Making life merry

Make Merry Events entrepreneurs Jillian Demmons and Krista Comeau. Photo: Jonathan Mandeville

I will admit that I’m not the type of girl who gushes or daydreams about weddings and I shy away from over-the-top events. All the pomp and circumstance is kind of lost on me. As of late, however, I’ve noticed a burgeoning trend in event styling that focuses on intimate gatherings and tiny details. Make Merry Events, a recently launched rental business, specializes in event accessories (think gold-plated utensils, whimsical china sets, delicate birdcages, elegant placeholders and more). Yes, you may be able to find these elements if you scoured the antique stores of Nova Scotia, but I’m not sure you would find them in such large sets and in such pristine condition. Make Merry Events entrepreneurs Krista Comeau and Jillian Demmons spoke with me on their new venture and their shared love of beautiful things.

Photo: Krista Comeau

Photo: Krista Comeau

Photo: Krista Comeau

Photo: Krista Comeau

How did the idea behind Make Merry Events come about?

JD: “We both love collecting and hunting for treasures and antiques, as well as creating an atmosphere. So, we wanted to make our passion into a profession and it seemed like there wasn’t anything similar available here. You hear these stories, like a bride’s relatives running around trying to find 100 milk glass vases for just one day and that takes a lot of time and resources. Having the option to find and rent these types of pieces—at a fraction of the cost it would be to buy—is very appealing.”

It seems like many couples these days are leaning toward smaller yet very personalized weddings. How do you see Make Merry aligning with this theme?

Photo: Krista Comeau

Photo: Krista Comeau

KC: “I think that our business really lends itself to the idea of a small, intimate gathering. Our pieces add an element of character and charm as opposed to basic rentals from a big rental company. Some of my favourite pieces are our antique globes, teapots and teacups. Down the road, we would like to design little terrariums that could be used as centrepieces. I think that this will be really fun and appeal to clients who are looking for something very unique.”

Aside from weddings, what other types of events might benefit from your services?

JD: “Well, we just did a pop-up shop with Hart Republic. We were co-collaborators for their launch party, so we came in and decorated using our cake stands for cupcakes and champagne was served while everyone shopped and socialized. We hope to go in a lot of different directions like anniversaries, birthday parties and even home stagings. Weddings are obviously a big part of what we want to do but we think that there are a lot of different avenues for us to explore.”

Can you tell me about some of the items you have available to rent?

JD: “We try to have a mix of vintage and new. For instance, we look for vintage items that people need and want and that we also just happen to love, such as antique dishes, cake stands, birdcages, teapots, old cameras and typewriters. But we also source out new pieces based on researching current trends through social media, especially on Pinterest, which gives us a lot of ideas about the style combinations that people hosting events these days are really after.”

Where and how do you source out these items?

KC: “We have both been avid collectors for years so a lot of the items you see we already owned. Since we’ve gone through the program at the Centre for Entrpreneurship Education and Development, we now have the means to search further and go to estate sales. Make Merry really fulfills a passion to collect beautiful things without keeping them all to ourselves. It’s great to be able to share this with people who we know will really appreciate it.”

This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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