PV Meets

Christmas Teacher Gifts

Before the Christmas school holidays start, there is one more important to-do to tick off your list,  a little something for your little one’s teacher to say thank you. We’ve picked a selection of A+ gifts that say thank you in the most thoughtful way.

Christmas Teacher Gifts

Spoil there taste buds with this Festive Dozen from £48

Christmas Teacher Gifts

Pamper them with The Little Spa Gift Box from £59

Christmas Teacher Gifts

Send a sweetie note to say thank you this Christmas from £35

Christmas Teacher Gift

Thank you with flowers, with this Thank You Gift Box. Its thoughtful, originally and useful. The gift box comes with:
–       Finest natural Sea Salt from Sal de Ibiza
–       Delicious truffle butter from San Pietro a Pettine
–       Beautiful Tea towel from La Cerise sur le Gâteau
–       Delicate dry flower arrangement

£49

christmas Teacher Gifts

Say Thank you with traditional confectionary Thank you Gift Box from £14.95

For more inspiration, visit our gift collection.

PV Meets Ask Mummy & Daddy

Introducing, Kane Dowell the founder of traditional confectionery & sweet gifts brand Ask Mummy & Daddy. Kane shares his incredible story about how a lucky break with Cath Kidston started his entrepreneurial journey. Prepare to be inspired.

 

Tell us a little about yourself?

To be honest there’s not much to tell but I’ll give it a go. I left school at 15 years old with no GCSE’s. I had no real direction in what I wanted to do for a living.  I was always at school but academically I wasn’t the best as I really suffered with dyslexia which made things hard but I never used that as an excuse so I just learned as much as I could.

 

When leaving school at such a young age and not knowing where to go I started working at my mothers furniture shop in Fulham which was fun and I would say that’s where I got my break, Cath Kidston herself used to visit regularly and that’s when she only had one shop and I basically asked her for a job which I was given at the age of 16 and fast forward I was there for 10 years and it was amazing from travelling all around the U.K. & USA opening stores to raising awareness of the brand at festivals and shows I was involved in most departments from visual merchandising, operations to marketing!

 

After leaving Cath Kidston I was then was approached by the founders of Biscuiteers where I joined as Operations Manager.I was there for nearly 3 years, it was amazing as I was brought on to help open there first ever stores and help stabilise operations within the business and it was a great role, amazing people to work with and what I loved was the gifting aspect of the business.

Now that’s my work life! From a personal point of view I love to travel I have travelled from Hong Kong, Australia, USA, Vietnam aswell as throughout Europe.

I love to watch football, hang out with friends and family!

I’ve had my struggles – when 18 I got myself in debt over over £12,000 which was awful – I don’t even know how or what I did with this money! My dad at the time was like “your living your life like a rockstar” – I paid every single penny back and it took years and years but proud to this day I did.

I’m also very proud of my brother John Dowell (aka King Nerd). John is an artist of the highest level and is destined for the big time but what I love is he don’t even know it! He has done work for some massively famous people and I’m a very proud little brother!

 

What inspired the concept of your business? 

I always wanted to have my own business but I also was aware I had to get some help which is why I got in contact with a best mate and super creative Scott Young (business partner) who is responsible for the designs on all our packaging, labels, website and the list goes on and on!

I approached Scott and said “let’s create a business which can be in the gifting sector” and that’s what we did

Coming up with the name was the hardest part of starting my business. Thankfully my Dad made the suggestion of calling it “Ask Mummy & Daddy”. We love it and it stuck!

Our plans for the business are big – we are off to Dubai towards the end of this year, to look at opportunities there. We are opening a pop up at Westfield for 2 months and then we have a few Christmas events in November aswell so we are very busy! Oh and also creating a brand new website which will allow services like click and collect from the office and shop!

So it’s safe to say it’s busy!!!!

PV Meets Ask Mummy and Daddy

When starting, did you have challenges & how did you overcome these? 

What I would say is – don’t try and run before you can walk, know the industry your in, do lots of market research! I did lots of travelling understanding our sector and we are still learning!

