Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What's a Party Worth to YOU?!

When I first started Glamour Girls, pricing was a major issue. I knew little to nothing about girls birthday parties or any parties at all. Of course I did research, but I couldn't find any competitors, and  that was a good sign. So I priced low. But now, our prices have changed drastically from our first party, which for ten kids had a price tag of $ that any mom would jump on! Or you would think.....some might think it was a bit too low of a cost....and  trust me it was. We made no money. And isn't a business supposed to make money? In fact, it cost me money!

Since then I have found competitors. And I'm pretty sure they've found us. After all, Glamour Girls is getting referrals from hair stylists, parents, teachers, etc. People know about us. And you know I'm thrilled about that. Who wouldn't be as a business owner. Besides, I don't think it's simply a coincidence that several local party companies now have a Glamour Girls Party...I really need to trademark that- and fast!

Regardless, most of these other companies charge double, if not triple what we charge. For example, there's a Manhattan based company that charges about $1000 for hair and makeup. Sure they give you a craft and cupcakes, but one thousand dollars? I briefly considered making our prices higher, but how could I possibly charge that amount for basic hair and makeup, or hair and nails? Quite frankly it seemed ridiculous. Another company based out of Ridgewood NJ, I'm sure you've seen them with their pink limo- they were featured on the real housewives of NJ costs double what we charge for hair makeup and nails, for two of the options and a short ride in the limo. Seriously?

Okay, so I  can't provide a pink limo, but we do provide a darn fun party- for much less than those we compete against! That's something I'm proud of. But it did make me wonder. How far is too far? I'm sure there are parents who have paid a thousand dollars for their child's birthday party, hell we've had plenty of parents come to us to do just that. The only difference between them, and us, is that when our  clients paid one thousand dollars, they got a heck of a lot more for their buck! For example, we did a party that cost about $900 recently. It was a fashion show party, there were about 20 kids at the party. The girls did hair, makeup, nails, and costume jewelry. Additionally, the girls got goody-bags and they did karaoke. Oh- and we did decorations. Simple decorations, but decorations nonetheless. Hmmm....which is better, hair makeup a craft and cupcakes  for ten kids, or hair makeup nails jewelry karaoke and goody-bags for twenty. Hmmmmm I'm going with the latter.

How much is too much for you? I asked my mom's cousin Erin, who is a mother of three (as of 2 months ago). Her oldest is Quinn, he's 8, Madison 7, and now two month old Brayden. Living in an upscale neighborhood in Bergen County NJ, she told me that her limit would probably be around $350 for ten kids without food/cake. I think that's reasonable, many of our parties are around that range, if not cheaper. It's always interesting to see how much a parent will pay for their child's birthdays, even in this horrible economy. Some believe birthday parties are a staple, that their children will be scarred if they don't get one. But for some parent's it's just not possible. My aunt and uncle have 4 boys, 12, 5, 3, and 2. Kind of a handful. None of them have ever had a birthday party, the five year old did for his first birthday party, and let me tell you that was a pretty grand soiree, but since then....nothing. For four kids, birthday parties every year could definitely add up, an expense that a family of six simply cannot afford to do.

Let's be serious here, say you have a party with us that's $350 for ten kids- and let's keep it simple, say there's only ten kids. Plus a cake, say $75, goodybags, $50, pizza $30, drinks $20, paper goods, decorations $50 - and I'm talking the bare minimum here. You're already talking $575....and that's before tax. Think of how much this simple party for ten kids is going to cost, and the sad truth is that most parents spend an awful lot more than that on parties. So is it worth it? That's my question here.

How much would you spend on your child's important is it for them to have one? Does it secure their happiness, their friendships? Some parents want the parties more for themselves than for the child...and I truly wonder who enjoys the event more sometimes, the parents or the kids.
Of course I love any excuse for an event, I do plan them for a living, don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to talk anyone out of having a party. I'm just curious as to their reasons for going ahead with the parties in the first place. So tell me, what is it worth to you?

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