Do you ever have those moments where you hear someone’s job title and you’re like “wow, that would be the COOLEST job ever?!” That’s how I feel about this week’s creative babe, who is a …wait for it… party stylist!!
Planning parties has honestly been one of my dream jobs forever. And I know there’s way more that goes into it than just picking out cool decorations, but I still think it sounds amazing. So today we’re talking to Shayla Clay, who is the party stylist behind Shayla Clay Designs, about what really goes into party styling and how she got involved in the first place. Let’s jump in!
How did you first get into party planning/styling?
By trade, I’m a teacher. I went to school and got my Masters in Education, and I found in the classroom, that I enjoyed planning our classroom writing publishing parties, holiday events, and end of the year parties, more than I did actually being teaching in the classroom. So I decided to turn it into a business! I started off with selling children’s themed party kits, and I most recently expanded to planning children centered events!
What is your favorite party that you’ve ever put together or attended?
My favorite party I styled was probably the Peppa the Pig 3rd birthday I just completed for this sweetheart of a girl named Gabby in Tampa. I had never heard of Peppa the Pig before styling this event, but Gabby made sure I knew all about her and her family! Gabby was so precious, and was really in love with anything that remotely looked like a pig… lol. Her cake was gorgeous and had a pink fondant crown topper, which was befitting for her because she is her family’s princess! I just loved all the pink and gold that was used throughout her event, and her grandmother made these really cute cut-out for the kids to use for photo-opts, which turned out to be really cute in pictures!
What’s your favorite part about what you do? What is the most challenging?
The favorite part about what I do is putting together all the details that truly make an event come together. I love adding personal elements into an event space, or adding a child’s favorite color on their desserts, just so they truly feel that their birthday is all about them. I think the most challenging part about what I do is staying true to myself. At the beginning of my entrepreneurial career, I struggled with being a general event planner vs a children’s party planner. I knew I had a natural affinity towards children, which was why I went into teaching in the first place, and I had to stay true to that in my event planning business.
Any fun future plans for the business?
Ahhh… where do I begin? lol… Right now, I’m building my clientele for planning parties here in Atlanta. I am also toggling with rental spaces for a store front here in Atlanta, but nothing is set in stone yet. I want things to happen organically.
Do you have any other creative hobbies?
For my birthday in May I received my first DSLR camera and began a photography class, which was really exciting! Outside of business, I love shooting in gardens with tons of natural lighting. I also like taking cooking classes, and broadening my exposure to various sauces and spices in vegetarian dishes.
What’s the weirdest/funniest party theme you’ve ever heard or come up with?
I am currently planning a reception for a high school group called The Pearls, and of course the reception is inspired by the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I am really excited about this event, for two reasons, one – I’ve never styled for a reception before, so the details are a bit different, as far as planning goes, and two, I love the cause behind their organization. The Pearls is a collective group of high school girls that strive to show others within their school and community how to act like a modern 21st century young lady. Students and faculty of the school are able to join the group, and they complete community service projects together, have a mentor program with a nearby elementary school, and offer help in placing girls within their school and community with interview skills and jobs both during and after high school. I couldn’t be more excited to help out a group that does so much good for their community!
Thanks so much to Shayla for being part of this feature! If you think you or someone you know would be a great fit for a future Creative Babes post, feel free to email me at wattlebirddesigns at gmail dot com – and please visit Shayla on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook for even more party planning goodness!