Our biggest challenge has to be when we had an order of over 4,000 units from Selfridges and we was working through the night, I had boxes everywhere over my flat and it was mental.

We over came issues when we re-launched and we got ourselves an office/Production space but don’t get me wrong we are still learning and you always are but it’s about slowly improving and making strides for the long term!

 

What has been your biggest success so far? 

I would say success I would say what am I proud of! So opening the store was a pride factor but I just love having fun, engaging and creating memories with the business.

My success would be to be able to chat to like-minded people And help give advice etc about starting something! We need more UK base businesses trying to start something but I would always say to stick at it, have a clear vision and work hard!

How do you juggle your personal life and your business?

I wouldn’t say I have to juggle – I surround myself with good people that help and muck in but then we have a good beer at the end of the week! I have had to rain it in slightly with holidays and that’s just part of growing a business.

 

pv meets ask Mummy and Daddy

How do you find time to relax while not working? 

I’ll be honest I just like to chill but I never really switch off! I was just in Miami and ever morning I would be checking my emails! I guess because it’s my baby I want what’s best but I know I’ll have to let go slightly.

 

What is your top tip for starting a small business? 

Know your sector and industry very well, listen to advice, take your time, engage with your customers and just stay focused! Only do it if you want to do it because it is hard, very hard so your have plenty of ups and downs!

 

If you could invite a special guests to an dinner party who would it be? 

It would have to be Richard Branson, Peter Jones (from dragons den) and Chantal Coady who founded Rococco because I love hearing about success stories, struggles and issues they occurred!

 

To find out more about Kane’s business, click here

 

PV Meets Truly Scrumptious

ParentVille Parties meets Louisa; the founder of Truly Scrumptious, a leading supplier of bespoke fabric drawstring party bags for for children’s party. Today, Louisa shares how she got started and her tips to running a successful creative business. Prepare to be inspired.

 

Tells us a little bit about yourself

My name is Louisa, wife to Dan and Mummy to Miles & Amelia.

Before having children, I trained as a Norland Nanny with a Montessori qualification. I have worked for some amazing families, both in the UK & high profile personalities living abroad. In both my ‘Mummy and Nanny’ roles I have loved planning wonderful, memorable parties for children of all ages, with many different themes.

Truly Scrumptious Party Bags began with my own children’s parties. I didn’t want to send their friends home with plastic bags filled with “cheap and cheerful junk”  that was likely to go straight into the bin, when the children weren’t looking. (Come on we’ve all done it!) That inspired me to start making fabric, drawstring bags that my children would enjoy handing out to their friends, as a special thank you for coming to their party. Something that is lovely to cherish as part of the party favour, and a unique way to round off a memorable occasion. My bags are lovingly made by myself, at home, and are also eco – friendly. They can be used over and over again afterwards, for hair clips, lego, marbles, pencils, dolls-clothes, cars or magic tricks. The useful options are endless!!

I frequently use them, filled with ‘entertainments’ for trips to restaurants or even long haul flights!

My training as a professional nanny had a particular focus on ‘high quality results and attention to detail.’ I have continued to apply these values, every time I design and produce these unique party bags.

Some of the most prestigious party planning companies in the UK, now regularly work with me, to tailor party bags for their clients, globally.

Most importantly I love what I do and hope you do too!

PV Meets Truly ScrumptiousPV Meets Truly Scrumptious

What inspired the concept for your business?

I didn’t want to hand out plastic bags filled with tat that went straight into the bin once everyone got home after my children’s parties. So I made some little drawstring bags for my son Miles’ sports party when he was turning 5. The boys had blue bags pattered with white stars & the girls a pretty floral bag. The children loved them & parents thought they were a great new idea. So a few friends encouraged me to do something with it. The idea then grew & grew organically from my kitchen table!

 

When starting did you have challenges & how did you overcome them?

Oh yes! And I still do have challenges. I learn from my mistakes & am always looking for ways to improve. I welcome constructive feedback from customers too. My first mistake was a very cheap sewing machine, which I quickly realised had to go & be replaced with a good sturdy workhorse!

