I came across Make to Celebrate while scrolling instagram one night and instantly feel in love.  The beads, sequins, & glitter ALL had me at hello!  The concept was one I hadn’t come across before and she offers something for all ages, even adults!  Read on to see why I’m excited to feature owner Katie Baumgatner of Make to Celebrate as a small business you should know!
How long have you lived in Chicago and what brought you to the city?
This is my 7th year living in Chicago and I have always lived in Lincoln Park! . I went to St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI and most of my best friends all grew up in Chicago. I also studied abroad and taught  in London and knew the big city life was for me so I made my way here immediately after my college graduation.
How did you come up with the concept for Make to Celebrate?  
Growing up my mom always had some sort of craft that was related to my birthday party theme. Decorating flip flops for a pool party, or pillowcases for a sleepover, whatever the theme, we were always making something!  It started out as an outlet to create and inspire others.  I actually started out doing more adult focused parties like girls night out DIYS, baby showers etc.  I would have small parties for close friends and family.  As a teacher, I heard a lot about what was happening at Chicago birthday parties and noticed there was a an untapped market to bring this creative passion into kid’s events as well so I went with it.
What was your mission or vision for your business at the onsite? 
At first I planned on creating more parties to go! Curated boxes with all the craft supplies in it.  I soon realized that most people actually wanted me onsite, leading the craft and experience. With my degree in early childhood and relationship with children it made sense to pivot in this direction. I always knew that I wanted to sell and create and as my clients and networking expanded that is when I started being able to fulfill the dream of curated treat bags, kits, etc. I also thought I wanted to blog but just never prioritized it. I love sharing on instagram and knew I would to offer creative inspiration there too so I still try and do that!
What services do you offer and in what areas? 
I offer onsite creative activities for birthday parties & special events at restaurants and local businesses anywhere in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.
I plan and source the materials, set up at the event, and lead it/supervise depending on location and size.  I also custom curate treat bags for local pick up however I have overnight shipped to NYC before so I guess anything is possible!
You also teach pre-school, what advice would you offer parents over the time of shelter in place?  
Stay positive! Kid’s so easily pick up on negative energy. What we are all being asked to do is not realistic in normal life and as we all know our current situation is not the norm  (parents teaching and caring for children while working and teachers teaching online for little guys) .  Do what makes sense and is best for your family.  Play based learning is so important and even more so in times like this, so just have fun!  Bring positive language into it as much as possible and just do what you can. We are all just doing what we can given the situation. Let your kids learn through everyday life experiences too.  Read books, bake, teach them how to clean- all of those things are just as important as online lessons.
When we’re able to get out and about again, what are some of your local favorites you’re excited to visit?
Ahh! This is hard to narrow down! I think I am looking forward to grabbing a margarita from Tuco and Blondie. My boyfriend and I had our first date there so its sentimental. I love walking up Clark Street with my dog, Sir Cutie.  We like to stop in Target, get coffee, visit Four Sided to support small, and make our way up to Michaels for supplies.  Just doing my usual neighborhood walk and hopefully running into friends along the way!
*You can find more information on Katie’s instagram @maketocelebrate

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