Creative Party Ideas!

Check out this video for some great party ideas!

THE KIND OF PROFESSIONALS WE’VE ALWAYS BEEN

 

The Joe Cornell Party Team!

There are two kinds of businesses in the world: the ones who are in it to make a buck (to make many bucks) and those who, yes, want to earn their income and live comfortably BUT care about what they do and the people who frequent their business.

We’re the second kind and always have been. Integrity behind a brand, that’s what makes Joe Cornell what it is.  In Southeast Michigan, the name Joe Cornell conjures fond memories of childhood fun, of smiling DJs and fun emcees who made a party exactly what our clients hoped for.  We help families fulfill dreams at the most meaningful times in their lives.

Yes, we work tirelessly and sometimes, more hours than we’d like.  But we do it because we have been driven since we were teenagers working for Joe (the Man) to help people celebrate their happiest times, in the most fun, sincere way possible.

A friend told me recently about a disturbing transaction she had in a local business. The “salesman” was pushing products and urging her to buy, buy, buy when what she wanted was a few minutes of attention and the knowledge that this other person was actually listening to her.

Today, consumers have everything they need.  Shopping trips are often for the “extras” – things they want but don’t require, something to placate the quiet moments.  Plus, there are so many abundant options – we can shop online, we can find the cheapest of anything pretty much, we can enter any number of superstores and find all the products and services that propel our lives forward.

Few people really need anything.  So when they choose to patronize a business, they are doing so from a deep, emotional place, a place that says, your service or product adds value to my life so I will put my pocketbook behind it.  They’re saying thank you for giving more meaning to the moments of my life.  Thank you for being there.

Businesses shouldn’t take this lightly.  When a customer comes knocking at the door, the job isn’t to upsell; it’s to listen, to connect, to look into the customer’s eyes and know that you are making a valuable connection.  It’s imperative to have gratitude for the fact that anyone comes knocking at all and treat each and every sale as if it is the ONLY one.

At Joe Cornell, we spend countless hours with customers just because that’s the way we are.  We know the kind of business people we are – we’ve worked hard to get here and stay here.  It’s a little reminder, always, that businesses are run by people and frequented by people and it’s the person-to-person connection that keeps our economy going – not profits and sales. People.

Plan It….in your PJs!

 

 

 

PLAN IT MAGAZINE TIMES TWO

For advertising information, follow this link:  ADVERTISING INFO

Since we started publishing  Plan It! Magazine  two years ago, we have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support. People are reading. People are calling and booking the advertisers in our pages. People are thanking us for the tips and tricks we offer in every issue. And venues are calling us for more copies since the stack they received is depleted rather quickly.

When you see such an overwhelming response to a new product, you know you’re hitting a need in the community. We started Plan It! as a way to expand our event guidebook at the Joe Cornell Event Planning EXPO and offer more value to our vendors and our patrons.

We found it’s great fun to create a magazine, especially one that promotes Michigan business (the entire endeavor is produced in Michigan!) AND is so well-received.

This year, we are expanding to TWO issues of event-planning advice, tips and ideas. Our second issue, due out in March 2013, will feature more great content, art and ads for families looking for the next big thing or unique idea for their upcoming celebration.

How can you get a copy or participate in Plan It!? There are so many ways. First, email us if you have a story idea or a business you think would be of interest to our readers. We’ll find room for you in our pages.

Secondly, we welcome your feedback! What do you want to read about? What are you looking for in your event-planning endeavors? How can we help? Talk to us. One of the new features we’re likely to have in the next few issues is reader talk-back – insights and ideas from our loyal readers who are doing interesting, innovative things at their parties.

Joe Cornell has always been a business focused on community and relationships. We are friends with our customers, and our customers come to us again and again – first, for their children’s events, then for their children’s weddings, then for their grandchildren and beyond. We build a legacy of celebration and warmth that keeps on giving.

So join us in the conversation and let’s keep the community connecting. After all, that’s what it’s all about.

