Jolie Dionisio has always gone all out for her kids’ birthday parties. Fellow parents constantly told her she had to get into the event business, but at the time it was just a hobby. In October 2015, she launched Wild Child Party, an event-styling company based out of Long Beach, Calif.
The word spread quickly about Dionisio’s talent for creating Pinterest-perfect parties, and before she knew it, she had gone from a stay-at-home mother of three to a business owner running a party service, online retail shop and event space.
“One thing led to another, and the referrals started coming in. I definitely did not anticipate the rate at which we are growing,” Dionisio tells Mom.me. “I was expecting to ease in and test the waters, but I’m a pleaser and ended up saying, ‘Sure! We can do that!’ to nearly everything.”
Her willingness to take on these freelance jobs paid off quickly. A local business invited her to open a pop-up shop of curated party supplies, and within a month the business had scaled enough to warrant her own brick-and-mortar. She has since moved to a larger storefront in Long Beach and is consistently recruited by A-list celebrities and brands for everything from her full-service party styling, and custom “party in a box” service, to her Instagram-worthy balloon bar.
Dionisio tells us how she balances building a business and being mom.
Describe the moment when you were inspired to create Wild Child Party.
I can’t pinpoint an exact moment, but I always really loved throwing parties for my kids. It was just something I really enjoyed doing and it seemed so effortless. Then mothers and friends would ask me to help them with their celebrations, and it just blossomed from there.
As a mother and owner of Wild Child Party, how do you make it all work?
It wasn’t easy! Wild Child is a team effort. When I’m home, I make it a point to be available and present to the family—we try to always come together at dinner and discuss everyone’s day. I certainly couldn’t do this on my own. I am also fortunate to have a super-supportive husband and to work alongside some really amazing and talented girls.
What's your advice for moms who are looking to start their own business?
Love what you do. It is never easy, but having a passion makes you persist. Also, thick skin is a must—you are putting yourself out there win or lose.
When did you first feel successful?
I feel more fulfilled than successful. We are still in the early stages of the business and pouring everything into it. We continually strive to exceed expectations, which keeps us moving forward—never look back, right? This hustle sets us apart and will continue to guide our success.
As a successful female entrepreneur, what are some ways that you want to teach your daughters and son about "girl power"?
We are constantly teaching our children that you need to give respect to get it. That goes for anyone—boy or girl. My son sees how my husband is my biggest fan and supports me wherever possible, and my daughters see that their mother is working hard to grow something for our family. All of them know that if they try their best they can do anything.
If you could have lunch with any business person/entrepreneur/nonprofit founder living or dead, who would it be and why?
I am super inspired by other mompreneurs. These women come from all walks of life and do their own thing. It's amazing how much we can all learn from each other. I've always thought Jessica Alba was an inspiration and would love to share a lunch with her. Her work-life balance seems incredible, considering the million directions she is probably pulled in every day. I can't imagine how she does it! I was fortunate enough to style a recent commercial shoot for her company, The Honest Company. I kept it pretty cool around her but was squealing with joy on the inside. It was surreal.
What sacrifices have you made as a mother of three and business owner to keep everything in balance?
I have definitely missed out on things and spent hours away that I’ll never get back, but my family knows I am doing this for them and they are so super supportive. With three kids, you learn to not sweat the small stuff and roll with the punches. I do my best to savor every moment with them. My husband and I always joke that our life is beautiful chaos, but we love it and wouldn’t change it for the world.
How has being a mom influenced your party style?
Being a mother has made me very resourceful. I’m a “make it work” kind of gal—you don’t need to break the bank to celebrate in style. We LOVE to go all out and make it a spectacle, but at the end of the day some cupcakes and balloons will always produce some smiling faces.
What are some of your favorite parties that you have styled?
Tough question! There are too many to name just one, but each one has a special place and moment in our hearts. When a client trusts us enough to let our imaginations run wild, we always push ourselves to see how far we can take it. Looking at our efforts and saying, “WOW, that was a great party” is really rewarding.
How do you make sure that each event that you style is unique?
We do our best to find that special detail that makes the party memorable. Paying attention and being thoughtful goes a long way. Recently, we have been going above and beyond to make custom items for each event. It’s the small things that have the biggest impact.
What kind of impact do you think the increase of moms on social media outlets like Instagram and Pinterest has had on the success of your business?
It really is a game-changer. We had a clothing store many years back, and we had to really pound the pavement to get noticed. It consumed nearly all of our time! Now we have access to millions of potential customers at our fingertips. Being able to communicate and connect with our audience in real time gives us instant feedback to determine what resonates. You can iterate quickly and try again. Before social media, this kind of exposure and feedback would have been nearly impossible and very expensive for a small business.
Are there any new initiatives or products on the horizon for Wild Child Party?
We are really dialing in our online services. Our custom party box service allows us to deliver a Wild Child Party anywhere in the world. We work with the client in the same way as with our locally styled events and curate the entire party for them. It is very affordable and allows them to do something spectacular they may have not been able to do on their own. We have also begun to explore other locations and even our own line of goods—which could be a lot of fun!