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The sparkly gown sweeps across the ground of the large Hinsdale house. A stack of gifts wrapped in colorful paper sit on a table. A cake rests on a plate nearby, with a box of candles ready to be lit beside it. Streamers are hung throughout the rooms and party hats sit upon the heads of a full room of children. Four teenage girls stand all dressed in different colored gowns. The group of young girls sit fascinated at the teenagers. Their smiles are impossible to ignore. This will be the highlight of their week, maybe even their month, but for Alexandria Arendt, it is simply another day of work.
Arendt, sophomore, has made hundreds of dollars from her business, the Clarendon Hills Princess Company. She goes dressed up as a princess and works kids’ birthday parties. She now has about 20 girls that can work the parties with her, and usually about four to five girls go per party. Most of Arendt’s customers are in the Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills area, but as word spreads about the business, her customers are getting farther away.
Arendt came up with this idea when she was babysitting one day. The three year old girl that she was watching had a closet full of princess dresses. She looked up and said that for her birthday, she wanted Cinderella to come to her house. Arendt wanted to make the little girl’s dream come true, and she figured this would also be a great way to make money. As of November 2018, she has done five birthday parties, and has loved every single one of them. Her and the girls she works with usually do two parties a month, and hope for that number to grow.
Ella Cibinski, sophomore, has worked two parties with the company as Cinderella, and received $20 per hour per party.
“If I was free I would definitely want to work another party,” Cibinski said.
The company has several different party packages. They range from costing $100 to $150, and vary in amount of time and activities. The most recent party was a Beauty and the Beast themed party, and Arendt was Belle. She brought books, wore an expensive custom Belle gown, and read to the kids.
Arendt has said that she definitely wants to continue doing this for the rest of high school, and possibly even college. Wherever she goes for college, she may start another company there doing the same thing. She might even continue this business right out of college as a career. She wants to expand her company and be able to make more kids’ princess dreams come true. Arendt said she loves every minute of the birthday parties, from the decorations to the activities. But most of all, she said she loves the joy it brings to the kids. The smiles on their faces makes the hard work that goes into it worth it for her. She loves seeing the kids believe in the magic of princesses, just like she always has.