talented Eve & Co and added a bit of extra sparkle to the day!

 

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After grabbing a hot drink and mingling, attendees were invited to get comfortable and settle in for the day. It was honestly so wonderful to meet many business owners – some of whom I have known “online” but never met in person. It was also an honour to have attendees from Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra all make the trip to Sydney for Celebrate. The atmosphere was so warm, friendly and easy going as attendees made new contacts or met those in person who they deal with frequently online!

 

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Here I am welcoming everyone and getting ready to introduce our first speakers!

 

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The day included 5 amazing speakers who each brought their own experience, knowledge and personality to providing attendees with tips for their own business. Wendy El-Khoury of Wedded Wonderland was brilliant in providing a huge amount of insight into social media and particularly instagram tips for our industry!

 

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At the last minute due to illness Nikki Clarke was unable to be at Celebrate. However we were lucky to have Lama Perin of well known brand Paper Eskimo be able to speak on branding and also sharing her tips and experiences from their own business history !

 

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Tessa White of Down That Little Lane was honest, insightful and humorous as she shared PR tips and general advice on social media, building your community and getting your brand out there on a limited budget!

 

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Leanne of Sweet Style shared her advice on how to create gorgeous photos for your social media and your website, as well as camera and lighting tips and styling advice:

 

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The day ended with the fabulous Julia Bickerstaff of The Business Bakery who provided such valuable pricing advice and was straight to the point with tips on pricing for profit as a small business owner!

 

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Speakers were around after their session during the breaks to chat to attendees while everyone mingled and enjoyed the sunshine!

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It was beautiful Sydney weather so attendees could enjoy the balcony during their breaktimes and it was wonderful to see everyone mingle and enjoy the conversation with their business peers!

 

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Another special feature on the day was a flower bar setup by Weekly Blooms for attendees to create and take home their own little posy of flowers as a reminder to flourish their business!

 

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The beautiful tags on each of the bottles were all handmade and painted by Elk Prints

They added a truly extra special touch to the take home posy’s and something guests could keep on their bottles as a reminder to flourish their business!

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A snapshot of a few more details which really helped style a beautiful venue

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Each attendee received a swag bag to take home FILLED with goodies from Life’s Little Celebration vendors and more! There was everything from handmade cake toppers and garlands to partyware, from magazines to candles and of course delicious edible treats such as fairy floss, macarons and cookies! Many commented it was the best swag bag ever…and I have to say I agree with them!

 

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It truly was such a delightful day and I thank everyone who came along or supported the event and again special thanks to stylist Shelley from Paper Face party who contributed so much to the look and feel of the day!

Many have requested that Celebrate be held again next year – and it is something I had considered but was hesitant about committing to prior to the event.

However the day went so well and with such positive feedback..it just may be back in 2017. Watch this space!

 

tanya

 

 

 

 

Party Planning…again!

What is your favourite part of planning your kids parties?

Is it deciding a theme? Is it scouring pinterest for ideas or perhaps purchasing all the party supplies?

We recently celebrated Naomi’s 3rd birthday (I’ll be sharing the pics soon – my comp decided to crash the night of the party so it’s delayed me in editing the pics!) and I’ve started thinking ahead to my eldest daughter’s 5th birthday (November) and son’s 1st birthday (January)

My favourite part of party planning would have to be the initial stages – deciding a theme, colour scheme and overall look of the party!

Now the “theme” aspect is not as much in my control anymore now my girls are getting older and have more specific ideas of the party they want. As much as I have ideas of themes I would LOVE to plan for…it is their party after all.

My eldest wants a Doc McStuffin’s party – if you don’t know, Doc McStuffin’s is a show on Disney Junior about a little girl who pretends to be a doctor to all her toys. It’s a cute show and to be honest although I would love to plan a non-character based party I don’t mind this theme so much – I’m just grateful we aren’t doing yet another Princess party!

