Bringing a funky flavor to your party

WAXHAW – When it comes to FunkyTown Parties, owners Erin Zitelli-Davis and Jennifer Mosblech just want to have fun.

Erin Zitelli-Davis (left) and Jennifer Mosblech opened FunkyTown Parties three years ago at The Fountains shopping center in Charlotte..

That’s what makes their partnership so great, they say. Not only are they business partners, but first and foremost, they’re friends.

The two, both Waxhaw residents, opened FunkyTown Parties about three years ago after months of brainstorming and forming an ever-changing business plan, Zitelli-Davis said. She saw a need in the Charlotte community for a party space designed specifically for teens – a place that’s trendy, yet safe, and when it came time for ironing out the details, she needed someone to help brainstorm and get the plan rolling. That’s where Mosblech came in.

“I had started writing the business plan. I kept calling her and asking for her input and I finally just asked her to be my partner and we’ve been 50/50 ever since,” Zitelli-Davis said. “She’s definitely more detail-oriented and I’m more big picture.”

FunkyTown Parties, located in The Fountains shopping center at 8155 Ardrey Kell Road in Charlotte, offers various packages for children and teens, from themes like Funky Spa Party and Funky Glow Diva Party, to Sweet 16 and Teen V.I.P. Club parties. Their party room, fully equipped with disco balls, turn tables and graffiti designs appealing to teens, provides the perfect space for urban-feel parties in a safe environment and is the only business of its kind throughout the Charlotte region, the girls said.

Zitelli-Davis and Mosblech both moved to the Charlotte area several years ago – Zitelli-Davis for her job and Mosblech for a change of pace. The ladies each have two children, three of which attend Sandy Ridge Elementary School. They say when starting their business, balancing work and their jobs as moms and wives was by far the greatest challenge. With a small staff to start, like most business owners, the ladies said they found themselves doing the jobs of many, and at times were working seven days a week.

“It’s not fun anymore if you work seven days a week,” Mosblech said. “Now, we have learned to balance our time. You have to find a good medium of juggling families and work.”

The girls have 15 part-time employees called party leads, all typically high school students, who take on various roles during parties such as party motivators, bouncers and DJs.

“They are wonderful,” Zitelli-Davis said about the staff. “The number one thing is making sure the kids are having a good time and they feel special and all of our staff can do that.”

When it comes to any business, the ladies said an important factor for success is to always keep ideas fresh and be sure to not let the business get stale. For FunkyTown Parties, both ladies say they’ve made some bad business decisions, but it’s all been through trial and error. If something was not working for their business, they’ve had no problem changing it up and trying new things.

And for women looking to open their own businesses, writing a business plan and finding the right business partner is key, they said, adding the job wouldn’t be as fun or successful without each other.

“Start with a business plan. If you don’t have a plan, that to me is a deal breaker,” Zitelli-Davis said.  “And that plan always has to evolve because our business changes from year to year.”

As partners, Mosblech said the two are constantly bouncing ideas off of each other, as their business is very creative and calls for keeping up with latest trends and music and requires the ladies to come up with new party ideas, as they’ve seen repeat customers from year to year.

But at the end of the day, their partnership is what has made the business so strong, they say, as both of them bring different skills and ideas to the table.

“You’ve got to choose your business partner like you choose your husband. It’s like a marriage in its own sense,” Moseblech said. “And we just love to have fun. It just wouldn’t be the same without her.”

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