Turn the clock back a few years & I would never have thought about the importance of buying from local businesses or indeed family run independent businesses. My main priority was finding the cheapest price for the product I needed.
I am now fully aware of the importance of buying local, so I am organising a party using only local businesses.
Here are some of the local businesses I’m using & some ideas of how you too can use local businesses to organise your special day!
Organising A Party Using Only Local Businesses
As an example I am going to use B’s upcoming Third Birthday Party.
Location – This one is clearly easier than any of the other bits you need for a party. Majority of venues are locally owned & funded, unless of course you go for a chain style restaurant or hotel.
I really do recommend finding a good locally run venue, for instance we have chosen Panshanger Football Club for B’s Third Birthday. They have been exceptionally helpful, recommending where I can pop certain bits & they’ve been really great with letting me come in early to set up as well as staying late to tidy up. By using Panshanger FC as our venue we are supporting our local football club & to me thats a fab place for my money to go.
If you’re wondering about these types of venues I highly recommend booking an appointment to look around, we went to a few locations before finding this one & I’m so glad we did have a look around. So many places manage to make their places look far bigger than they are & clearly take the images for the website after a deep clean or after they’ve just decorated!
Surrounding location is a big deal to me, we were recommended a local venue & when we went to look at it we got a huge shock. The surrounding area was awful & the fact people hung around in the carpark immediately put me off having a child’s party there. So be sure to book a viewing when looking for venues.
Decorations/Party Supplier – This one can be really hit or miss, I was going along the avenue of chain shops for B’s decorations, that was until I found Party Ease. The owner of this locally run business was friendly & helpful from the get go, happily showing me everything that suited my brief. Even going as far as to offering to make bits that she didn’t have & advising me on places to get my outfit from after a local costume place was unable to help, not the one I have since used I may add.
I would highly recommending visiting your local for sale pages, ad pages & local parent pages for these types of businesses, if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have found my chosen Party supplier.
Entertainment – Entertainment will differ depending on age, bouncy castles do seem to be limitless with age for the ‘fun factor’. I decided to use Bouncy Time, a local business run by a friend of a friend. I’d seen their castles & others bits before so I knew they’d be perfect to supply the fun for B’s party.
We chose to have a bouncy castle, soft play, ball pit, giant ‘Jenga’, giant ‘Connect Four’ & a hook a duck!
The price was fantastic & I feel we got so much for the money.
Entertainment is always usually going to be from local companies but choosing smaller, family fun businesses is something that works for me!
I recommend heading to your local parent pages to find face painters but for entertainers like magicians or character meet & greets I recommend having a google & seeing if you have anything similar to this On The Go Kids Card. One of these cards can get you some brilliant discounts & the best discounts just so happen to be with the character meet & greets! The money you save pays for the card in one go with some of these great character entertainers. On The Go Kids cover a wide area so be sure to check it out & if they don’t cover your area be sure to have a look to see if there is similar local to you. Organising a party can be stressful enough, if you can save money while you’re doing it then it will certainly soften the blow.
Costumes – I really struggled with this one, I was desperately trying to find a local fancy dress shop who would allow me to take pictures & who had bits that suited my theme. I had shops flat out refuse & others say they couldn’t help me due to my petite size.
I found Party World Hertford while searching online & I couldn’t have been more pleased to be in contact with such a helpful woman.
Party World were welcoming & happy for me to take pictures & have a root around their stock.
Even though B was in a foul mood, we were welcomed into the shop & shown what bits & bobs suited our theme.
I had SO MUCH fun in this shop, I even tried on outfits that were nothing to do with B’s Pirate & Princess theme.
I highly recommend this shop & others of its kind to get high quality fabulous costumes, they are a great addition to a themed party. Its also ideal when they stock the packet outfits so you can see them in person unlike blind buying online.
Food & Drink – Whilst drink is exceptionally difficult nearing impossible to keep local, food is something you can at least have made & bought in by a local caterer and/or a baker!
Whilst I never have anything to do with the catering for B’s party, I am the one who sorts out the cake.
I take pride in B’s cakes & its super important for me to get THE best I can.
For two years running now I have used the amazing Bellalicious Cake Company to make B’s absolutely fantastic cakes. This year she even bought me Vegan brownies! I haven’t had brownies in years & had been after some for AGES!
If you are local then I highly recommend Bellalicious but if you aren’t then heading over to your local parent Facebook page is the best bet for getting recommendations.
Local caterers can also be found in the same way, also by having a caterer its another potential stress off of your mind.
I hope some of these companies can help you enjoy your special day, I’ve finished this post after B’s party. All the companies mentioned above made sure we had a perfect day!