I also started by using the appliqué method to put the images & text onto the party bags. That was fiddly & time consuming! It’s been great to rise to the challenges & overcome them with better ways of  completing my orders.

 

What has been your biggest success so far?

To be honest, the whole concept of Truly Scrumptious being a success & still growing makes me feel so proud. I struggled with dyslexia at school & don’t have any background in running a small business.

Apart from that I’ve been lucky enough to make hundreds of lovely families party bags (many of whom are repeat customers)  along with supplying top party planners. It’s always a pleasure to donate bags or proceeds from orders to charities. It’s nice to give back a little occasionally.

Having lived with & worked for Michael Douglas & Catherine Zeta Jones it’s always exciting to make bags for celebrities too. I think the biggest ‘eeeeeek’ moment was when I made Elton Johns sons party bags not long ago. (That happy little dance went on for quite a while!!)

pv meets truly scrumptious

How do you juggle motherhood, family life, and your business?

Gosh it really is a juggling act, especially during school holidays! I feel so lucky to be able to work from home & be there for my children. Being able to support them weekly in school matches, attending concerts whilst working too. but the downside is that I’m always working! I take work with me everywhere I go…sitting waiting at gymnastics, dancing, or cricket after school clubs I’m there peeling names, images, cutting ribbons & cords or updating social medial & replying to emails. My husband is so patient but does get a bit fed up when  I’ve got fabric, threads, vinyl, and equipment spread out over the kitchen table, spare room & office!

I always make sure once I’m home from the school run that I do the washing, dishwasher, hoovering & general family tidying g up before I start my Truly Scrumptious work. I then break mid morning for a lovely dog walk & try to clear my head (although I’m often frantically replying to enquiries or placing materials orders whilst walking too!)

 

How do you find time to relax whilst not working? 

Wow, I really need to create business free – screen free time. But it’s actually close to impossible when you run the show yourself & when my business is so labour intensive. I have started to have some help now, but not enough to hand over the reigns for longer periods. It’s tricky as I have orders from over seas too & constantly have enquiries coming in. (And yes each & every order does still make me dance a happy dance!) I like to keep things personal by replying to each & everyone individually.

Family time is so important & we love going on lovely long bike rides, dog walks, ( of course always finishing in a pub for a drink & some hot chips!) I also make time to work out & have PT sessions once a week as well as body conditioning classes (I have to fit this in to make sure I can have those cheeky chips in the pub at the weekend! )

But I really do need to be a bit more strict with switching off more. At least I love my business!! PV Meets truly scrumptious

 

Whats your top tips for starting a business?

Hmmm, have supportive friends & family that you can ask advice from. Go for it, I was worried my party bags would be a flop, but until you’ve given it a shot, you just won’t know. Be organised, make lists & have plenty of post it notes for reminders! Make friends with the post office workers because you might, like me see them every single day!

Oh and keep your receipts in date order…I had to painfully sort through mine to get into the right order.

 

If you could invite a special guest to a dinner party who would it be?

Hands down it would have to be Prince Harry. He would be great fun to be around, super interesting & really down to earth hopefully. Being a father & uncle now, no doubt he’ll have many children’s birthday parties ahead of him. He’s seems the kind of guy to get really involved & join in. When he was in the army, he also took over from my husband in Afghanistan, so we have something in common there!

 

To find out more about Louisa and Truly Scrumptious, please click HERE

 

PV Meets Little Eco Eats

PV Meets: Little Eco Eats

PV Meets: Little Eco Eats

ParentVille Parties meets Lottie & Louise; the founders of Little Eco Eats. Today, they share with how they got started and their tips to running a successful creative business. Prepare to be inspired.

PV Meets Little Eco Eats
Tell us a bit about yourself?

Louise: Mother, nurse, business owner and farmer…in that order! Although I am actually about to stop nursing because it’s such a big and serious commitment that it feels as if I have one too many balls in the air to care for my patients.
Lottie: Founder of Crate a Party, event planner, fitness lover and dog owner.

