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Founder/President Petite Priss, LLC., Marine Wife, Mom of 2, and Child of God! Let's go!

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Back 2 CLASS-y Brought Me Back to ME ~


It’s been a week since Back 2 CLASS-y and I am still smiling about it! A few of the girls at the event asked me how I came up with doing this. I told them I’ve been doing this for a long time, empowering and trying to lift up our girls, its just the first time I've done it in a full event on my own.  Not sure why it took me so long but I when I thought about it, there were definitely some things that jump started my desire to do this – things that I now know were a part of God’s divine plan for this event and for me. 




A few months ago my best friend and I were having a conversation about my business and my personal goals. She said something to me that had been on my mind but I hadn’t fully acknowledged yet. She said, “You are spending a lot of time on all these big parties, don’t forget the reason why you started Petite Priss in the first place – don’t forget the girls!” She was right. And that is why she’s my best friend. She knows who I am even when I get off course and forget.


I had gotten caught up in the whirlwind of becoming a full time event planner. I was taking on more and more events that were not directly related to the original mission of Petite Priss. I was doing big beautiful 35th birthday parties, gigantic Dr. Seuss themed parties for little boys, huge baby showers, emergency sweet 16s, and a whole bunch of other things! I loved these events because they tested my creativity, and yielded greater profit in a lot of ways – yet they were not in full alignment with what I truly believe is my life’s purpose. So here I was at a fork in the road. How do I continue to grow my business while still remaining true to myself? How does Petite Priss evolve as a business yet still be authentic in its approach to empowerment and parties with a purpose?



Since Petite Priss was launched in 2009 I have worked closely with organizations that seek to empower girls and young women. My first party was with an organization called “Girls on the Run - Nashville”. I will NEVER forget that day or the smiles on those girls’ faces. I knew then, this is what I am supposed to do. I’ve worked with the Girl Scouts doing empowerment seminars and workshops; I’ve partnered with some fabulous organizations like Defining Beauty and ATL’s Youth Foundation to conduct confidence building workshops with their girls. I have always done my best to seek and initiate collaboration with groups that focus on the support and mentorship of our girls. So why did it seem as if I was losing my grip on the things that mattered most to me?

My best friend reminded me, “Tee, you are at your best when you are with those girls. When you are connecting with them and bonding with them – when you share your story and your energy with them, that is when you shine.” She told me that I do well in everything I do – but it’s when I am walking in my true purpose that I SHINE. I knew she was right. But I felt torn between evolution and authenticity. I struggled to find a balance. I prayed for clarity and direction.


The very next day I got an email from Latisha Horton of Eccentric Designs. She was hosting a GIRL POWER event and was looking for sponsors. I felt my heart jump with excitement! It was a given that I would want to support what she was doing. It was in perfect harmony with my mission. But I wanted to do more! I reached out to Latisha about partnering with her to do our events simultaneously but we could never get our schedules to align. I decided I would do an event here in New Orleans for teen girls – I knew in my heart this is what I was supposed to do. This was the direction I was supposed to take at this moment in time. So I went for it…had no idea if it would work or if people would donate or if girls would even show up – but
God said do it anyway…so I did. 
I reached out to the only person I knew who could help me pull everything together – Annette Jones-Ward. She didn’t even hesitate – I said “I’m thinking about doing a back to school event for girls – what do you think?” She said ok let’s do it! What do you need me to do? Just like that. No questions asked. I love that woman. 

6 weeks later – I’d raised over $2000 in monetary donations and in-kind sponsorships. We had 40 girls registered for the event. We had so many guest speakers we didn’t even have time to do all of the workshops we planned. The girls received school supplies, custom bags, and hygiene products as well as gifts and prizes to take home. Most importantly though, they met new friends and they learned that they are worthy, valuable, beautiful and LOVED.  Never say what can't be done, never let the unknown stop you from trying. Be obedient.  It will be done.


