Magical Memories opens doors in new location

"We don't just decorate, we transform." That's the motto for the events planning business the recently celebrated a grand opening in its new location in Orchards Mall in Benton Harbor.

Owner Apollonia Ellis says the mall recently came under new ownership and rents there reduced to the point where it became attractive for her business, Magical Memories Wedding and Event Planning. The new location allows space to display various aspects of the business such as its balloon artistry, which customers could not see in the business' previous location.

Ellis has been creating special events for people for many years and as more people asked her to help with their events she decided it was time to turn fulfilling those requests into a business. "It's been my passion forever," Ellis says. 

She decided to become a certified event planner through Sheffield College and turned to the Women's Business Center at Cornerstone Alliance to get the help she needed for her business to grow. 

Ellis got into event planning in 2010 and says it now has now taken off as a successful enterprise. She says the logistics and paperwork she needed for the business to expand all came together thanks to the Cornerstone Alliance. "I would not be where I am today without them," Ellis says.

When asked if there is a type of event she specializes in Ellis says she like creating all of them. Balloon artistry and unique centerpieces are two specialties of her business. Her decorations are custom made, one-of-kind, not found in other stores.

Ellis says when she takes on an event she likes to brainstorm the possibilities. "I like to see how far I can take it." And though she says she is not an artist, some have praised her artistic abilities when they have seen the results she brings about. An example is a baby shower with a heaven theme. Feathered wings from the ceiling and fabric representing the streets of gold from the heavenly realm.  

Magical Memories also can help those who don't need an event planner, but who do need rentals items such as linens, chair covers, and more.

Today, she has a single employee in the about 1,500 square feet. "It's perfect and I think I'm going to be here for awhile."

But not forever. Her plan is to purchase her own building where she can host events. "That's my ultimate dream."

Source: Apollonia Ellis, Magical Memories Wedding and Event Planning