 

How did you get your idea or concept for your business?

Lottie and I have worked together with our former businesses for about 5 years and we were one day just talking about packed lunches and kids parties and I said I hated the waste at all the birthdays I go to and that I wasn’t going to allow my daughter packed lunch (she is starting reception in September) because I hated the sheer waste every day. And so the seed was planted….

PV Meets Little Eco Eats

Did you have any challenges when you first started and how did you overcome them?

Finding 3r​d​ parties who provide snacks in packaging that is recyclable let alone biodegradable or compostable is really hard. It’s actually really sad that the big companies who would have the most influence and impact on our environment haven’t shifted their product packaging to be more environmentally friendly.

What has been you’re biggest success so far?

It sounds super cheesy but the response and feedback we have had in our first few months has been amazing and we both feel really proud of how far we have come. Obviously getting bookings and being featured in insta stories or receiving positive press gives us a buzz.

PV Meets Little Eco Eats
How do you juggle motherhood and your business?

More often than not I have an 8 month old on my knee while I am in the office, thankfully Lottie is amazing with both girls, I don’t think I would have gone into business with someone who couldn’t handle a screaming child. But more seriously it’s a lot of late nights and early mornings trying to find time to get work done before the house explodes with kiddie chaos! As Lottie isn’t a mother she tends to do a large volume of work during the day and I take a look at it in the evenings or the following morning. We both have found our roles within the company and although we know these will continue to shift it’s a great partnership.

How do you find time to relax when you are not working?

We both eat cheese and drink wine! And enjoy watching Netflix!
Louise: But most of the time by the time I get the kids asleep, clear up and do some work I just crash out.
Lottie: Destressing with an exercise class, spending time with friends over coffee or drinks and an evening with my boyfriend.

What are your top tips for starting your own business from scratch?

  • It sounds so obvious but love what you do – you are probably going to spend every waking minute thinking, planning and worrying about its growth.
  • Make sure you have enough savings to see you through the first few months!
  • Write your to-do list for each day on a piece of paper and cross it off as you get through it – really helps to motivate you and keep you focused. And Lottie’s favourite thing is to keep the computer files and emails really (really, really, really) tidy!

PV Meets Little Eco Eats

Three top party tips?

1) Be honest to yourself about your budget
2) Be adventurous with your theme and encourage your child to get involved
3) Use a tool like Paperless Post to do your invitation. This way you can be sure none are lost in children’s school pigeon holes and also its environmentally friendly

If you could invite anyone to the ultimate dinner party who would they be?

Louise:​ I have an awkward crush on Gordon Ramsay so I wouldn’t mind having him there – but obviously I would also want him to cook! I would also love Scott Fitzgerald and Donna Tart my favourite authors along. Tara Button and Marie Kondo for inspiring me to keep my home tidy.
Lottie: I​t would probably have to be James Norton as he’s the dreamiest man alive.

 

Thank you Louise and Lottie for a fantastic interview. If you would like to learn more. Head over to the shop

 

PV Meets Little Eco Eats

PV Meets: LoLA

PV Meets: LoLA

LoLA

PV Meets: LoLA

ParentVille Parties meets creative Mama’s Alara and Selina; the founders of Children Creative Art Boxes LoLA. Today, they share with how they got started and their tips to running a successful creative business. Prepare to be inspired.

 

Tell us a little about yourself?

We are creative mamas and sisters-in-law, and started LoLA boxes through a belief that process-based artist-inspired experiences are an important way for children to develop problem-solving skills, analytical thinking and confidence. Alara has been teaching art for over 15 years and is the magic behind LoLA, creating wonderful art projects inspired by real artists. I am a designer and have managed to put that magic into a box along with clear instructions, illustrations and recommendations for related books and art trips.

What inspired your idea for your business?