As you can see, it can look quite cute and there are lots of fun ideas you can incorporate with this theme:

 

Doc McStuffin’s inspired party – Kara’s Party Ideas

 

The main colours are pink and purple but I’ll be adding in some aqua blue which is featured on the Doc Mcstuffin’s logo and I’ve seen incorporated into Doc McStuffins parties – I think it will work well to break up the pink and purple! Love this inspiration for a pink/purple/aqua combo:

 

Pink, purple and aqua colour palette – Chickabug

 

I’m also thinking of mixing it with an Icecream theme as it’s a summer party and I think an icecream buffet with toppings will be lots of fun for the kids. You can also have a lot of fun setting up a spread of toppings. How lovely is this setup?:

 

Ice cream party by Red Wagon Events – The Hostess with the Mostess blog

 

I love how this Doc McStuffin’s party was mixed in with a cupcake theme so I think I can somehow make the icecream theme fit in!:

 

Doc McStuffin’s cupcake party – The Hostess with the Mostess

 

Now for my son’s 1st birthday in January – deciding a theme is a little trickier given that really all he is into right now is milk…Sophie the Giraffe…and rolling everywhere and of course he has no care about his party theme or his party whatsoever – he just wants to be fed and burped!

However I’ve always thought if I had a boy I would LOVE to do a cute vintage tricycle party as I’ve always been inspired by this gorgeous one:

 

Vintage Tricycle and Kite first birthday by Style Me Gorgeous – featured on Chic Cheap Nursery

 

What do you think? Lovely right?!

I am thinking I could make it work perhaps with even a mint green/brown or mint green/grey/yellow colour scheme as I love the idea of some mint green rather than blue for a boy – but I also think the blue/brown look so classic together.

This cute theme really reminds me of the innocence of childhood!

The other theme I have always loved is a Milk and Cookies party ! The idea of a little milk station with flavoured milk and a cookie bar is such a quaint idea. Just look at this sweet setup:

 

Milk and Cookies birthday – Anders Ruff

 

However as it is his 1st birthday and will be slightly larger than our normal parties (and won’t be at home) the logistics of having to setup a milk and cookies bar for a larger group and with a limited setup time at a venue is putting me off…perhaps I may use this for his 2nd birthday.

The other theme I was contemplating was a cute Under the Sea party theme. I love this theme as there is so much you can do with decorating and desserts and it’s perfect for summer.

I was finding it hard to find any Under the Sea parties for boys that I liked. Everything I found used more brighter colours and I was aiming for more pastel or lighter colours to inspire me but I finally came along this small but sweet setup:

 

Under the Sea party – Lola and Lace

 

I love the colour scheme chosen and everything is so fresh looking and cute – perfect for a 1st birthday:

 

Under the Sea birthday party – Lola and Lace

 

Under the sea party – Lola and Lace

Such a sweet theme and perfect for a January party.

So that is where I’m at with my party planning.

I find now I’ve got 3 kids I plan and organise my kids parties a lot quicker than I use to – but I always start brainstorming early but end up leaving the real party preparation a bit last minute.

As always I’ll be drawing on the vendors on the Life’s Little Celebration’s kids party directory for all the items I need for my kids parties. As a busy mum I really believe we need easy ways to plan our kids parties (amongst other things) online and that’s what the kids party ddirectory is all about – helping you connect with some wonderful small businesses quickly and easily when planning your kids parties!

However as I said – I LOVE the brainstorming / dreaming up ideas part of the process!

I’ll keep you posted and hopefully soon I’ll get my daughter’s Snow White party pics ready to share!

 

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Expert Q & A sessions for small business vendors

Something I am passionate about is assisting (even in a small way) the vendors in the Life’s Little Celebration’s directory in the running and promoting of their business so more people can discover their fantastic talents and products!

I am no business expert however so I’ve been organising some online Q & A sessions with people who ARE experts in their field. These chats have been run within the private group on Facebook I’ve set up for vendors, so any LLC Directory vendors regardless of their location can join in.

Recently we heard from the lovely ladies at The Digital Picnic – Cat and Cherie:

 

They are social media and digital management experts who run some fantastic courses for small business owners.

During the chat the vendors asked questions which were relevant to many in small business. Questions relating to Facebook reach, Instagram, sharing images, useful APP’s to help them create images to share and more.

The Digital Picnic ladies were so generous in offering useful advice to all the vendor and we all gained a lot of insight and tips in how to do things smarter and better in the area of digital marketing.

They run courses all around the country so if you are looking to better your knowledge of digital marketing make sure you keep an eye out on their website for all the details!

This week we are having a Q & A chat on photography – specifically photography tips for vendors when taking photos of their dessert tables or products. This is key in such a visual industry such as the party industry as well as important for creating great photos to share on social media or blogs.

