Making every birthday memorable

July 27, 2010 at 5:36 pm Leave a comment

Party table

“I have pages 1-10 and 13-20 of the ScribLib, but two kids are still working on their art.  Can you start making the books without those?”

“Does anyone know where the extra candles are?”

“The birthday girl changed her mind and doesn’t want anything pink.  Please help me blow up purple balloons and change the tablecloths, quick!”

Birthday parties are always an interesting mix of quick thinking, fast acting, and making magic happen.  When the first Scribble Press opened back in 2008 in Los Angeles, it seemed impossible that we would be able to have 30 kids write and illustrate a book together, and each take home a copy, but we’ve gotten it down to a science.   There’s fun and creativity backed up by a highly streamlined production process, coming together to make magic. 

The other day we hosted Layla’s 8th birthday.  Before the party she and her mother chose to have a ScribLib party and the theme “A Zany Day at the Zoo”.  Happy chaos is the nature of a birthday party – no matter how much we plan there are unknowns.  At the ScribLib parties we have to get the kids to give us words to fill in the blanks of the story.  At Layla’s party, for some reason, all the kids wanted to include the word ‘bikini’ as much as possible.  When we asked for adjectives we heard ‘bikini pink’ and ‘bikini tall’ (nope, they didn’t all make sense!).  The nouns were ‘bikini’ and ‘bikini beach’ and ‘bikini zoo’.  None of us could figure out what the overwhelming interest in bikinis was for, but the kids clearly saw an entertainment factor in the word.

Cake time!

Working with the group and the odd things, like bikinis, that come up is a large part of making the birthday parties successful.  We have a plan going in and a way that we operate, but what is most important is that the birthday girl or boy has a fantastic and memorable birthday.  Having a birthday party but don’t want us to sing happy birthday?  Not a problem.  You want a surprise party for your 4 year old?  Of course.  The kids seem to have ants in their pants?  Let’s have a dance party! 

While the party leaders and assistants are entertaining and having fun with the children the production staff works their magic in the back.  In the span of about an hour they will create 25 books, or 35 notebooks, or 26 placemats.  It may sound like a joke to say they make magic happen, but they truly do.  No matter what the problems with the equipment or confusion of items delivered from the party, the production staff makes sure that the projects are finished in time for the kids to all leave with what they made at the end of the party.

Gift bags for party guests

Once Layla and her friends finished their work on the book they moved on to pizza and dancing.  In the back the production staff began the quick scurrying dance of getting all the books made in less than an hour.  In that span of time they scanned and made multiple copies of the inside pages of the books, designed the cover for the books, cut, bound, and finish trimmed 25 books.  In addition they made a board book of all the birthday wishes that Layla’s friends had drawn for her.  Everything was ready about 15 minutes before the party ended, just in time to be read aloud while the kids enjoyed birthday cake!

When the parties end and the kids go home the staff still has work to do:   putting away all the markers, sweeping the cake bits off the floor, restoring order to the production area, and putting the store back together so it’s in top shape for the next party.  After Layla’s party we got a bit of a treat, though, her parents were nice enough to leave a couple pieces of cake for us!

-Kerry A. Williams
General Manager
Scribble Press NYC

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Scribble Press in Santa Monica, CA 90403 | Parents Connect Local Capturing the Magic: Empowering Our Kids to Write

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