Want to hear an inspiring story about a local, female entrepreneur?! You’re in the right place! Lani, owner of Partydreams Toledo, a local event decorating company, has made inspiring leaps of faith to get where she is today. Keep reading to hear how she took the leap from a full time job into her own business and how she pivoted during COVID to come out even more successful than before.
Tell us about yourself! What makes you, “you”?
I am an independent woman, very easy going, who works hard and like to play hard as well. I have an insane work ethic, and; I am a perfectionist and people pleaser. This is a blessing and a curse at the same time! I am a wife to Lane of 12 years, and a mother to Jackson (9) and Vivi (6).
Describe your business, what brought you to creating this business and why you’re passionate about it.
Partydreams is a business that helps decorate all of your life celebrations! We offer luxury balloon decor, and event rental packages. Partydreams started as a side hustle and creative outlet after my sister in law started the business down in Cincinnati. I decided to give it a go in 2018! Bringing joy to people’s lives is seriously the best part. Balloons just bring smiles, and our event decor helps make planning your shower or wedding etc. simple and gorgeous! I love getting to meet all sorts of people, moms, couples, businesses….everyday is different. It definitely never gets boring!
What goals do you have for your business in the future?
My goal is to always be involved in the business, but I would love to have a couple of full time employees. I also see a warehouse space in my future. We grew from my house to an office space, and now a larger office space, and I will be outgrowing that in the near future.
What is your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement is leaving my full time job of 15 years last July to go full time with my business. It was scary, and took a lot of preparation. Leaving a stable income and benefits with a family to support was very scary. But, we have done it and we have done it without going in to debt! We are profitable and staying busy. Although I am not really working less, I get to work on my own terms and create my own schedule. I was finally able to focus on my dreams and goals instead of working on someone else’s.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a business owner and how did you overcome it?
I would say Covid and the shut down was my biggest challenge thus far. March 2020 was set to be my busiest month by far, and then it wasn’t. I was refunding customers and no idea when money would be coming in again. It was in that scary time that I was able to pivot my business. Though people may not have been celebrating like they had been, they still wanted to celebrate. At that time I started offering balloon porch deliveries, they were wildly successful. I then added yard greetings, which I have since sold that part of the business. Then in 2021, with my sister in law, our all inclusive wedding/event decor package was born. That new offering allowed me to take the business from my home to an actual space. I went from not knowing if my business was going to survive, to coming out stronger and more profitable than ever before!
What advice would you give to a woman looking to start a business or get into a leadership role? Is there one thing that has helped you specifically?
I would say education is key. Yes, I went to college, and learned a great deal that I use in my business. However, I have learned so much more from YouTube videos, podcasts, and following other businesses like mine on social media. Find a business like yours that you look up to. Network with them and learn from them. I have learned some amazing things from having a friend in the industry, and we are actually in the same area. We don’t look at each other as competition. We value our relationship, we can help each other when needed, pick each others brain and refer clients to each other when we aren’t available.
What made you want to join HerHub?
I love that HerHub is all about empowering woman owned businesses. We all need to stick together and I believe this is the place to do it! We can help, educate and cheer each other on.
Why do you feel it’s important to collaborate and empower other women?
So many times women tend to look at other women as competition. However, we can all help each other. Whether it’s being in the same business category and learning from each other. Or, it could be helping your clients find other resources. Doing event decor, I like to have some bakers, florists, DJ’s, venue owners, etc. to refer to my customers. Plus, we all need a cheerleader! Empowering other woman and supporting them with only help with their success! I like to see everyone succeed!
If you could recommend one resource (book, podcast, quote, class, website, etc.), that has helped you in life or in business, what would it be and why?
Anything Mel Robbins! She is my favorite. I started with her book The 5 second Rule, and just recently read The High Five Habit, and everything in between! She also has a podcast and many great YouTube videos!
We love spreading love to other woman-owned businesses and we bet you do too. Give a shout out here to your favorite, local, woman-owned business (besides your own)!
Big Balloon Creations, Crowned Cakes by Jess, Laurel’s Princess Parties, Laurelea’s Sweet Treats, Collins Event Collective, Belovd Weddings, Crafty Lady Boutique, So Sweet Pasteries,
HerHub Readers Special from Partydreams Toledo:
$10 off a Grab and Go Balloon Garland when you mention this post.
For more information visit Partydreams: