Marketplace: Get a little extra help at your party
July 8, 2011
The Martin sisters love parties and know how frustrating it is when the hosts are kept so busy they never get to enjoy it themselves.
That’s why they started Helping Hands a company that does the grunt work so throwing a party can be fun again.
Park City is home to several event-planning businesses, but hiring a professional planner may be overkill for a birthday party or backyard soiree. Helping Hands strives to be an affordable and realistic option for everyone.
The Martins don’t plan events; they do all the unpleasant work from setting up, shopping and last-minute errands, to serving and cleaning up.
Laurie Martin is a professional educator and Brenda Martin is a professional dog walker. They started Helping Hands after being called upon by their own mother numerous times to help.
Their mother, a Park Meadows resident, loves to entertain. Laurie and Brenda say they became expert at managing the before-, during- and after-party chores. It only occurred to them this was a marketable skill when they realized how few people have teenage or adult children willing to be helpful and friendly at a parent’s party.
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Now Laurie and Brenda make themselves available to anyone.
"We decided there was a niche in Park City for this kind of work," Laurie explained.
"I enjoy being around people and love throwing (parties) myself," Brenda said.
Laurie has extensive experience waitressing and serving drinks and Brenda said she’s done her share as well. Both have day jobs that require them to work with people, satisfy their needs and build relationships of trust.
Most of their business so far has been from referrals. Between the two of them, the sisters say they can handle anything and can be trusted with any task big or small.
During the summer, Helping Hands is marketing its services for birthday parties, barbeques, work parties, family reunions, housewarming parties or whatever else. In the winter, the Martin sisters would like to assist with holiday parties, big dinners, corporate events and other special occasions.
Neither can think of a more fun atmosphere to work in.
"I love the energy at a party and seeing it all transpire from the first table set-up," Laurie said.
They enjoy being around that positive mood and understand what it takes for everyone including the host to have a good time.
Helping Hands invites people to involve them in the early stages of event planning so the Martins can give logistical advice. If they’re available, however, Laurie and Martin are willing to jump in at the last minute if a host is in a lurch and needs more help than anticipated.
The more work that goes into a party, the better the chance it will be a good one, Brenda added.
"It’s nice to have extra people to set you at ease," she said.