What I’ve Learned As A Stylist In The Past 5 Years


With the advent of the new year (I am still reeling over 2016 and shaking my head at how fast it sped by), I am bedridden, down with the flu. It seems that God has conspired with my body and has unilaterally declared His own version of a “holiday” over me, as I’ve done nothing but read books and watch TV over the past couple of days!

The good news is that I’m well on my way to recovery. The other good news – this uncommon silence and rest that I’ve experienced has given me some space to think about Party Magic, styling, and the things that I’ve learned and picked up along the journey.

Let me share them with you:

Oftentimes, my best work comes out when I’m supremely excited about a theme or an idea, or even a client. Excitement ignites passion and creativity, leading to inspired work. When I look back at the countless parties we’ve done (in the hundreds), I discovered that I’m at my best when I am in that rarefied state of inspiration. In other words, when I allow myself to be happily lost inside the worlds of possibilities that each party could be. It’s sort of the opposite of “writer’s block”; call it “flow”, “in the zone”, or a “creative eureka”.

Party Magic has come a very long way from that little 3-man team (me, my husband, and the ever-dependable Julius) that used to do quaint little events. With God, my family, and the Party Magic team behind me, we have our best years still ahead of us. This is something that I believe to be true. With every party, the hardest challenge I face is trying to beat myself. 2017 is a year that I hope to surpass my 2016 self, as 2016 was the year that I surpassed by 2015 self.

Quality over Quantity. Always. Some of our clients ask us why we can only accept 1 party per day (although on occasion we now try our best to do 2 parties). The answer to me has always been simple: it’s not about the money. It’s about the amount of time, brainstorming, procurement, prep-work, fabrication, and countless other details that come into each event. More parties mean less resources, and less resources lead to subpar work. This is the death of every artist.

Steve Jobs nailed it by saying, “Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” While it’s true that Party Magic is my company and creation, none of this would be possible without the collective passion, creativity, and (literal) sweat of the Party Magic team. “Party Magic by Michelle Lao” is really just shorthand for: Party Magic by Michelle Lao, Luisa, Richard, Pat, Aileen, Allan, Mark, Wilson, Ronald, Mark, Sandy, and Dondon.

Sometimes, a little rest is a good thing. While most workaholics get bothered reading this last point (me included), this is true. Regular, short intervals of rest lets your mind and body recuperate and come back to work with a vengeance.

Here we come, 2017!



About the author

Michelle Lao


  • So happy I stumbled upon your site via Instagram. You are awesome. Your work is awesome. I find your posts about progression help keep me positive. Can’t wait to follow where you and your team go.

    -XOXO Firefly Event Company in sunny Southwest Florida

    • Thank you for the kind words Emer! Greetings from halfway around the world.
      It’s always uplifting to connect with other stylists. Would love to see your works, too!

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