I didn’t get to speak much at the event. I mostly facilitated. But I liked it that way. I was able to just stand back and watch the girls’ faces, listen to their questions, observe their demeanor and their participation. They were engaged and they were paying attention. They were laughing, learning, and loving it! I wanted to do a praise dance right there in the middle of the room a few times but decided against it because I didn’t want to scare the girls away. LOL!


Do you know how it feels when you are laughing and smiling so much your face hurts? My heart was smiling so much – it felt like it would burst. I said to myself, this is what it feels like when you are operating in the right lane. This is what it feels like when you are allowing God to direct your path. This is what it feels like to walk in your truth, to live your purpose and to love who you are and what you do. THIS is IT.



This event was about the girls…they learned so much and had so much fun. This was not a party. It was not about the decorations or manicures, pedicures, or fashion - it was about building the girls up from the inside out and truly giving them strategies to deal with the things they will face in life.  I feel like we accomplished our mission tenfold. But this event did something for me too. It reminded me of who I am. It set me back on course. It sparked something within me that has breathed new life into my purpose here. I now know that it is possible to pursue growth and success while staying true to your purpose. I now know how to find the balance I need….the first thing you do is follow HIS lead.


Thank you to all of our wonderful donors and sponsors. Back to CLASS-y would not have been possible without your support. Thanks to Crescent City Adult Day Care for use of their beautiful facility. Thank you Next to Eat Restaurant for donating lunch! Thank you Annette, Gentilly, Sister Gwen, and Miss Louisiana International 2012 Jenee Boothe for sharing your time and knowledge with our girls! Thank you to all the parents who registered their girls and brought them to the event. Thank you for entrusting me and my team to share our knowledge and empower your daughters to be great women. They were truly a remarkable group of young ladies! Thanks to my husband for always supporting everything I do in every way. Thanks to my best friend for planting the seed in my heart and reminding me of who I am. Thanks to my kids who inspire me every single day.
 
And lastly, thank you to all the beautiful girls who joined us – remember, in everything you do – stay CLASS-y – and we hope to see all of you next year! 

XOXO 
Miss Tee 




 
Friday, April 5, 2013

Free Friday Printable - Chore Cards

The first Friday of every month I will post a free printable for all PP Facebook fans!  ;-)  The first one is this chore card - you can print out as many as you like - and use them with your kids to give a little extra incentive to complete chores - after 12 hole punches in their chore card - they get a sweet surprise.  

If you use it, come back and let me know how it works out!  Here's the link!


XOXO
Tee ;-) 
Monday, May 28, 2012

PP Consultant? 4 Things You Need to Know ~

There have been many inquiries lately about our consultant program.  I am sorry if you have inquired but did not get a prompt response.  It's very difficult to discuss the program with each person that requests information. We get multiple inquiries weekly and some just asking for guidance or support as they venture into starting their own mobile party company. We are humbled by the fact that so many want to be apart of this journey with us. Sometimes I am surprised when I am asked for advice or guidance because I am still learning myself! Petite Priss is still a very young company. We are still building upon a foundation and we still have a very long way to go before we reach out full potential. However, I am willing to help in any way I can. All I ask is that when asking for advice or insight in the industry, people are honest about their motivations and intentions.  It is dishonest and unprofessional to pursue information under false impressions that you want to be apart of the Petite Priss mission, only to gain information about our business concepts, processes, and procedures to then duplicate them.  But if you are honest with me, I will honestly give you as much guidance as I can on the business in general. In relation to our consultant program, I felt it was important to address the issue in one shot instead of responding to each request individually.  I hope the following information answers some of the questions I have received.


