Article from The Monitor

Prim and Proper Valley woman starts business hosting tea parties by Brandice J. O’Brien

img_2005Harlingen—Many little girls play dress-up with Barbie dolls and dream in pink and purple. Rainbows, teddy bears and tea parties define their world. As they grow up, they abandon childhood fantasies and tea parties end—unless they are like Carrie Fullerton who did not set up her tea parties until she reached adulthood. “I was never a real foo-foo person. I thought tea parties were for snobs,” Fullerton said.

After she married, Fullerton read home organizing books by author Emilie Barnes. One book lead to another and soon she was reading “If Teacups Could Talk”. The story inspired her and she saw an elegant side to tea parties.

Through the direction of her mother-in-law, Fullerton started a business, “Little Women Tea Parties,” in which girls, ages 3 and up are invited to take part in a grand socializing event, complete with a delicate china tea set, genuine silverware, beverages and snacks. “It’s a nice way to pamper yourself,” Fullerton said. “Socializing without a lot of cooking involved.”

Since introducing the business in July 2000, Fullerton has been hosting tea parties for little girls. She offers 10 themes including “Mommy and Me,” “Teddy and Me” and “Women’s Groups”. Fullerton has 5 packages—Royal Tea Parties, Specialty Parties, Host Your Own, Bridal Showers and Baby Showers. Prices range from $100 for Host Your Own to $199 for a 2 hour party. Fullerton offers “Host Your Own Tea Parties,” which is accessories for a tea party for those who may not want a party planner.

Parties and prices are set up for eight guests, although other arrangements can be made. In addition to party food served on dainty table service, children can enunciate the atmosphere with dress-up clothes and accessories provided by Fullerton. All will be able to remember the event with a keepsake Polaroid and will be able to indulge in a game or activity.

img_2669Although tea parties may come across as children’s fun, Fullerton assures that adults can take part in the event as well. “I would be interested in doing bridal and baby showers,” Fullerton said. “I would love to do adult tea parties as well.” Because of the age difference, grown-up tea parties would vary slightly. Since Fullerton doesn’t have dresses to fit adults, they could only use her accessories. Also, she would suggest a different menu. “Instead of bread, I’d suggest croissant rolls to make it more adult,” Fullerton said. “One day, I would like to have my own shop, so (people) could come to me for parties,” Fullerton said. Currently, she travels to either the guest of honors home or their choice site for the party. “I’d really love to buy a Victorian home with a side area to do the business out of home, but still a shop.”

Fullerton prefers her clients book services at least four weeks in advance in order to make the necessary arrangements. for more information, call 956-778-0805

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