Ashley Dunn has been planning parties for a decade. But a few weeks ago she took her passion a step further and opened Creative Party Bug on Main Street in downtown Lowell. Her storefront offers gifts, a space to rent for small parties, and of course her consulting and help with event planning. The name of the business comes from Dunn’s creative flair for planning parties while touching upon the “party bug” which hits each fall as her favorite time to plan parties begins.
Planning parties for friends and family over the years has been a creative outlet. Those whom she has planned parties for have long been trying to convince Dunn to start her own business and she finally took the plunge. She’s looking forward to expressing her creativity by helping others who find themselves in a bind. “I can visualize something if people tell me what type of party they are looking for. I have made great friends with people in the community and found the perfect location right on the river in downtown Lowell.” she says of her new venture.
If a customer comes in with an idea for a party but can’t quite visualize how to pull a table setting, decorations, food, and possible activities during a gathering, Dunn can help walk through the various aspects of a successful event. One of the first steps in planning a party using Creative Party Bug is sitting down with a mood board. This initial stage will evaluate a theme, color scheme, and other ideas important to the person hosting a party. Dunn will take points made during the discussion and come up with an initial concept to work on until a final product is created. She is able to assist in a number of areas including tablescapes for dinner parties, decorating a location, food options, and even providing or finding a venue if needed. She’s even able to come to a home just to decorate and return after the party is over to clean up.
Hosting a party at the location of her store is also an option for customers. Accommodations for up to 35 people are available for birthdays, tea parties, wine tasting, baby showers, wedding showers, bachelorette parties, and other reasons to celebrate. A small deck at the back of the store overlooks the Flat River, offering a scenic view. And a small bar area is perfect for setting up snacks and drinks.
“What I love about planning parties is making people happy, and to take the stress away makes me happy.” she comments. “Some people really stress out, but it’s relaxing for me to express my creativity.” Dunn feels she offers a unique party planning option. If a customer visualizes an item Dunn currently does not have, there’s a good chance she can find it. Her favorite parties to plan are those around holidays, especially Halloween. She has a three-year old son who has a birthday near this date and has liked coming up with creative themes for his birthday each year.
Dunn will work with individuals to come up with a package which will work for their needs. Since each party is different, the cost of services will also differ. But for those looking to rent the space inside the store it’s just under $300 and an additional $100 should Dunn decorate for the occasion.
In addition to helping others plan parties and hosting them at her storefront, Creative Party Bug also offers a variety of hostess gifts, bridal party gifts, a balloon bar, a banner bard, cards, gift bags, a gift wrapping station, and more. Dunn is also working with local vendors to personalize gifts.
Each Friday fresh flowers are also delivered to the store by Hallel Perennial Gardens out of Alto. For $10 a selection of seasonal items in a mason jar can be yours. Dunn says Fridays are a great time to get something colorful to put in a home to enjoy over the weekend. Those who purchase flowers and bring the jar back can receive $1 off the purchase of a new arrangement. Fresh offerings will be available year-round.
Sunday Funday occurs from 5pm-7pm each week. Space is available for up to 20 participants to come and have fun. A different theme, craft, and food will be provided each week. The cost is $25 per person. While reservations are appreciated to help in planning, walk-ins are welcome provided space is still available. Upcoming weekly themes include Gourd-geous, It’s Fall Y’all, Keep Calm and Get Your Pumpkin On, Witches Brew Tea Party, Ghouls’ Night Out, Murder Mystery Night, and Chicks with Fangs. Contact Creative Party Bug for more information on what the theme entails and make reservations.
Dunn has prepared her store and has been welcoming customers since her official open on August 27. She enjoys the ability to come up with fresh ideas, find unique decorations, and help take away the stress of planning a party. The store’s other offerings make it place to stop to see new products or participate in some fun on a Sunday evening.
Creative Party Bug is open Tuesday – Friday 10-6, Saturday by appointment, and Sunday from 5pm-7pm and located at 102 W. Main Street. Visit their Facebook page for more information about products, weekly floral jars, and upcoming events.