LSF was lucky enough to interview Seri Kertzner, aka Little Miss Party. Seri graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1999 with a degree in combined economics and business. After accepting a job at Kate Spade in 2001, she moved to New York City to begin her career in fashion. Seri spent 10 years involved in production and development at Kate Spade, Club Monaco and J. Crew. Over the last few recent years Seri has planned events for many friends, colleagues and acquaintances. But it was not until she took on the role of bride that she was inspired to start her own business. Little Miss Party understands her clients’ wishes and can easily integrate their vision with her expertise to create an event that is truly unique to each individual.
Please tell us a about yourself and your company I am Canadian born, from Toronto. I moved to New York in January 2001 when I got a job with Kate Spade. I started on the financial side in the fashion world and after one year moved over to production. I later worked for Club Monaco and J.Crew over a total of 10 years in the biz.
Three weeks after I moved to NYC in 2001, I met my incredible husband through the one friend I had in this city. We are now going on 11 years of being together…5 of which we’ve been married and living in the downtown area.
Little Miss Party is a boutique party planning company specializing in big events, small spaces. Our concept is all about personalization, attention to details and catering to each of our client’s unique and specific needs. We do as much as providing the food, dessert bar, drinks, music, décor and staffing to as little as consulting for your event.
How did you come up with the name of your company? I have to give my mother FULL credit for the name. When I first had the idea to start the business I turned to my mom and sister and asked that they send me a list of names. My mom had come back to me with a list of so many good options I actually had trouble choosing! But Little Miss Party Planner was the best. It fit me (because I happen to be a small little gal) and the concept behind my business, which is a focus on intimate parties.
What inspired you to start your business? I got married in a very raw space in Toronto called the Fermenting Cellar in the Distillery district back in 2007. After planning the wedding on my own and taking total control over almost every decision, I thought…this is fun! Maybe I should do this for a living!? So I bought the domain name for my business and held onto it while working full-time in the fashion industry thinking I could start taking on small projects to start…and one day bring the company to life. In 2009 I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. I went back to J.Crew when my three-month mat leave was up and cried every day at my desk for two weeks straight. Needless to say…I didn’t cope very well with leaving my little man and made the decision to leave my job and be with him. Once he started preschool I decided, it’s time! Let’s get this show on the road…and Little Miss Party officially launched in July 2011.
What makes your business unique? Little Miss Party Planner goes above and beyond for our clients. We take great pride in the creative details that we put forth in each of our events and make sure our clients feel stress free through the planning process and relaxed throughout the event so they can be a guest at their own party. We also differ from our competition by giving back. We often leave our clients with leftover food, flowers and/or favors. We give them the opportunity to donate leftovers to the Bowery Mission to help out others who are less fortunate and in need of a meal or in some cases like the example following, flowers for a wedding where they cannot afford any on their own. Our client Carmen Nesbit inspired us to do so and we cannot thank her enough for this. To read more on this beautiful story click here.
What is your company’s philosophy when working with parents to plan children’s events/parties? Sit back and relax! Being a full-time mom who is trying to grow a new business, I know what it’s like to have a LOT on your plate. And for this LMP feels it’s most important to take care of ALL the work for you. From kid friendly but creative food, exciting entertainment to fun and appropriate favors, we’ll take care of every detail so you can enjoy your children’s birthdays without lifting a finger.
What has been your most memorable event you and your team coordinated for? Ooh…this is a tough one! All of our events have been so special to us in a way. We have done so many cool events that it’s just too hard to choose! From an engagement party in East Hampton to an intimate wedding in a Soho loft to a first birthday party on a client’s roof deck on the upper east side…each event has been better than the next and we’re so thankful for the incredible client’s that we’ve had the privilege of working with thus far!
How do you find balancing being a mom and owning your own business? What is your biggest challenge? Well my sister likes to tell me I’m not human…and she thinks I’m a robot. HA! I have an odd amount of energy and find that I’m able to pack a lot into a day to get it all done. How do I do that? I make a zillion lists to keep myself organized, I drink a lot of water to stay hydrated and I sleep in as late as I can on a daily basis. I was blessed with a son who sleeps like his mom and dad…and that is…like a log. In all seriousness, the key is pacing yourself, making time for family first and then everything else seems to just fall into place.
What do you find mot rewarding about your line of work? Turning special occasions for people into a dreamlike celebration. Their appreciation for our hard work is priceless and makes us feel so good to see our clients happy and satisfied when all is said and done. And of course – it’s incredibly rewarding to see my passion for party planning come to life.
Anything else you would like to share? I’d like to just say that I am very blessed in love, family and friends. I cannot thank everyone in my life enough for the love and support they have given to me. I am also incredibly fortunate to have partnered with the most amazing person, Michelle. She’s the best cohort a little miss party planner could ask for and I couldn’t be luckier to have met her several years ago at J.Crew.
And to everyone reading this article…Happy Holidays! Have fun and be safe this upcoming winter.
Lots of Love, Seri