Life is a party for Northbrook event planner
Northbrook-based Life of the Party’s Shari Rodin plans social events on the North Shore and in the city. Jackie Pilossoph | For Sun-Times Media
Life of the Party
3000 Dundee Road Ste. 316, Northbrook
Updated: January 7, 2013 6:23AM
NORTHBROOK — When Barbara Malkin was planning her daughter Lindsay’s Bat Mitzvah party, she had a vision for a theme of a winter wonderland for the December 2010 event. It was an idea that Malkin said she couldn’t have executed without the help of her party planner, Shari Rodin, owner of Life of the Party.
“The room was remarkably breathtaking,” said Malkin. “Shari truly transformed the evening and made it our vision.”
Northbrook-based Life of the Party’s Shari Rodin plans social events on the North Shore and in the city. The six-year-old company plans anniversary parties, milestone birthday parties, and other special events, excluding weddings, and specializing in Bar and Bat Mitzvahs.
“It’s a very significant time in a child’s life that is a wonderful and happy celebration,” said Rodin, who discovered her love of the business when she was planning her son’s Bar Mitzvah seven years ago. “I love being part of that, and cultivating an idea and watching it grow. The end result is seeing your ideas come to life and seeing people having a good time.”
Rodin said most clients come to her with the date of the event and either a DJ or a band that they’ve already hired, but they need help choosing all of the other vendors, often including the venue of the event.
She then introduces her client to photographers, videographers, florists, caterers and stationary vendors that she feels will fit the client’s personality, budget and vision for the party.
“I make recommendations based on what they want for their event,” said Rodin, who has a BA in communications from Arizona State, and who worked for a party planner for two years before starting her own business. “I am the facilitator. Every party is different and unique because every family is different and unique.”
Rodin said she chooses vendors with whom she has built a solid relationship, and with whom she feels she can trust.
Deborah Radis hired Rodin to plan her daughter, Alexa’s Bat Mitzvah, which took place last month at Michigan Shores Country Club in Wilmette.
“This was my first time planning a big event like this, and it was overwhelming,” said Radis. “I had no idea of the timing of when things needed to be done, and Shari took all the stress out of it for me. The whole process was easy and that was all due to her.”
Rodin’s job, however goes beyond planning the upcoming event. She attends the party as well, to manage the vendors, make sure the room is set up correctly, and handle any problems that might arise during the party.
“The day of the event, she did everything perfectly,” said Radis, “All I did was enjoy the party. I didn’t have to do anything. All I had to do was show up.”
“I was able to give up that sense of control and say, ‘She’s got it.’ Not one moment during the day did I even have a thought of being worried,” said Malkin.
Life of the Party charges a flat fee for the service, which includes the day to day planning of the event as well as her attendance the night of the party.
“I am detailed and organized and I care deeply about the outcome of my events,” Rodin said. “Everyone says, ‘I just want my party to be fun,’ and that’s what I make sure of. If I’ve done my job right, I go to the party and it’s a happy occasion for all, including me.”