Brand stories: Styled party kits for the perfect dinner party

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The story of Party Kit Company with Co-Founder Lel Brassel Ngo

The idea for Party Kit Company was conceived in a dingy apartment in Berkeley, California in early 2014. My husband, Khai, and I had left Sydney for a while to study and soak up the 'entrepreneurial spirit' often associated with the San Francisco Bay Area.

One afternoon, while researching party decorations for a styling assignment, I realised how much easier it would be if there were 'kits' of party products available; a 'party in a box' for those short on time, or didn't have the eye for design. Khai walked in the door that arvo, I told him about the idea, and within 48 hours we'd mapped out a business plan and started sourcing products.

We began with two product lines: party kits and living kits. We wanted to be the source for all things 'kits', but about a year after launching, we realised marketing and messaging were too confusing, so we decided to focus solely on Party Kits - we both have a background in event management, so it made sense to focus on that.

We've been so lucky to have family and friends lend their skills to get us up and running (web design, accounting, graphics, etc.), but other than this, we've done everything ourselves. Our belief is to give everything a go, so we can discover what our strengths are, and what we need to outsource. We still do almost everything, except the accounting and the styled shoots.

Q&A with Lel

Why did you decide to utilise Creatively Squared to create your brand’s visual content?
For the first couple of years, I took every photo myself. Looking back on some of those original photos? Wow, they were bad. I still take standard product shots, but coordinating and shooting Insta-worthy images stresses me out - I am no pro when it comes to getting that perfectly lit image.

We decided to use Creatively Squared after Ruth reached out to me; they were a small business starting up, addressing a pain point we were experiencing at that exact moment. I felt like it was meant to be! Having a transparently priced package with a set amount of images was the main attraction; some photographers charge by the hour and you don't often know how many images to expect.

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How does Party Kit Company use content to build its brand?
Other party stores tend to just use product photos from wholesalers/manufacturers. Because we package a whole range of products from different manufacturers, custom visual content is a necessity. It is incredibly important to show our potential customers what our products look like in a coordinated manner - a simple collage won't cut it; buyers are short on time and need to see exactly what they're getting (in the prettiest way possible).

When assessing the popularity of each Party Kits, the top sellers are most definitely the ones with the most stunning, styled images to match! That's proof to us how important attractive, visual content is.

What would be your advice to a brand thinking about organising authentic lifestyle content of their products?
Outsource! Unless you're an experienced photographer, or have the time and patience to learn, it's best to get a professional. What you may achieve in six hours, a professional may get done in one hour. Honestly, I could use those extra four hours to work on social media marketing, blogs, website updates, product sourcing, or the million-and-one other things that I'm more skilled at!

What is your favourite image from Creatively Squared? 
My favourite image is the very first image I received back from Nikki of our Donut Party Kit. I remember I was sitting in the doctor's waiting room for some reason, and I gasped when I saw the image. I couldn't stop staring, even on my tiny phone. It was so bright and fun; it captured EXACTLY what our brand is about - clean lines, bright colours and classy composition.

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What are your personal favourite brands, blogs, websites?
I steer clear of the event industry for creative inspiration, particularly because I think many events nowadays are a bit excessive, especially for young kids! I am a big believer of drawing inspiration from outside sources in order to be truly unique. In an alternate universe, I would have been an architect or florist, so follow brands like Architectural Digest, The Interiors Addict, Hermetica, Floret and McQueens. My personal Insta-feed is an endless stream of flowers, home inspo, and fluffy dogs, of course!

What's next for Party Kit Company?
Big changes! We've done a lot of analysis recently on what customers love the most and also what I enjoy curating; the big winners are our high-end, boutique kits. We previously tried to be everything to everyone, and released licensed items (think Moana, Paw Patrol, My Little Pony...), but honestly, you can grab that stuff at the local discount store. Our renewed focus is on those truly unique items you can only find at the most exclusive party stores; our aim is to give busy parents the most stunning celebrations (in a box), in the most friction-less way possible. Creatively Squared will be with us as we release these new kits, and we can't wait to share the gorgeous visual content their stylists produce!

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Follow Party Kit Company on Instagram @partykitco and Facebook and shop the collection at partykit.co