A quinceanera from Fantasy Designers.
Small fry are big business. The improving economy has loosened the purse strings of clients for children's events. But the hosts insist on getting value for every dollar they spend.
"Demand for our services has definitely improved but the clients are also more demanding," explains Cindy Hassel, president of S&R Originals/SRO Events of Tarzana, Calif., which specializes in bar and bat mitzvahs. "Our clients are still very budget-conscious but they are now willing to add a 'wow' or two--within reason."
Indeed, the fear of even well-heeled clients of appearing too showy during the recession has faded somewhat. "They are still concerned about appearance, but they want some memorable or one-of-a-kind elements," Hassel explains, "such as a custom-styled photo station, the biggest candy station ever, custom logo pillows, etc."
PINING FOR PINS It seems many of Hassel's mitzvah clients have taken a page from bridal couples—a Pinterest page.
"Our bar and bat mitzvah clients always start by telling us they 'want to be different and unique' … then they whip out their Pinterest page on their smartphone," she says. "I had three clients in one week bring me the exact same Pinterest image. I’m beginning to believe Pinterest is the main force driving bar and bat mitzvah event design." Certain themes stay strong, Hassel says, such as sports themes for bar mitzvahs, pretty and "modern feminine vibes" for bat mitzvahs, along with standbys such as "Broadway," "Hollywood," "beach," "travel" and "candy."