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Rav Khokhar: The creative brain behind the bash

Entrepreneurs 30-10-2019

Founder of Mini Maniacs Rav Khokhar is the go-to for extra-special parties for children. She talks to AWM about leaving her City job to make dreams come true for children, and grown-ups.

 

Throwing a party is not for the faint-hearted. The fairy godmother of children’s parties, Rav Khokhar founded Mini Maniacs, unleashing her own creativity to organise high quality events for busy parents who want a memorable party for their little ones.

The obsession with detail

Organising events has always been a passion for Rav. She worked for a French luxury events agency in Shanghai organising luxury events for high-end luxury brands, product launches, hotel openings, and conferences for banks and hotel groups.

Upon returning to the UK, Rav worked in the corporate sector providing experiential events for British retail giants. But bogged down with protocol and red tape, she felt unfulfilled.

“There was no space for creativity or career progression in that role and I was really bored. I knew I needed to branch out and do something on my own.”

Rav decided to give up her successful job in 2017 to start Mini Maniacs. The company initially started as an entertainment company, providing princesses, superheroes and games for children’s parties.

But Rav soon recognised a gap in the market for a full service children’s premium party planning company. Jumping in head first, Mini Maniacs was re-launched in September 2018. Hoping to secure more clients, she made full use of online marketing and social media to spread the word. And it worked.

“I found myself inundated with enquiries. We are now booked up until April next year. The company is on a roll…we get enquiries, book events, plan it to detail, and make people happy,” she says.

“Mini Maniacs is a premium offering rather than luxury. It’s perfect for busy parents who work in the corporate world and don’t have the time, and that’s where we come in. We take care of everything—from finding the venue, catering, décor, to party favours. Clients just need to turn up at the event just like a guest.”

Based in Uxbridge, Mini Maniacs serves clients in and around London, particularly areas like Ascot, Berkshire, Gerrard’s Cross, Northwood, and Kensington & Chelsea.

Getting down with the kids

While it’s important to keep the parents happy, in this business, it’s essential to keep the children happier. Rav is constantly researching every new character, TV show and fad to be prepared for every request. “I read lots of children’s magazines and scrutinize things like Disney and Marvel. Our service is bespoke…we know that every child is unique and their special event should be too.”

While she orchestrates the full package, meticulously working with trusted providers and contractors, the business allows Rav to channel her creativity and ever fresh-ideas.

She showed me a Cars themed party, where she sourced an old Chevrolet Camaro and filled the bumper with a cascade of balloons. “The success of Mini Maniacs is due to the creativity that was missing from the market,” she says.

“With the rise of social media everyone wants unique photo opportunities, so a stunning 2D or 3D backdrop is an essential feature,” she says. “Parents have different preferences, some like extravagant cakes, some want to avoid sugar while others want elaborate sweet displays.

“And the focus changes as the children grow. A first birthday is all about parents and the extended family. Especially for Asian parties, it can be a huge affair for up to 100 people. By a child’s 3rd birthday, they know exactly what they want, so the emphasis is on the entertainment.

Now the grown-ups can have fun too!

This year, Rav has branched out to launch Signature Soirees, parties for a new generation of clients…the grown-ups.

“Parties for adults have always in my goal plan, but it was on a back burner, as all of my energy was in entertaining the children.” says Rav.

It was in February this year that Rav was contacted by a Malaysian TV actress to organise a luxury surprise party for her sister’s 21st birthday. Though it was a deviation from Mini Maniacs, Rav took it on, and made it a success. “We turned around an event in London for her in three days, organising the venue, décor, food, cake, and goodie bags.”

This was all the encouragement Rav needed, so she got the ball rolling on the new venture, Signature Soirees. “Surely and steadily we worked towards what I always wanted to do, memorable parties for adults. Signature Soirees is a natural development from Mini Maniacs –I plan the children’s birthday parties, and the parents come back to me for their own birthdays, anniversaries, and milestone events.

“When I worked in the corporate sector, I was involved in the planning but lots of departments bring things together. Now running my own company I’m much more savvy with operations, materials and products to create that perfect effect.”

When a business is more than just work

 Organising parties has taught Rav many lessons. “I never make a decision purely based on financial gain,” she says. “Many times it’s not just about the money, but the learning and value that comes from the experience.

“I’ve done parties on a purely cost basis for parents of rainbow children, for mothers who have had multiple miscarriages, or parties for sick children. It gives me great joy to see the smile on people’s faces. All of us want money but it’s not always necessary to run after it. I have faith that if you do good, you’ll receive good. And when you have a children’s party company it’s all about the fun and the inner satisfaction.” 

mini-maniacs.com

signature-soirees.com

Interview by Nima Suchak
Photos by Kam Parmar for Asian Wealth

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