Passion Project - Taranaki mum creates 'no-stress' magical parties

  • 28/05/2021
  • Sponsored by - Dell

When most parents put their young kids to bed it's a chance to finally kick back, relax and have some time to themselves.

But this is not the case for Neisha Herbert.

That's because as well as raising two boys and working a day job, Herbert also runs a successful side business organising children's parties - a job she often does when everyone else in her house goes to bed for the night.

Her company, Chaos to Confetti, does everything from birthdays to slumber parties to baby showers, creating memorable experiences for children without causing stress for parents.

Herbert is this month's Dell Passion Project recipient. Dell and The Project are recognising passionate people who turn their side-hustles into full time gigs, while maintaining a day job. She will receive a Dell XPS laptop. 

Based in New Plymouth, where she lives with her young children and dairy farmer husband, Herbert started Chaos to Confetti in 2018 after seeing similar concepts overseas and in other parts of New Zealand, but nothing locally.

The parties cover themes ranging from unicorns to disco to Harry Potter, and though they are aimed at children Herbert says she has organised the odd hen's night too.

"I go to people's houses, set up birthday parties and then come back at the end of the party and pack it all away," she says.

"So there's no stress, no fuss for the parents and no one has to buy lots of things they're never going to use again."

Caption: The birthday parties created by Chaos to Confetti look visually stunning.
Caption: The birthday parties created by Chaos to Confetti look visually stunning.

Herbert decided to launch the business after realising she had a knack for organising events and the fact there "was just nothing in Taranaki" for children to do on their birthdays.

"We've got one trampoline park and the pools and that's pretty much it. So I just wanted something a little bit different, I had seen it in Australia and a few other places around New Zealand and I thought it was a really cool thing to bring [here]."

Having previously worked as an event planner for the New Plymouth District Council, Herbert currently works part-time at a local legal software company.

And though her business started off slowly, since then it's "just grown and grown" and Herbert now services all of Taranaki.

Despite the increasing workload, though, Chaos to Confetti remains a one-woman show.

"Sometimes my husband gets roped into things but otherwise it's just me," Herbert says, adding that she is also fortunate enough to have a supportive extended family who help to look after her sons - four-year-old Cayden and one-year-old Deacon - when things get busy.

Herbert says much of the organisation and preparation work takes place at night, the only moment when she has free time.

"A lot of the work I do when the kids are in bed," she says.

"So I'll put them to bed at night and then my husband will go to bed, because he gets up at four in the morning, and then it will just be me chilling in my office doing all the work and making the magic happen."

And although juggling a day job, family and a side-hustle means life can be pretty frantic, Herbert says it's all worth it when the children see what she has created for them.

"They love it," she says.

Caption: One-year-old Deacon and  four-year-old Cayden love to be part of the magic.
Caption: One-year-old Deacon and four-year-old Cayden love to be part of the magic.

"Some of the time I'm there and the kids help me set up, which is a really fun process to be a part of and the kids get to watch it unfold which is really cool. But then the flip side of that is when the kids decide they want a surprise and they'll shoot out of the room, or they'll be at school and they come home, or they open the door, and I get to see just how excited they are."

She says often the children are so overwhelmed they want to share their excitement with everyone.

"They want all their friends to see it, they want to ring Nana, they want to Facetime people and show them...they're just absolutely thrilled."

And it's not just kids who are over the moon with the parties - Herbert says with many parents these days being "time poor", Chaos to Confetti means they can still create priceless memories for their kids without having to invest hours of preparation themselves.

"Most mums work now and they just want to create these awesome memories for their kids and being able to help them with that is just incredible."

After seeing the success of her own side project, Herbert also encourages others thinking about giving their own side-hustle a go to just get started.

"Don't doubt yourself," she says. "If it's your passion it will come out of you."

"I love my party business and it's evolved not because I sat down and wrote a five-year plan of where I want to be, but because I just love it so much and spend a lot of time thinking about it, doing different things and creating everything that way. 

"So my advice would be just do it. Don't think about it, do it."

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