This is the post where I get real up in here.
Find out who you are and do it on purpose.- Dolly Parton
I’ve got the first part down – I know who I am. I’m confident in what I know, and probably more importantly what I don’t yet know (like how to give up carbs). I have strong beliefs and opinions and anyone who knows me can tell you that I’m not afraid to ram them down your throat voice them. I hold my convictions near and dear and strive to let them lead me in what I believe to be the right direction. I’m actively working on the purpose part. So many things go into living intentionally and on purpose – some things, like time management and staying on task, I’m terrible at (I blame a creative brain). Other things, like being honest about what I want out of this life, even when getting there might require traveling an unconventional route – I’m great at. When designing birthday parties became my way of paying the bills – you can imagine the doubtful comments and weird empathetic facial expressions that came my way (like the sad-but-cute way you look at a 2 legged puppy with one of those doggie wheelchairs attached to its hind-quarters). I could not have cared less. I knew what I wanted, I knew what I was capable of and I made it my reality. Fan-freaking-tastic right?! Dream achieved, hoist the banner on the ship – Mission Accomplished! Well, not exactly – something is missing. In the spirit of living on purpose, I realized that I wanted my work – my everyday 9-5 (who am I kidding here, my 9-9) – to mean more. I believe the gifts we are given, our talents and strong suits are given with the expectation that we use them to make the world a better place. I may not cure cancer anytime soon, but I can surely brighten your day with a damn fine birthday banner. I want to use my creative talents for my true purpose.
I don’t love birthday parties. THERE. I said it. Well, let me put that in perspective before I put myself out of a job – I don’t love what birthday parties are becoming and there are certain things about this industry that make me less-than-proud to be a part of it. Yikes right?! That certainly does not fall in line with living on purpose. When I see pictures of some of these celebrations (please understand that I’m not putting all parties in the history of the world under this umbrella) my first thought is not of joyful celebration but of self-doubt. How are the celebrations I help to make (personally and/or professionally) EVER going to amount to that?! How am I going to afford sending all 10 girls home with their very own $100 tutu outfit and keys to a monogramed Ferrari? I’m not, most of you aren’t, and that’s ok. I’m (and I’m speaking for a team whom you’ll soon have the pleasure of meeting) attempting to take the self-doubt OUT of birthday parties and put the real meaning back IN.
Birthdays are so special. It’s the one day of the year that we take the time out to celebrate each other. “Happy Birthday” really means “You were born and I for one, am so happy about that. I want to celebrate your existence”. Think about what being reminded of that year after year really does for a person. To know that you’re loved, that your life matters and that every single year you deserve to be celebrated – just because you’re you – is incredible. Once I stopped seeing the negative and looking at birthday parties as status symbols and started seeing them for what they really are, I found the purpose in my work I’d been searching for. And lucky for me, I also found the two people I needed to pull this off. Great dreams need great teams.
I’d like to introduce two people whose paths in life were also leading them to a place where they wanted more. They are two people I knew who could handle the pressure and stress of a growing business.They are the two people whose individual talents and personalities fit perfectly in the scope of what I imagined this company becoming. They are the two people I knew I could trust with my company and my vision. They are the two people I knew would bring fresh eyes and new ideas to the table that would take this to the next level. They are two of my best friends, going on something like 18 years, their names are Amy and Julie and together, we call our new company Party On Purpose. Same great parties, new heartfelt mission.
(Party On Purpose Founders in the 8th Grade)
We believe that every child deserves to be celebrated. We also know that life happens and that sometimes situations present themselves that financially prevent those celebrations from taking place. That’s why a portion of every single party we sell goes toward the Party On Purpose Project – or POP Project. Along with donating POP Party Packs to our local food bank (more on that soon!) we are committing to providing at least one party for a family who otherwise can’t afford it, each month. Anyone can nominate a birthday kid, we even have a form to make it easy on you.This is our way of paying it forward – or as I like to say partying it forward.
Is this a charity? Are we a non-profit? No. This is a business that continues to support us and our families in a very real, bring-home-some- bacon kind of way. Was there a fear that we could be seen as doing this for all the wrong reasons? Sure. Is there a fear that nobody will come? Yes. But we know our hearts are in a good place, and we also know that our time and talents will be used in whatever way they are meant to be used. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. (That quote is for Amy, she’s really sporty like that)I can say now with certainty that my career, this little job I’ve carved out for myself in the birthday party world has purpose and it feels great. I’m so excited to share my new journey with all of you and to take this new and improved company to the next level. I’m so excited for you to get to know Amy and Julie. I am so very thankful to everyone who entrusted me with a little part of their celebrations over the years. Your confidence in my ability to provide you with a high quality and beautiful product has literally turned my dream into reality. I would encourage everyone to think big and go after what they really want in life. Don’t just make a living, make a life. Live with purpose, live on purpose and of course – Party On Purpose.