Lately I’ve realized that a lot of my best ideas, the ones I love the most, are inspired by my children. And Alison’s Candy Shoppe was no exception. This was for SURE one of my most favorite parties I’ve done to date.
I wanted to throw a “candy” themed party for Rad for his second birthday (he’ll be 2 in April, booooo). He LOVES LOVES LOVES candy, or “nandy” and talks about it all day. It’s one of the only words and concepts he has super solid. (It’s hard to remember to teach that 2nd child things like words, and stuff.) He can be mid-tears, or mid-prattle, but if he catches a glimpse of ANYTHING that might even resemble candy he drops everything and just starts screaming, “NAAAAAAAANNNNDY.” Until someone submits something sugary to him.
So an “I want candy” 2nd birthday party would have been adorable, right?! But then I decided that I wanted to have another dance party. The last one I did at Club Alison was in November, Alison’s Feelings Fest, and I knew that if I wanted to do another one I needed to do it FAST before it got too hot. Club Alison doesn’t have central AC, but even if it did, it wouldn’t matter. When you put that many people in a room with 90’s R&B jams, no amount of air conditioning can cool that mother down. If I didn’t do a dance party ASAP it wouldn’t happen again until October.
So I decided to do Alison’s Candy Shoppe Dance Party the same way I decide to do most large things: without a ton of thought and with very little time to plan.
Rad is also very into Mickey Mouse, so I decided to give the little boy what he REALLY wants, a party with a GULP licensed character theme, and use the “Candy” theme for the dance party. Because really, it’s a perfect dance party theme.
The thing is I’m a VERY fast worker. I had a vision for the party within hours. So I know that I’m capable of planning a party for 300 women in under 3 weeks. But I’m still trying to learn that just because I CAN DO IT, doesn’t mean I SHOULD DO IT. Hahaha. Then again, when I go through the IG posts and see all those glorious women in person, the stress, anxiety and rush of doing the party, truly truly is worth it.
I kind of thought that if I just planned this party, that a big headline sponsor would swoop in and make it more financially sound for The Alison Show. But, that didn’t really happen. Hahaha. Which is actually ok because it means I wasn’t too stressed about pleasing too many people. Just myself and the dance partiers. It also allowed me to work with a number of donations and partial sponsors who made the party SUPER fabulous. Like SUPA DUPA FLY.
I wanted this candy-themed dance party to look and feel very different from Alison’s Feelings Fest. I loved loved that party, I just wanted something more 3-dimensional and textured for this party. Lots and lots of color and layers. Zurcher’s approached me, and agreed to help with the decorations. Which was SO fun because I wanted to use lots of traditional party supplies in new and non-traditional ways. So we went pretty crazy with balloons!
I’m so so so happy with how everything turned out, both visually and the experience of it all. It was super, super hot and sweaty. Haha, so next year the cut-off for dance parties might need to be February. But the heat didn’t stop anyone from dancing their hearts out, and in an odd way it kind of made everything more relaxed and chill. Just sweating off the sugar. You know?
So let’s get to it.
But real real super quick. Let’s talk about dreams. WHAT THE HELL. Let’s not just skip past this. Throwing these dance parties is like a dream come true. I can forget that when I’m negotiating contracts, bossing around volunteers, or starting to panic because I’ve spent WAY too much money and time away from my family. I start to think WHY AM I DOING THIS? WHO DO I THINK I AM? But then I remember, I’m doing it because this is what I love to do. My sister joked, “The only thing that makes you more anxious and depressed than throwing a party…is NOT throwing a party.”
So I just keep throwing parties. I also keep acquiring phenomenal people who help make this all possible. So don’t think for 2 seconds I do this all by myself.
But I do love doing it. I love creating an experience for people to feel good about themselves. I love working with other people to get the job done. And at the end of the day: I invited people to a party, AND PEOPLE WANTED TO COME TO MY PARTY. That’s pretty damn amazing.
So I’ve posted some of my favorite pictures here, and you can see even more pictures from the party on my Facebook Page! Just be sure that if you use any of these pictures that you credit/link/tag the photographer: Justin Hackworth and when otherwise noted there are a few pictures from Becky Kimball and then please tag/link/credit me! You know, The Alison Show. Thanks loves.
Now I’m gonna break down all the parts of the PARTY!
Becky Kimball Photography
Let’s start with the fantastic marquee lights I got from Vintage Marquee Lights: they are offering 30% off your purchase with the code: ALISON&VML for a limited time! FYI! I love love love these powder-coated glossy white letters and cannot believe what a huge impact they had on the party. It just made the whole affair feel more luxurious and legit. I cannot wait to have these be a staple at all of my events. Also I can’t help but laugh SO SO hard at my name in lights.
