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[March 22, 2014]
Nothing can poop this party [Nation (Kenya)]
(Nation (Kenya) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Everlyne Wanjugu is a marketer at an NGO and also runs an online business, The Party Factory, from Nairobi.
It is exactly one year since I started my own company, The Party Factory, through which I create and host memorable parties for children. I started this company after realising that children's birthday parties were always organised with adults, rather than children, in mind.
My day begins at 5.30am when I wake up and jog for about 30 minutes. After that I prepare breakfast for my family — I am married with one child. On a normal workday, I take my daughter to school before I go to the NGO where I work as a marketer, and when I have work from The Party Factory, I put in extra hours to ensure that every detail is well catered for.
Interestingly, every day at the Party Factory is different and unlike my NGO job which has set hours, The Party Factory is an online store (www.thepartyfactory.co.ke) and I have to take care of customer care, marketing, and finance every day.
This means that every morning, I am online checking and responding to emails from clients. I also interact with clients through social media sites like Facebook. And because I have a day job, I have a permanent employee who helps in logistics and attends to the day-to-day business and casual employees who come in whenever I am organising a party.
Normally, parties are booked two weeks before the set dates to give us ample time to prepare. Over time I have learnt that creativity in my kind of business is the key to results. We have to come up with creative themes that mesh well with the client's needs.
This means that whatever party we decide to hold, it must be themed according to the uniqueness of the child, and this requires that we interact with the child to identify what he or she likes, be it a cartoon character, hero, or whatever else it may be.
But even when I have planned everything to the letter, things can go wrong. For instance, recently at an outdoor party I had organised for a client, the heavens opened just as the party was about to begin. Every decoration and theme was destroyed by the rain. But with only 30 minutes to go, we were able to reconstruct the set-up and give the client a party to remember.
The beauty of my side gig is the ability to work and connect with my employee and clients from the comfort of my desk. Nonetheless, when at my day job at the NGO, I am more likely to follow the nine-to-five routine.
By around 6pm, on a normal day, I am already at home where I spend time with my daughter and prepare supper for my family. I also always make time to devour some African literature before retiring for the day.
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