How to Throw a Themed Exchange Party

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As a wardrobe stylist and blogger for Art in the Find Styling in San Diego, I am constantly looking for ways to connect ladies together as part of my business. I love what I do as a stylist. Part of that comes from putting together a great party and seeing the happiness on women’s faces when surrounded by stylish goodies in a fun environment. Lately, the exchange party trend has been spreading around. I mean, who doesn’t love a good party? And a great swap of clothes, accessories, or home goods? You don’t have to spend much and you get a bunch of great gently used, now newly loved, goodies for you or your home. Having just recently thrown my own La Bonne Vie French inspired Accessory Exchange at a boutique in San Diego, I wanted to share with you a few tips to inspire you to host a fun, successful exchange of your own!

Tip 1: Think Ahead

Decide what to exchange, what do you have extra of? Books? Accessories, tops, shoes? All of these can be used for a themed exchange! Give yourself at least a month to plan and time for gals to gather up goodies to exchange.

Pick a theme & invite a small number of participants - Once you’ve decided what you want to exchange, make it pop by picking a theme. Use Pinterest for inspiration and develop snacks, drinks, and decor around that theme. Make signs, invites, desserts, all centered around the theme for a cohesive event.

Art in the Find’s Inspiration: La Bonne Vie Pinterest Board

Tip 2: Be Personal

As you’re planning, think about ways you can make your exchange a bit more personal...Create cloth napkins out of fabric rather than using paper napkins. Or use a variety of glassware to create an eclectic mix, rather than plastic cups. It makes the exchange feel much more personal and your guests will appreciate it!

Tip 3: Plan, Adapt, and Ask for Help Along the Way Initiate to-do lists and ask for help (you can’t do it alone!), Have lists for decor, another for food to buy, make, and an additional one for set-up items. Check off items from your list and be ready to make changes and adjust your lists as the event draws near.

Ask a few people if they would be willing to assist you in the prep & set up, and take-down. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy the event that much more because you’ve delegated small tasks to helpers rather than trying to do it all on your own!

Tip 4: Be In the Moment - The Party is Starting!

Before the party starts, have drinks pre-poured & set up ahead of time for guests to enjoy when they arrive.

A great intro is everything! Create a fun “menu” of directions for the exchange to pass out to guests or as a list written out on a chalkboard so that it is easy to see and understand.

As an icebreaker, have a great introduction theme game or cute name tags to get your guests warmed up! Prep goodie bags for guests to stash all their newly loved items they’ve scored!

Once all the lists are checked off, your party is set up, and your guests have arrived, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the exchange. Bon Fete!

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Clear, themed signs helps to create a lovely, themed event

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Printed images from Minted used for the French theme

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Cloth napkins, cut from fabric, add a personal touch

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French-inspired Madeleines made by a friend, food blogger The Incidental Spoon

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Pre-pour drinks ahead of time, in lovely, eclectic glassware for a personal touch

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An accessory match game for guests arriving. Find your matching accessory and meet a new friend!

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Plates and platters were laid out for guests to place accessories on, French patisserie style

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French-inspired menu of desserts and snacks fit in with the exchange theme

Happy planning!

Story & Styling // Conni Jespersen of Art in the Find Styling Photography // Andrea Gallagher Photography Location // Vocabulary Boutique Theme // French-inspired La Bonne Vie Accessory Exchange