Friends and relatives always told her that she hosted the best parties, and that’s why Marsha Merola Salmon, a 20-year resident of Long Valley, is launching CounterParts, an online business that will serve as a vital resource to anyone interested in hosting a party or special event.
“What I’m offering is peace of mind. I hope to take all of the anxiety and guess work out of throwing a party or event,” said Salmon.
Salmon decided to take the entrepreneurial route after she grew tired of corporate life and the uncertainty of downsizings and restructurings.
She said she learned a lot during her tour through corporate America.
“I learned impeccable project management skills and leadership skills that I continue to put to good use,” said Salmon.
For her first entrepreneurial venture, Salmon said she partnered with her husband to build custom homes. Her first project was a 7,500-square-foot country French-style home.
“It’s a beautiful and gracious home. It took a long time to build, but I had no knowledge of the building industry or lingo. But I learned. And the homes we built definitely had a woman’s touch. Nothing like having towel warming drawers in your bathroom,” said Salmon.
Salmon is now utilizing her creativity and planning skills to focus on helping others create the perfect party.
“Gracious entertaining is all in the planning,” said Salmon.
Through her business CounterParts, she will be offering guides to creating all kinds of gatherings and parties, from children’s birthday parties to wine tastings, game night, to murder mysteries and other special theme parties.
“CounterParts will offer everything you need to throw a successful party including recipes, decorating tips, and setting the scene," said Salmon.
The site will also offer an interactive planning guide that will help the host stay on schedule as the party date approaches.
Salmon said she is passionate about what she is offering because she wants to help people enjoy gatherings in their homes.
“If you want to throw a party, you can certainly do all the research and legwork, but I hope to make it a lot easier for the average person. I hope to provide a one-stop shopping that will help anyone pull it all together easily,” said Salmon.
“I think it’s so much fun to have people in my home. I love having people around and entertaining and I think a lot of people would love to do it but are overwhelmed by the planning process," said Salmon. “I think many people are more inclined to entertain at home these days because it is more economical and comfortable, but they may feel that they don’t have the time to prepare for it.
“My vision is to make entertaining enjoyable, less complicated and less time consuming," said Salmon.
While the idea has been percolating for many years, she said it has only been in the last nine months that she began to develop it as a business.
A BIG Support System
She attributes much of her enthusiasm and drive at this point to the support she has gotten from B.I.G. which stands for Believe, Inspire, and Grow, an organization that supports entrepreneurial women nationwide.
“B.I.G. has helped me in so many ways. It has been a tremendous resource for anything that I have needed including writing a business plan, help with bookkeeping, and brainstorming,” said Salmon. “I love the way all of the women in the group are supporting each other."
Salmon said she will be launching a blog soon, and is currently working with a software company to fine tune the functionality of the website. She plans on launching the site officially in September.
In the meantime, Salmon said she is enjoying planning the business as much as she loves planning a party.
For more information about CounterParts, visit the Web site in the coming months at www.easyhomeentertaining.com.