Take Your Kid’s Birthday Party to the Next Level

Arlington's Sweet Bee Studio makes those special occasions extra special.

A “glamping” sleepover by Sweet Bee Studio. Courtesy photo

It all began with Jodi Weslow wanting to bring her kids’ dreams to life. She staged a “magical unicorn” birthday party for her daughter and a circus-themed “under the big top” bash for her son. Soon, friends started asking if she could mastermind their kids’ birthday celebrations, too. So Weslow launched Sweet Bee Studio, a homegrown party planning business and online retail shop that she runs out of her home in Arlington’s Bluemont neighborhood.

Since then, Weslow has orchestrated events ranging from baby showers to grown-up dinner parties, though kids’ birthdays remain her specialty. For her own daughter’s recent “glamping” sleepover party, she constructed six backyard tents, provided camping-themed food, created a make-your-own satin sleep mask activity, and sent the attendees home the next day with rustic notebooks and twig pencils.

Strawberry cookie favors by Village Sweet, for Sweet Bee Studio. Courtesy photo

“I like to do handmade or edible favors. I think parents are tired of all the plastic-y junk,” says Weslow, who sometimes turns to Dawn Hart at Village Sweet  in Westover, or Jill Fahey at Sugar in Falls Church, for party-themed and nut-free cookies. A recent Ghostbusters-themed party even featured DIY ectoplasm kits.

Her concepts have become so popular that she’s started selling select items (think monogrammed giftware) online through her Etsy store.

Sweet Bee can provide everything from invites and thank-yous to decorations, cake toppers and party games—including craft activities, snack-making stations and photo booths. Weslow will even coordinate professional photographers on request, making her the fairy godmother of any special event.

“Pretty much whatever you envision for your big celebration, I can help with,” she says, “and make it a lot less stressful.” Party packages start at around $150 and can go as high as $750. www.sweetbeestudio.com

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