When it is time for your child’s birthday, it doesn’t get easier than a party in a box. Snap Parties isn’t the average boxed party, though. The party favors included in their kits are made to last longer than the average cheap plastic toys traditionally used and handed out, which means there is less being thrown away once the party is over.
Ivanna Parker has always enjoyed throwing a party and people took notice, asking her advice. It was then that she considered starting her own party-based business. Although Snap Parties is only a month old, the potential to grow and expand is there.
What inspired you to launch your business, Snap Parties?
I always loved throwing parties. I usually begin planning my children’s parties months in advance. I soon had many people asking me for advice on how to throw a party. I then came up with the idea of having a party in a box company where everything you needed to have a fabulous party was included. I wanted to focus on higher quality materials and be sure to include items for games and activities for the party. I did think that maybe I would start my business once my children were older but then have been inspired by other wahms (work at home moms) and thought that if they could do it, I could do it now. Mainly I made my hobby into a business.
What are some of the things that come in one of your Snap Party kits? How many themes are available?
My kits include all the tableware, decorations, party favors and bags, theme related games and activities. Each box also has a theme related “dress up gear” for each guest. For example, in the barnyard box, each guest will receive a cowboy hat and bandana. In the princess box, each guest will receive a authentic rhinestone tiara, a sceptor, a pair of princess shoes, and a purse. The costumes can be sent home as favors for each guest although each box also contains other party favors. Currently there are 8 different themes available.
How much do your kits cost, on average?
My kits run from $140-$220. So an average of about $180 for 8 guests.
What have you enjoyed most as you’ve built up your business?
I’ve enjoyed putting the theme boxes together. If I could, I would have 25 themed boxes but need to start small.
Where there any problems that you encountered as you were getting ready to launch? What were they and how did you overcome them?
Our main problem was finding an ecommerce site that fit our needs. My husband is an IT guy and has web page knowledge and wanted to build our own shopping cart. After some time, we realized that our business was not there yet to take the time and extra cost to put one together. But a lot of the ecommerce sites that were available didn’t have all that we needed on it. My husband found ways to use an ecommerce site and add in his own code and programming to make it work for our business.
As a new business, do you have any specific milestones you’d like to reach over the next year?
My main milestones right now relate to sales and theme boxes. I would like to be selling an average of 5 boxes a week and then will add 5 new themes to the already 8 that we have.
How have you been able to manage you time between family and your business? Do you have any special tips you’d like to share?
I usually check to see if I have any orders first thing in the morning. I don’t fill any orders until after all of the kids have gone to bed. That is actually the time when I do most of my marketing and putting boxes together. I do have about an hour during the day where some children are taking naps and others are having rest time that I use to do some more business stuff.
My advice is to really schedule your day. I find that if I don’t set a time to do “business” stuff it will be on my mind the whole day and then I feel like I’m not giving the time I need to my family. I put them first. If I have a schedule and know that at 2:00 I will get a chance to start thinking of a new marketing plan, that keeps me focused on speding time with my children and caring for them.
What do you enjoy most about party planning? How long have you been doing it (before starting your business)?
I’ve been party planning since I was a little girl. At least in my imagination. I would love to play “party” as a little girl. I would think up these amazing parties and pretend to put them on. The thing I love best about party planning is throwing a party that makes my guests feel honored as well as the person we are celebrating. Giving everyone a memory or an experience that brings them joy and draws everyone together is such a joy for me.
What sets you apart from other ‘party in a box’ businesses available today?
We take pride in offering high quality and unique products. We try to stay away from party favors that are easily broken and thrown away the day after the party. We have dress-up items in each box wich will help make the party extra memorable. We also include games and activities so that everything you need for your party is included. Also, our themes are not character related. We like the simplicity of basic themes and not the commercializing nature of many of the character themes.
We also offer an environmentally friendly rainforest party box where all the items in the box are made with the theme of being “green.” It includes natural wood tableware, beeswax candles, fairly made wood animals, bamboo whistles, twig pencils, how to make chewing gum kit, cloth goody bags and much more.
Do you have any advice for anyone considering their own party planning business?
Well, there is a lot of competition especially websites that sell party supplies. Find a way to be unique and offer something that the other party businesses do not.