Paula RossAndy and Paula Ross are the founders of Andy’s Parties, a full-service theme party and enrichment company. Andy’s Parties has run well over 1,000 parties in its first 3 years of operation – everything from Pirate Parties to Princess parties, Superhero and Spa parties. Andrew Ross (Guy in the Monkey Suit) is an entrepreneur with substantial experience with small businesses. After graduating with a degree in business from the Wharton Business School, he spent seven years in the private equity and consulting industries, helping grow many businesses. However, since he graduated from high school, Andy has longed for his previous years as a camp counselor and child's party planner and entertainer. He has leveraged his business knowledge and experience with kids to start Andy's Parties! Andy is primarily responsible for the Andy's Parties Franchising initiative and with growing the corporate locations. Paula Ross (Chief Creative Officer) is primarily in charge of developing new theme parties and enrichment programming. As part of her experience as a communications consultant to corporate clients, she has many years of planning and facilitation experience for social and business events - from huge company holiday gatherings to smaller and mid-sized town hall meetings and open houses in communities where her clients are doing business. Paula is also our Custom Event Specialist and can help you plan weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, Sweet 16 parties, anniversary and retirement parties, as well as corporate and charity events! Please call her for information about our Custom Event Planning Services.
Paula Ross: Hi! This is Paula Ross from Andy's Parties, back again telling you how to plan a terrific birthday party for your child. Right now, we are talking about products and supplies that you'll need for your party, just to make it a wonderful event. There are certain supplies you are going to need for any type of a theme party, things like paper plates, and napkins and table-cloths and cups. Things that you can obtain at any party superstore, or a department store, Target, Wal-Mart things like that, and for a discounted price. We get our things naturally from wholesalers, but you can get pretty close to a wholesale price at a lot of party superstores. You also going to want to look for invitations that coordinate with your theme, and you can also get those at a lot of the party superstores, and often times, you can find invitations that match your paper products.
You also want to think about decoration for your party. Whether or not, you are going to have balloons or piatas, anything like that and make sure you get that well in advance, so that you can plan to have those balloons inflated and piatas filled with candy and toys and make sure that those things coordinate with your theme. You also want to make sure you have party favors. The party favors should coordinate with your theme, but, there's one exception to that rule. For instance, if you are having a princess party, a lot of four-year-old type princess parties, and if four-years-old, often your little princess is going to have some princes or superheroes come to that party as well. You want to make sure that you have a goody bag or a favor to accommodate that little boy as well. So, you can go outside of your theme a little bit if you need to accommodate another gender.
We do find at Andy's Parties that the trend in goody bags or favors is towards one larger item, one or two larger items as opposed to several small things in a goody bag. So, for instance, for our princess party, we give each little girl a tiara, and a magic wand, and a princess stadium cup to put all of her piata candy in. We do substitute with superhero items for boys. For our pirate party, we send the kids out on treasure hunts to get a lot of their goody bag items, which they will then put into a bag at the end of the party or into their treasure chest.
You also want to plan for your craft activity. Again, this is a time when you want to remember your theme and the gender of the kids at your party and the age. You want to make sure that its age appropriate, gender appropriate. We do try to make every child feel comfortable at our parties. So, again, for our princess party as opposed to doing tiaras, we make crowns because they come in several different colors, and we can make a king crown just as easily as a prince crown. For our pirate party we do a treasure chest, very theme appropriate, very good for a wide variety of ages, and both genders.
Then you also want to think about props or activities that you want to have at your party. We do a lot of dress-up activities at our parties, things like pirate capes, and princess capes, we have feather boas and magic wands and props that the kids will use during the activities at the party. If you are going to use those types of things, make sure you get them well in advance, and make sure you have enough for every child to participate in the activity.
If you are going to plan to do dress-up activities, here's a tip, the best time to get dress-up clothes, is the day after Halloween. So, if your party is at all after Halloween, make sure you go shopping on November first.