After her Pinterest Party got national recognition earlier this year, Kristi Gilbert is turning party planning into her job.
Gilbert recently launched Poppy Event Design, a two-person planning business willing to take on the design of any event, from birthdays, to anniversaries, to baby showers.
"Really anything that comes my way I’m willing to take on," said Gilbert, a former Patch columnist.
Gilbert is launching Poppy with Jillian Bouchard, a nursing student and Gilbert family babysitter who has a knack for baking cakes and other sweets. The two got the idea after they had fun putting on a recent birthday party for Gilbert's daughter, Ava. (Whom many Patch readers probably got to know well during the last couple of years.)
The Clarendon Hills mother of two said she'll work with parties of all different budget-sizes. In addition to planning the party and providing some eats, Gilbert said she'll book bands, DJs, photographers, and other party features.
"There’s no one that I’m aware of that does this in our area," Gilbert said. "And who doesn’t want to be throwing a great party?"
Poppy hopes to serve Clarendon Hills, Hinsdale, Burr Ridge, and other nearby communities.
When launching the business, Gilbert put out an offer to friends and acquaintances to plan three parties, free of charge, in order to build up her portfolio. She got seven requests out of the offer for parties between now and Nov. 1, and she took all of them on.
"It just took off," Gilbert said. "I'm doing an Oktoberfest party, a Halloween party, a spa party, a Mickey Mouse party."
She's also planning a one-year anniversary party for Brush Pediatric Dentistry at Il Poggiolo.
Gilbert thinks the Pinterest Party is partly responsible for the positive response early on, but she said she thinks business will come from a natural desire from customers to put on a great party.
"I think any mom would always like some help doing this kind of thing," Gilbert said.
A website for Poppy is in the making, Gilbert said, but for now, information can be found on the company's Facebook page.
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