To view Plan It Magazine, visit the website:  www.PlanItMagazine.com or pick up a copy at one of the following locations:

Village Coney Birmingham
Leo’s Coney Island Birmingham
Little Daddy’s Bloomfield Hills
Leo’s Coney Island Bloomfield Hills
Gino’s Keego Harbor
Honey Tree Restaurant Waterford
Leo’s Coney Island White Lake
Siegel’s Deli West Bloomfield
Leo’s Coney Island West Bloomfield
Siam Spicy Novi
Mr. Greeks Ann Arbor
Panda House Ann Arbor
Gourmet Garden Ann Arbor
Holiday’s Restaurant Ann Arbor
Benny’s Family Dining Ann Arbor
Leo’s Coney Island Ypsilanti
Emerald City Chinese Ann Arbor
Los Amigos Restaurant Ypsilanti
Leo’s Coney Island Ypsilanti
Sinbad Koney Island Ypsilanti
Leo’s Coney Island Saline
Joyful House Saline
Bangkok Sala Cafe Farmington Hills
Siam Spicy II Farmington Hills
Zoe’s House of Pancakes West Bloomfield
Uptown Parthenon West Bloomfield
Sunny’s Cafe West Bloomfield
Heartland Marketplace Farmington Hills
Hercules Restaurant Farmington Hills
Bread Basket Deli Southfield
Little Daddy’s Southfield
Village Coney Birmingham
Leo’s Coney Island Birmingham
Little Daddy’s Bloomfield Hills
Baked Impressions West Bloomfield
Gino’s Keego Harbor
Honey Tree Restaurant Waterford
Leo’s Coney Island White Lake
Studio A Birmingham
Leo’s Coney Island West Bloomfield
Siam Spicy Novi
Mr. Greeks Ann Arbor
Panda House Ann Arbor
Gourmet Garden Ann Arbor
Holiday’s Restaurant Ann Arbor
Benny’s Family Dining Ann Arbor
Leo’s Coney Island Ypsilanti
Emerald City Chinese Ann Arbor
Los Amigos Restaurant Ypsilanti
Leo’s Coney Island Ypsilanti
Sinbad Koney Island Ypsilanti
Leo’s Coney Island Saline
Joyful House Saline
Bangkok Sala Cafe Farmington Hills
Siam Spicy II Farmington Hills
Zoe’s House of Pancakes West Bloomfield
Studio A Commerce
Sunny’s Cafe West Bloomfield
Heartland Marketplace Farmington Hills
Hercules Restaurant Farmington Hills
Bread Basket Deli Southfield
Little Daddy’s Southfield

 

For advertising information, follow this link:  ADVERTISING INFOYou may also find them at your local places of worship, as well.

 

The Guest List EXPOSED!

 

Who should I invite?

OK, I made my first list for my son’s bar mitzvah.  I had a small heart attack, then started to ask around to figure out where to “draw the line”.  This is what I learned….

Your family and your family’s friends are who should make the first list of invitees.  Your attendees should be made up of people who are a part of your child’s life, in some way or another.  While its nice to consider inviting colleagues, just remember they most likely do not know your child.  By inviting colleagues, you have now obligated them to give your child a gift.

 

Keep your guest list to close friends and their kids.  Remember, if you have more than one child….stick to families who have kids that child’s age.  Not friends of the younger sibling. They will make the list next time.

To review:

Family, Family Friends with kids,  Child’s friends.

Those are my thoughts, I’d love to hear yours!  Tonight I will make my list again.  I’ll be sure to tell you by how many it shrank!

:-)

Becca Schlussel

 

 

Becca’s Beat – LESSON ONE

June 30, 1984.  I became a Bat Mitzvah at Congregation Beth Abraham Hillel Moses (now called Beth Ahm).  For those of you that are Michigan natives you may remember that the synagogue caught fire just a few months prior to that date.  My bat mitzvah service was held upstairs in a makeshift chapel.  I have pictures of my family outside of the synagogue, some even included pictures of the rubble.

I was to become a bat mitzvah no matter the look or location of the bimah or the Torah I was to read from.  The entire experience was amazing!  I remember how I felt as if it were yesterday….

The pictures of me in a knee length white cotton and lace dress with feathered hair are hysterical.  My mom’s perm.  My brothers teal blue suit.  My dad’s beard.

I was the 3rd Jasgur to celebrate their mitzvah.  The entire weekend was so special.  First was the Friday Night gathering of relatives and out-of-towners at our house.  We ate (of course).  Fried chicken, I think.  My dad’s first cousin, Gail Adler (of blessed memory), lead us in song.  She could belt Somewhere over the Rainbow like no other.  Our Cousin Russel Ginns, played guitar and taught us the lyrics to his own silly uptempo creation entitled “Reincarnation” (“…I once was a seat belt, I once was a shoe…”).  Our entire clan aged 5 to 75 stood and danced to the camp classic “Deep Down in the Jungle Where Nobody Goes….”

I have pictures from the evening.  Recalling the night now is making me so happy!  One last thing took place that night…something that we had done the eve before the party for both of my brothers.  We made Candy Apples from scratch…everyone was involved.  Poking the apples with sticks, dipping the apples in boiling red candy syrup.  Rolling the apples in coconut (we left some plain).  Placing them in clear plastic bags and twisting them shut.  It was a group effort.  A TRUE labor of love, and everyone was involved.

