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Influencer Interview: Jenn Sbranti of Hostess with the Mostess

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In the spirit of getting up-close-and-personal with our influencers, today we’re catching up with Jenn Sbranti of Hostess with the Mostess. She’s the party-planning powerhouse behind some of our most loved parties. (Speaking of love, check out her oh-so-adorable Valentine’s Day DIY from earlier this year. We think it’s a beautiful idea that can be adapted for any occasion!).

Balloon Time: How did you come to be your current crafty self?

Hostess with the Mostess: I’ve loved arts and crafts since I was a little girl, so I think some of it’s just in my blood! I was constantly making cards and crafty gifts and DIY-ing decor for my room as a teen. I studied graphic design in college and fell in love with digital design from there. I often still mock up my craft and party projects on the computer before starting on them in “real life” because it helps me see the potential ahead of time and brainstorm ways to make the project even better.

BT: Who (or what) is your biggest inspiration when it comes to what you do?

HWTM: Hmmm – this is a tough one because inspiration truly comes from all around! If I have to pick one thing, I’d have to say nature. I definitely draw color and pattern inspiration from flowers, outdoor textures, and animals. I’ve noticed that the seasons affect my projects as well. When the weather starts warming up, the themes and colors suddenly get much brighter and lighter! And during the cooler months, I feel more inspired to create cozy, warm, and very textured designs. I guess you can say that my work is often an extension of what’s happening around me.

Glittery NYE Party

BT: What’s the most memorable party you’ve ever been to?

HWTM: I think the most memorable parties for anyone are the ones most personal to them — so I’d have to say my own 10-year Wedding Anniversary Party is way up there.  My husband and I threw a destination celebration in Las Vegas that was inspired by a popular pop culture movie at the time called The Hangover. In addition to 30 of our closest friends, it had a big dose of my other favorite elements in a party: humor, playfulness, and guests dressed in theme!

BT: What’s something about you that we might be surprised by?

HWTM: I met my husband (of 16 years) on a spring break trip to Cabo in college… sometimes these things last!

BT: What do you hope shines through in your work?

HWTM: My love for the clever and unexpected details that really surprise and delight.

BT: Best piece of advice you ever received?

HWTM: We have limited time and un-limited distractions. Choose wisely.

BT: What is it you love most about arts and crafts?

HWTM: Their power to make people happy and spread joy.

BT: What’s your favorite party occasion?

HWTM: I love designing baby showers. They’re the perfect excuse to merge childlike whimsy and imagination with chic, grown-up style.

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BT: What essentials should every craft enthusiast out there have at home?

HWTM: Hot glue gun, 3D glue dots, paper cutter, printer and a truly fantastic pair of scissors. (Seriously… razor-sharp scissors make ALL the difference in crafting!)

BT: What are your top 5 party-hosting tips?

  1. Pick a theme — even if it’s as simple as a color palette, a pattern or a little regional flair. This will make all of your planning decisions so much faster and easier.
  2. Focus your effort where your heart is, but get help with the rest. Example: Love decorating? Great! Spend time on that aspect of the party, then have the food catered or turn the party into a potluck. 
  3. Keep the beverages accessible right from the start. Just having something in-hand to sip on instantly helps guests relax.
  4. Don’t stop the music! Upbeat background music encourages lively chatter and makes a party feel like a party.
  5. Create a festive atmosphere! You can’t go wrong with high-impact, inexpensive elements like colorful balloons, garlands, and string lights.
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