If you’re hoping to take your kid’s birthday party to a whole new level this year, these are the three Las Cruces businesses you need to know.
Photography by ROBIN ZIELINSKI
Creating the ultimate kid’s party just got a whole lot easier thanks to Jeni Elflein and her business Joy & Jubilee. Jeni, who admits to being a “sucker for a theme,” creates full party décor packages with everything from custom designed invites to banners, cupcake toppers, and centerpieces. “I started playing around with my own kids’ parties,” she says. “I wanted to turn their birthdays into an actual celebration of them, rather than just going through the motions and collecting gifts.”
With Joy & Jubilee not only is every item customized to the child, the sky is the limit when it comes to themes. “Regardless of whether it’s a party at Peter Piper or at home with a bouncy house, kid’s love to be involved. So letting them pick any theme they want, even if we only customize the cake and the invite, allows them input so the party is that much more special to them,” Jeni adds.
Her own daughter, Sophia, chose a science theme for her last birthday and they went all out with beakers of candy, experiments, and decorations inspired by the Periodic Table of Elements.
Jeni doesn’t just do kid’s parties. She’s also available to create custom designs for any celebration from graduations to bridal and baby showers. She also maintains working relationships with other local vendors, so she can make recommendations for anything she doesn’t create herself.
Joy & Jubilee
Whether serving in place of or as a supplement to the typical birthday cake, cookies are the new “it” treat for parties. Native Las Crucen Vanessa Tellez decided to combine her loves of baking and teaching back in 2011, when she founded Baked Bliss by Vanessa, offering up both sweet treats and kids baking classes.
Her kids baking classes are extremely popular. Vanessa breaks participants into age groups so they get the most out of each class and everyone goes home with a goodie bag of cookie’s they decorated themselves and a personalized apron.
“I started mainly with cupcakes and other baked goods, then about three years ago, sugar cookies took over and have been the main focus,” Vanessa explains.
Her detailed (and delicious!) decorated sugar cookies might just be the touch your dessert table needs. She can match any theme imaginable, including the current kid’s party trends of Trolls, Star Wars, and superheros. “They are easy to grab and something different than the usual cups or cupcakes,” she notes, adding that they are also great “bonus” treats to go with cake and fun to hand out as party favors.
And the cookies arent’ just for little ones. They’re crowd pleasers for baby showers, holiday gatherings, retirement parties, or any other special occasion. To really personalize it, have her make a themed set representing all of the guest of honor’s favorite things.
Ready to put in your order? Vanessa books up fast so plan on placing your order a few weeks to a month in advance.
Baked Bliss by Vanessa
TMNT Las Cruces, a true family business, started with Paul and Sheryl Duran trying to teach their two sons, Cameron, 16, and Brendon, 18, about financial management and responsibility. After helping a friend out by dressing up as Turtles for the first ever Las Cruces Comic Con, the boys decided they wanted to make it into a business.
“All four of us put in our own capital to buy our first Michelangelo costume. When we made back the money to pay everyone back their capital, we discussed as a family whether we should save the profits or reinvest them in our new venture,” Sheryl remembers. “We decided to grow the business, and we now have four characters: Michelangelo, Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Batman.” (April O’Neil makes appearances from time to time also.)
The characters are all available to attend parties, often times as surprise guests. Depending on the type of party and ages of the guests, Sheryl says Michelangelo has done everything from jumping on trampolines at Zero Gravity to playing video games at Peter Piper to just sitting with toddlers and letting them ask questions and share stories. If Star Wars is more your child’s theme, Sheryl recommends having both Obi-Wan and Darth at the party because they have “amazingly realistic” light sabers and perform a rehearsed fight scene.
Sheryl says, “We have only high quality costumes and they try to stay as true to the character as possible. They know the storylines and background so they’re pretty good at answering any of the questions kids can come up with off the cuff. Especially Mikey. He has an answer for everything.”
TMNT Las Cruces