These moms know how to party.
Serendipity can sometimes carve an unexpected path. Just ask Andrea St. Onge of Longwood and Cristina Lima of Sanford, owners of Lou & Pepper.
A few years ago, the two moms met at their daughters’ preschool. Andrea, mom to Harper (6) and Eddie (3), and Cristina, mom to Ava (6) discovered they both worked in hospitality, shared a passion for celebrating and had a knack for planning and organizing. Soon afterward, Lou & Pepper, their party planning company, was born.
“It started out as a joke!” explains Andrea. “But it grew into a stable business model.” The mompreneurs like to say they “curate stylish and quirky parties for kids ages 0-101.” Named after their beloved pets (Andrea’s cat named Lou and Cristina’s French bulldog named Pepper), Lou & Pepper handles the stressful, time-consuming details of party planning so customers can relax and celebrate.
Depending on the level of attention clients need, Lou & Pepper offers custom parties for clients who need a please-do-everything approach and semi-custom parties for clients who need less help. The company offers a third option for clients who want a DIY approach: a party-in-a-box delivered to clients’ doorsteps via their online party shop.
“We do a lot of decorating ourselves,” adds Andrea, “including items we curate specifically for each client, such as themed partywear and cake table backdrops, which provide amazing photo opportunities.”
While party planning seems like a fun business, launching it wasn’t a piece of cake. “We had a bit of a rough start,” recalls Andrea. “Business was slow, and it can be difficult to juggle everything it takes to create a successful business while including family time. A lot of work happened after the kids went to bed.”
“We rely heavily on our husbands, especially when we work weekends,” Cristina adds. “Their support is crucial.” By late fall, business started picking up, thanks to their marketing efforts, newly launched website and referrals.
The moms also enjoy the side benefits of entrepreneurship. “The kids see us working with contracts and meeting with clients, but also making time for family,” Cristina explains. “It’s great to show them you can balance work and family.” It’s also been a great teaching tool, Andrea points out. “I show Harper how much things cost and how to stay within budget.”
To learn more about Lou & Pepper, visit their website at louandpepper.com.