First things first,  a few weeks ago we abruptly lost our team in Atlanta. Due to circumstances beyond my control we are no longer able to do parties there at this time.  Honestly, it has taken me a a moment to address this because it has been a very painful thing for me and I had to make sure I did not address it in an emotional way but in a professional way. In three years of running Petite Priss I have only missed a party once, and that was due to extremely inclement weather, and I still feel bad about it. So when I have families and girls who are disappointed and who do not receive the service or event they deserve or expected, it really disturbs me because for me, Petite Priss is not just a business,  this is my life's purpose. This is about creating joy and making memories for families and children.  I do not take that lightly. When you are in the business of creating joy for children you can't just not show up.  When you are in the business for making memories for families you can't just decide you don't want to do it anymore at the drop of a dime.  When you make a decision to enter into event planning there are obligations. However, when you enter into event planning for children - you need to have three times the commitment. That is how I operate my business and I express this to anyone who comes on board to be apart of our team. But the truth is, this is not for every one.  This is not every person's mission or purpose.  I can respect that. But what I cannot and will not do is allow it to hinder, harm, or interfere with the mission of Petite Priss.  All customers in the Atlanta area that had parties booked are either having their parties rescheduled to July or will be receiving a refund from me personally for the money they have paid already to Petite Priss.  Please bear with us while we manage this very unexpected turn of events.  We are doing our best to ensure all of you are taken care of.


To ensure that what we experienced in Atlanta does not happen again, we are in the process of creating a new and stronger structure for consultants.  This will take some time. But it has to be done. I am looking at everything from every angle and making decisions that will better protect our customers, our brand, and our high standards of customer service.  There are several wonderful women I have spoke to about joining our team. I feel blessed to have the unique opportunity to give other women an opportunity to fulfill their life's purpose. But in order for us to continue building a strong company we have to make sure the people who join us are authentically committed and we must put checks and balances in place to monitor that commitment.




One thing I have learned recently is that trust is a fragile thing...especially in business. Until this new structure is in place we will not be adding any new consultants to our team. I foresee at least 3 to 6 months before we will be ready to do so.  So for those who are interested I hope you will understand that we are doing this to make sure that when you join our team - it is the best situation and structure for you and for the company.  We hope you are still interested when we are ready to launch new territories in a few months. For those who are still interested at that time - there are 4 main things I want you to know:


1. This is not easy.  I believe there is a misconception out there that this business is easy.  It may not look like work on the outside - but it is A LOT of work.  I worked in corporate America for 12 years before starting Petite Priss - but I have never worked harder than I do now!   It requires a lot of your time and a lot of your energy.  This is not just a weekend gig.  I work 24/7 for Petite Priss. If I am not doing contracts I am doing invitations.  I am doing bookkeeping, marketing, promoting, social media planning, and networking.  Every person I meet is a potential customer so my customer service hat is always on.  You have to communicate daily with customers who may call or email you with the same questions multiple times! lol  You have to be an effective leader for your team. You have to work hard at building awareness about your business and what you have to offer.  You have to manage the expectations and challenges you will get from people who don't fully get your vision and what you are striving to accomplish with your business. And that is just during the week!  On the weekends - you have to prepare for your parties, prepare your supplies, load and unload your vehicle - and your HAPPY has to stay on throughout every event!  Contrary to what many believe, this is not all fun and games.  This is WORK. If you want to be apart of this industry because you think its an easy way to be a business owner - don't waste your time. But if you are ready to work hard and dig your heels in for the long haul to be successful...go for it!



 2. This is not a cash cow.  I remember when I started Petite Priss a friend told me I would be a millionaire in 3 years.  I laughed because that was the furthest thing from my mind.  If I could I would do this for free.  I did not expect to be a millionaire when I started this company.  I expected to do something I love...to fulfill my purpose - and if I was able to make money doing that, that was the cherry on top.  My vision for Petite Priss is great - but I know we still have a lot of work to do. Anyone joining our team should not expect to suddenly get rich and be able to quit their 9 to 5 job.  It took me 3 years to get to a point where I could run this business full time.  I think some people believe that small business owners are supposed to be rich.  They think because you run your own business you are paying for vacations - when in actuality we are paying for basketball camp and school lunch! lol  Our priorities are much like yours with your 9 to 5 job - we just work for ourselves.  That's the only difference.  


Someone emailed me just yesterday asking if my business was "thriving".  That is a hard question to answer - because it is obvious "thriving" has different definitions for different people.  If I had to answer from my own definition, I would say yes.  I am working Petite Priss full time and I am able to contribute financially to my household without working for someone else.  That was my dream...that was my goal.  I am happy with that.  If your definition of thriving is being a millionaire - I am far from it. lol  This is bigger than financial gain for me...and it has to be for anyone else who joins our team. If you are doing this for a quick buck...don't waste your time.  But if you don't mind making some extra cash doing something purposeful...while working with us to build something greater each day...then let's do it!

