The most awesome job in the world is to find a way to do what you love and these girls are right on track!
As kids we celebrated fancy dolls tea party with the neighbourhood kids in the backyard of our house. But for Pragnya Rao, 29 & Yashika Punjabee, 28 it did not end there. It just got bigger and better. They turned out to be professional party planners.
With experience in advertising art direction, interior decoration, styling, writing and event management they decided it was time they jumped full-fledged into what they absolutely, completely and totally loved – Party Planning! They call it ‘Groovy Two Shoes’ a business venture founded in the summer of 2011. “Groovy Two Shoes means” “Time to don your party shoes: the sign of good times,” says Pragnya Rao.
A lot goes into organising a party. From consultation to co-ordination the list is never ending. The two girls have on their hands meetings, location scouting, tastings, invitations, installations, floral selections, favours etc. In addition to this, time management, budgeting, vendor communication, logistical assistance and everything else that will let them put their best foot forward. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a party for two or two hundred,” says Pragnya Rao.
So how did the idea of party planners come about? “Since the day we first met, our conversations have only revolved around food, coffee, cocktails, music and shiny beautiful objects. So we decided that it was high time we join forces,” says Yashika Punjabee.
Apart from enjoying random thoughts, pointless observations and aimless conversations Pragnya Rao is a trained interior designer and Yashika Punjabee has worked as an art director at McCann Erickson. She loves designs and is a food enthusiast. “I have always been influenced by photography, beautiful interiors, gorgeous food, yummy cocktails,” she says.
But why should any one call you to organize parties- can they not do it themselves? “We promise you awesome. We believe god is in the details and we have an attention to detail. We plan. You party,” says Pragnya Rao.
She further says that there was a hole in this market. There were shops that sold party accessories; caterers who catered for parties; and bar tenders who stirred up fancy cocktails but there wasn’t a single entity that catered to all aspects of party planning ” from invitations, location scouting, table décor, food styling, floral decoration and flavours.
Throwing a party meant a headache for most. And this is where they wanted to make a difference ” help throw an awesome party with details personalised to their personality and tastes.
Be it Christmas celebrations, a budding baker’s twenty-fifth birthday, a one year old baby boy’s birthday, fiftieth birthday of a family man or as lame as a Sunday breakfast they have thrown parties on all occasions in style.
“We normally give them an approximate estimate to start with. But closer to finalisation, if we feel that an element will make a huge difference to the setup then we convey the same to them. Thankfully all our clients so far have shown tremendous faith in our vision, so we have rarely had an issue,” says Pragnya Rao.
Depending on the number of people and of course the details, a party for two could cost Rs 15, 000 and upwards. They say sky is the limit.
They take their office with them – in their heart and mind. They have invested barely Rs 50,000 in this venture and at present they are focusing on creating an identity for themselves – memories and experiences being the key factor, as opposed to numbers. Passion trumps revenue at the moment.
Their biggest achievement so far has been a dinner for two in the middle of a forest. No electricity, wild shrubbery and the sound of nocturnal beasts. But the USP – a starlit sky, music in stillness of the night and 100-lit candles.
They advice to all youngsters who wish to start venture of their own is that there is magic just outside your comfort zone, It’s now or never.
– Babita Balan