Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Jordan.
Hi Laura, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I received my Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 1990. I worked as administrative assistant and Office Manager at a church for ten years. I began working at the school so that I could be home with my kids in the summer. I realized that I really wanted to teach and received my Master of Arts in Teaching in 2002. I taught for seven years at Duchesne High School and during the housing crisis, I was laid off. I realized I wanted to work for myself and so my business began.
Most New Year’s Day, I tried to figure out what I wanted for the new year. And from 2007 to 2010 my goal was to be happy. In 2009, I was teaching English at a private high school. When the housing crisis hit the high school I worked at lost its student population by 30%. I was one of several released from my teaching contract in 2009. That New Year’s Eve, I was thinking about what I wanted for the next year. I realized I wanted to expand my goal. I wanted to make others happy.
I love to create things and had been trying to figure out a way to merge creativity with something people would be interested in purchasing or renting. While in Florida, I received a henna tattoo. I researched temporary tattoos and realized that my artist skills would help me with this idea. In 2010, I started Personal Expressions, a children’s event company. While working my first event, I decided to add face painting as I use face paint kids at friend’s birthday parties. I felt that my goal had been achieved. I would paint or airbrush a design on a kids or adult and the look of happiness on their faces was happiness.
I worked a ton of festivals my first two years. At one of the festivals, I met a man who worked in the carnival food business. He recommended that I purchase a photo booth. It would be the perfect combination. I could take pictures before and after the face painting to show the difference, plus the parent and child could have a memory of the event.
I remember driving home and repeating photo booth because I knew that it was a really good idea. I did google photo booths and when I looked at the price of a photo booth, I immediately thought, “I cannot afford seven to eight thousand for a photo booth.” After a couple of days thinking about this, it hit me. I may not be able to purchase one, but I certainly can build my own. I researched the components needed and started to figure out how I can create a booth. Within three months, my first photo booth was created, and I had my first event. Over time the amount of photo booth booking grew I realized I needed another booth. I began hired help to create smiles and Personal Expressions Photo Booths grew to 12 booths and 12 attendants.
A few years ago, I changed the name of our children’s company to St. Louis Children’s Party and have added slumber party rentals, mobile spa parties, concessions foods, glitter and henna tattoos, and our newest item foam parties. I kept Personal Expressions for my photo booth company.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
During 2019 we had over 350 event rentals. It was an amazing year and 2020 looked to be just as good. When Covid quarantine began, I was unsure how things would open. A lot of event workers and businesses were worried. My thought was that this could be the end as we did not know if there would be a vaccine, but I realized it could also be a time to evaluate and create the type of business I wanted without working it weekly.
One of the things that I have heard many entrepreneurs say is, “I can’t do this because”. I have felt this, but this did not last for me. When a roadblock stops me, I try to figure out how to go around that roadblock. Cannot afford a photo booth – make one. Need a certificate to serve food? Study and take the test to be certified. Obviously, some things are difficult to overcome but if a goal is being blocked, figure out how you can go around the goal legally and ethically. Don’t let someone’s (including yourself) no stop you from achieving your goal.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I specialize in making people happy and creating memories. Photos makes time standstill. Our photo booths allow our guests to be silly and have memories of special events. There is nothing more satisfying than to hand a photo strip to a guest and see their smiles.
Our slumber party rentals and mobile spa parties help make memories. The oohs and ahhs that come from the children and the parents make our job worthwhile.
I think the thing that sets us apart from others is our joy factor. We love creating fun.
Looking for a fun time? Contact St. Louis Children’s Party and Event Rentals. Tell us your vision and we can certainly bring and create memories for you and your guest.
I think the thing I am most proud of is that I have been able to use each of my past work and school experiences to create what I have today. Simple skills of typing, accounting, using a database program, sewing, photography have all help create my businesses. Without those experiences, I would not be as successful as I am today.
One of the things that set my businesses apart from others is that while we rent our items, we typically have an attendant to either setup and take down or help with the rental. One of our goals is that we try to make parent’s and client’s life easy by doing the hard work for them.
I value community over competition and am willing to reach out for help and to help others in time of need. I genuinely believe there is enough business to go around and that by working together and building one another up, either through help each other or mentoring a new business, we can grow as a group and learn from one another. The easiest way to grow in a business is by learning from our own work or from others.
If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
When I was growing up, my uncle would give my brother and I the latest technology available. We received some of the coolest calculators, watches and one of the first gaming systems, “Odyssey”, which played pong. He continued to give us tech presents, and I learned to love them. This love has helped me not only work a photo booth but also create my first booth and troubleshoot situations while my attendants needed help.
Most of my life, I have been creative. In my teen’s I learned that if I wanted something, such as clothes or art, I could make it on my own. I still do this. I have found that often it is cheaper to create an item for a business on my own, such as my photo booths and slumber party tents rather than purchasing them from another source. Plus, there is something very satisfying in creating it myself.
- $50 per slumber party tent which includes tent, mattress, sheet, blanket, pillow, breakfast table, lantern and lights
- $150 per hour foam party
- $150 hour bubble party
- $300 for spa party (up to 6 girls) includes mini-mani & pedi and light makeup or facial
- $150 per hour photo booth rentals, we offer five different styles
- Email: ljordan@PersonalExpressionsPhoto.com email@example.com
- Website: www.StlChildrensParty.com www.PersonalExpressionsPhoto.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/St-Louis-Childrens-Party-and-Event-Rentals-269881023044111 https://www.facebook.com/PersonalExressionsPhoto