Location: Avon, MA
As a recent graduate of Massachusetts College of Art, Franny Andahazy spent her days teaching and her nights waitressing. For fun, Andahazy and a fellow teacher/waitress would make props in a garage, building sets for window displays and even animated objects out of foam-core, paint and glue. The events industry was just making its way to the eastern U.S. when someone suggested the two become part of it, and so Party by Design, (PBD Events) was born. With little competition early on and plenty of opportunity, the garage operation became one of the original event companies in Boston.
Fun Fact: Andahazy is passionate about painting and opened an art gallery in Long Beach Island, NJ, where she grew up.
Over the years, Andahazy says, many of PBD’s early competitors went out of business, but PBD survived, despite 30 years of challenges that included two economic downturns and multiple office moves. The company survived by using its creative spirit during these tough times. During one of the downturns it weathered, PBD put together an “innovative and creative party to showcase what we do best [and] attract new clients,” says Andahazy.
Even during tough times, Andahazy says, PBD never worked with an outside investor, and she instead attributes her company’s growth to its philanthropic work: “I believe that when you give back to others, you flourish as well. I’m a true believer in being positive and optimistic about the future,” she says. As part of this philanthropic work, Andahazy has been a big supporter of the arts, mentoring through her alma mater and hosting students at PBD’s studio.