By: Carol Beck-Round | Category: Professional Services | Issue: October 2011
Princess and pirate costumes, rock star outfits, and cowboy gear surround Talk of the Town owner Deborah Woodard, far right, and event coordinators, Tiffany Goodwin, left, and Shelbi Woodson, seated. The new party company and event center offers a full range of services for making dreams and themes come true.
They didn’t have much money, but Deborah Woodard and Tiffany Goodwin had something else. “We had a wish and a dream in a dustpan to open a business dedicated to creating a stress-free experience for special events,” says Deborah.
For many years, Deborah and Tiffany had been talking about turning their knack for decorating and organizing parties, showers and weddings into a mobile business, offering their talents to others, and not just relatives and friends. “People kept telling us we had a gift for doing this,” says Deborah. “Tiffany is really creative and we work well together,” she adds. Maybe that’s because Deborah is Tiffany’s aunt.
Although the two women had flirted with the idea of starting their own business, they didn’t start investigating the possibilities until this past spring, when they were in the midst of planning Deborah’s daughter’s wedding in late April.
Shortly thereafter, the family celebrated granddaughter Emma’s first birthday at a party place in a nearby community. “The place was nice but we realized that with our experience, we could make dreams and themes come true,” says Deborah. That thought became their motto and launched their dream.
In the midst of planning her husband’s 50th birthday party in June, Deborah began looking for affordable commercial property in the area. “We grew up in Claremore and the area was centrally located for all of us,” she says. Deborah and her daughter Shelbi Woodson, who also helps with event coordinating, live in Owasso. Tiffany resides in Inola. “The first affordable commercial rental property I located on the Internet was on Claremore’s Main Street,” she says.
“We liked the downtown feeling,” says Deborah, and that’s when the work began. “We’ve spent countless hours and back pocket money to remodel the building,” she adds. Although they’ve avoided borrowing money to do the refurbishing, they’ve had to hire out a few projects. The three women, with the help of their spouses, however, accomplished most of the dirty work.
On September 20, Talk of the Town Party Company & Event Center celebrated its grand opening with a Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting and an open house, where area vendors with whom the company will be working displayed their wares. “We had local businesses, including a winery, cake decorator, floral shop and food vendors on hand for the grand opening,” says Deborah.
The event center is unique. “We offer more than the standard children’s party. We think outside of the box,” says Deborah. In addition to offering standards like cowboy and cowgirl themed parties, they offer a princess or pirate party, rock star parties for boys or girls, diva parties and spa girl parties to name a few. “However, we can create any type of birthday party event,” she adds, “including those for special needs children.”
The event center is not limited to kids’ birthday parties. The women anticipate offering full wedding planning services and receptions, bridal and baby showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties, anniversary celebrations, cocktail parties, private luncheons and dinners, business meetings and gatherings of any sort.
“Our services are customized to the specific needs of our clients,” says Deborah. “We work closely with our clients, spending time getting to know you so we can create a beautiful event reflective of your lifestyle and personality. We work with your themes and dreams to create a magical, memorable experience that is unique and customized to fit your style and exceed your expectations.”
For Deborah and Tiffany, Talk of the Town reflects a labor of love. “I think this Will Rogers quote says it well,” says Deborah. “If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And believe in what you are doing.”
After 30 years in public school education, Carol Round retired and moved from Grand Lake to Claremore, Oklahoma in 2005, where she writes a weekly faith-based column which runs in 14 Oklahoma newspapers as well as several national and international publications. Three volumes of her columns have been compiled into collections: A Matter of Faith, Faith Matters and by FAITH alone. She has also written Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God and a companion workbook, The 40-Day Challenge. This past year she has written three children’s books, a series called Nana’s 3 Jars, to teach children about the value of giving, saving and spending money. All of Carol’s books are available through Amazon. In addition to writing her weekly column, authoring books and speaking to women’s groups, she writes for Value News. She also blogs regularly at www.carolaround.com. When she is not writing or speaking, she loves spending time with her three grandchildren, working in her flowerbeds, shooting photos, volunteering at her church or going on mission trips overseas, and hiking. She is also an avid reader and loves working crosswords and trying to solve Sudoku puzzles.