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Spreading joy as a party princess

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As a princess impersonator for children's birthday parties Jessii Terra hears a lot of funny comments from children.

One little girl said: “If you're Barbie, can you bring your pink convertible next time?” Then she wanted tickets backstage to a Barbie fashion show. (There's a fashion show in a lot of the Barbie movies.)

Mrs Terra said: “I think the appeal of princesses is that children today grow up watching movies. To have a character that they often see on television come to life and come to their doorstep is pretty magical to them.”

Mrs Terra, 25, moved to the Island from Michigan two years ago when she married a Bermudian. At loose ends she began dressing as various children's characters for birthday parties. She now has her own business Royal Princess Parties.

“I was a theatre major at Cedarville College in Ohio,” she said. “I am also a Disney nerd. My favourite Disney princess is Rapunzel. Since I have been in Bermuda I haven't done any local theatre productions; I have just been helping out with children in our local church. I started doing the princess parties because I miss acting and I like Disney a lot.”

There are other princess party businesses in Bermuda, some with more elaborate costumes. Mrs Terra, however, sees having less expensive costumes to be a plus.

“Because my costumes aren't as expensive I have a little more leeway to run around with the children,” she said. “I did an Ariel one where they wanted me to walk on the beach by the water with the kids. I was able to do that without worrying about ruining the costume.”

At one party, held near the ocean, she told the children that after the party she was going to swim home. When she left all the children rushed to the balcony to try to see her in the water.

“The parents had to get me out of the house quickly,” she said with a laugh.

She hopes to branch out from princesses and Barbies to include other characters such as pirates and mermaids. She is looking for a few more girls to help her with the parties. She also wants to offer princesses in different races so that parents have more choices.

“There is demand here,” she said.

Most of her clients are ages five to 11 years old. She is pretty flexible and will do colouring contests, or scavenger hunts or nail polish with the partygoers. She charges $100 an hour.

She is also trying to incorporate one of her passions into the business, photography. She loves snapping candid photos at birthday parties. She also arranges events where children can visit the characters and have their photos taken in a location such as Elbow Beach or the Botanical Gardens.

“With my photography I am mostly doing families,” she said. “It is fun to see the different groups come in to have their pictures taken. I did a birthday party recently where they were diving off the board so there were a lot of action shots.”

Look her up on Facebook under Royal Princess Parties or call 300-0488.

Jessii Terra of Royal Princess Parties
Jessii Terra of Royal Princess Parties
Jessii Terra of Royal Princess Parties

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Published October 15, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated October 14, 2013 at 7:36 pm)

Spreading joy as a party princess

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