We're sitting here today with Alicia Harvey, the creative mind behind Lush Party Studio Props that she started in 2016.
How are you?
I'm good thanks! This looks like fun and thanks for inviting me!
I would hope so! You're one of the first ones I'm interviewing so hopefully you'll have a great time doing it. I have to say, I love your props! I love how elegant they look and my clients love them! Who doesn't love glitter right? So are you ready? Most of these are quick questions so answer what comes to mind first.
SOMETHING ABOUT YOU:
Where are you from?
I am originally from Mexico but I moved at the tender age of 18 to the great white north, Canada, and I have been here for the past 14 years.
Can you tell us a little about yourself? Married? Dogs? Cats? A fish perhaps? LOL!
Married life for me! I have been with my zany husband Jimmy for 5 years now and we have a plethora of fur children, currently 4 cats and 1 dog. I say currently because I keep trying to add on family members.
What is your occupation?
During the day, I work a full-time job as a Team Coordinator for a pharmaceutical technology company, and at night I am a superhero… haha! Not really but I am the mastermind behind Lush Party Studio where I get to create custom props for awesome photo booth businesses like yours. So, I get to be CEO, Graphic Designer, Marketing Analyst and all sorts of other things. *phew! *
Any favorite movies? Maybe your top three all time?
Ouff! that’s a tough one because I am a cinephile, but up there on my top 3 would be Gone with the Wind, the Harry Potter series (books were still way more awesome, though) and Jurassic Park.
What’s your favorite caffeine fix?
There’s nothing like a good strong espresso.
Starbucks or Peet’s Coffee?
Starbucks mainly because we don’t have Peet’s Coffee up here! Regardless that’s my go-to place when out and about. I love my grande hazelnut mocha….. mmmmm…
What is your one guilty pleasure?
Watching videos of animals doing silly things, like the Shark Roomba Cat.
Any favorite foods? What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
Oh so many things, I have what I call a “universal stomach” but if I had to choose something I couldn’t live without, it would be sushi, mmmm!
If I ask you what’s on your Spotify playlist right now, what would it be?
Right now, my 90s playlist as I am getting in the groove to create a 90s prop set.
Do you have your own website? Can I share it with everyone here?
Totally! One of my proud achievements: www.lushpartystudio.com
SOMETHING ABOUT WHAT YOU DO:
Is it a big secret what hardware and software you use or can you share that with us?
No secret there, I mainly use Adobe Illustrator along with the Cricut Design software which allows me to bring the props to life.
How did you get into designing custom props?
My husband and I started bringing our DSLR camera to parties and our friends loved having photos of their events, which then evolved to us having a photo booth at a friend’s wedding… which got things rolling and started a small business with our own photo booth. As I wanted to stand out from other photo booth businesses in the area, I started making our own custom props by hand! The props were a hit with party-goers and I got a lot of positive feedback which encouraged me to start selling the props to other companies. And here I am now!
Do you have a particular favorite thing to do as far as creating props go?
The design aspect is so fulfilling to me as I get to use my love for graphic design in a manner that I can see it come to life into something tangible. Also, there is something so cathartic about peeling white glue off my hands, haha!
What was the most unique prop you’ve been asked to make? Can you share that with me?
Hmm… there have been so many good ones, but I would have to say it would be a set of props for a Frida Kahlo themed wedding. Unfortunately, the project didn’t come to fruition but I still have the design, which I may end up making sometime just for fun.
Have you ever attended an event and seen one of your own props at the photo booth table? If you have, did you mention anything?
Not yet but it would be so cool! Most of the props that I sell go to the US or to the rest of Canada.
Have you met any of your clients in person?
Sadly no, but I am sure that I will next year. I get to talk to my customers often so I somehow feel like I already know them because I am a very candid person and like to keep our business relationships very down to earth.
Have you ever attended one of those big photo booth conventions? Which ones?
Next year will be my first time! *so nervous*. I will be an exhibitor at the Photo Booth Expo in fabulous Las Vegas in March 2018.
Would you go back and attend others in the future?
So far this is the only expo that I know about but I think I might go back considering that the photobooth industry is booming.
WALKING IN LIPTON'S SHOES:
I’ve always been a great fan of James Lipton’s show Inside the Actor’s Studio and I love his questions. Do you think I can ask you the same questions?
What is your favorite word?
I love several words, being a bit of a word nerd and having a passion for languages so it is difficult to narrow it down to just one… maybe smitten because it rhymes with kitten!
What is your least favorite word?
Pretty much any fad words that butcher the English language like swag, bae, yolo, etc.
What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?
Having access to quality design tools and a trip to the Michaels store will get my creative juices flowing.
What turns you off?
Lack of inspiration can be tough but I wouldn’t say something turns me off creatively.
What is your favorite curse word?
Definitely For Fuck’s Sake, haha! but I also swear in Spanish and French, or make up my own by mixing the three.
What sound or noise do you love?
All sorts of animals making noises, cats meowing, cows mooing, you name it.
What sound or noise do you hate?
You know that squeaky-clinky noise in your car that you can’t pinpoint what it is? That…. and fans, definitely fans.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
If I weren’t so sensitive, I definitely would love to be an animal rescuer and rehabilitator, but my heart can’t take the suffering.
What profession would you not like to do?
Anything related to finances, math, statistics, law shivers
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
“They’ve been waiting for you” (all my pets and my grandma) I probably spend eternity in Rainbow Bridge.
Why do you enjoy what you do?
I love the fact that I can provide something tangible that came from my imagination and seeing that item enjoyed by others… having something unique. In a sea of clones and cookie-cutter mindsets, I like to stand out, and by getting these props out there in the world, it is my way of spicing things up a little
I thrive from the challenges thrown at me by customers to create all sorts of odd things, because it keeps me on my toes and my mind fresh, perhaps it is my Gemini nature but I need to change things up often.
I once heard that “You are more than what you do, your title should not confine you and your job does not define you” and now I live by those words.
So this image we see here below was from an event I did a few weeks ago and it showcases a few of the custom props you've made for me. Let me just say that they are amazing! Everyone loves them and I've been really trying to stay away from the usual funny glasses, hats, and things and I've been wanting to stick with these types of props more these days. Kudos to you. These are always a hit at events!
This is so awesome! Thank you so much for taking the time to sit down with me and share a little bit of insight about yourself. This is so cool! I definitely enjoyed this and hopefully others will too! Any final thoughts?
Thank you so much for this, you really gave me stuff to think about and it helped me have some introspective time with myself. Keep up the great work with the blog and website, it looks amazing!
Be sure to check out Alicia's Instagram feed and check out her site for even more promos and all cool things props!And as always, if you have any comments, thoughts, if you would care to like and/or share, please feel free to do so.
Goodnight! – Rikki