In April of 2011 – a week or so after I had joined the MS Dreamers Into Doers Community – I received an invitation from Dawn Menon of Bee*s Knees Parties to join a few local Dreamers for an informal dinner in NYC, which she was co-hosting with Khaliah of The Party Muse.
As I was brand new to business ownership, I jumped at the opportunity to meet others who were in the same boat as I was – creative entrepreneurs with small businesses. After a memorable evening of laughter and get-to-know-yous…sharing and discussion…as well as a surprise visit from Amy Atlas (surprise for us, but coordinated by Dawn and Khaliah), I left the restaurant with a spring in my step and new friends in my heart.
This week I am spotlighting Dawn and Bee*s Knees Parties in our weekly “Who’s Who” so that you, too, can get to know this fabulous woman who imbues each of her parties with incomparable style.
A Bit About Dawn
Dawn Menon has been a children’s event planner for the past seven years. She first opened The Little Tea Company in 2005, which was an on-location birthday party company that served the NY area. During that time, her parties were strictly dress up tea parties for little girls. After she and her family relocated and her third son was born, Dawn took a year off from the party planning business. During that time, she saw a change in the business and decided to refocus and re-brand. Dawn felt it was time to offer unique parties for little boys as well, so she opened Bee*s Knees Parties in 2009. Over the past three years, she has had the pleasure of planning events for her fantastic clients, as well as family and friends.
Do you have any mentors that have helped you along as you built your business?
Since day one, my husband has been my biggest supporter and fan. He helped me build my little company to become what it is today. Because he works in finance, he is my “business Yoda” and my go-to guy whenever I have a dilemma. As far as mentors, I admire from afar…I am a big fan of women who may have taken a risk and never looked back. For me, those women include Sara Blakely (creator of Spanx), Lilly Pulitzer (clothing designer), Rachel Stephens (photographer), and Amy Atlas (lawyer turned internationally known “Sweets Stylist”).
What are the most important business lessons you have learned so far?
After doing children’s event planning for some time, I love that I am still learning and – to me – that is one of the biggest lessons in itself. One should not proclaim that they already know everything in their field. Things are always changing and if you do not evolve, your business will suffer. I believe having a strong vendor list is also key when you are in event planning. When you trust your key vendor’s level of work, that is one less thing you have to worry about, or micromanage. I am happy to have built a strong network of vendors, who have become my friends. Through these vendors, I have also learned about their side of the business, which is so interesting to me.
What did you think you were going to be when you were growing up?
Definitely Wonder Woman. By age 4, I had so many pairs of Wonder Woman Underoos because I insisted on wearing a pair everyday. I even had gold wrist cuffs made out of aluminum foil. I was convinced I would be called to help someone and I wanted to be ready!
If you were a rock star, who would it be and why?
I would have to say Tina Turner. I admire her resilience to every obstacle that came her way, as well as her intense work ethic and drive. In comparing that to my business reputation, I love the idea that you don’t necessarily have to be constantly talked about or in the public eye, but people know about you, and when you do surface, your talent shines because it is solid and timeless.
What do you like to do in your free time?
While raising three boys and running a small business, free time is not something that I have an abundant amount of…therefor, I need to use it wisely! I love shutting off the world when we go upstate to the family lake house, and re-connecting with my boys, husband and nature (as well as catching up on wedding and trade magazines!) I also enjoy visiting new restaurants, catching up with friends, going to quirky thrift shops, and exploring new towns, especially towns that have quaint Main Street shops and eateries.
Keep up with Dawn and Bee*s Knees Parties by visiting: