Being a mom is a tough job. And it is certainly a delicate balancing act when you have a family at home to nurture and a wildy successful career to sustain. Meet Julie Potash-Slavin, aka Hesta Prynn, one of the most sought after DJ’s in NYC and new mom. She is the epitome of cool with her bold red hair and edgy style and is as talented as she is sweet. Her nights vary between spinning a fabulous fashion event, DJ’ing the HBO GIRLS premier party or reading her daughter a good night story. There is nothing better than that. We caught up with Julie to find out more about how this multi-faceted woman does it all.
When did you realize your passion for music? Music was always really important to me. My earliest memory of connecting with music was watching Tom & Jerry cartoons and noticing the soundtracks. When I first heard Rhapsody in Blue I remembered it from those cartoons. It’s such a vital part of creating a mood – whether you’re alone or at a an event – and to me it’s something I’m always acutely aware of wherever I am.
Who or what has influenced you musically? I toured with The Roots for two years and Questlove taught me how to DJ using vinyl, that was probably the most important influence on me as a DJ. Some other artists I love – Beastie Boys, Tori Amos, Tears for Fears, The Pixies, The Verve, Jay-Z, Destiny’s Child, Elvis, the list is endless.
Is there a certain feeling or mood you wish to evoke when people listen to your music? As a DJ you always want to make people feel cool and included. You are there to facilitate, not show off. Questlove taught me to have an encyclopedic knowledge of music – know every demo and what they listened to at 16 years old. If you can use music as a tool to make them feel good they will remember the entire evening as magical.
How has your musical life changed since having a baby? It’s been fun to dig and see what kind of things my baby reacts to that I can enjoy as well. There are lots of acts that cross over – The Beatles, Bob Marley, Tom Petty and surprisingly we listen to a lot of Phish together which is a band I enjoyed in high school and have recently rediscovered. I sing “Carried Away” by Crosby, Stills & Nash to her every night before bed.
What would you want to teach your child about taking risks when it comes to your career and your passion? My husband and I have both followed our artistic passions – something that never makes sense practically and financially when you’re first starting out. I hope the fact that we haven’t ever compromised in our careers or lives opens her mind to the idea that following your dreams is a definition of success in it’s own right.
Some of my absolute favorite memories as a kid are back to school shopping. Does that sound weird? The smell of brand new pencil crayons, a brand new pencil case and that fresh lined notebook. Ah, makes me want to do it all over again! Oh and that’s what I did this weekend. With my lil man…who happens to be going into Kindergarten in two weeks. Holy cow. Where did the time go?! My baby is growing up! Damn.
Well with growing up comes opinions and that’s exactly what he had when we were picking out his backpack, pencil case and school supplies. There is a character associated with absolutely everything. Minions, Avengers, The Ninja Turtles – you name it!
Gavin chose his characters and pencils, crayons, markers and a notebook to fill his bag. Don’t forget the glue sticks and children’s scissors.
photo credit : Stone grove Photography
Balloons are a definite party staple. They’re colorful, festive and kids love them. I remember my mom setting up clusters of beautiful bright balloons for every single birthday party I had. These days, the balloon selection out there has climbed to a whole new level. We, like many other stylists, are simply obsessed with those huge 36″ balloons. They make such an impact and allow us to incorporate balloons in a more sophisticated manner. Simply put – we cannot live without them!! Meet Tara Berger, owner of One Stylish Party. She founded a pretty amazing online party boutique and her signature item is a custom Jumbo (36″) balloon filled with confetti and adorned with gorgeous tassels. Her work, which has expanded to tassel backdrops, garlands, fringe banners and more has been featured all over the web and has scored accolades from some big names such as Amy Atlas and Pottery Barn Kids. We have worked with Tara on several events and her balloons always evoke the same reaction, “Where can I buy one of those amazing balloons?” Read on to hear more of Tara’s story…
What is the most creative way you have seen a client use your signature product, the Jumbo Confetti Balloon with Tassels? I am fortunate to say that I have had the opportunity to work with some pretty amazing clients. From professional party stylists to event planners and brides to super creative mommas, I am always amazed by all of the unique ways that my balloons are incorporated into special events and photoshoots. One of my first collaborations comes mind, which was a Kate Spade Inspired Wedding Shoot that appeared on Ruffled, styled by Michaela Noelle Designs and photographed by Danielle Capito Photography. At the time, balloons had not fully transitioned into the wedding space and I felt that Michaela’s creative vision for the shoot helped elegantly showcase how beautiful my jumbo confetti balloons with tassels could look as part of a wedding or upscale event. Today, jumbo balloons at weddings have continued to grow in popularity and a good portion of my business comes from the wedding market.