 

Art party – Styled and photographed by Sweet Style

 

Leanne from Sweet Style who is both an amazing stylist as well as photographer will be sharing her tips to our vendors whether using their iphone or an SLR. Leanne also runs workshops in Sydney for small business owners covering these topics and you can sign up on her website to be updated as to when her next workshop will be running.

 

Product photos by Sweet Style

 

I am also really excited that Sarah O’Bryan who has written the book “Business and baby at home” will be running a Q & A session with the vendors in August!

 

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Sarah has appeared on the TODAY show and written in numerous magazines – sharing advice for mum’s running a business from home which she covers in her book. As a busy mum of 3 with a successful business in Graphic Design which she runs from home, Sarah will be answering many relevant questions and this will be a fantastic and practical Q & A session!

I’m really excited to be bringing these Q & A sessions to my vendors and am looking forward to organising a few more for this year covering various topics.

Nic from Merc + Jones (one of the vendors on the Directory) recently wrote to me saying:

“I’m so incredibly happy to be a part of LLC – your service and offerings are above and beyond what I was expecting (in fact I wasn’t sure what to expect!) so I am constantly amazed at the benefits of being an LLC vendor/member! “

 

It literally made me smile to read that as I do truly believe being a part of the Directory is much MORE than only a listing on a Directory website! If you are interested in finding out more about joining the Directory and seeing if your business aligns with Life’s Little Celebrations, please email me at lifeslittlec@gmail.com

 

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Tips for starting out in the Party Industry!

Launching a new business in the party industry can be quite daunting – so I thought I would share a few helpful tips for anyone starting out in this industry particularly in relation to social media.

Now I’m no expert however I do connect with a lot of small business owners within the party industry online (especially with my vendors from the children’s party directory) and it is from conversations with them that I am offering a few tips which may help you out as you start up. This is by no means an exhaustive list of tips – you can find much more online with general business tips, marketing tips, social media tips etc

However here is my 2 cents worth and I hope it helps as you launch out into this exciting industry! If you’re interested in finding out more about joining up to the Directory here at Life’s Little Celebration’s then send me an e-mail at lifeslittlec@gmail.com and tell me more about your business x

 

1) Connect!

It’s important to connect with other’s in the same industry as you. Both online (and if opportunity presents itself – in person as well). Facebook and Instagram are huge in this industry – like/follow others in the same industry as you. They may not be the same type of business – for example if you’re an event stylist then don’t just link up with other event stylists. Connect with other businesses who may be cake makers, graphic designers, event photographers, party bloggers etc.

Step back and observe the social media etiquette that is taking place on these Facebook pages and Instagram accounts between other businesses.

Don’t just “like” – genuinely comment on images posted by your peers in the industry and interact with questions they may post. This helps to build connection and relationship with others in the industry and get your business name known as well.

 

Quote from the Content Warfare book

 

2) Choose Collaboration

You will soon notice that there are some in this industry who aim to be quite competitive and others who are very supportive and collaborative. I have observed in the private facebook group I’ve set up for vendors on the Life’s Little Celebration’s directory how supportive everyone is of each other – everyone collaborates, answers questions, gives advice and praises each other’s work! That is how it should be!

So choose to be collaborative more than competitive. Praise other’s in your industry, support them, share their work (with correct crediting!) – you will soon find that other’s will do the same for you and you will make great connections which is essential in this industry!

 

Quote by Erica Cook of Moth Design

 

3) Credit!

It is wonderful on social media to share the work/products of other’s who inspire you ! You will often find me sharing my Directory vendors work/products on facebook and instagram. However it is so important to correctly CREDIT images when shared.

Crediting and tagging the business also lets that business know that you are sharing and promoting their work – which they will also appreciate. Not crediting images can give the wrong idea to others viewing your page (making them assume it is your own work/products) and will provide you a bad reputation with others in the party industry. NOT the best way to start out with your business.

Some tips with crediting –

If you share an image on Facebook or Instagram from another business – tag that business in your comments.

IE: Love this inspiring blog post by @lifeslittlecelebrations on party supplies for a mermaid theme!

Your followers will also love you tagging the original source as they can then go to view more pics/images from that original page!

Hashtags are NOT credits. For example:

“Love this inspiring blog post on party supplies for a mermaid theme”! #mermaidparty #partysupplies #lifeslittlecelebrations

This is not the right way to credit because the original business needs to be tagged and mentioned in the main comment. People cannot click onto a hashtag to be taken to that business page compared to when you tag the business.

