I'll start by saying that most of the time I am thinking about food, either what I am going to eat or what I am going to cook.
When I am not working, there is nothing I love more than hosting family and friends. Opening bottles of wine and enjoying great food.
My essential party ingredient is a pack of napkins with a good quality ply to it. I love witty and themed napkins.
Celebrations and parties have been in my DNA since I can remember. I was born and raised in a small city in Kuwait called Al-Ahmadi. My family moved to Toronto during the Gulf War for roughly a year before returning back. With a second invasion on the brink, my family migrated to Mississauga in the late 90s.
At the age of 18, I landed a job at a catering company. At that moment I fell in love instantly and knew I wanted to forge a career in the hospitality and events industry. My love for the attention to details and passion for service excellence led me to lead the catering and event services at one of Canada's most prestigious and historic private country clubs, followed by the number one barbecue event catering company in Toronto.
In 2015, I had an opportunity to join a team of amazing ladies to open the first four-star hotel in the Region of Waterloo. (My husband's hometown and we now live in his childhood home). In 2018, I joined the faculty at Conestoga College, part-time, teaching Catering & Event Planning, Attraction & Festival Management, and Service in Hospitality.
Through my career, I have planned over hundreds of corporate and social events with guest lists up to 15,000 people. I enjoyed the procurements of new suppliers, themes and products. I was constantly on the hunt for new event themes because every event had to be better than the last.
In 2018 my mini was born and our family of four humans and two bulldogs grew by one more. With three beautiful girls (to be fair, two belong to my husband), this meant more parties in our home.
When the COVID lockdown hit, it had its upside and downside. Laid-off like many hospitality professionals, my wheels were spinning and I needed a creative outlet. A couple of months later, serendipitously, while planning Ivy's second birthday (Baby Shark two-two-two theme), finding good quality party supplies was very challenging. The white space in my mind began brainstorming a party store. Instantly, Yay was created, this beautiful passion project turned a boutique party essentials and balloon bar.
My intention is to make entertaining easy, approachable, and planning parties fun and accessible to all in our community, without boundaries or limitations. Based on my industry experience, I curated a wide assortment quintessential products that often are not be found in big box stores. I hope you find something here to create happy memories through celebrations and experiences- whether it's something simply special or spectacular. Great food isn't the only ingredient for your event. I hope that the boutique inspires your next occasion, takes away any stress and makes entertaining a piece of cake.