Oh what a night it was!

Saturday morning was the service.  My parents said I was beaming.  I remember loving being up in front of the service, sitting with the clergy.  I can still see the smiles on my parents faces.  All of the Hebrew school and studying, I was able to lead the service and read from the torah.  Amazing, right?

The party was Saturday evening at Congregation B’nai Moshe, in Oak Park.   My parents had used the kosher caterer, Sperber, for all of their events.  This would be no exception.

My theme was Oriental.  Why?  Because, I loved Chinese food, why not!  Every guest came dressed in their rendition of Oriental.  Kimono’s, robes, sumo loin cloths, black, white and red filled the room.  The food was served in Chinese take-out containers.  Hot tea at the tables for all the adults.  A rickshaw was in the room for me and my friends to sit on and take pictures.

My dad and I read the candle lighting ceremony together.  There was a slide show (yep, actual slides) of each of the guests as we called them up to be honored.  We danced (Emcee Robbie Goldstein from Joe Cornell, doing his first big party!).  I was on the dance floor all night, as were all my friends.  We ate popcorn and snow cones and RED CANDY APPLES.  We laughed and smiled until midnight.  Another AMAZING night!

I remember writing thank you notes, and looking at pictures.  So many pictures!  I am grateful for all of the pictures.  They are what keep my memory of the weekend alive.  I look at them all the time.  I have shared them with new friends and old.  My kids have seen them.  They are precious.  An amazing gift!  I smile looking at the pictures of those I shared the weekend with who are no longer with us.  Full of life.  Living in the moment.

Lesson ONE from “Becca’s beat”.  TAKE PICTURES!  Lots of them.  Hire a photographer to take pictures.  Talk to them about what you want them to capture….the raw emotion of your loved ones.  Celebrate good times with those you love as often as you can….and TAKE PICTURES!

Yikes… It’s my turn to plan my own son’s party!

Ben's 9th Birthday Party

 

Have a party to plan?  I do!

Weird after all theses years of being an owner of Joe Cornell (like 24, yikes).  I am in your shoes.

Don’t think I haven’t thought about it.  Where would it be?  Who would I use for what?  How many people would I have?  Giving suggestions to others is so much easier than actually determining your own wants and needs.  In all the times I considered the planning process did I really take into consideration what would be best for my kid?

Which is why I am writing this blog…getting it off my chest.

Slowly I can see my 11 year old becoming more interested in singing along to the tunes on my car’s XM radio!

The last few parties we have been invited to he has complained less about going!

He is signed up for “Joe Cornell” in the fall… (FOR SURE that will get his mind in gear for what is coming!)

We will have the meeting at Temple introducing us to our Mitzvah Tutor.   By then he will be game for a 200 person dance party, right?

I’ll keep you posted!

:-)

Becca Schlussel

Dessert Table Love: Guest Blogger

Top: A nature inspired dessert table - Bottom: Bubbie and me at the Joe Cornell Event Planning Expo

It has been about three and a half months since the Joe Cornell Event Planning Expo and Wedding Marketplace.  But here at Sweet Heather Anne we continue to be inspired by great group of clients and outstanding vendors.  As a business owner it is such a pleasure to work with people you love to give them a product they love.

And right now we are all loving the dessert table.  Why?  Because they are innovative, fun, and all-a-round fabulous; taking the typical event cake and making it the stunning centerpiece of a table chock full of desserts.

A well-designed dessert table will take the design elements of your special event and incorporate them into the colors and style of the table; lending clarity to the overall design of your event.  This is where design meets function, where each stand, each item label, and all adornments are hand-picked and arranged to create a composed tablescape that will wow your guests!

The other thing we love about dessert tables is how they get your guests up and moving around after the meal, easing the transition from dinner to dancing.

When looking for a vendor to do a dessert table for your bar/bat mitzvah, wedding, or other special event be sure to choose someone who will work with the design of your event.  A custom table is a must if you are looking for a cohesive event. Also, be sure to find someone who has experience designing, as well as a portfolio for you to look at examples.

For inspiration we recommend checking out our website, and for inspiration beyond the Michigan community we recommend Amy Atlas.  If you don’t already love the dessert table you will after you look at Amy’s impeccable designs!

