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FAMILY: Party sisters

December 2nd, 2012 Technology / Science

THE Othman sisters are fun. Bubbly, spirited and attractive, it’s little wonder that they’re in the business of parties.

 Ida, who manages songbird Sheila Majid’s Jentayu Spa, is the eldest of the bunch, followed by Nina, who has her own events company. Little sister Dilla is a graduate of Limkokwing University of Creative Technology.

Together, they have set up Marvel Factory, a one-stop children’s party planning solution provider for busy parents.

 “Planning children’s parties is one of the most stressful tasks a parent has to undertake,” begins a chirpy Ida.

 I agree wholeheartedly. I have three daughters and every year I’m faced with planning the whole grand shebang. It’s tough when you’re a working mum with a husband who’s no party animal.

 When the children were younger, things were simpler. McDonalds and cheesy games were accepted with unbridled enthusiasm.

 Try suggesting more of the same to a 13-year-old who has decided that she has outgrown dear Ronald. Even my 7-year-old has gotten savvy. She wants themes.

 These days, I plan parties with the sort of precision you associate with the army. With my poor best friend in tow, we would trawl various shops and outlets to put together items that we could use for decorations and for the goodie bag.

 One year, she even went as far as to create a princess setting for my youngest in our home, testing her creativity with a pair of scissors, cardboard and plenty of glitter. That was the first and last time. I’m guessing it was just too much hard work.

 “That’s exactly why we decided to tap this line,” says Ida, after hearing my woeful tale.

 “These days there are plenty of choices when it comes to entertainment venues and play centres where you can hold your party. But there’s still very little in the way of helping parents run a great party of their own. Parents still have to worry about party themes, decorations, party utensils and party favours. They end up having to go all around town searching for these items. Putting something together for your child is more meaningful. But, of course, we all need some help.”

 So the sisters were inspired to take the “difficult” out of children’s party planning and bring “easy and fun” back.

 “We have our Marvel Factory Party Box that contains more than 20 different party items to complement the theme that the parents opt for,” explains Ida.

 “We’ve created themes such as pirates, safari, circus carnival, superhero, soccer, Barbie, Mickey Mouse, Angry Birds and many more. We’ve effectively done all your shopping for you and put all of the party necessities in a box with each themed party items assembled for convenience.”

 The items are sourced from as far away as the United States. Some, like decorations and printables, are designed by youngest sister, Dilla.

 With Nina’s events management expertise and contacts, they also offer party planning expertise.

 “We offer flexibility,” says Ida. “You can opt not to use our party planners and just buy the stuff from us and do your own party like how our parents used to do it for us in the old days. But for those with extra money to spend and do not want the hassle of planning, we can do it too.”

 Marvel Factory’s Party Box is only available online, shares Nina. “We didn’t want to bother with the hassle of running a shop. Having an online business seems more feasible. We launched our website only in June.”

The idea to venture into this business was mooted when the sisters were planning a birthday party for Nina’s son last year.

 “She wanted a Mexican theme,” recalls Ida. ‘We were really excited and wanted to do the designs and banners but were stumped on where to find these items. Wherever we went in KL, choices were very limited. Then one night, over a family dinner, the idea to do it ourselves just came up.”

 Dilla, adds Ida, has always had a knack for designing. After all, she designed Nina’s wedding cards and many more.

 “So Nina and I decided to ask Dilla to handle the designs. Through the Internet, we found out we could also do banners, cupcake toppers and simple disposable stuff from paper. From there the idea just grew — from disposable tableware, it moved on to party decorations. Then we thought about party favours and packaging.”

 For now, the siblings are more comfortable with being a children’s birthday party solution provider. But they haven’t ruled out the possibility of exploring parties for adults.

 “Putting together parties for adults will probably be quite challenging,” muses Ida, her brows furrowing. “I think adults will want to have a lot more input, taking into account what their guests want and who they want to impress.

 “Kids’ parties are simpler — either you get the custom-made option or you order the set packages. But we are bracing for the move to
adult parties.”

 Putting together birthday parties, I discover later, is in the sisters’ blood. It seems their mother was huge on organising parties in the days when she was a lithe matriarch.

 Recalls Ida, beaming: “She’d drag us to PJ Old Town to buy things to put into our party packs. She was creative. Sometimes she’d have these plastic cups filled with goodies lined along the shelves for the kids to grab when they came. She also used to cook all the food.”

 Chips in Nina: “We all remember our childhood birthday parties with much fondness. For mum, it was of utmost importance that the content of the goodie bags was good. These days, Dilla drags mum around to help with her designs and content. She enjoys it. “

 Go to www.marvel-factory.com or ida@marvel-factory.com for your party solutions


Sisters Dilla (left), Ida (centre) and Nina (right) want to get parents to enjoy planning parties for their children.

Football crazy.

Football crazy.

Safari theme.

Safari theme.