Interview with Wish By April
Our latest interview features April from Wish By April! April is a party planner and homeschooling mom who loves to design and create special memories for her clients! When covid restrictions on gatherings affected her business, April shifted her focus from parties to finding creative ways to teach her 8 year old daughter at home. We have loved seeing how she has incorporated our PrintWorks Paper and Cardstock not only into her party decor but also into educational materials!
Read on for more homeschooling tips, party planning inspiration, and to learn more about April!
Tell me a little about yourself.
“Hello! My name is April and I am mother to an adorable 8 year old, Addison and wife to my hubby Chris, and navigating the ropes to becoming a new pet owner to kittens Bernard and Ruby. I love to run, enjoy anything athletic, traveling, spending time with my family and friends, and definitely enjoy a great libation!”
How did Wish By April come to life? What is it all about?
“Wish By April was founded and created out of my pure joy of creating, designing, and planning my daughter’s birthday parties. When she turned one, like many other parents, I wanted something special to celebrate this milestone birthday. I went completely overboard and had a number of Pinterest fails, but loved the process of coming up with something unique and memorable for the occasion.
I don’t know if I ever would have had the courage to pursue party planning without the encouragement of my friend Grace. It didn’t even occur to me that I could even do such a thing until we were sitting poolside talking about the juggling act of motherhood and discussing the importance of having something for yourself as well, before I really started thinking more seriously about it. The next thing I knew, I was booking a flight to go to Arizona to attend BASH, which is a huge conference for creatives out there to learn more about how to pursue party planning and understanding the logistics of how it all worked. I had so many questions, and was so eager to learn from influencers and creatives I admired, and was completely hooked! When I got back, I went straight to work – developed my logo, created my website, and was lucky enough for a friend to take a chance on me and allowed me to plan her daughter’s first birthday party. From there, I networked, made some great connections, aligned with other creatives, and established trust.”
What sparked your interest in party planning?
“I would say from a very young age, I always loved pattern, prints, color, and design. I remember tearing though The New Yorker magazine and Architectural Digest and taping pictures of patterns, textures, and spaces that inspired me onto my walls. Pier One was like the mecca for me when shopping with my mother at a young age. The patterns, tablescapes, and color combinations always kept me in awe. I remember seriously considering asking my mother for an entire Dinner Plate set at age 8! My parents also enjoyed entertaining, and there was no shortage of accessories and “extras” that my mom added to the tablescape to make it special. Watching her take so much care by adding those details and personal touches is really what made those events so special.”
How do you come up with your ideas/creations for your parties?
“All it takes for me is having one inspirational piece. Whether it is a special birthday outfit, an invitation, a plate, or something my client wants to incorporate I can typically get a sense of what they are looking for and customizing something to fit their tastes and vision. Color palettes are a huge part of taking a look at the whole picture when starting from scratch.”
Has your business been impacted during Covid? What changes have you made?
“You could say that! Interestingly enough, I’ve still have inquiries about parties and have taken on events here and there. There are several that I have turned down, especially in the early stages of Covid, when people were wanting to have parties when there was a huge lockdown with quarantining, that I just didn’t feel comfortable executing. Not only did I not want to jeopardize my business, I also wanted to be extremely mindful of my actions and how it could possibly impact myself and my family in this uncertain time. As for the parties that I have done, I wear a mask at all times and ask that the space is cleared of others before and after set-up.”
How has the transition from party planner to homeschool teacher been?
“Oh boy, where to start? Challenging, to say the least! Haha! My background is in education, so knowing what the expectation is as a teacher and the bar set for your students really came into play. There have been times that I have questioned my decision to homeschool, especially on the really trying days, but at the end of the day, I am hopeful this special time we’ve had together will pay off in the end. Her education and well being is the most important thing, and party planning has been put on the back burner for now. By the time our school day is done, I have about enough time to go for a much needed run, and get dinner on the table. I’m someone that doesn’t do well if I can‘t do something to the best of my ability. The idea of not being able to fully commit to planning a potential clients special celebration and giving them my best doesn’t seem fair to them or my family at this time. It’s hard to balance things when there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day and for that reason alone, I will only take on what I know I can handle.”
Where do you come up with your lessons/materials for your child?
“I have done several evaluations for home school families over the years and was familiar with some of the materials and content that they were using. I overall knew the material that I loved and would use if I ever decided to homeschool so I feel very fortunate in that sense of not being completely clueless when establishing what practices I thought were important. Besides the programs that I purchased, I try to come up with learning tactics that I think will be fun and meaningful. I have my daughter FaceTime with her niece and read to her twice a week, we use a lot of chalk for diagrams and math games, songs for memorization, and have recently added poetry into the mix. The creative side of me wanted to make a few things special for her, so I’ll use PrintWorks cardstock to cut out shapes and designs for matching vocabulary words, holiday spelling lists, and crafts for art.”
What is the importance of crafting and using paper in your homeschool lessons?
“There is a lot to be said about the process of cutting, making, and creating something with paper. The movement of writing and drawing can be influential when it comes to learning and transpiring meaning behind the lesson and movement. Even though the process can be lengthy at times, the impact is powerful.”
Where do you see Wish By April and homeschooling in the future?
“It is hard to say. I am living in the present and am doing the best I can do with where I am now. I have invested so much with my daughter at this time and I’m determined to see this year through. My daughter thrives in school and very much misses her teacher and friends and when the time is right, she will go back to school and I’m hoping to have some time to determine what I want to pursue. I have a book that I keep on my nightstand that I constantly jot down ideas and sketch in. Someday, I hope to go back to it and pick up where I left off with and actively pursuing one of these endeavors.”
Any advice for parents that have made the switch to homeschooling?
“To trust your gut and give yourself grace! There will be good days and bad, but just know that at the end of the day, no one will love your child more than you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, take breaks when needed, give plenty of hugs, and take advantage of the schedule that you set.”