Nancy Pfeifer of Gilbert has more than 11,314 Facebook “Likes” (as of yesterday afternoon) and more than 1,100 subscribers to her blog. She has used social media tools as well as networking in person at events around the country to promote her business, A to Zebra Celebrations, which she started two years ago.
A to Zebra sells party decorations, especially zebra-themed decorations, in the United States and internationally, through her Etsy shop. For Pfeifer, as with many entrepreneurs, the idea for the business came about because she couldn’t find what she wanted in stores. So she started making her own. Soon, friends asked her to create decorations for them, and then they encouraged her to sell them.
“I didn’t think I was that crafty until after I started throwing my daughters’ parties,” Pfeifer says. But she had exposure to it. “My mom is very crafty,” she says. “She owns a craft store in Mexico. I grew up watching her making just about everything.”
Pfeifer started writing about her party decorations on her personal blog, along with family news. The blog attracted the attention of people looking for creative party themes and decorations, so eventually she started a separate blog for her business devoted solely to her decorations.
At this point in A to Zebra’s growth, all the profits she makes on her business go toward paying a bookkeeper and people who sew for her, her laptop, camera, Internet service, the cost to travel around the country to events and of course more material for decorations.
Pfeifer also has launched a new website, mypartyisover.com, where people can sell used decorations after their party. Currently it costs 49 cents to list items for sale.
The key to increasing the exposure of A to Zebra products, she says, is to submit her party ideas to other blogs featuring new decorating ideas popular with moms, who are always on the lookout for ideas for their next party. These provide links back to her blog and Etsy shop . She also features ideas and products she likes from other creative crafts people on her blog, to create the connections to spread the word about her and their business.
Pfiefer is sticking to making and shipping decorations rather than becoming a party and event planner, because parties and events take place mostly on weekends. She makes and ships the decorations before the party, allowing her to be home on weekends with her daughters Hannah (4) and Ashley (5) and her husband Steve.
She works at home in her zebra-themed office, formerly a spare bedroom, with many drawers, boxes and shelves for her supplies as well as doors she can close when she’s working and isn’t to be disturbed.
Learn more about A to Zebra Celebrations.
Story and photos by Daniel Friedman