How are you at party planning?
I’m rubbish. Sure, I can put together a perfect Pinterest board filled with beautiful decorations, unique DIYs and mouthwatering finger food. The execution though? Not so much. It’s for this reason that Chris and I never ended up having 30th birthday parties. We had awesome plans for a combined shindig – a relaxed, Summery American BBQ with a variety of grilled/smoked/slow-cooked meat that would make the manliest cowboy weep with joy. But his 30th came and went, and then mine did, and then before we knew it, we were 31-year-olds who didn’t get around to celebrating the last great milestone before 40. Oops!
One of the major issues I have always had with party planning is finding amazing, unique decorations and supplies. I’m burdened with a creative heart that craves variety, and something a bit different – not just the same black and white polka-dotted bunting everyone grabs at Spotlight.
Enter Favor Lane Party Boutique.
Favor Lane is truly a one-stop shop for all your party planning needs… and though they ship worldwide (winning!), they happen to be based right here in Perth! Guys, I love Perth Girl Bosses!
Favor Lane is run by Shelley Sykes, a stay-at-home Mum of two boys, Jacob and Matthew. “It probably sounds incredibly cliché to say that I love everything about parties but it’s a true fact. I have always enjoyed entertaining and organising events.”
Shelley’s inspiration for her business was borne out of the frustration of trying to find amazing supplies to match her party planning visions as she attempted to put together her son Jacob’s first birthday party. “I spent countless hours searching for modern and stylish Partyware that followed current trends. From time to time I came across products that got me all excited (I know it’s sad right!!) however, my bubble soon burst when I realised the products were not available in Australia and the shipping from the US or UK was going to cost me more than the products themselves. The other hurdle I had to jump was finding everything in one store. I found decorations in one, plates in another, so on and so on.”
Rather than seeing this as a hindrance though, Shelley (whose background is in sales and marketing) saw an opportunity. “I realised then that there was a real gap in the Australian market for boutique Partyware… It was then that I decided to turn my ideas and dreams into a reality and start a home based business. I spent the next 6 – 12 months on market research, registering the business and approaching suppliers. In April 2012, Favor Lane Party Boutique was born.”
Shelley’s product line is absolutely gorgeous and sure to inspire anyone taking on any kind of party planning. She caters to birthday parties, engagement celebrations, baby showers, anniversaries, weddings, bridal showers, and everything in between. “Our collections are carefully selected and are sourced from all over the world, with a strong focus on quality and current trends.”
Shelley says that as a Mum, she is able to fit the running of her business around her family, “One of the best parts of this decision was that I could (and still do) work around my children. It was a lot harder in the beginning as Matthew was still young and at home full time so I would work while he slept and in the evenings. Fortunately my business has grown at a similar rate to my children. The older they have gotten, the busier the business has gotten and the bonus of this is having school hours to get the bulk of my work done.”
So what’s a typical day like for this girl boss? “(I) fulfil, individually gift wrap, pack, lodge online and ship each order (yes we ship daily from Perth, WA), forecast stock requirements and submit wholesale orders accordingly, respond to and send emails, post 3 – 4 times/day on our social media accounts, unpack wholesale orders and update online inventory.” Her work hours are made up of an hour or so before the school run, the 6 hours her kids are at school, and a couple of hours every evening just to tie up loose ends and research new products and ranges – “My iPhone is my best friend and worst enemy all rolled into one!”
Shelley acknowledges that she is super busy, but it’s work that she enjoys – and the feeling of knowing that all her hard work is building an amazing business must be so satisfying! “I guess the beauty of running your own business is only you decide how much time you wish to invest into it.”
For Shelley, the best thing about her business is a happy customer: “It’s pleasing to have the confidence that whether our customer is a bride to be, an expecting mother, celebrating a birthday or anniversary, they will find what they are looking for at Favor Lane Party Boutique.” She places extremely high value on excellent customer service and dedicated communication. “It’s such an integral part of a successful business and something I will never cut corners on.” Can’t find what you’re looking for? Shelley is always willing to assist in sourcing the perfect supplies to help fulfill your party planning vision.
Of course running your own business has its difficult moments, but Shelley genuinely loves what she does, and believes that the perks outweigh the challenges. “Being my own boss, watching the business grow and seeing the end results when customer send me their feedback and/or party photos is so incredibly satisfying.”
Here are Shelley’s top tips for throwing an awesome party:
- Plan ahead if possible (min 4 – 6 weeks ahead for parties)
- Set yourself a realistic budget.
- Choose a theme that reflects your personality or go with a colour or two. This always makes it easier.
- Write lists (lots of them).ie: food, drinks, invited quests, party prep, product checklist.
- Allow yourself plenty of time to set up. If you are having the party at a venue, don’t be afraid to ask for enough time to set up. A frazzled party host is never a good start!
Well, I’m inspired. I’m becoming a little obsessed with all these features we do on women who are building empires based on their passions (click our “girl boss” tag for HEAPS more!). And I know for sure where I’m going to find supplies for Jackson’s second birthday in September!
Because she is super generous, Shelley is offering Her Happy Heart readers 15% off their next order using the code HHH – thanks Shelley!
Check out Favor Lane Party Boutique via the following channels: