'Tis the season for holiday parties and get togethers with friends and family. We thought there was no better time to chat with our friend and fellow small business owner, Christen Byrd. You have seen her creative balloon installations everywhere in town. Christen is the owner and founder of Just Peachy, a local shop that specializes in balloon creations and ALL things party. This year may look different but there is no reason we can't have some holiday fun while staying at home. Follow along to read more about Just Peachy & tips on how to have an epic "socially distanced" get together.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
I am married to my fellow small business owner and best friend, Ryan Byrd. Ryan owns Perch, a web design and development shop. Together we have 3 kids Lucy, Olive and Max. We live, work, go to church, all the things…in Downtown Little Rock. Just Peachy and Perch share offices at 217 W. 2nd Street! We love everything about downtown and raising our family here. We have flexible schedules so our kids are able to come to work with us if need be, and we are close enough to run home when needed. We love being close to everything!
Pictured: The Byrd Family
Why did you start Just Peachy?
Just Peachy kind of started by accident, and then took on a life of its own. I was the Creative Director at Loblolly Creamery a few years back and I did some balloons for our grand opening. It started out just doing something fun for our event but then people started calling the shop asking for me, and so that led to me doing it on the side. I finally went full-time with Just Peachy in September 2019 when I moved into our current studio. There was enough demand, and no one else was doing exactly what I do. We always aim and set ourselves apart and be original by not doing what everyone else is doing. Every project we do is different from the last one and we want our work to stand out. We want people to see it and know that "Just Peachy" did that! It’s not standard and it’s certainly not boring. I always say “Is this too much? Because if it is, we’re good.”
How does Just Peachy work?
We are growing and expanding constantly at Just Peachy. There is so much to offer that it’s hard to keep up with. We specialize in custom balloon installations. And those take many shapes, from front door wraps, to party posts, to business window displays. You name it and we can do it. However, we know that we have a range of clients and not all of them want to go that big. So we started offering grab-and-go garlands. It’s not a kit that you have to mess with we literally build you a garland! You choose whatever colors you like, you pick it up and hang it yourself! It’s perfect for small gatherings. In October we opened up the front part of our studio as a walk-in party shop! It has been SO exciting, as this has always been a dream of mine. We carry top of the line products that are the absolute cutest things we can find. So we’re basically your one stop shop. You can pick-up your garland, helium birthday bundle, party and holiday supplies all in the same trip. It’s such a lovely space. Literally everyone who walks in comments on just how happy it is! We thrive on making people’s day.
Pictured: Balloon creations by Just Peachy.
4. What has been the most fun theme you've had to plan so far?
The most fun theme is a project we have this month! We are partnering with Ballet Arkansas on December 12th to bring The Nutcracker to Main St. They will be closing down one block of Main Street and creating a drive thru experience with different scenes from the The Nutcracker. We are responsible for the Land of the Sweets and we are super excited! We have some exciting plans we get to bring to life. We can’t wait!
5. What are your top 5 tips on for an epic (socially distanced) get together this holiday season?
My tips for an epic holiday get-together would be first and most important, keeping it small. Since we don’t really have a choice this year. But I think keeping it small actually gives you a chance to shine. You don’t have to make a ton of food or plans for lots of people. Focus on making your gathering super special for your small group of friends or immediate family. This means you can put all your efforts into decorating. Creating a super cute mantle, or entryway, setting a precious table with fun plates, napkins, and cups. And let the kids help! Guide them on how to set a fun table or use unusual items to add dimension to your decor. Focus on making the small things, big. Creating an inviting, cozy environment makes for special time with your people. Focus on creating a beautiful space and it will lend itself to more meaningful visits, memories and more photo taking opportunities. For instance, adding a balloon garland to your door or mantle is the perfect backdrop! But mainly, don’t stress out. That tends to be my problem, but this year we’ve got enough to worry about!
PS: Don’t forget to add holiday cookies to your order this week. We’ve cleaned up our favorite recipes and the little ones (and adults!) approve. They will have a limited availability until December 18. If you order two dozen cookies or more, you will receive a free Bella’s Kitchen mug to celebrate the season!