Party planner extraordinaire Charlotte Melia talks work life, family and festive soirées
Why did you set up Dazzle & Fizz?
Originally it was to make some spare cash to support my acting career. It was only supposed to be a temporary arrangement, but within months of starting, both the business and I were flourishing, so I went for it.
What sparked your passion for children’s parties?
I love how imaginative children are and how boundless they can be with their requests. Adults can be affected by what they think they should have at their event, while a five year old is just like, “I want a ballerina-ninja-rainbow party with a flying unicorn…” and I think, yeah, why not!?
Describe a typical day for you.
My day usually starts at 6am when my six-year-old son Oliver gets up. We get ready for school and I will upload the work Instagram at 8am. My husband is an army officer and is away with work, so it’s just Oliver, myself and our new puppy in the house at the moment. I spend most days either in the office with my team, or meeting clients, venues and vendors.
What’s the best thing about your job?
The variety it affords. With children’s parties, you really never know what request is around the corner. One day you might be managing the logistics of getting a 17ft dinosaur into a five-star hotel, the next day you might be flying a jungle to Nigeria!
Is Oliver an inspiration for the brand?
When I started the company, I was eight months’ pregnant with Ollie, so he has grown up alongside the business. He has Autism Spectrum Disorder, so he inspired us to also offer tailored parties for children with a range of special needs and disabilities. We now deliver special needs pantomimes in schools across London every December, which is a real highlight of each year.
How do you juggle family with work?
I’m not sure I always do! I certainly try. My husband is away during the week, so it’s hard. Ollie requires round-the-clock care, so it can be exhausting. When I first started the business, I had no personal life whatsoever, and frankly I’m amazed my friends didn’t disown me! Now I try to limit how much I work in the evenings and on weekends.
Do you have any tips for throwing a good Christmas party?
Make sure the party reflects you. If you love a bit of bling, then go for it! If you prefer more rustic decor, then be confident in your styling and apply this to all the elements including the table, catering and room dressing.
What advice would you give to those wanting to launch their own brand?
Get as much advice from those in the know as possible. A mentor is a great anchor who can help guide you throughout your growth and also act as a vital sounding board when you need it. Join some relevant networking groups – they’re much cooler than they used to be!
What’s next for Dazzle & Fizz?
We are launching the retail arm of the business, and our ‘Party in a Box’ is now available on Not On The High Street. We are planning to add new lines in 2018.
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