We were recently fortunate to be chosen as the venue for one of our frequent-flyer's daughter's birthday parties. I seem to remember learning that this party at Wishcraft would be the first birthday party that would have ever been hosted outside of their own home (they throw amazing parties for lots of other festive occasions.) The party finally came- the family and friends were delightful and the event felt truly effortless. The icing on this birthday cake though was the thank you note that we received a few days later: "amazing party", "project was adored by all", "exceeded the expectations of the (very picky) birthday girl", "leaving me nothing to do but revel in being the birthday girl's mom", "I couldn't have done better myself and I must also admit that my standards are ridiculously high", and "I'm at the very tip-top of the Wishcraft fan club." Wow. The mutual-admiration must have run high that evening as I recall making notes-to-self the entire evening about how special the Host-Mom made every child guest (and staff-member) feel and how much energy she put into greeting every parent as if they were a long-lost friend; a Hostess-Mostess-Godess. It reminded me of the immediate impact of being a good host and how lucky we are to be in the business of making memories.
Of course we want everyone to have a Wishcraft party- kids, grown-ups, moms-to-be, seniors. But until we're lucky enough to hear from you that it's time to start planning your first Wishcraft party, I share here some of details that are important to us and that we think make for a fabulous function.
- Consider every sense as you prepare the party space. Go further than decoration and food and consider the lighting and how the room smells. Our workshop is a colorful feast by its nature, but the scent draws people in completely.
- Include an activity that taps into every guest's individual creativity and point-of-view. Something magical happens when the right-brains are turned on; even the conversation seems to be easier.
- Plan the activities such that every guest has an opportunity to be readily successful and comfortable. And planning really does take planning. Think through every step and have everything that a guest would need within quick reach. Using messy stuff? Have (sensitive-skin) hand-wipes to save guests extra trips to the sink.
- If you plan on making a mess (fun!), also plan on using natural, gentle and fragrant cleaning supplies. And if using a spray cleaner, spray into the towel rather than onto the surface to avoid over-spray making its way into innocent nostrils.
- Know your guests' needs and sensitivities and take precautions that allow your guests to enjoy every part of the activities without worry. Offer allergen-free treats and if necessary, know the ingredients of every art material.
- If your guests are small, have an emergency contact number on hand for each guest. The excitement, noise, sugar....there's no way to know when a little tummy-ache is going to turn into something more.
- Treat your guests as guests the entire time. Welcome them in and help them get settled or to make a new friend. Near the end, help pack-up their belongings and send them on their way without a care.
We think our parties are just right and hosting them is as much fun as coming to them. Come together in a wonderful space, enjoy being creative and being with friends, and leave feeling like the artist you are.