As mums, we naturally have lots of chats together about children and growing up whilst thinking of creative things to do with our kids. When Alara moved back to England after having a creative LoLA space for children in Istanbul (for over 12 years!), it was quite natural for us to talk about how LoLA and inspiring art projects for children could be brought to the UK. Rather than being limited to only 10 children coming to a workshop, we wanted to support creativity in children in a bigger way, and reach children all over the UK (and the world!) so that can they be independently creative at home and have an awareness of both old and new artists’ work.

 LoLA

What were your challenges & how did you overcome them?

We first had the idea of LoLA boxes in October 2018, and then realised the best time to launch it would be at Christmas, so we only had a couple of months to create a product! Luckily as an experienced graphic designer, I was able to create the printed materials, branding and leaflets while Alara sourced the best art supplies. We drove our newly created boxes stacked up in our cars to the Babyccino Christmas fair in the hope that we would sell at least some, but after a frantic two months, not really knowing if we would sell any! We were so lucky to have such an amazing response, we sold out of our first box! Once we had felt the jubilation, it dawned on us this would be a monthly process with a new art theme coming out each month! So then the challenge was to hunker down and plan the whole year of 2019 with 12 exciting art themes, which bring together 36 artists and work, with varied art materials.

What has been your biggest success so far?

The best bit of our day is when we see the children’s art created from LoLA projects, and the responses to the boxes through messages from parents. It is indescribably rewarding. I think Alara and I would differ on what ‘success’ means… After having so much experience with children’s’ brands, Alara has been having fantastic chats with amazing leading figures in the art and education world about how important creativity is for children and some big names have responded positively. For me, we have been approached by a museum to create a bespoke box (in the pipeline so its hushhush at the moment) and that is a real moment for us both.

LOLa

How do you juggle motherhood/personal life/family life and your business?

As every working mother knows, it is certainly a juggle! Its important for us to take moments to talk about how we want the business to run and our lives to work. We try to set boundaries (and stick to them), but we have to admit, running your own business is quite obsessive and we talk at all hours of the day!

How do you find time to relax while not working?

I would say Alara and I lucky to have found kindred spirits in that we are people who multi-task and like to get things done. As do-ers, we both find it hard to switch off. Being with our children and giving them our full attention is the one thing that will pull us fully out of work mode and we’re lucky to have very supportive families. On our ‘downtime’ we love to take our children to lots of different art exhibitions – although we ARE taking mental notes about the exhibition so we can put it in the ‘LoLA recommends’ section ;), these are really enjoyable experiences where we can enjoy family time with a bit of culture!

Back to school

What is your top tips for starting a small business?

If you have a small business idea, ask yourself ‘who are we and what do we do’? If you can sum this up into a short sentence and communicate it clearly, it goes a long way. We also think its important to stay true to your ideals. We have had lots of feedback on the quality of our art supplies, and even though we could have chosen a cheaper option, we really want children to be proud of the great colour in their artwork and part of that is using quality materials.

If you could invite a special guest to an event who would it be?

Holly Tucker. We are slightly obsessed with her and have enjoyed following her ‘kidpreneur’ celebration at the Holly&Co shop!

Find out more about LoLA boxes here

Donna

Meet the Team: Our Chief Marketing Officer, Donna

Meet the Team: Our Chief Marketing Officer, Donna

Donna

Donna was born in London and raised in the leafy home counties. Growing up with two brothers, Donna’s childhood was filled with fun playtime adventures where they spent their time climbing trees, creating exciting potions in their mud kitchen, days trips to the beach or creating imaginary radio shows.

In her grown-up life, Donna studied Advertising Marketing Communications and went onto have a successful career in Television, where she worked on the channel strategy for brands such as the Discovery Channel, Comedy Central, Sky Living and Sky Atlantic. After meeting her husband, they moved to South West London where they went on to have their son & daughter. Donna’s passion for strategy, entertainment and content has led her to work in Digital Marketing, which she does around family life.

Donna loves organising a party and believes you can create the perfect party with a little planning and bundles of imagination. Donna recently organised a Superhero Party for her son’s fifth birthday and enlisted the help of ParentVille Party Entertainers Tom and Eloise to bring the party theme to life. Tom and Eloise kept thirty children thoroughly entertained as Agent Alpha & Doctor Delta. Everyone was so impressed, including the adults.

