Peer Perspective: Mary Billings, Love of Character
Owner, Love of Character
Billings’ Love of Character grew into a brick-and-mortar store and event center out of a side gig Mary Billings did just because she enjoyed art and planning parties. Now the 1,900-square-foot corner shop is a Wichita hot spot.
What services do you offer?
Party planning, balloon design, party setup, DIFY (Do It For You) crafting, help with invitations, help with wedding invitations & products (day of materials, bridesmaid gifts, hotel welcome gifts, etc.), corporate gifts, personalization on certain products
What is your background? How did you become adept at planning parties?
Funny enough I have an accounting degree and worked for a large corporation in their commodities trading department before leaving to work fulltime with the shop. Growing up, however, I loved party planning and crafting. I was very into planning my birthday parties and would randomly help others as well. I was the babysitter that would show up with crafts, and my favorite free time activity was working on random art projects.
When someone enters the store and expresses interest in having their event there, what questions do you typically ask to help them either create a vision or execute one they may already have?
What type of event is it? Do you have a look or theme that you are going for? What is your budget goal? How many people?
Any advice on customer service?
It is so important! We are dealing with it a lot since we sell products and help host events. When helping customers find party supplies that go well with their event, or the perfect gift, we want to make sure we understand their needs and help fulfill them. With the events, they are coming to us to throw a beautiful party, and we want to make sure they can do just that.