Occupation ▪ Owner of Party Time
Husband ▪ Michael
Children ▪ Monty, 23, and Claire, 21
Hobbies ▪ Cooking, traveling, and spending time with family
At just nine years old, Donna Travis began working at Party Time–which started in the family’s garage–as a way to help her parents. After she would get off the bus from school, Donna would work the cash register, helping to make sure that each customer found everything he or she needed.
Now, she’s at the head of it all as the owner of the 30,000 square foot party store in Baton Rouge. Although she has followed in her mother’s footsteps, Donna is paving her own way. Her hands-on approach to life and parenting are just a few of the reasons as to why she’s such an excellent mother.
Tell me about your children.
D: Claire is more like my husband. She’s a great student, and she’s also in Delta Gamma Sorority, so it’s fun getting to share those traditions with her. Monty is more like me. He’s more extroverted, and he loves duck hunting.
What do you do together as a family?
D: We love to fish. We’re also into sports. I enjoy football and baseball; I’m an SEC fan. My nephews play football, so I go to the games. In the fall, we watch football.
What’s the greatest thing about being a mom?
D: Watching them become independent. You worry so much when they’re toddlers, and then your relationship changes, and you become best friends who enjoy being together. It’s great to know we raised good people.
How has parenthood changed you?
D: In every way. You always want the best for them, and it’s fun to see them figure out their passions. You think that you’re going to mold and shape them into the people you want them to become, but really you mold them into who they want to be.
What do you love most about your job?
D: Helping people celebrate life’s special moments and picking the merchandise to go in the store.
How do you balance work and family time?
D: When I am working, I’m very efficient. I want to get the work done. As a business owner, you never really get to leave it, but I’ve gotten very good at separating work and family life.
What are some things you learned from your mom about business?
D: If you watch the pennies, the dollars will take care of themselves. And, we are always rearranging the store to keep things fresh.
What makes Party Time special for you and your mom?
D: The length of time, seeing it grow, and the relationships we’ve made along the way. I love working in the store because I get to see so many familiar faces.
What’s your favorite aspect of the store?
D: I love the balloon department and seeing what they can create. I also enjoy running the cash register because it allows me to talk to people.
What kind of mom are you?
D: Hands-on. My son calls me every day and my daughter texts me everyday. We rarely go without talking to one another.
What advice do you often give your children?
D: Do what you said you were going to do.
What’s the best parenting advice that you have ever received?
D: “If you don’t conquer a two year old, then you’re not going to conquer a 16 year old.” Also, you can’t do what’s easy, you do what’s right for your children.
What do you want to do that is still on your bucket list?
D: I have a big bucket list. A lot of them are travel related, but I am visiting my college roommate and best friend in Alaska, and we are going to the Alaska State Fair.
What do you keep on your nightstand?
D: Nothing aside from an alarm clock and these two stuffed birds that my decorator thought I would like.
Which family member has been your greatest role model in life?
D: My mother because of her love of family.
What do you do to take care of yourself?
D: I get a manicure and pedicure every week. I also started working out three days a week. It helps center me.
What personality trait of yours do your children also have?
D: My son has a love of people, and he enjoys talking to people. My daughter does have some of my skepticism.
Do you have any advice for other parents?
D: Never say never! You may think your child is going to be a certain way, but you could be in for a rude awakening. ■
The parenting item I couldn’t live without…credit card.
In my fridge, you will always find…sweet tea.
Favorite movie growing up…Pretty Woman or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
My guilty pleasure is…chocolate.
Music I’m loving…Mumford & Sons.
I feel my best when I…have my coffee in the morning.
My favorite television show is…The Big Bang Theory.
My favorite ice cream is…Blue Bell Cookie Cake.