When Wendy Yates first pitched a party entertainment business to her daughter Victoria Slater in 2019, she hoped to initiate a way for them to spend more time together. To her surprise, Slater, who studied film acting, agreed.
Slater graduated from the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts in 2017. But while in school, she got a job at one of New York’s leading children’s party service businesses, Blue Balloons Parties. Taking the knowledge she gained between Blue Balloons and the conservatory, co-owners Slater and Yates organized Bluebonnet Entertainment’s debut in August 2020 at the local martial arts school The Way Family Dojo in Magnolia.
“When we got there and everyone saw that Elsa was there, ... we had a line that was around the door and around the corner,” Slater said. “Then we thought, ‘OK, we’re definitely doing something right here.’”
Bluebonnet Entertainment provides any costumed princess or character—from fairies to Disney classics such as Cinderella—to visit any event, from farmers markets to birthday parties, the duo said. But beyond interacting with young guests, the princesses perform magic shows, offer face painting and blow bubbles, and soon the company will expand into henna body art, Slater said.
“I’ve gone to parties where I’ve been a princess for a little girl, and she sees me, and she runs up, and she gives me the biggest hug,” Slater said. “I’ve seen the mom start crying because it’s like a dream come true.”
Yates said all Bluebonnet actors, who are mainly sourced from family and friends, go through extensive training, in which they research and watch princess movies so they can answer children’s oddball questions as though they are the actual princesses. Bluebonnet is committed to character authenticity and works with a highly recommended company that hand makes its costumes, she said.
“You really have to think, ‘How would my princess answer these questions?’ They wouldn’t answer just any way. It has to make sense to go along with your character and keep it feeling real,” Bluebonnet princess Shelby Hutson said. “It is nice knowing you’re the one making [guests] smile and making their day.”