photo credit : Danielle Capito Photography
Etsy is a pretty impressive marketplace. How has it changed your business? In many ways, Etsy gave my business the wings to fly. When researching all of the ecommerce solutions available today, Etsy just felt like home. I can connect with the type of customers who shop on Etsy, because I myself am among them. As much as I love to create beautiful items for my own clients, I am just as excited to support other handmade and vintage shop owners who sell on Etsy. As a small business owner, I am grateful that Etsy’s platform offers me the opportunity to showcase my products to many individuals who may not have stumbled on my site otherwise.
One Stylish Party has been featured on numerous party websites — which was the most exciting feature for you? I am always honored by any online or print feature that One Stylish Party has been able to secure over the years. One of the most exciting features to-date was the Rescue Patrol Party that was featured on the Pottery Barn Kids blog. I absolutely loved incorporating the unique toy collection from Pottery Barn Kids into my son’s birthday party and was thrilled to share the details of the party with the Pottery Barn Kids readers.
photo credit : Me Photo and Design
Walk us through a typical day at One Stylish Party? Or if you are like us, a “typical” day doesn’t exist!! No two days are ever alike around here, especially when you are a “work at home” mom! Staying organized and setting priorities for each day are a must for me. On what is considered a “typical day”, I start by catching up on emails while downing my first cup of coffee. I package orders that were created the day before and make a “cut list” for any tassels that need to be made that day. I also pull and organize any materials that are needed for other orders (such as banners or glitter numbers). I stay connected on my iPhone while I’m on the go with my kiddos or in the work room meticulously crafting away. In the evening, I take a break for family dinner (a must in my house!) and use the hours after my children’s bedtime to check email and finish any remaining items that will be shipping the following day.
Where do you see One Stylish Party in 5 years from now? Being creative and crafting is at the heart of my business, so it is important for me to continue to develop new products and refine my existing products to stay ahead the trends in the wedding and party industry. My goal would be to continue to grow my online shop and eventually bring on additional resources to support my creative vision. I love working on styled photo shoots and would like to expand this aspect of my business by aligning myself with the right publications, vendors and brands.
How do you juggle being a mom and also a business woman? This is an area that is always a work-in-progress around here! I think finding a balance between being a mom and a business woman comes back to staying organized and setting priorities. The quote “You can do anything, but not everything” is something I try to live by. At the beginning of 2014, I set specific goals for my business and my personal life so I could be held accountable for staying on track. By doing this exercise, I’ve learned that sometimes it is necessary to say no. Not every opportunity, vendor or collaboration that comes along is the right one for my business and that is okay. Every decision I make is weighed against my goals to make sure I continue moving in the right direction. I also make an effort to recognize when something isn’t working so I can make a change before it is too late. It’s all about being flexible and staying grounded while making sure my family always comes first.
We recently had the opportunity to style a fabulous event for Vanity Fair Lingerie. VFL is launching a new bra campaign and had a specific vision in mind for their event. The Vanity Fair Lingerie woman is sophisticated, authentic, feminine, and confident and they wanted the event to feel the same. The Gramercy Terrace at the Gramercy Park Hotel was the event space of choice and from there the design process came to life.
It was important to select furniture and decor elements that properly represented the brand, so we turned to Pottery Barn for inspiration. We started by creating individual vignettes with custom doors that we had built for the event. They were a fantastic way to transform the already gorgeous space.
Each door featured a black metal hook used to hang a classic white robe, white silk shirt or just a simple black bra. And how amazing are these doorknobs?
To bring the VFL vision to life, we brought in classic furniture and paired it with some modern elements such as acrylic nesting tables and mercury glass vases. Teal is the pop color for VFL, so we added it in subtly these gorgeous frosted teal vases from West Elm.