Rendez-vous with a princess
Magic in the air
By Peter Budig
You will be forgiven for not recognising Alina Pförtner when she is out on the job: dressed in fairy-tale gowns, she changes into the character of a princess, decked out with a wig, the perfect make-up, and the right accessories. This is how she presents herself at the launch of a shopping mall, at a child’s birthday party, or at parties that celebrate someone’s first day at school, at Christmas bazars, Nuremburg folk festivals or on promotional Sundays when shops are open for business.
She founded her business even before she started studying
With a mind of her own, a clear-cut outlook on life and disarming openness – paired with her contagious laugh – the 21-year-old business management student chose her path at an early stage already. To her, it is clear that after completing her Bachelor studies and graduating in 2023, she will not continue studying, and neither will she be applying for jobs. She will use the time to find total fulfilment in her new business. Since 4 September 2020, when she had her first paid job as the Snow Queen that adds a touch of magic to a children’s birthday, she has been investing her fees in costumes and expanding her business. In the meantime, she has set up small business islands across Germany and her employees are fitted with a perfect wardrobe of costumes which helps them to take on a job just about anywhere at short notice.
The princess and the hero are archetypes that appeal to deep-rooted feelings
Just about every girl between the age of 6 and 12 knows Elsa, Princess of the Kingdom of Arendelle as well as Anna, her little sister. They are fairy-tale characters, just like Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel. And boys have a thing for Superman, Spiderman, and the Pirate Jack Sparrow... The characters originate from old fairy-tales by Hans Christian Andersen or the Brothers Grimm, others are comic stars from the DC or Marvel Entertainment franchise. Sooner or later, they were all adapted by Walt Disney and brought to life on the big screen. The hero has always teamed up with a princess and a queen, women that are radiant and have magical powers, and there are also always the good and the evil ones, the saviours and the seductresses. A whole universe of such characters is found in movies, fairy-tales, and stories. They correspond to human archetypes whose roots are set in a world of deep emotions. Those beings serve as inspiration for Alina’s "Princesses and Superheroes", which she taps according to the respective situation.
Authenticity has its price: the costumes, the wigs, and the make-up cost a fortune
"To me, this job is a dream come true – everything I love, all my passions come together here", Alina enthuses while her whole face lights up. She was in the school’s drama group and a member of Cadolzburger Burgfestspiele, a successful group of amateurs. She has always loved dressing up and is a brilliant stand-up storyteller. Talking to children, painting their faces with make-up is just as familiar to her as it is to change her character with make-up and clothes, to become the Snow Princess, Cinderella, or a mermaid. "This is not just some exciting job, it is a special calling and my peers share this perspective", she explains. She buys her costumes – around one hundred in total – from specialist retailers. A friend of hers, who is a skilled tailor, helps her to amend and perfect her outfits. She herself is a master of refining gowns with glittering stones and trims.
Her heroes and princesses are located across all of Germany
The magical allure, the imagination, those are one side of her success. Being skilled at dealing with children is a must, and it is a talent that requires a feel for people and situations. But Alina also has to be the plain calculator, the clever negotiator, and the clear instructions that she gives her team are just as important. In addition to the imaginative enthusiastic girl she is a smart businesswoman, a business manager who acquired a professional software from the USA – Party-Pro-Manager – very early on which helps her to manage her business. "I live different to others of my age. I have little interest in going to parties or pubs. I live with my boyfriend, and we are a good match. He also studies business management and is my down-to-earth counterpart and supports me with my business. There are no personal dramas. My parents also fully support me even though in the beginning, they thought that going self-employed was a bit precarious." Alina’s first allies were her sisters and best friends, her partner changes into the Pirate Jack and from a very early moment on, she started building a large network. Time-tested freelance colleagues are based in Nuremberg, Hamburg, Hanover, Rosenheim, Munich, Berlin, Cologne, Siegen, Dortmund, Essen, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, Freiburg and Rostock, with many others living in the greater Nuremberg metropolitan area.
She started just before the Covid-19 pandemic hit and used the imposed break well
Shortly after her first order in autumn 2000, the strict Covid-19 restrictions hit – a situation that nobody could have foreseen. This did not faze Alina Pförtner. On the contrary: she planned patiently. Once the restrictions started to ease, she was ready for the rush: "Since the end of Covid, people want to experience that something special and we can provide that", she says with a laugh.
Checklist on how to plan for a successful event
Do you want to inspire your clients with a great experience and events? No matter whether you are asking them to join you for a meet & greet, are looking for walking acts or want to organise special campaign days, success begins with the right planning.
- What do you want to achieve with the event?
- Which groups of products or products do you aim to promote with the campaign?
Planning a campaign
- Who handles the design and coordination of the campaign in the team?
- When and where is the campaign to take place?
- What is the financial frame of the campaign?
- What turnover are you expecting?
- Who is looking after the campaign internally or externally?
- Which goods and advertising materials do you need for the campaign?
Announcing the campaign
- Motto of campaign: What is the name of the campaign?
- Who do you want to invite when?
And once the campaign has finished, take time to evaluate and follow-up. Your notes will help you make the next event an even greater success.
About the author
Peter Budig studied Protestant theology, history and political science. He worked as a freelance journalist, headed up the editorial department of a large advertising paper in Nuremberg for ten years and was the editor of Nuremberg’s Abendzeitung newspaper. He has been freelancing again since 2014 as a journalist, book author and copywriter. Storytelling is absolutely his favourite form.