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Hobby turned to business

November 26, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — What started as a hobby for Laura Aguilar has ballooned into a full-fledged party planning business here.

For years Aguilar put together flower arrangements and centerpieces as a favor for her friend's parties in Mexicali or Calexico

Eight months ago, with the assistance of her husband, she decided to learn more about the craft and start a business.

In the months that followed, their Michelangelo's Party Planning has been hired to decorate halls and churches for weddings, quinceñeras and baby showers throughout Calexico and across the border.

She said the majority of her clients have heard about her service by word-of-mouth or advertisements at banks and supermarkets.

Her husband, Ariel Aguilar, has helped supply clients who know the family from their jewelry business.

They picked the name "Michelangeo's" because, "We like that name and all of our promotional materials feature one of his paintings."

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For big parties, Aguilar enlists the assistance of about five friends.

The Mexicali native, who moved to Calexico five years ago, had never really thought about starting a business until she did some research and realized that she could mimic the designs found in decorating magazines and books.

"I started by just making the centerpieces and decorating, then we decided to buy some books and picked up a lot of information on how to decorate the salons," she said.

She is looking forward to opening her own storefront where she could showcase her various designs.

Currently she invites prospective clients to her home and shows them samples of design ideas.

While weddings have been a big part of her business, she has worked on a number of quinceñeras.

She said she hopes to take advantage of the tendency of young girls to try to put on more lavish coming-out parties than their peers.

"There was a need for a party planner in Calexico," she said.

For a range of services, Aguilar charges set fees, or a client can choose the full package.

"We can coordinate everything: the video, the photograph, decoration of the salon — all the stuff; linings for the table centerpieces," she said.

To contact Michelangelo's Party Planners call 497-8056 or 768-0396.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or claverie7@hotmail.com

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