A journey through the years of childhood brings many changes, but some things remain constant: children are inspired and enlivened by sincerity and enthusiasm… and a bit of magic never hurts!
As a mother, Jessica McClure has found that the traditions we create for our children are what keep us connected throughout that journey.
Jessica created Parties with Character to offer the families in her community a new tradition–one with options to fit every budget and every unique celebration.
The magic and wonder of having a favorite character come to life and join them on their special day is something your child will remember for years to come.
What made you decide to start Parties with Character?
I wanted to have a way to help support my family while my husband went to law school. It needed to be a business that was flexible so I could continue to care for our children and work around my husband’s schedule.
As a mom, how do you prioritize your day?
Honestly, I struggle with this. I have recently written out goals for my personal and family life and check in about those goals with my family each week, because I tend to do whatever presents itself to me right then and forget to be intentional about priorities.
Who are your biggest influences?
My husband has always been an entrepreneur, so his example and support have been a huge part of my success. My mom, dad, and grandparents are all very outgoing and love to serve people and make others smile. That is the foundation of what I do, and growing up with that way of life made people a passion for me.
What advice would you give moms who work from home?
Be ready to work hard. Be open and honest with your children about what this work means to you, and to your family. Help them to understand why it’s the best solution for your family.
What advice would you give moms who are working to start or build their
Have someone on your team who can help you structure your business correctly. This frees you up to do what you are passionate about and talented in. Be creative about funding new projects, advertising, and building your reputation. I offered free and discounted work to organizations whose clientele matched my ideal clientele, in exchange for advertising and reviews. This established me in my service area, and has turned into consistent revenue as those organizations who received free appearances have become repeat, paying customers. After each birthday party, I send a thank you message, inviting them to review their experience in exchange for a discount on any future appearance. I now have 158 five-star reviews, which has allowed me to increase my prices while keeping a steady stream of business. In the beginning, I built up my repertoire of characters by offering a Custom Character option, so clients could pay a small fee to commission a new character. This fee only covered the materials I needed to create the costume, and I donated my time. This gave value and flexibility to my clients while allowing me to build up my business’s offerings at no monetary cost to me. The specific ways you creatively fund new projects, advertise, and build your reputation will vary from mine, of course, but the idea is, don’t be afraid to try unconventional methods!
What one word would you choose to describe yourself?
Is there anything else you want to share with the Mom Empire?
Figure out what your business will provide, and focus on excellence in that specialty. For example, Parties with Character provides Face Character entertainment. I always turn down Mascot Character entertainment, because it does not match with my specialty. This allows you to become an expert in your specialty and keeps you from spreading too thin. Within that specialty, always be looking for new opportunities, and take as many of them as you can. Be willing to explore potential opportunities without reserve–introduce your business to potential clients and partners with enthusiasm and confidence, and learn from every experience that doesn’t turn out to be ideal (because we all have them).