Several years ago, Charlene Etienne ’21 (Data Analytics & Visualization MPS) and her sister were planning parties—weddings, birthday events, and the like.
“We found out we loved doing it,” Etienne said.
But as much as they loved helping make someone’s day feel more special, the simple truth was what they were doing was exhausting. They were customizing everything because there weren’t templates available, or companies to help offer choices with customizing options like what she and her sister were creating.
Thus, Confetti Collection Co. was born.
The venture, one of eight finalists in this year’s UP/Start competition, is a carefully curated collection of party décor and goods that help make a special occasion that much more memorable. Unlike what’s available in big box party stores or other retailers, Confetti Collection Co.’s options consist of coordinated items that give someone’s event a professionally put together feel at a fraction of the price. And, the company has a focus on sustainability, and creating a small carbon footprint.
People—moms especially, Etienne said, tend to take on a lot trying to make parties special for their children. Confetti Collection Co. takes that pressure off.
“We are your party planner in a box,” she said. “We’re here to take on the grunt of the work so you can focus on that day.”
Initially, Etienne said, her plan was to fully customize everything, though she realized that concept wasn’t fully feasible—crafting isn’t the same as running a business that involves crafting.
The party boxes her venture includes everything needed, from the invitations to the party favors, and offers multiple themes or color schemes to choose from that can be customized and delivered straight to someone’s door.
Funding will help Etienne upgrade her machines—right now, she’s working with crafting tools meant for creating five items, not 500. Quality is a focus for her, but she knows that quick turnaround is key, too. Winning startup money will help her hire staff to sustain the business model of customization, as well as broaden design options.
For Etienne, the UP/Start competition has helped to get her idea up and moving. The mentor component has been especially helpful, she said, and while there have been overwhelming moments, the process has forced her to strike iron is hot and just keep going.
“Without the UP/Start competition, I’d still be in the ‘well, someday’ mode,” she said.