I wanted to share my story about how I ended up as a party planner and a cake artist so you can get to know me better. It all started a long time ago…
In west Philadelphia born and raised, on the playground is where I spent most of my days…
Oh wait, that the Fresh Prince of Bellaire ; )
*I* was born in Canoga Park, CA and started with event planning in 2001 when my son was born. I had helped a friend who owned a flower shop for a while and realized that I had gathered an extensive list of event professionals. Friends and family would come to me to find out who could help them with catering and flowers, if I knew someone who could officiate their wedding or if I knew of the perfect event location. Being the type of person I am, not only would I give them the contact information for all the above but I would give them ideas, tips and money-saving tricks for their events. It soon evolved into being the coordinator for my friends and family parties.
I had done events for a while off and on when I became pregnant with my fourth child in 2006 and I remember telling my mom that I wanted something to do just get me out of the house so I didn’t go crazy! So, for my birthday she bought me Wilton cake classes at the local craft store. It was only a few minutes into the first class that I knew I would LOVE decorating cakes and that I had a knack for it. The frosting and cake reminded me how much fun art used to be for me. I went to a high school with a focus on the arts and majored in painting and sculpting.
I started doing cakes out of my home for friends and family along with party planning and then one day I got a phone call from someone I did not know who wanted to order a cake! What? They had heard of me from a friend and saw one of my cakes online. I was flattered and amazed, it was the first time my hobby made me money and started me in the direction of a real business!
After doing cakes for a while from home I learned that I was breaking the law, in Arizona then you were only allowed to sell your baked products if they were made in a commercial kitchen. I was devastated, I had no idea what to do. I reached out to friends and family for advice, I thought about opening up my own bakery but with one afternoon creating a profit and loss I realized that I didn’t have the money or the time for that. I was thinking about closing up my at home shop when my aunt told me about a shared kitchen she uses in Georgia.
I quickly looked in it and thought it was the most amazing thing EVER! Low rental cost, only pay for the time you need and you become a legal business. I immediately began my search for one in Arizona and my excitement quickly turned sour. There was only one shared kitchen I could find to rent and it was difficult to get into and the upfront cost was high. Feeling extremely discouraged I went back to the drawing boards, redid numbers for my bakery concept and had an idea…what if I opened a shared kitchen?! I ran with the idea, participated in Start Up weekend with my concept and after a lot of hard work I eventually opened it! I was very proud and loved the daily challenges however I quickly realized that my business partner and I were not a good fit, I missed making cakes (I didn’t have time to anymore) and my hours were taking a toll on my family. I decided to sell my half of the business only 1 year after opening.
At first I was upset and felt like a failure. I became depressed and wanted NOTHING to do with the food industry or anything closely related to it. Then one day I was talking to my husband about how I felt and he asked me, “Out of everything you have done, what gave you the most JOY?” and at that moment I knew I needed to start planning parties again. This time not as a hobby but as my business!
Simply Party Box, Inc. has made several changes since that first day in 2014 I know that I have found my passion. I LOVE making a life moment, (birthday, baby shower , wedding… ) perfect for my clients. I love knowing that I can take the ideas they have and make them a reality and that I can do it eliminating their stress so they can ENJOY the party too!
I also LOVE that the Arizona law has changed and I can now make cakes for my clients out of my home. And because I run my business from home I can spend more time with my family.
I am so very grateful for all the lessons the journey has taught me so far and for those lessons yet to come. I cannot even begin to express my thanks to all the people who have helped me along the way and continue to, I love you all!
Here’s to many more years of growth, gratitude and doing what I LOVE! Cheers!