Stephanie Frazier Grimm is a girl after my own heart: a serial start-up queen! Couture Parties is Stephanie’s second business. Her first was a baby accessory company called Mama & Bambino. (Side note: I too was in the “kid clothing & accessory world” in my past life. That is one crazy industry… lots to talk with Stephanie about there.) She sold the business in 2006 and started Couture Parties in 2008. Couture Parties is a wedding design and planning company based out of Rhode Island.
What I’m REALLY loving is her latest venture: Get The Party Started, a party for 8 in a box. Stephanie has married her experience in the kids accessory world with her party planning expertise and created this super cute collection of party accoutrements. Custom, fun party meets convenience and affordability! I’m posting some photos below… loving this! And, I can imagine that they’d make a super fun addition to the “kids’ table” at a wedding. I’m a busy mom… I’m gonna be needing these!
Stephanie Frazier Grimm
Owner, Couture Parties
Newport, Rhode Island
Why did you start your business?
Couture Parties is actually my second business! My first business, Mama & Bambino (designing baby accessories) I had sold in 2007 while I was pregnant with my second child. I had always planned weddings and parties for friends and family. Then I started planning them for friends of friends, and realized hey, I should make this my full time job! I have a visual merchandising, fashion show production, and retail background, so I get to apply these skills to party designing and planning (while still being available to my children and husband). Also, seeing smiling faces when people walk into their wedding or party has got to be one of the best feelings! So in May 2008, Couture Parties was officially launched. This year is the launch of my third business, which is called, Get the Party Started by Couture Parties. It is a themed kids party for 8, in a convenient box mailed to your doorstep or found in your local kids boutique. I was getting emails and calls that people loved my work but couldn’t afford for me to design their kids party, so I thought this would be a great outlet for me to share my designs at an affordable price.
What book do you recommend to new business owners?
For myself, my parents were my biggest resource on how to start a business and succeed from the bottom up. I grew up watching them turn their small roll off container business into a larger corporation and a leader in their industry. A book that I recommend would be Mommy Millionaire by Kim Lavine. This book is great because it is a true story how a stay at home Mom wanted to make her product a household name, and she describes all the resources (and mistakes) she made along the way. If you are in the “creative business” I recommend Sean Lowe’s blog the Business of Being Creative. He reassures us that it is ok to be paid for your creativeness, and accept that you deserve to be paid for a talent.
Do you have any cool goal-setting tips to share with us?
I like to set small goals for myself as well as large ones. You get the satisfaction of accomplishment, (with achieving the small goals) but also have the desire to work harder with every little accomplishment. Some people may look at this as greedy, but if you do not challenge yourself you may never experience different opportunities, getting out of your comfort zone sometimes is ok 😉 For every ten no’s, there will be one yes….and that is what I strive for. Also a hand written to do list is great, because when you see something crossed off you feel excited to get to the next task! (That is the visual in me 🙂
What do you find to be the biggest challenge as a business owner?
My biggest challenge has to be having to many ideas and wanting to apply them all at once. I am always coming out of the gates running, and I am learning that slow and steady wins the race. I also have learned I have to surround myself with people that have the same work ethic as I do, because when I don’t, I set myself up for disappointment.
If you were starting your business all over again, what would you have done differently?
Honestly, I am happy with how my businesses were started. I may have had a little head start because I grew up watching my parent’s triumphs and accomplishments. My advice for anyone starting a business would be, if you are passionate about something you will find a way to make your dreams into a reality. You have to enjoy what you do and expect some down times, but take it as a lesson learned and try it again, but with a different approach.
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