The Rebel Mamas rock downtown Midland

“To celebrate means different things to different people,” says Mackenzie Hopkins, co-owner of The Rebel Mamas.

Each birthday and each milestone only happens once, so The Rebel Mamas, a party planning business now open in downtown Midland, wants people to “celebrate now.”

While The Rebel Mamas can help with party planning, centerpieces, food table decor, or backdrops, they have two specialties: balloons and confetti.“We really believe no matter how you’re doing it, you should still make it special,” says Hopkins.

Hopkins and Kaela Dolan, the other co-owner of The Rebel Mamas, have been friends pretty much since birth. And now, they’re cousins through marriage. 

“We’ve both been the go-to girls for planning anything, like with church events, friends’ parties,” says Dolan. “Every time we would do something we’re like, ‘we should do this as a business.’” 

And so The Rebel Mamas was born two years ago.

“We parent in our own style, in our own way — we’re rebel mamas,” says Hopkins. Hopkins and Dolan each have a young son, ages 2 and 6, respectively.

While The Rebel Mamas can help with party planning, centerpieces, food table decor, or backdrops, they have two specialties: “We like balloons; we like confetti. Confetti is like icing on the cake,” says Hopkins.

Using a technique called balloon stuffing, they’re able to create custom colors of balloons. They also create “organic” balloon installations by blowing up the balloons to different sizes. 

“It creates this really funky, organic shape,” says Hopkins. All of their balloons are biodegradable.

Hopkins says a common concern is that balloon arches won’t hold up over time. In fact, she says, they typically last about a month. “You’ll grow tired of the balloon arch before it looks bad. … We know more about balloons than we ever knew was possible to know about balloons,” laughs Hopkins.

The Rebel Mamas also produce custom confetti. Confetti can be created uniquely for your event or you can purchase their specialty blends: Rebel Mama, Mamma Mia, Goldendoodle, Nona, and You Are My Sunshine. Each blend was inspired by something meaningful in the Mamas’ lives.

“It’s time-consuming and so meticulous, but it’s worth it for the final product,” says Dolan.

Each birthday and each milestone only happens once, so The Rebel Mamas, a party planning business now open in downtown Midland, wants people to “celebrate now.”
The mom duo does not provide sweets for parties, but they work with several Midland businesses regularly: Sweets by Sarah D, Coley’s Sweet Treats, Enjoy Craft Bakery, Saltedmodern, O’MACARON, and Moon Macarons.

The Rebel Mamas’ new storefront at 126 Townsend St., next to O’MACARON and Crêpes Et Amis, recently opened on Saturday, April 10. The storefront has a spacious area in the front for creating balloon installations or hosting special events or classes, like storytime for the family or cookie decorating. In the back is a cozy boutique, where balloons, confetti, paper products, and other party essentials can be purchased.

“The big dream always for the two of us was to have a spot downtown,” says Dolan. “... If we would have known the camaraderie of the downtown association, we would have come down here long, long ago.”

Dolan, left, and Hopkins, right, each have a young son, ages 6 and 2, respectively.On opening day, which coincided with Downtown Story Day, the Mamas gave out free balloons. Hopkins and Dolan's husbands took pictures and ran their social media, while their mothers ran the cash register. Their sons greeted customers.

"We had such a wonderful opening and loved showing our new space and offerings to our existing customers and friends, as well as meeting so many new people," says Hopkins.

Before moving downtown, the Mamas were renting space on Wackerly. 

“We were in like a basement space, renting a space so our homes weren’t destroyed. Our husbands are cool, but you know, this many balloons at home...” Hopkins trails off.

Their families have been supportive throughout the process of opening the new storefront. 

“Our family and friends are like everything to us,” says Dolan. “... Our family support system has been amazing. Our husbands learned random trades [to help].” Their mothers’ helped watch the children. Hopkins’s brother built the center table in the shop. 

Hopkins and Dolan have also learned from and been encouraged by local women business owners.

“They are a wealth of knowledge and information,” says Hopkins. “These ladies have already done it or experienced things, but we felt very accepted and loved and supported.”

The Rebel Mamas is open 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m, Monday through Saturday. You can register for one of their upcoming events like Mother’s Day Tea, Rebel Mamas Story Time, Cookie Decorating class, or Macra-May Plant Hanger class on their website.

Read more articles by Crystal Gwizdala.

Crystal Gwizdala grew up in the Tri-Cities and enjoys broadcasting all the positive change happening in Midland. As Assistant Editor for Catalyst Midland, her favorite topics are environment, wellness, mental health, and the arts. As a human, Crystal is a serial hobbyist: hiking, drawing, yoga, and playing music. Her work can be seen in The Detroit Free Press, Midland Daily News, and The Delta Collegiate. To see what Crystal’s up to, you can follow her on Twitter @CrystalGwizdala.
Signup for Email Alerts