It’s party-time with giveaway and tips from Kate Landers!
Remember when you wanted to be a fairy, sprinkling magical pixie dust in your flowing frock and flowery crown? Kate Landers brings those childhood imaginations to life in the classic children’s parties she plans where no detail is too small for her special touch. Her Woodland Fairy Party featured stunning tablescapes, scrumptious kid-friendly food served in adorable chocolate nests, and fairy-friendly activities for the precious guests. Through her website and blog, Kate offers tips and techniques, as well as quality party supplies and her own planning services available for all budgets. Kate joins us to share her secrets for throwing a party with serious wow-factor.
Tell us how Kate Landers Events came to be?
All the experiences of my life have contributed to the creation of Kate Landers Events, LLC. My passion for creating events goes back to when I was 10 years old, planning birthday parties for my younger sister. I also studied ballet for many years, adored performing and the theatre, but directing student productions was what brought together my love for creating a vision and then bringing it to life. I now consider my events to be performances that I direct and orchestrate, with the guests and birthday child as the audience. I aim to entertain and inspire, to “wow” them with an experience they never expected. My education, business training, adoration of children, and the love and support of the people closest to me has allowed me the opportunity to start this company and live my dream.
What inspires you? Any secret remedies you have to get the creative juices flowing on days that you feel less than inspired?
People, places and things
- People: I am inspired by people I love and sometimes total strangers: my father traveling worldwide to transform higher education; my husband willing to risk a start up; successful entrepreneurs and businesses; and people performing random acts of kindness.
- Places: Being outdoors, whether it is a nature walk with my puppy, a hike in the mountains or a walk on the beach, is incredibly inspiring. For example, the vision for the fairy hair garlands came to me this Spring while walking under trees full of cherry blossoms.
- Things: something incredibly simple can inspire a great party: a pink peony (a first birthday idea), a vintage white picket fence (my Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn design), or my great grandmother’s china (an upcoming couture tea party).
For those days I need a jumpstart, I focus on doing things like working on a scrapbook, trying a new recipe, or making a bouquet from the garden. Just the act of being involved in creating something inspires me and gets my creative juices flowing.
Do you have any “dos and don’ts” for hosting a party?
- Keep the guest list in check: a smaller group will not only give you a more intimate celebration, but also minimizes overstimulation of your guests and birthday child (decreasing the risk for meltdowns!) and allows you to enjoy the party yourself! Also, creating a magical event can be costly if you’re trying to do it for too many guests.
- Invest in classic linens and tableware: simple fabric table linens, cloth napkins and white dishes will match almost any color-scheme or theme, can be used again for other events, like holiday entertaining.
- Use your favorite home decor as party decor too: I absolutely love incorporating home decor for events. For example, if you are having a monogram themed first birthday party, use that pair of favorite monogram lampshades from the nursery as decor on the table.
- Be prepared for early arrivals: have a child table and chairs set up with a fresh box of crayons and drawing paper for early birds so they can stay entertained and you can finish getting ready.
What trends do you see in children’s parties, how do you incorporate them into your planning and products?
I am known for creating parties loaded with old-fashioned charm, but there are a couple of trends I follow. One is using eco-friendly party ware. I have worked hard to create a line of party products that can be re-used and repurposed.
I also adore more personalized parties which I am seeing in favor tags, juice boxes and just about everything you can imagine. Personalization has a great impact on the birthday child and guests – there is always something special about seeing your name.
What do you consider the hallmark of a great children’s party?
A child is truly celebrated by giving them an experience rather than just a celebration. For example, I much prefer allowing children to feel as if they are a princess or pirate right off the pages of their favorite storybook rather than eating off of a plate with a princess or pirate cartoon image.
What strategies can you recommend for those who might be on a tight budget or timeline?
You’d be amazed at what you can do with re-purposed house decor. Darling fabric-lined baskets from the playroom can be used to store favors. Or gather your favorite coordinating frames and create a table full of pictures of the birthday child in the entryway.
Offer just one party favor instead of a bag of plastics that end up in the “junk drawer” when the guest gets home. Get creative with your packaging and it will look more classic and sophisticated, and parents will appreciate it too.
Finally, order DIY printables, which can personalize your party in a snap, creating a pulled together and polished look, but you don’t have to wait for them to arrive in the mail. Just open your in-box, print, cut, assemble and go! I recommend Paper & Pigtails (who created some of the printables for the Woodland Fairy party) or the Tomkat Studio
Let’s get to know Kate better with a quick-fire round:
- blogs I frequent are: Martha Stewart, The Farm Chicks, Hostess With the Mostess, Amy Atlas and Thoughtfully Simple. There are so many more I love, but those are my daily reads.
- My first job was: babysitting at the age of 14. I also worked at a bakery boutique my first summer in college eating something amazing every day and gaining 10 pounds, but I’d do it again!
- My favorite color is: pink. Whether it is soft pink, rose pink, peachy pink, watermelon pink, I love pink!
- I cannot live without: my walking shoes and snow boots. I love to walk outdoors and not feel controlled by the elements.
- My favorite guilty pleasure is: anything sweet from The Andersen Bakery on State Street in Santa Barbara.
- The best advice I ever received is: Never, ever give up.
- A cause I care deeply about is: Kidneeds, a non-profit organization founded by the family of a brave young lady I used to babysit. They provide awareness and funding for research on Dense Deposit Disease or MPGN-Type II Kidney Disease.
Let’s get the party started! One lucky person will be the winner of a custom party design by Kate, worth $250. This is Kate’s premium service, where the inspiration is original to your event and she creates options for every aspect (food, activities, decor, etc.) from a variety of sources and vendors based on your budget and theme. Go to her blog to see the magic she’s already worked. To enter the giveaway, tell us what kind of party you’d like Kate to design for you by leaving a comment here or on our Facebook page. Contest ends Friday, July 9th at 6 pm EDT. *Note that your party must be at least 8 weeks away.
Congrats to Darcy Baros! Enjoy your custom Kate Landers party!