Stating your source as “pinterest” is also not correct crediting. Most images on pinterest can be traced back to a source. Make the effort and put in the time to find the source for an image you wish to share.

I cannot tell you enough how strongly other’s in the party industry feel about correct and incorrect tagging and sharing of their work! So do it right and it will give you a much more positive reputation amongst your peers.

 

4) Confidence

As nervous as you may be starting your new business it is important to also have confidence in yourself. Set your own standards high as far as professionalism and customer service is concerned – and don’t lower your own standards just to get a booking! It can be tempting to offer the lowest prices when starting off – but it’s important to price your work/products to what they are worth. In time the right customers will find out and will pay the money if it is worth it!

 

Image by: Marie O’Neill Design and Illustration

 

5) Get professional

Now I know when you are starting out you have to be careful with money – however with the budget you do have – it’s important to get yourself a professional look. This is a very visual industry and presenting yourself professionally visually in your marketing is important.

This includes getting your logo designed – your logo will be seen on your Facebook page, Instagram account, business cards etc  – so it is important!

I would also suggest strongly to have some images taken professionally (unless you are skilled yourself in photography/editing etc) of your products or your work. You could book a photographer and set up a little shoot with numerous of your products, dessert tables etc all setup so various pics can be taken all in the one photo session.

These professional photos can then be used in your Facebook cover image and any other marketing you need to create (magazine adverts, fliers etc). I know a photographer can be expensive but the one photography session can provide you with images to be used in so many ways.

 

6) Don’t compare

 

Quote from Bo-ho weddings

My last tip is to run your own race. In this industry – you will be bombarded DAILY with amazing and beautiful images on facebook and instagram of cakes, dessert tables, decorations, parties etc – all of which could make you feel overwhelmed when you are just starting out

You need to stay focused on YOUR business! Let everything you see inspire you – but don’t ever feel you need to copy another business in order to succeed.

What work’s for one business may not work for you. What DOES work and what makes a business unique is YOU. Your customer service, your passion, your talents. Every time your industry peers bring in a new range of products – don’t feel you have to bring the same items in your store. Every time your industry peers design printables in a particular theme – don’t feel you have to introduce that same theme into your own range! Don’t let your business decisions be based on what other’s are doing  – I’ve seen it too often in this industry and it will not help you. Lead – do not follow!

 

From ‘We Heart It’

 

I hope these tips help you in some way if you’re starting out in this party industry. Feel free to e-mail me at lifeslittlec@gmail.com if you need any other assistance!

 

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Inspiring me to do the “keep calm and carry on thing”

There are quite a few mum’s in business who follow this blog and facebook page so every now and then when something inspires me relating to balancing motherhood/work I love to share it although what I am sharing today relates to anyone…mother or not, in business or not and would even to relate when you’re in the throws of party planning, especially if you’re this type of person:

Today during a rare child-free few hours I forced myself to take some time out to relax, pray and read!

Something I read struck right to my heart in the area of rushing around busily trying to get all my business work done. Since my kids are still little and home with me all week, the times when they sleep or nap I go full steam ahead working on e-mails, blog entries, articles etc.

I am really working on how to get the balance a bit better to ensure I don’t work all the time and burn out which is common in small businesses and probably more common in mum’s running businesses.

These words rung so true to me…I hope they inspire some others as well….

 

It starts off talking about the work under our care:

“If possible do not be worried, that is – do not exert yourself over them with uneasiness, anxiety and forwardness. Don’t be worried about them, for worry disturbs reason and good judgement and prevents us from doing well the very things we are worried about.

Rivers that flow gently through the plains carry along large boats and rich merchandise. Rains that fall gently on open fields make them fruitful in grass and grain.

Torrents and rivers that spread over the land in great floods ruin the bordering country and are useless for commerce, just as in like manner, heavy tempestuous rain ruins the fields and meadows.

A job done too eagerly and hurriedly is never well done.

We perfect actions quickly enough when we do them well.

Drones make more noise and work more eagerly than bees, but they make only wax and honey. So also men who hurry about with tormenting anxiety and eager solicitude never accomplish much nor do they do it well.

Undertake all your affairs with a calm mind and try to despatch them in order one after the other.

If you make an effort to do them all at once or without order, your spirits will be so overcharged and depressed that they will likely sink under the burden without effecting anything”

Did these words ring true for you?

I hope it inspires you today as it did for me!

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