3. This is not for everyone and anyone.  Some people think they can come up with a cutesy name, go buy some pink robes, slippers and paint some kid's nails and then BOOM - they are an entrepreneur! No - it doesn't work that way. This is not something that is for every person.  In spite of what it may look like on the outside, this business requires knowledge (marketing, accounting, advertising, legal), it requires skill (customer service, communication, organization), and it requires talent (creativity, innovation, originality).  This is not one of those opportunities that you can just throw at the wall to see if it will stick.  You have to not only be willing...but ABLE to be successful. I have made the mistake of thinking a cheerful spirit and upbeat personality was a good way to select a person to be apart of this mission.  I recognize now that was a flawed strategy.  Any new consultants that join our team in the future will have a three part interview and orientation to ensure they are a good fit for our company.  It will include traveling to a Petite Priss city to be apart of a party from start to finish, it will include a personality profile and a creativity activity to see what innovative ideas you bring to the table.  So, if you are doing this because you think it doesn't have any special requirements to be successful...don't waste your time.  But if you are prepared to contribute your knowledge, skill and talent to make a difference in a joyful way...we would love to have you.








4. This is not just a party company.  On the surface Petite Priss may look like just another party company - but if you look a little closer you will find there is a whole lot more to our mission.  Yes we do parties - but I think Petite Priss more as a "celebration company".  We celebrate the lives of the girls on their birthday - but we also celebrate their confidence, their families, their accomplishments, and their growth!  We are a mission based company.  This is not a gimmick or a cliche for me. This is something I live in my own life every day.  This is something that was a part of my life's purpose before I ever started Petite Priss. I have been motivating and encouraging young people long before I started my business. This is not just a thing for me.  This is my life.  This is not just a public relations angle for my business. If I stopped doing parties I would still be out in the community talking to girls and trying to make an impact.  I have noticed a trend shift in the industry in regards to encouraging our girls and empowering them. There are many new businesses popping up with purpose driven parties...and if Petite Priss had any part in inspiring that trend, I feel great pride about that!  I am working on new ways to bring our mission more fully into our events and activities.  In order to be part of Petite Priss, you have to understand that this is greater than parties for us. If you are just talking the talk...don't waste your time or mine.  If you are ready to make a difference in the lives of girls and young women in new and innovative ways...let's talk!



Those are the four main things I felt I needed to address before moving forward with talking to any potential consultants.  I hope anyone that has considered joining our team - or even starting a business such as ours on your own - will take the time to consider all of the above.  I have always said from the beginning that I would rather run a very small effective and successful business than a big business that is a mess!  I have no problem running Petite Priss in one city if I have to.  Truthfully, it was not my vision when I started Petite Priss to have my business in multiple cities.  But I am the type of person who believes when you are called to do something and you feel yourself being pulled in a certain direction - you don't run away.  You embrace it and do your best!  That is what I have done.  Now that we are here, it is time for me to put mechanisms in place that will protect what we have worked hard for the past 3 years.  I hope that when we are done putting this new structure in place, the willing, capable, and able women who have expressed a desire to join our team...will be there to join us on this exciting journey. 

Myself and the rest of the team sincerely appreciate all the support of our families, communities, customers and Petite Priss girls...we have dug in our heels - and we look forward to bringing you many more years of creating joy and memories in bigger and better ways.

God Bless 
Tee ~

Friday, May 25, 2012

Partnership and Purpose



I never get a chance to blog as often as I want to - life is so hectic!  I hope some changes I am making now will allow me more time to connect with our customers regularly.  However, I felt it was important to post this as I have gotten a few emails about new partnerships we were in the process of forming that unfortunately were not able to remain in tact.  It is not the fault of any particular party, just a mutual recognition that it was not in alignment with our business goals. 

