Exclusive Interview with Party Planning Goddess, Kate Landers!

We are so beyond thrilled to share our exclusive interview with the one and we mean one and only, Kate Landers. If you aren't familiar with the name you have really been missing out. Kate founded Kate Landers Events to bring her passion for party planning to YOU! Kate also has a beautiful blog filled with oh-so-sweet goodies. From FABulous guest parties, to her very own, many DIY tips and some seriously FABulous giveaways -- it is a place you just spend hours browsing. To us, the lovely Kate isn't just a party planning Goddess - she has built an empire around her name, Kate Landers and always amazes us with her work. 

{1} Tell us a little about the genius behind the biz - YOU, Kate Landers.

I grew up in Southern California, which I love, miss dearly, and visit whenever I can!
I started planning birthday parties for my younger sister at the age of 10, and haven't stopped since! Combine my passion for event planning and business degree, and I decided to launch Kate Landers Events, LLC, in early 2009.
I was a ballerina for 17 years, adore interior design, party styling and design, the color pink, classic, preppy style and a style I would call "coastal cottage shabby chic". I adore cake and pastries, ruffles and pearls, animals and nature walks with my husband Ryan and our English Cream Golden Retriever Henry.

{Kate's Signature Party, the well-known & breathtaking Mystical Mermaid Party}
{Photo Credit: Open Shade Studio}
{2} How did you start Kate Landers Events, LLC? 
With a business plan, loads of passion and the entrepreneurial spirit! After years of planning parties, lots of experience in the high end stationery and party favor industry, my time acting and dancing on stage and nannying, I looked at the combination of these experiences as an opportunity to launch Kate Landers Events, LLC. I tested the waters donating parties to nursery school and charity auctions, seeing how I liked it professionally as well as the clients' reactions, then decided from there to take the leap! 

{Cake stands featured from Kate's Exclusive Interview with Wendy of Layla Grayce} 
{3} What advice or tips can you give to other women or would you most stress for those working hard at their own biz?
Follow your passion. Research the industry. Identify your target market. Learn from others. Network. Remember that business sense is equally as important as creative skills. Be prepared to change your business plan if needed, not looking at the first as a failure, but rather as a stepping stone necessary to take you to the next level. 
{Decor from Kate's Nutcracker Suite Ballet Party}
Photo Credit: Liza Voll
{4} Do you have a favorite party on the books? 
Ouuu, that is a tough question! Each is a favorite for different reasons. I would say that my Mystical Mermaid Party as well as my Nutcracker Suite Ballet Party are both very dear to me. 

Photo Credit: Liza Voll
{5} What are your favorite resources for candy & sweets for a dessert table? 
Oh there are so many! You can actually find great lists of favorite resources that I used for my Mystical Mermaid {Signature Party} here, my Nutcracker Suite Ballet {Signature Party} here and my Wizard of Oz Party Collaboration with Kim from The TomKat Studio here.

{Wizard of Oz Party Collaboration with Kate & Kim of The TomKat Studio}
{Photo Credit: Andrea of Open Shade Studio}

A Few Things About Kate

{Favorite Etsy shop} Oh goodness, way, way too many! I've always been smitten with the fabulous vintage dresses I find from a few fabulous shops.

{Magazines you read} So many. Martha Stewart Living, Whole Living (formerly Body + Soul), Good Housekeeping, Better Homes & Gardens, Town & Country, Country Living, Southern Living, Phyllis Hoffman's Celebrate, Martha Stewart Weddings, In Style....I could go on and on!

{Favorite color} Pink....but absollutely adore white as well.

{Theme to work with} I love themes that are based on favorite classic storybooks and fairytales, plays or poems.

{Favorite outfit} Still adore my Carolina Herrera wedding gown! I absolutely love my two dresses from Kate Spade.

{Must have item in your closet} Dark denim slacks, Sherbet colored cashmere, a classic dress WITH a petticoat, ruffle collared dress shirts, classic "Jackie O" cardigans and long underwear because it is COLD here in Boston in the winter!

{Blogs you read} I adore so many I enjoy Sweetapolita, One Charming Party, LaunchHer, Hostess With The Mostess, PLUSH, The Farm Chicks, How Does She, Layla Grayce Backroom Blog...and so many more (and Cupcake Mag, of COURSE!)

{Sites you love} Martha Stewart, Layla Grayce, Kate Spade, Target, Etsy, Papa D'Anjo, Pottery Barn Kids,....oh so many!

{Your favorite "pretty thing"}  Vintage swiss dot fabric (not sure what to do with it just yet) and raw silk and velvet ribbons (I collect beautiful ribbons).

{Image from Banner Boutique Feature & Giveaway on  her blog}
{Photo Credit: Peekaboo Photos} 
AND now, back to the questions! 

{6} What is the most important thing to remember when planning a party? The birthday child!

{7} So much goes into party planning. It can be a stressful, intense process. How do you make it so perfect? What do you do to stay organized when planning? 
I wish I could say it is perfect, however what you see in most published parties are set up well before the guests ever arrive (something you don't normally see and enjoy for more than five minutes), and others are staged parties that someone like myself spent days setting up, so be careful not to compare your "real" party with a staged one--at least not once the little guests arrive--because it is mean to be enjoyed!

I absolutely agree it can be intense and stressful. I recommend planning ahead, starting your preparations early (iron linens a few days before, put together party favors two nights before, confirm your cake with the bakery at least 24 hours before--just to give yourself peace of mind). Whenever possible--set up the NIGHT BEFORE--not day of.

And to stay organized, you have to remember this is what I do for a career, so practice certainly helps make it appear more perfect...I always recommend a party emergency kit, with extra scissors, adhesives, first aid kit, cardstock, punches, labels, and a bizillion other things I have learned from each event, that really helps! 

{Guest Party Post from Megan, Polka Dot & Stripes First Birthday}

{8} First birthdays are a HUGE milestone for many families and often the largest party out of all the years. What are your tips for making the party one you won't forget and that leaves everyone chatting?
I agree first birthdays are incredibly special occasions, deserving of very special celebrations!

I love intimate first birthday celebrations. Because first birthdays are often a celebration of the parents' first year rearing the child as well as the baby's first miraculous year of life, it can be more sophisticated and have elements of a wedding, with whimsical baby touches. I have found a first birthday that is all one one color (like white on white) can be striking.  
{9} How do you entertain on a budget? 
Re-purpose items you have at home (like the chandelier from the baby's nursery to hang over the dessert table, or the bunting from the playroom instantly works as hanging decorations!). Birthday cake, sweets and beverages are perfectly appropriate for an afternoon soiree, and dramatically cuts down costs! 
{10} If you could plan a party for any celebrity child - who would it be and why? 

Oh goodness, that is a TOUGH question! I would love to plan a party for a celebrity child who's parent wants me to plan their child's party. Going off the celebrity moms I admire, that would be Jennifer Garner, Amy Adams and Nicole Kidman. Would be honored to plan a party for any of their lovely children.  
I also think Tori Spelling is incredibly sweet--but since she has tremendous party design skills herself, I don't think she'd need me!

{11} What future goals do you have for Kate Landers Events?

Changes are ahead in 2011...excited to see what the future holds! Above all, helping celebrate the lives of children, one party at a time, is my dream.

All Things Kate


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