It's always Francesca with her parents. Frankie is too casual and they adore the way her name rolls off their tongue while sitting in the living room, both of them sipping their favored hard liquor. Sitting uncomfortably with them on baited breath, the only daughter of Vincent and Evelyne Snow shifts in her seat. The living room is dark in the winter early evenings and the only sound now is the ice shifting in the tumbler and the logs crackling in the fireplace.
"Please, Daddy. I can do this."
Presenting her father with her business plan was the most nerve-wrecking moment in her life. After three attempts to arrange a meeting in his office with three separate dismissals by his secretary (who was getting younger, wasn't she?) Frankie just showed up at her childhood home in Beacon Hill, knowing that he would have no other choice but to be a captive audience. She had folders full of carefully planned details: three different location options, a trajectory for growth, expense estimates. The costumes and makeup budget would get larger over time, but they could start small.
The big mouse had just released a multi-million dollar and record breaking success and the demand for a blonde ice queen was insanely high. The audience was captive, all they had to do was reel them in and play on the need to make little girls happy.
It's the first thing she's ever asked for real permission for. Growing up, it was whatever Frankie wanted, Frankie got. She had left for Paris without asking permission, left for vacations with her friends, left for Harvard. Her track record isn't great, she knows that, but she wants it so badly she can taste it. Now Francesca wants to stay put for once in her life and she's getting this uncertain silence and it makes her want to throw up because this is her future on the line.. if this doesn't work out she has no other plan, nothing to fall back on.
"Alright, pumpkin. What else do you need?"
In an attempt to save money, Frankie insists on doing as much of the work inside as she can. Which is hilarious, because she just started doing her own laundry three years ago. But the determination was greater than any kind of physical weakness and didn't stop Frankie from making sure every detail was perfect. It was a quaint studio on the second floor of a thrift shop on the new up and coming neighborhood; she wanted them to have a little privacy while they did their royal red carpet strolls.
When she was hammering together the "throne" of the front desk Frankie realizes how over her head she is and recruits her good friend Jackson whom she'd met in college. They were partners on projects and she feels a little bad for recruiting him into a project with more loose ends than even she realizes at first. He is handy and helpful and Frankie is so grateful for his fresh eye and ability to reel in her in when she gets too excited about a dozen ideas all at once. They work well together and Frankie knows deep down without him she would be completely lost.
It was about the time the 'mermaid make over stations' were coming together and the electricians were putting in the outlets and overhead lights that Frankie realizes how insane it is that her dream is actually coming true. When the tiny closets are up and she hangs her first little Elsa dress inside, happy tears fill up in her eyes. There are bean bag chairs and fluffy rugs on the dark hardwood floors and a mixture of whacky jellyfish and trails of pixie dust hanging from the ceiling and it's all coming together. It's all real.
Nothing is better than the night everything was as finished as it could be. She brought glasses and a bottle of champagne to the shop, clinking glasses with Jackson and feeling this indescribable swell of pride and fondness for the man she brought along for the ride.
At first it was slow, the word of mouth in the community non-existent for a brand new business. Frankie was determined, though. She started small, a booth at the weekend craft shows dressed in her custom crafted Cinderella gown, and passed out fliers and business cards to moms looking for last minute Christmas gift ideas. They asked and asked if Elsa was there, the movie only a month old, and Frankie knew she needed to change her tactic.
But progress was progress. The parents that signed up were pleased and offered constructive critism as well as the promise of a glowing Yelp review. She begged her friends to come help and offered the promise of cute little kids and free drinks afterwards and the birthday party went off without a hitch. The business shifted and evolved based on their needs and the cubby closet full of costumes filled with every popular demand.
On a random Tuesday in February, which was the open tea and cupcake day, her father walks in unnoticed while Frankie is reading a story to the children. She looked up and without breaking character, Cinderella smiled at him.
Brooke W. "2 years in a row I have used this company for both of my daughters birthday parties. This year was such short notice as my youngest was so undecided of what she wanted for her party. With only about a weeks notice I was able to call Frankie and book Ariel and Rapunzel. Both years, my daughters have been so excited to have the princesses there. They are awesome and so great with the kids! Frankie is wonderful! I will definitely be using this company again next year!"
Hanna F. "WORTH EVERY PENNY. We just celebrated my little sister's birthday here and it was absolutely perfect! The staff here is so gracious and kind and they stop at nothing to make each guest feel special. The venue is magical! Complete with castles, a forest nook, tea party table, and jellyfish canopies, everything here is colorful and fun! Kids are encouraged to dress up, dance, and interact with the live character. Excellent party venue. Incredible staff. Great value."
Carolyn M. "Cute for boys too! We live nearby and have been meaning to check out this spot for a while, we called on short notice and the girls were so nice to accommodate us! My son loved being able to dress up as a pirate and hear the story from the princess. Tuesdays they do tea with cupcakes... It is so cute. The inside is like a magical wonderland and reasonably priced for such a unique experience!"