I am a firm believer in businesses working together to support each other but most of all - to give our customers an extraordinary event experience by combining our products and services to exceed their expectations. However, Petite Priss cannot and will not enter any partnership that is not mutually beneficial to both parties and our customers. We will not partner with any company that cannot abide by verbal and written agreements. We will not partner with any company that seeks to gain leverage from our name, customer base, and/or use our business practices and concepts to duplicate it unfairly. We have learned some valuable lessons the past few months and will no longer move forward with any partnership without a written agreement in place and legal counsel. We fully support any business - especially any woman who is working hard to be successful and achieve her goals.  I personally do a great deal to motivate and assist other small business owners. I have taken unpaid roles as a consultant to help other women launch businesses similar to my own.  I wish someone would have done the same for me. I would never try to hold another person back from their purpose.  I only ask that people are honest, that they communicate their plans, and they are fair. 

I have no problem with anyone starting a similar business as Petite Priss - we did not invent this concept and we do not get concerned with competition - there is room for everyone.  However, what we will not allow is for our knowledge, experience, and skill to be drained, used, and blatantly disrespected. We will not allow any business to try to defame the reputation of Petite Priss to boost their own business.  We never discuss what companies are doing because when you know what you have to offer, you don't have to put down anyone else to be successful.  Doing so is a sign of desperation and it is unprofessional.  We do not operate that way.  I hate even writing this blog - and I tried to refrain from doing so - but I cannot sit idly by while our name is being tarnished by others.  I have to protect what we have built and what we have planned for Petite Priss in the future. Most of all, I have to make sure our customers are not mislead.  That is the only reason this blog was written. 

Any business that would like to discuss partnership fairly and honestly -to better serve all our customers we are definitely open to it - we actually would love it. But you have to be the type of business who has high standards of professionalism and integrity.  We work hard to maintain it ourselves - we request the same from anyone we do business with.  Most importantly, we are in the business where we serve as examples for children.  We should all conduct business in a way that would make our youngest customers proud. That is the thing that bothers me the most.  If we as adults can't work together fairly and in a professional way, what does that tell our children?  We have to think about that in everything we do. 




I hope that the customers and communities we serve recognize our efforts to maintain high standards of customer service, and professionalism.  We work hard to make your event stress free for you and fun and memorable for your children.  We do not want to be just another party company. We seek to build a relationship with our customers, become a resource for families, and serve as reliable and skilled event planners for those special occasions in your lives.  Most importantly, we want to show girls that women can work together, run their own businesses and do so with grace and class! We will never speak negatively about a specific company or discourage you from doing business with any other company.  We know you have a choice.  And we believe our work and our sincere love for what we do shines through. Petite Priss is not what it is because we do parties.  Petite Priss is what it is because of our passion.  Our work speaks for itself. 

We are hoping to have more opportunities in the future to partner with other small businesses that share our vision and our values.  In the meantime, any customers who would like a themed party - such as a cupcake spa party or princess themed spa party - we can still provide those services to you - yes we can have Snow White or Cinderella or Tiana come to your party and we can decorate cupcakes too! ;-)  However, all of those services will now be provided solely by Petite Priss so we can guarantee you will receive the service you deserve and our integrity remains in tact.

Thank you for your continued support!

Tee ~





Saturday, December 3, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

At Petite Priss™ Spa Parties, the holidays are a very special time to cherish loved ones and to reflect on all that we have to be grateful for. To commemorate the moment we would like to explore some of the great traditions that not only make this holiday season a fun experience for your family, but also helps spread the cheer throughout your community.

