Ashley Cash loves to throw a good party. After years of planning some of Charlotte’s most beautiful weddings, the 31-year-old owner of The Graceful Host relished the task of throwing her son Ryan’s first birthday party: a fiesta-theme affair.
But it wasn’t until parents who attended asked to buy her leftover party supplies that she started to think about a new vertical for her business.
Two years—and another son—later, The Graceful Host rolled out Party Kits: boxes, starting at $175, that are full of all the supplies you’d need to throw a curated, social-media-worthy kids’ birthday party, without the price tag of hiring an event planner to throw it. Cash even offers custom boxes, where you can build your own party from the ground up with her help. Lightly edited for brevity and clarity.
What’s the appeal of your boxes?
It fits the need of that Pinterest desire a lot of us have. Most of us want things to look nice, whether that’s home décor, the meals we’re cooking, or the parties we’re throwing. We want them to look a certain way, but we don’t have the time or vision. I find it fun, but for others, it’s tedious. I want to make it easier for people to throw the party.
How’d you decide what kits to offer?
I went straight to moms all over the Southeast, where I have the largest connection of friends and networks. I said, what are your favorite birthday parties you’ve attended? What were the themes? I looked for patterns.
What does each kit offer?
Each pack will serve up to 24 guests and works out to about $4 to $6 per person. They come with cups, plates, napkins, cutlery. All of them have balloons and décor curated for the specific theme. The Viva La Fiesta box has piñatas, a runner, and a banner, whereas the Superhero box has superhero masks and cutouts you can hang. There’s also access to an online style guide, which includes party planning tips and instructions for a DIY project to take the party kit further.
Are they geared toward girls and boys?
If I was going to bring a product into the world, I wanted to make sure some options skewed toward boys. It’s sad—they often get forgotten. So yes, there are cute girl things in this line, but there are a lot that could be gender neutral and a lot that could be 100-percent boy.
Do you see this branching out beyond kids’ birthday parties?
Yes. I’ve even had women saying, “I’m having a bachelorette party for my sister,” or “we’re having a 21st-birthday party.” Showers, engagements, babies, milestone birthdays. I’ve done a handful of custom orders, which I really love doing. I’ve also got a bunch of individual items for sale and kits for Thanksgiving and Christmas. thegracefulhost.com
Headshot by Holeigh V Photography. Party Kit photos by Chrissy Winchester Photography