This is the story of how a mother of 3 became a “Mompreneur,” starting a weekend business that not only brought in extra part time income, it became the love of her life while letting her stay a full time mom.
When I first started raising a family, my life was probably much like yours is today. I had high hopes and dreams, no prior business experience, and I was falling behind, but life wasn’t waiting for me to catch up.
I was a youngish mother of 3, experiencing doubts about my ability to balance a strict 9-5 with managing a young family. Sound familiar?
In reality, I wasn’t so concerned about my ability to handle the juggling act. Somehow you manage. It came from something deeper, having everything to do with a mother’s desire to be there with the kids.
There are pluses and minuses with everything. In looking ahead though, this was only going to get tougher.
The anxiety was all too real when I realized I could actually miss out on the kids going through their changes and growing up. The thought of showing up too late was what I couldn’t handle.
I wanted to be fully involved because I believe that if you do a poor job raising your kids, nothing else really matters. Managing their social media is challenging enough. You can’t let it replace you.
But we needed a second income too. I needed an ideal work situation.
We were hoping I could find something to bring in an extra $20,000 a year. With my work experience it seemed very doable, and it was. But most things come with strings attached making them less attractive, especially when it involves working for someone else.
I decided to take the plunge and become a “Mompreneur.” That is, a mother in business for herself, managing her own time, making her own decisions with family at the center of her life.
We didn’t have a great deal of money to risk and, quite honestly, I didn’t want to completely re-invent the wheel. I was just bound and determined to do it better.
I chose what turned out to be the best business idea ever for moms and women who love children. The Princess Tea Party Business.
In tapping into the enormous $3Billion birthday party industry, my job in this niche is to help a little girl’s princess dream come true. Pure and simple.
What makes it wonderful is that we share the same dream.
Having daughters of my own, I knew this was a winning concept. What I didn’t know was that it would become the joy of my working life and mean so much to my family’s well- being.
My first store opened after nearly a year of preparation with about a $12,000 investment.
I’d never had so much fun, searching through second hand stores and antique shops looking for princess dresses and the unique fixtures and decorative pieces I had in my mind’s eye.
That was just the tip off for the joy that was to come.
Every business has it’s rhythm in terms of attracting and satisfying customers, so I endured a lot of trial and error with advertising, different packages to offer, what food to serve, when to hire help, etc.
There was no one there to hold my hand or a guidebook I could follow with step by step instructions to avoid the pitfalls.
I had to figure it out as I went along. In retrospect it is pretty simple, although it didn’t always seem like it at the time.
Being in Honolulu, we asked a Hawaiian “Kahu” to bless our space before opening our doors. It covered me with such a warm feeling of safety and protection which has never left.
I admit I was nervous when my first party of eight little 5 year olds and their moms showed up with expectations sky high. This was it. I’ll either be the talk of their kindergarten class (not to mention Starbucks) or, I would go the way of your average backyard clown.
I must have nailed it because word spread quickly about this great new children’s party place in town. My bookings began to stabilize and our investment was returned within the first 18 months.
I’m still in the same location and have never looked back.
That was 17 years ago. Since then, we’ve made over 5,000 little princess dreams come true and generated more than $2,000,000 in total revenue from a weekend business!
I’m not saying you’ll become a millionaire from a weekend Princess Tea Party business, but you can see that my $12,000 investment has turned into much more than ever expected.
I like to think it is because my thoughts were aimed in the same direction as my desire. It is the surest way to reach your destination.
My kids have graduated college and I’ve been there for just about every milestone moment in their lives. Knock on wood they are good kids.
The business has also been rock solid when the ground beneath us felt like it was shifting under our feet.
I’m not saying it is immune to hard times, but much less so. Birthdays happen once a year, and, like birds in spring, they faithfully return.
That’s the beauty of this business. Every day is someone’s birthday and their little friends want to celebrate with them.
I have learned that most young girls between the ages of 4 and 9 want to be princesses, and, their parents are only too happy to try and make that dream come true.
It makes the role of my business all the more valuable. We provide what everyone wants. The girls, their parents, and me. Win! Win! Win!
Over the years I have added services and additional revenue streams such as Children’s Etiquette and Social Skills training, re-fashioned clothing, and others, making the business even more lucrative.
My newest effort is to help women who are looking for an opportunity like this to bring in extra income and more.
Many years ago I decided that being a full time mom was, at the end of the day, what I really wanted. I also understood that I needed to help support my family. By digging deep to find where my interests and desire came together with determination, a wonderful, life- long endeavor blossomed beyond what I dreamed at the time.
You can turn your interests into a business too by being determined to see it through no matter what the naysayers try to tell you. Ignore them.
The direction you are facing determines your destination. Fine tune your sense of direction.
To Your Success!
Lisa Zakar is a wife and mother of 3. She is the owner of Lisa Rose, a popular Princess Tea Party venue. She has a 17 year track record in the Princess Tea Party business. Lisa had a 10 year history in higher end retail with Nordstrom before launching her business. Lisa Rose is an award winning party venue with Best of Honolulu/children’s parties/Honolulu Magazine, and, Winner of Best Children’s Parties/Island Parent Magazine. Lisa Rose has locations in Honolulu. Princess Tea Party
FB: Princessteapartybusiness, lisarosehonolulu
wow this is really a WONDERFUL story. You started with a good idea, and built onto it with more good ideas. I really think you should have an article in a women's magazine, if you haven't already.