Does this sound familiar? While hosting your child’s birthday party, you get so busy making sure everything runs smoothly that you essentially miss the party itself. Only after the guests leave do you realize that a) you forgot to eat b) you didn’t take more than two pictures and c) there was no time to speak with your guests. If so, have no fear: Glitter & Suede Events and Venue is here to make your gatherings stress-free. Lacey’s newest event company offers themed princess and character parties for children, rentals and party packages for adults, business meetings, trainings and more.
“My goal is for people to walk in and feel like they can hand off responsibility and the party is ready to go,” says Ashley Duvall, co-founder and co-owner of Glitter & Suede Events and Venue. “They don’t have to set up, clean up or manage the flow of the event. Instead, they can enjoy their guests and take special pictures with their kids.”
Duvall runs the business with her mother, Real Estate Broker Cheri Wilkins, and Loan Officer Chelsea Evans, who handles the financial side. As a child, Duvall had visions of becoming a wedding planner or event manager, but eventually followed her mother into real estate.
Glitter & Suede Events and Venue is the fulfillment of that original dream, which she decided to follow after several years in real estate
Ashley has a young daughter and while trying to find places to have parties for her she discovered a need in the community. “I saw that in this area, there is really no place to take your child for a princess or character party,” says Duvall. “These types of parties and events are all up in Pierce and King Counties, where it is very expensive. There is the option of having someone visit your home, but there isn’t a place like this for families to come to in our community.”
After a year of preparation, the business opened its doors in May 2019. Princess or character parties cost $250 and include a costumed character for an hour along with themed decorations. For those who simply want to rent out the space, it’s $50 an hour with a two-hour minimum. “If you want to have a birthday party here, you can rent the venue for as many hours as you want and bring in your own decorations,” says Duvall. “We’ve got something for every budget.”
Aside from children’s birthdays and themed parties, Glitter & Suede Events also hosts fun events throughout the month for adults and childrento participate in such as paint & sip parties, goat milk soap making, vendor markets, and they are always adding new events and ideas. Regular updates about upcoming events are posted on the company website and Facebook pages.
While the business only offers a limited food selection, the owners encourage you to bring in whatever you would like to eat. They try to make the food options simple. “If you want a crock pot with meatballs and some chips, we have the amenities for that,” says Duvall. For clients who prefer to bring food from another restaurant or store hire a caterer, the team will work with them to provide what they need.They do provide beer and wine options.
Although the business hasn’t been open long, it’s already received positive feedback. A recent airplane-themed party was a hit; the client shared her ideas and brought in some of her own decorations, while Duvall added her extra touches. “Ashley saw the customer’s vision and ran with it,” says Wilkins. “It was fun because the customer also made some items that she wanted included and Ashley was able to accommodate and include all of her items to make a great event. Ashley is very good at listening to what the customer wants and then creating the space.”
Initially the business was a mother-daughter partnership, with both continuing to work full time in real estate. Then they had a conversation with Chelsea Evans and things changed. “One day we went out to lunch with Chelsea to talk about a real estate transaction and started talking about their plans to create this business when she said, ‘Would you consider taking on a third business partner?’” says Duvall. “She’s become like part of our family.” Chelsea serves as accountant and CFO, while continuing a full-time job with the state.
“We were so excited that Chelsea believed in the vision and wanted to build this as a team with us,” Duvall notes. “She has been a great team member throughout this process and brings a great outside influence into our business and keeps us on the financial track for a new business.”
They also credit Thurston Economic Development Council’s Christine Buckley with providing guidance and advice from the start. “We walked in with a picture of this space that we wanted to create and a dream,” says Wilkins. “Christine gave us a spreadsheet and made us really think about what we were doing and how we were going to do it.”
Already, the company has hosted several different events such as the Summer Market featuring local vendors, a practice they plan to continue throughout the year with a rotating set of businesses as well as goat milk soap making, paint parties, a princess themed tea party and several princess and character birthday parties. As the business grows, they will be offering many more different events.
They are taking bookings for Christmas and holiday parties and they hope Thurston County residents will consider their venue as an option for annual gatherings. “People love to plan and have parties,” says Duvall. “The challenge is that so many of us live in zero lot line communities with no parking, especially here in Lacey, as well as apartment living, and homes that aren’t big enough to have large parties. Our goal is to get the word out that we are open for business and want to help you have a great event, or to have a fun event open to the public that you can participate in and have a good time.”
For more information, visit the Glitter & Suede Events and Venue website or call 360.789.6741.