To call Susie Blumenfeld, founder and owner of Pink House Productions, a party planner is like requesting a Faberge egg sunny-side up: a bit of enlightenment is required. A PHP production goes way beyond “party,” practically coruscating in over-the-top everything, from enormous flower balls to piles of candy to crystal-encrusted sneakers.
A quick perusal of her office, brimming with colorful faux leather samples for yarmulkes, hundreds of personalized water bottles, and jars of giant pixie sticks, belies the organization and attention to detail which she lavishes upon each of her—I’ll write it again but the word isn’t big enough—parties.
Susie and her husband raised their three daughters in Westport and lived here for 26 years before moving to Fairfield. She “fell into” event planning 11 years ago, when her girls were at CMS and Staples. Pretty soon she was producing her signature blow-outs—and still is—almost every weekend, from Long Island to Boston.
Each event (still not an adequate word) begins with a pink folder containing a timeline, a “Complete Event Planning Services Client Checklist,” Susie’s Word of Wisdom and a list of “To-Go” treat ideas.
“We do everything,” she says.
Her checklist attests to this: It begins with Venue Selection and ends with Miscellaneous: Bags for hotel guests. It may seem a daunting list, but she affirmed: “We make it [party planning] fun. My husband says, ‘Everyone wants to be in our family when the parties are over.’”
The parties—weddings, birthdays, bar and bat mitzvahs—begin with a kick-off meeting, to bestow the pink folder and discuss ideas. Susie showed me a drawing a young girl had made of a rainbow, her aesthetic vision for her bat mitzvah.
This rainbow served as the basis for the party design, eventually becoming an ombre logo and working its way into everything that could be rainbow-ed, including the lighting. The sides of the acrylic tables were rainbow, and rainbow-colored balloons festooned one of the walls. The party favors were gray sweatpants with the rainbow logo.
“Now I’m obsessed with rainbows!” Susie grins.
With infectious enthusiasm, she pulled out fabric samples and calligraphed wedding invitations with coordinating stamps. Then she plunked a large box of napkins from past parties on her desk.
“There are millions in here,” she says, excitedly pulling out bright napkins with whimsical lettering.
Printed on each was a logo or tagline or both. Taglines ran the gamut: “Barnes & Noah” for a young man who loved to read, “Best BASSmitzvah Ever!” for the Bass family.
Once PHP created a party for a vegan girl who loved cows. Susie recalled thinking, “Cows? I’m into pretty.” And guess what? “I made them pretty!” She showed me a napkin with the girl’s name in metallic block lettering, a cow profile at the end. A charming logo any girl would love, cow lover or not.
But the best part is “To-Go,” the end-of-the-event grab-what-you-want no-portion-control extravagance of everything your mom begs you not to eat. Whether they create beach shacks filled with candy or a concession stand stuffed with baseballs and Big League chew, all is free for the taking. It’s the party guest’s equivalent of a Free Jewelry sign in the window of Tiffany’s.
“I just know what people want. I don’t know how to explain it,” she shrugs.
Then, assessing the controlled and colorful chaos of her office, she sits back.
“I have to have a TV show. I could be funny on TV. My husband won’t be in it, but my kids would love it.”
A PHP production goes way beyond 'party,' practically coruscating in over-the-top everything, from enormous flower balls to piles of candy to crystal-encrusted sneakers.