Heather Anne Leavitt
owner, Sweet Heather Anne

VIP Date Night 2011

The ever popular VIP Date Night helped us close out the 2011 year for our 6th grade dance program, The Joe Cornell “Experience”.  With nearly 300 children enrolled in our program each season, our special event nights always prove to be a ton of fun for the students.  But the VIP Date Night, where the students invite a Very Important (adult) Person in their lives is incredibly gratifying for the somewhat “older” generation, as well.

For some adults in attendance as dates, it was their first time on the scene.  For others, the Joe Cornell VIP Date Night is a bit of a tradition in their family.  One excited mom was quoted as gushing, “With two older daughters who have already been through the Joe Cornell program and loved it, I’ve been waiting for four years until I could come to the Date Night with my son!”

Photo souvenirs of all couples were provided by Steve Kaufman Photography (www.pixsteve.com), and smiles and music were provided by Joe Cornell Entertainment, of course.  Here are a few photos of the evening, but there are a ton more on our Facebook page.  Click your Date Night date to see more pictures in a Facebook Album (and be sure to tag yourself, too!)

Friday at Cranbrook

Thursday at Beth Ahm

Tuesday at Temple Israel

The recipe for successful parties revealed!

 

“Unbelievable!”

Click Here: Helene Rose tells it like it is!

That was the consensus.  Client, family, friends…even the Joe Cornell Entertainment team, they all sensed the magic.

Phillip Rose became a bar mitzvah at Temple Israel in West Bloomfield, this month, and his parents wanted to mark his accomplishments leading up to this special day by gathering their friends and family for a night of dinner, dancing and excitement.

So, what made this party so special?  What was the secret to this party’s success?  Why were guests still raving days after the celebration?

The recipe revealed:

  • Step 1:  HIRE PROFESSIONALS – EVERYWHERE! From photographers and videographers, to planners, banquet managers, decorators and DJs.  Good ingredients may cost a little more, but one bad egg (who doesn’t show up on time, or plays an inappropriate song) can make you sick.
  • Step 2: LEAN ON THE ADVICE OF THE PROFESSIONALS YOU HIRE. As an example, we at Joe Cornell Entertainment have a legacy of over 60 years of experience in the mitzvah and wedding business.  Becca Schlussel and Steve Jasgur, current owners of the business have both served as entertainers, planners, and producers of thousands of events for families in Michigan and around the country.  Their advice is included with ALL Joe Cornell Entertainment packages.  We want our clients to enjoy the PROCESS and the PARTY!
  • Step 3:  DON’T GET OVER SOLD. While working with professionals is important, remember to keep your bottom line in mind.  Nobody wants to have a great party and then suffer buyer’s remorse.  A professional should listen to your vision and help you stay on course.
  • Step 4:  RELAX AND HAVE FUN! Don’t sweat the small stuff – SEE STEP 1.

As Phillip’s parents, Michael and Helene Rose will attest, Joe Cornell helped guide them in choosing just the right elements to take the entertainment portion of their party to the next level.  A Truss Tower lighting system to wash the dance floor in color, a coordinated team of entertainers (emcee, DJ, 2 dancers) to engage the guests and energize the dancing area, and an incredible drummer / percussionist whose live accompaniment to the DJ’s recorded music intoxicates the crowd and underscores the energy!

 

 

 

Feel the Beat!

You can feel the bass pounding alongside your heartbeat.  It’s energizing, inviting, exciting.  It makes you want to get up and dance your heart out.  That’s what it feels like when there’s a drummer on the dance floor, in sync with a Joe Cornell DJ.

 

This new Joe Cornell EXCLUSIVE opportunity features a core group of talented percussionists ready to bring that sense of New York savvy to your next event.  We offered a drummer in the mix of our services years ago – and now we’re bringing it back, with great acclaim.

 

At our White Party this fall (which used to be the Throwback Party – we keep reinventing ourselves!), we debuted a live drummer mix that, combined with the recorded music we play as DJs, really takes a party to the next level.  Drummer

 

With our drummer on-site, adding live percussion to the music mix, you forget there’s a DJ and feel like you’re dancing to the spontaneous music of a live band, pouring their energy onto the dance floor.

Kids love it.  Parents love it.  Even better, when the star of the party (enter your bar/bat mitzvah kid or bride/groom here…) is handed the drumsticks and kicks into the performance, under the tutelage of our Joe Cornell percussionist, well, there’s no better feeling.

 

Like you’re on top of the world.

 

Like you’re belting out a rhythm that everyone can move to.

 

It’s indescribable.  Give it a try.  Come see for yourself.  You’ll love it.  Trust me.

 

(By the way – mention this blog and get $100 off the price of a live percussionist!)