What do you get when you mix comedy, impending nuptials and entrepreneurism?
A bachelorette party-planning business, of course.
Pamela Yager, a Hollywood comedian, runs Bride's Night Out Inc., which plans and holds bachelorette parties.
But instead of the standard party featuring scantily clad Chippendales dancers, Yager's parties are more like a night on the town, replete with professional comedian tour guides.
In a promising step, Yager recently reached an agreement with David's Bridal that will allow her to set up promotional tables in the bridal chain. There's a development deal in the works for a reality show with maniaTV.com, an Internet television network.
And there's a twist. Yager adopted a modified multilevel marketing business model this year to supercharge growth.
"We're like the Mary Kay of bachelorette parties," quipped Yager.
Yager's parties feature professional comedians who take the bride and friends out on the town. The party could proceed on foot or via limousine to various bars, clubs or other locations. Party favors, including raspberry champagne and handmade veils, are included. Just don't expect it come cheap. Prices average $125 per party guest.
Yager, 42, started with local parties in the Los Angeles area, but expanded over the years to various cities around the nation, leveraging the contacts with comedians she met on her comedy club tours. She would plan the parties from Los Angeles while the comedians would run them.
However, the business could only grow so fast that way, so in March Yager switched to multilevel marketing. That allows independent planners to build their own businesses in different cities, allowing both guides and other planners to work under them. Of course, profits are shared with Yager.
Yager founded her company with just two employees and a couple thousand dollars. She now has seven employees and takes in yearly revenue in the low seven figures.
Kay Abadee is both an independent planner and the company's vice president of marketing. She said what drives the business is the smile on the brides' faces when the party is over.
"There's a huge weight on the importance of it, to know that I'm helping these brides have the most worry-free party because it's their one shot, God forbid," she said.
Originally from New Orleans, Yager moved to Los Angeles 11 years ago after working comedy clubs in New York.
Her stand-up routine included jokes about sex, relationships and marriage, but she also sold adult novelties. She also didn't mind taking the occasional private booking at bachelorette parties.
All the while, Yager kept thinking bigger. It clicked when she produced and hosted a comedy variety show with a bachelorette-party theme at the Keyclub for international wedding gown maker Alfred Angelo Inc.
When 700 people showed up, Yager realized she could effectively parlay her entertainment experience into a party-planning business.
"I cried after (the first party) was over because it was better than I thought it would be," she said.
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