Donna’s top tips to organising a children’s party are:

  • Know your theme. You can get inspiration from our Pinterest or Instagram pages.
  • Plan ahead. If time allows, plan as much as you can a few weeks before the party date. To save on time and to get the best party, why not consider a party stylist. If you are unsure of what you need, get in touch with ParentVille Parties for a free party consultation.
  • Book your baker (Donna’s favourite is Leah who creates the most delicious from ‘Free from’ Cakes & Brownies and Zuzana for the most scrumptious cakes and biscuits), venue and entertainer as soon as you have a date. It will take the pressure of you and allow you to leisurely plan the rest of your children’s party
  • Remember little ones can get overwhelmed on the big day, so talk them through your plans so they know what to expect.
  • Just have fun.

Meet the team: Our Founder, Lamice

Lamice grew up in Lebanon and moved to Paris to study engineering and applied mathematics. In her early twenties, she chose exciting London as her new home!

She loves the beach at any season, singing, yoga and the smell of home baked cakes!

Being a mother of 2, Lamice knows that planning a party can be time consuming and exhausting. Invitations, confirming guests, sorting out the venue, the entertainer, the cake, decorations… oh! and, of course, the party bags!  She wanted to create a platform that would provide a quick, easy ‘shoppable’ experience for parents to use from the comfort of their own sofa.

By launching ParentVille Parties, her goal is to make organising a child’s birthday party a fun and enjoyable time for the family with no stress, no pressure, just joy! Every time you see our shop with a new feature, a new button or just looking prettier that’s her work 🙂

Lamice’s favourite party treat is to have a pretty candy table and a fab entertainer. “Kids just love face painting. That’s a must have at my parties and a candy station is always a winner for both adults and kids. It’s a celebration so a bit of sugar is allowed, right?”

Meet the team: Commercial Relations & COO, Sally

Sally was raised between Scotland and the Middle East. She studied surface design in London and Paris and now lives in West London with her French husband and two little girls. The family regularly travel ‘home’ to the Grampian Highlands to visit the woods and big skies. Sally enjoys creative projects, interior design and all puddings!

“When I plan a party I always check & double check the theme with my daughters. Even with an obscure initial idea from my 3 year old, ‘Fairy-princess-woodland-camping’, I always find what I need on ParentVille. Our favourite party accessory to choose together are party bags! There are so many wonderful options & ideas. My eldest daughter loves Wonnie’s sugar free cakes & Mrs Smiths cat biscuits!”

Take note of Sally’s Celebration Secrets!

  • I always make sure to pick a strong theme for any party. Doing this stops me deviating from my shopping list!
  • My favourite grown up girl & boy cakes are from Wonnie. Her style is impeccable & she is so wonderful to work with.
  • Flowers are essential for every party & every age. They always help to brighten up a venue and create a wonderful splash of colour in photographs!
  • My girls always love to give biscuits or sweeties as a ‘thank you’. This year I have ordered from Candy & Mrs Smith.
  • I send cupcakes from Jennie into school on a regular basis. Whether to mark a birthday, new term or ‘just because’ – the teachers love it!

Meet the team: Our Brand Ambassador, Danelle

Danelle was raised in Michigan, USA. She studied her Bachelor’s degree at Oakland University in Michigan and was travelling from a young age throughout USA, Europe and Lebanon. After working and travelling for a corporate real estate company, she ended up in London studying her MBA in 2006 and has lived in London ever since.

She works with various start-ups and companies with eOffice Coworking Office Space and now assists with Parentville Parties. She has 2 daughters with her partner Pier Paolo and they love travelling between the USA and Italy with their girls :).

Danelle loves Parentville because it is working mums organising an amazing platform for kids parties. What she looks for her daughter’s parties is something quick, efficient and amazing. She loves how she can organise her daughter’s party very easily with Parentville, while working full time and managing her family. Her party tips – always have entertainment, and ensure the kids are kept busy non-stop:).

Scroll to Top