As Desiray Mitchell's golden birthday grew closer, it became clear to her family that a huge celebration wasn't an option.
Desiray would turn 10 on Aug. 10 at the height of the pandemic, but her parents would make sure a small sleepover at their Broussard home would still feel special with over-the-top décor.
"I'm a Pinterest mom," Tinesha Mitchell said with a laugh. "My daughter didn't expect it to be what it was because I'm extra. I like to go all out. She was so excited and thrilled."
Mitchell and her husband created a stunning TikTok-themed glamping — glamorous camping — display with individual air mattresses and A-frame tents that gave Desiray and her guests their own sparkly spaces during the sleepover.
"It was kind of fabulous and unexpected," Desiray said.
After an overwhelmingly positive response from friends and family, Mitchell wondered if she could transform the pretty party into a business model. She found plenty of slumber party planning businesses across the country but found none in Acadiana.
Pretty Glam Sleepovers was born.
"I wanted to share this with other people to help them create memories," Mitchell said. "That's really the goal of Pretty Glam Sleepovers: to create memories."
The mother-daughter duo has planned more than 60 slumber parties since September. Each party comes with twin mattresses, bedding, tents, lanterns, bed trays and decorations. They also offer add-ons and custom requests.
Mitchell and Desiray do the planning, setup and teardown for a few parties each weekend, sometimes asking Desiray's dad for help for the bigger events.
The family business has grown quickly, and they sometimes have to turn people away since this isn't a full-time gig for either of Desiray's parents. Mitchell works as a case manager for people with special needs, and her husband works as a machinist and is in the National Guard.
"The most challenging part of all of this is telling people no when I'm not able to fit them into the schedule," Mitchell said. "I'm only able to do so many in a day because it takes at least an hour to set each up."
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Mitchell's favorite part, by far, is seeing a customer's reaction after the slumber party decorations are in place. She also loves planning themes alongside her daughter.
Mom can't decide on a favorite theme. Among her top picks are the mermaid, TikTok and rose gold themes. Her daughter's favorite is the rose gold theme.
"I like the sparkles and the glitter and the balloons," Desiray said.
The mother and daughter are always thinking of new themes or ways to help others execute their own concepts.
Desiray's latest idea is for a theme based on the popular online video game, Among Us. Mitchell's latest idea is for a series of more grownup themes for bachelorette parties.
"I've learned to just have fun," Mitchell said. "We actually have fun doing this. I've always enjoyed working with people, and I like that I have free range of my creativity."
Mitchell is learning business basics alongside her daughter through Pretty Glam Sleepovers. Desiray said she's saving most of what she earns but has purchased a few outfits and books with her new income.
"I've learned how to work hard and run a business," Desiray said. "What I like most about it is having fun and just being with my mom."
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Desiray's TikTok birthday theme was inspired by her love for the social networking app where she enjoys watching and posting dancing videos. She has taken dance lessons for eight of her 10 years.
When she's not dancing or helping her mom plan slumber parties, Desiray enjoys reading. She just completed fifth grade at Martial Billeaud Elementary School, where she was a member of the Million Word Reader Club and 200 Accelerated Reader Point Club for her achievements.
Desiray doesn't plan to focus on reading, dancing or party planning when choosing a career, however.
"I want to be an orthodontist or a dentist when I grow up," she said. "Right now, I'm going through a braces phase, and it's kind of fun — I mean, not really when you can't eat your favorite foods, but I like going through the phase where it changes the shape of your teeth."
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