Monday, September 28, 2015

An Interview with the Founder

The purpose of this blog will be to document the daily experiences and adventures we share with our clients. From weddings to carnivals, we are able to capture the joy everyone is able to share at these events and we would like to invite the world to enjoy these adventures with us. But first, you should know more about who we are as a business, and what we are able to do for our customers and our communities. 

In todays world we have an endless amount of resources at our fingertips. With just the click of a mouse, dreams can come true. However, the chasing your dreams has not always been this convenient. In 1992, Deborah James found an opportunity on the side of a highway and made her, and her family's, dreams come true. This is an interview with the creator herself to hear about how Deborah's Party Rentals came to be, along with what struggles and triumphs Deborah faced along the way. 


What made you decide to start your own business? 
I was working very hard for another company and I have always had an entrepreneurial heart, but even moreso, my husband and I had a burning desire to be able to put our family first as a working mother. I wanted to make a difference but not necessarily stay at home. I wanted to "have it all" and with being a business owner, I felt like we could do just that. My husband believed in me and thought that together we could create a great company that would take us into our retirement years. Our mission was to create a better family life with a company that represented just that. We desired more joy in our life and for our children and we created a business opportunity that could keep those values at the core of the company.

Why did you choose the party rentals industry?
This really seems like a "God-thing." We were riding down I-65 with this dream in our heart and we noticed a Clown Moonwalk for sale. We didn't really have the money to buy it, but I couldn't get the possibilities out of my mind. I knew that I could rent this moonwalk out on the weekends, bring joy to children at birthday parties or church events, and make additional income at the same time. I can’t remember if my husband was on the same page or not—I think it looked like “heavy” work to him.  The thoughts would not leave my mind though. We shared this dream with my father, and as all good parents do, he supported our dream for me to work myself out of my full-time job so I could spend more time with my children. "Where there's a will, there is a way," well we found a very unconventional way to purchase that moonwalk by thinking outside the box, and it served us well for many years. We replaced that clown moonwalk after countless fun rentals. It was faded and worn, but I'll never forget it. It was the most fun way to begin our dream career. We worked hard, involved our friends and family, treated people like we would like to be treated, kept the focus on the joy and God blessed us with more.  I'm so glad that I didn't just turn up the music and keep driving! I listened to my heart.

Once you realized you wanted to own your own business, how did you make that dream come to life?
We started our business in a very old-fashioned way.  With one Clown Moonwalk, lots of hard work, great marketing and even better word-of-mouth. We took such a personal interest in the birthday parties' that the parents worked so hard to give their children. It was noticed. Then, they would tell others about the fun time that had and the personal attention they were given. It quickly turned referral-based and customers kept booking more and more parties. The work was labor-intensive, but the moonwalks were rented out for a couple of hours at a time and several times a day. Eventually, we were making more money from the weekend business than I was with my full-time job. My job discovered what I was doing, so, I turned in my notice which turned out to be one of the best decisions that I ever made. Our motivation increased to really make OUR business successful.  Besides, by this point, we were really popular with our children's friends.  Our cool factor went way up and so did our revenue!  :)

Do you have any other passions or interests outside of the business?
I wish we had more passions and interests but when you work for yourself that becomes your passion because it all starts and ends with my husband and me. We've always poured our heart and soul into our business but only because we wanted to pour more of our heart and soul into the lives of our family. Our family is our passion and all of our interests revolve around them. Now, it's just not our children, we have grandchildren...of all ages...so our interests are softball, beauty pageants, soccer, trains and even their own business ventures (We have some grandchildren in their 20's and one less than a year old)...that's how we stay so young at heart! We are fortunate enough to have a weekend house on Smith Lake so we all enjoy boating, swimming, tubing....and of course, cook-outs!

Are there any major accomplishments or milestones you would like to share?
We've received several plaques and recognitions from the corporations that we've worked for such as UAB, Southern Company, and Mercedes. We have also recognitions for festivals around the city, as well as other events and activities that we have been involved in. Happy faces and the joy that we can give our customers are the best reward, but we do enjoy all of the appreciation and recognition that we've received.  

How have you been able to give back to the community?
Fund-raising has been such a great reward.  We've been able to change lives when communities all across the state have surrounded a child or family in need due to illness or some other devastating life event.  Those things really warm the heart and bring the communities together in times of need and gives them not only joy, but strength.

Deborah's Party Rentals has not only filled the dreams of the James Family, but also to many other families in the area. Whether it is a kids birthday party, a church/school event, and even dream weddings, this business is here to provide for the community. These special days would not be the same with out the extordinarry service, friendliness, and amusement that Deborah offers. Sure, a bounce house can be rented from anywhere, but only Deborah's will treat your family, and event, as if you are the first and only priority.