This year, Petite Priss™ has spent a lot of time focusing on putting even more personality into the business.  We wanted you to get to know who we really are and of course we think the same self-expression should carry over into things we make. For example, you all know by now how much we love crafts and all things hand-made, so it will come as no surprise that we think your holiday decorations deserve your personality, too! We've found that it's surprisingly easy to make your house festive for the season; you can find craft materials around the house for simple projects, such as paper bags to make reindeer puppets, gift boxes made from paper, felt and paper plate angels, wreaths made from cut-out hand prints, brown paper bag Christmas stockings… and who knew that you can make a life-size Christmas tree using only construction paper! Here are some ideas:






For fun that brings together your whole neighborhood, why not coordinate your own Christmas parade? Here are some cool inspirational ideas for decorating your float:
Fun with the family is so important any time of year, but the holiday season is also a wonderful time to reach out to those who have fallen on hard times. If you’re interested in giving back this year, here are some great organizations we’ve found that will help you do so in various parts of the country & throughout the world:
Action Against Hunger actionagainsthunger.org
City Harvest cityharvest.org
Feeding America feedingamerica.org
Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves cleancookstoves.org
Share Our Stregth strength.org
The Singita School of Cooking singita.com

In addition, a simple home cooked meal for another family, educational materials or toys for children or even time spent with an elderly person at a nursing home are simple gifts anyone can give that will have a huge impact.

We'd love to hear from you what fun traditions your family will participate in this season. If you plan to make your holiday decorations, or know of any great volunteer opportunities within your local community we would love for you to share them with us!

From the Petite Priss™ Family we wish you and yours a Safe and Happy Holiday!

Photo credits:
http://www.sevencherubs.com/
www.tapkenggallery.com
http://paradefloats.wordpress.com/category/holiday-float/page/2/
Thursday, December 1, 2011

You're Invited!

Petite Priss™ Spa Parties strives to help young girls and tweens feel empowered by making them feel beautiful. In a world where there’s always someone else’s standard to meet, we know how challenging it is to instill confidence and great self-esteem in girls today. Therefore, it's extremely important to us that we use the opportunities we have in front of them during a Petite Priss™ experience to not only let the girls get pampered and unwind, but we want them to remember how good it felt to be treated like a queen for a day. Watch the slideshow to go inside a truly unforgettable spa experience! (Be sure to turn up your volume!)





Monday, November 28, 2011

A SPA-rkly Celebration - live and IN COLOR!;-)


When I was asked to do a Petite Priss party without our signature pink, black, white color scheme, I have to admit - I was a little hesitant.  I was nervous and I was unsure about what everything would look like.  I had to create a whole new supply list. Everything from the robes to the pillows and rugs would need to change.  Once I realized how much I would be changing I decided to just create a new theme for the party - instead of a spa party - it would be a SPA-arkly party!  Those that know me know I love anything and everything SPARKLY - so this was right up my alley!  

I had so many ideas that I just didn't have time to execute - I had 5 parties on the same weekend as this party - and I was completely overwhelmed.  But at the end of the day - I think the event was beautiful.  The colors worked out great and most importantly, our Petite Priss girls had a fabulous SPA-rkly time!  And now I know that a Petite Priss party can come in any color, shade or hue...it's not about the colors or what we bring to the party...it's all about what we leave with the girls when we are gone - a strong sense of self, confidence, and beauty on the inside and out!   Get ready for a colorful and sparkly picture explosion below!  ;-)


The colors worked in perfect harmony with each other - orange, blue, lime and hot pink.  


Each girl got a monogrammed cosmetic bag, sparkly emory board set and personalized glass. 


The robes popped with color!;-) 



The girls went home with some fabulous goodies - complete in sparkly boxes and bags! 


OPI Nail Polish Cake Pops



"Keep Calm and SPARKLE" 


I decided to do a mini dessert table...with a sparkly diamond curtain backdrop. 



The girls enjoyed salt water taffy frosting facials - with a little added SPARKLY of course.  Glitter infused facial masks were a must have for this party! ;-) 





Truly "SPA-arkling Water"  ;-) 







The girls worked on their decorating their own sparkling mirror as a craft activity during the party.






And of course we did our usual Petite Priss thing - pampering it up! 










Instead of an pink runway - we had an orange runway for this party!;-) 



And of course our PP pledge and birthday toast! 

It was a SPA-rkly fabulous celebration for a very special group of young ladies.  I still love my pink, black and white polka dots - but now I know that Petite Priss is so much more than just our color scheme...and that confidence and fun can come in any color - as long as it comes from the heart!