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Leanne Mumm Pardo - CEO of One Hour Parties

1. Tell us the story behind One Hour Parties.

One Hour Parties was founded in 2001, and was originally a test concept offered under our original brand DayPerks. Our concept to deliver "Food, Fun and Favors" to our employee customers quickly revealed an interesting niche in the Corporate market for on-site employee events. We dubbed this niche "One Hour Parties." The concept of One Hour Parties was a big hit, striking a cord with Human Resource Managers and Executive Assistants tasked with planning and coordinating department-specific or company wide employee appreciation events, meetings and other work-related functions.

2. What is the office party market like?

It's a great market to be involved with. Smart companies recognize that the daily grind needs to be balanced with fun. We provide that in the way of theme parties, dessert parties, beverage parties, ice cream parties, holiday parties and many other services.

3. What motivates you?

We get fantastic feedback from our customers who appreciate that we bring a new element to the work scene. When we arrive to set up a party, whether it be an Ice Cream Social, Margaritaville or any other number of parties we offer, we are met with enthusiasm and smiles. It's a great job to have.

4. Why do you think that One Hour Parties is a great business opportunity for women?

Primarily because women love to make others happy -it's a feel good job. Also, there is a lot of creativity as well as organizing and shopping involved with this job. Much of it does not even feel like work at all. In addition, the cost to get involved is much more realistic than many concepts on the market.

5. Describe the ideal kind of person to own a One Hour Parties business.

Confident women who know what they want out of life. Also, you need to have an outgoing, fun-loving personality and be willing to stick with it.

6. Do you believe that women can have it all?

Yes, but in moderation. As the owner of One Hour Parties and a mother of a four year old boy I can confirm that flexibility is the most important aspect of my career. That's not to say that I don't run into road blocks now and then, but they are nothing compared to sheepishly asking my boss if I can leave work an extra hour early to attend my son's "Mother's Tea" at pre-school.

7. What in your opinion was the toughest thing you had to face as a woman venturing out into the world of business?

I have never felt that there were any obstacles that were tougher for me than they would have been for a man. I just don't see it that way at all. The most critical aspects of success are something we all encounter and are not exclusive to women or men.

8. What are your future plans to expand your business?

In August of 2006 we officially launched our Licensee Program. We now have six licensees on board and are growing at a great pace. We have been formulating our business for many years to meet this goal and we will continue to pursue this for the next several years. We would like to have 100 licensees in the next five years.

9. Any advice to would be women entrepreneurs?

Choose a venture that you really love and feel passionate about. Be realistic about your expectations for this business. There is always a trade-off and you have to be honest about what you want out of life. For me, it is being excited to go to work every single day and still maintaining flexibility for my family.

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