So when you walked in the party you checked in, and then you had an opportunity to sit in the throne of awesome!
My girl Kersey from And We Play helped pimp up the throne for our candy theme! She also made this amazing candy crown! The “candy” on the throne and all over the party were made with crepe paper and balloons. We wrapped the paper around balloons because it’s A LOT less expensive than using styrofoam balls, but we did use a few of those for the smallest candy.
This is my friend Alexis. We have been friends OUR WHOLE LIVES. I’m not kidding. I cannot tell you what it means to me when my long-time friends come and support me in my absurdity!
I had never been to Orson Gygi before, WHICH WAS a CRIME. They have SO SO SO much good stuff! They provided ALLLLL this candy, the adorable red-striped boxes, the awesome clear acrylic containers the candy is in, plus all the floss and cones for cotton candy! I loved their selection of bulk candy, and I’m so excited to go back! I also love those clear containers we put the candy out in, because they stack up and will be easy to use and store for another event! So much nicer than glass.
Ladies be crazy bout their candy…
And speaking of candy, the “Man Candy” were super hysterical this party. We dressed the boys (I always enlist my brother and some of his friends to act as menservants) in red suspenders, soda jerk hats, and red fanny packs that we stuffed with suckers. The ensembles were of course completed with a “Man Candy” pin designed by the fabulous Hello Tosha (who designed everything else too!).
These boys are such good sports and do whatever it is the ladies need all night long. They made cotton candy, handed out dum-dumns from their fanny packs, picked up trash, and most importantly took endless photos and acted as photo props whenever necessary.
But for sure, FOR SURE one of the best parts of the party was the dance floor. I hooked up with PIXL Parties, and I cannot believe how fun this floor was! Like I said I wanted this party to be SUPER layered, so we also (and by we I mean some amazing volunteers and my FANTASTIC assistant Carla) spent like 5 hours creating this balloon ceiling installation. I plan on doing a whole post explaining how we did this! So look for that!
One other super fun thing that we did was have 3 pinatas filled with goodies, or what I like to call “Lady Candy” –necklaces, rings, bracelets, from Eleventh Avenue! This is something I REALLY wanted to do, so I’m super grateful to Eleventh Avenue for jumping in on this and being ok with me have so many hot babes fight over their goods. Haha. I was so nervous someone would get a black eye that I didn’t even watch it all go down. But from the looks of these photos things were wild, but manageable. Which is the goal, right?! Ha
We made the pinatas out of records (like for a 50’s themed party) from Zurchers. We just covered one side in pink crepe paper and a swirl, then attached some rolled up kraft paper that we painted as the stick.
One other really cool thing that happened was that my parents showed up! Haha. They come into town a lot (they live in San Diego) and randomly were in town right when the party happened. They came straight from the airport so naturally I had to introduce them on the dance floor and have my dad share some of his amazing dance moves. It was kind of the best thing ever. At least in my opinion.
I get all my moves from them. Haha I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a compliment on either end. But you can see some more of my dad’s dance moves here!
Hands down the best thing about throwing a dance party for 300 sober women is just watching them ALL CUT LOOSE. There’s no judgement, no one worrying about looking the hottest or most fashionable. And as I shimmy around the party, trying to thank everyone for coming, I’m just always floored by the amount of love and joy. Women come to the party together, thinking they know one another and quite often I hear them leave saying to one another, “I HAD NO IDEA YOU HAD THAT IN YOU.”
Guys. I get super confused and overwhelmed trying to figure out what it is I’m supposed to do. I’ve worked so hard to create a “brand” and I did that, but now I’m still figuring out the business. HA! I did it all backwards. People ask me to explain “The Alison Show” and lots of times I just say, “Your guess is as good as mine.” But really when it comes down to it if I can build an empire on THIS. This exact thing right here, creating experiences that leave people saying, “I just didn’t know I had that in me…” I think that’s exactly what I want to do. Now I just need to figure out how to make a business out of that! Ha.
But in the meantime, thank you thank you thank you for helping me create this. Thank you thank you thank you for your love and support.
You’re amazing. You’re perfect. I wish you so much love.
Life is filled with love. Let’s all find it, share it and receive it. This is me, shoving my love in your face.
Happy dancing you sexy beast.
SPONSORS AND FRIENDS
Eleventh Avenue – Pinatas and Fabulous Accessories
Orson Gygi – Candy Table and Cotton Candy
Zurcher’s – Party Supplies/ Balloons / Crepe Paper / Mylar /Pinatas Base
Sodalicious – Delicious Soda Drinks
PIXL Parties – Dance Floor
Vintage Marquee Lights – “ALISON’S” Lights
Custom Tattoos – Love & Lion