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'We're going to survive this'; Virginia Beach event company opens DIY showroom

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Posted at 9:19 AM, Aug 11, 2021

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - From large-scale parties to DIY, a Virginia Beach event planning company has made quite the adjustment.

The folks at Premier Events in Virginia Beach re-developed their business model and opened a satellite showroom for party planners who like to do it themselves.

"We opened Celebrate up because we have an extensive inventory of items in our warehouse that tend to only go out when we're booking an event, something that Premier Events is actually promoting, or producing. So we thought those items should be available to other folks for creative events as well," said Patty Ritzi, President Premier Events and Celebrate.

Celebrate is a DIY wedding and event design studio, a brainchild if you will, of their large-scale event company.

In a more intimate setting, folks can rent out the showroom for $49.99 and shop inventory, which includes linens, tables and chairs, custom lighting and tents.

"A person will make an appointment online and there's a slight fee for the attendant who will come and open the office. You'll be greeted with hot chocolate chip cookies and non-alcoholic mimosas. You can come in, you can bring grandma's doilies, you can bring special items from your family. You can use any of the lanterns, linens, candles, all of the elements we have here in the warehouse to design your tablescape or design your entire event and then items are available for rent - you can pick up and take away or have them delivered," said Ritzi.

According to IBISWorld, party planning has gone down about 9% in the past five years and even more-so in 2020. They found demand for business shrunk because of economic uncertainty and low corporate profit.

Ritzi said she's been in business for 30 years and this is the first time she's having to open a separate location.

"It takes flexibility in this business to be in this industry, the hospitality industry at all. We've all learned to adapt certain parts of our business and we've learned to re-develop areas, which is one reason for this studio," she said.

Ritzi is hopeful Celebrate will meet people where they are now.

"I am determined, I am tenacious, I have the support of a great family and we are going to survive this," said Ritzi.

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