Party People: Brandy Barkas
Pink Pickle Studios
Brandy Barkas is an e-commerce retailer that sells children’s birthday invitations and handcrafted party decorations. She has always loved throwing parties for her own children. After creating invitations and decorations for her children and family, she began selling her designs online at PinkPickleStudios.com, as well as through Etsy, as Pink Pickle Parties.
1. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Some of the best advice I’ve received is from my business mentor, Renae Christine. She talked about skill versus passion and told me that I should do what “physically makes me swoon.” Well for me, I love everything to do with paper and designing parties. I have such a passion for it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. I love following new trends and since paper and party designing makes me “swoon,” learning the skills of creating the fun designs comes easy.
2. What are your goals for the year?
My No. 1 goal this year is to redesign all of my products and make them into editable templates. Right now, I physically personalize each product and email the file to the customer. The customer can then print the file and send out their invites or start assembling their decorations. Once I have all of our files converted to editable templates, the customer will be able to purchase the design and download it right away. They will be able to easily add in their party details, print & ship their invites all within 10 minutes of purchasing. As a mom too, I understand how quickly time can get away from us and the ability to get an invitation out so quickly at an affordable price is so important.
3. What are some of the biggest surprises you’ve faced in the retail industry?
As an online retailer, it seemed that it was going to be harder to connect with my customers and be able to give that one-on-one feeling when helping plan their child’s party. I have been so happily surprised at the relationships that I have made with my customers. I never would have imagined that I would make so many lasting friendships just by designing invitations and party supplies. My customers give me so many ideas and support. I absolutely love my customers!
4. How do you stay passionate about what you do?
I think it just comes natural. I absolutely love designing and using my creativity to create fun colorful designs. I only create what I love; if I am starting to create a new design and it does not make me happy, I don’t do it. It is my job to help create the first impression for a child’s big day. How can you not be passionate about a child’s smiling face?
5. If you had $10,000 to do whatever you wanted to your store, what renovations would you make?
(The money) would help open an actual storefront. As of now, Pink Pickle Studios is run out of a home office. While my husband is very supportive, I’m sure he would love it if the office was not full of colorful paper, ribbon, envelopes and party supplies. Being able to have a storefront is a dream that is in the works. For now, working at home and being here with my husband and children is most important. There will always be time for a store when they are grown.