FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Visit any mom's Facebook group page and you'll find the same question over and over again: Where should I go or who should I hire for my children's birthday party?
Mom of two Claire Gilvar was one of them. As was Meryl Lefkowitz. So, it seemed only natural that when the two were introduced by a mutual friend, they got to discussing it.
Gilvar, who, like Lefkowitz, has a background in public relations and events, had been conceptualizing an idea, which she and Lefkowtiz then tweaked.
The result? Booked Parties, a children's birthday party resource website and booking platform which filters searches by location, budget, venue and vendor designed to facilitate the entire process for children’s birthday party planning and special events.
The site, which launched in August 2015, has been so successful, the Chappaqua, N.Y. women have launched Booked Marketplace , an extension of Booked Parties.
This multi-merchant marketplace allows customers to shop from multiple storefronts within the website, providing a centralized checkout for a single and smooth transaction. All merchants featured on Booked Marketplace are proprietors within the areas the site reaches, specifically Westchester, Fairfield, Rockland, New York City and Northern New Jersey.
In the upcoming months Booked Marketplace will also implement a gift wish list where parents and children can create a customized registry for birthdays, holidays and other special occasions, which can be shared via email or social media.
There's also a Booked Parties blog which provides tips, and information on trends, gifts as well as featured interviews with merchant partners.
Clients will also find a few specialty storefronts including “Gift of Experience” for those looking for non-traditional or group gifting options and “Gift for a Cause” where a percentage of sales are donated to The Birthday Box, Birthday Wishes, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital and The Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation.
Booked Parties is committed to giving back to the community when and wherever they can. “We know that celebrations are considered a luxury and it's important to us to raise awareness and support local organizations who provide resources and help to children in need," said Lefkowitz.
Booked Parties has plans for further growth in 2017 including expansion into additional markets as well as further development of Booked Marketplace.
And, on the horizon, look for Booked Camps, to debut later this year. According to Lefkowitz, it will follow the same methodology of Booked Parties.
"Our mission is to create a similar seamless tool and resource for camp planning not just for traditional summer camps but also for 'schools out' camps which happen throughout the year primarily during school breaks and holidays," said Lefkowitz.
"For now until the site is live, we are utilizing our Booked Camps social media pages as a good resource for information and updates on our camp partners."
For more information about Booked Parties and Booked Marketplace, go to www.bookedparties.com .