The royal news may be all about Kate Middleton, Prince William, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry these days, but that doesn’t mean that other folks can’t step into the limelight for a second. Take for example Kate’s mom, Carole Middleton. Carole recently sat down with Good Housekeeping to not only talk about her company Party Pieces, but to also reveal how her daughters Kate and Pippa Middleton, as well as her son James helps out with the family business.

Party Pieces, which is like Party City but in the UK, was kicked off in 1987, and it has been a family affair ever since. “My children have all worked for the business, Carole revealed, adding, “Catherine started the First Birthday brand – she chose the products and looked after all the imagery and the catalogue production. Pippa set up the blog, as we didn’t have one. James came up with the idea of personalized cakes and got them off the ground for us.”

Kate Middleton and Pippa
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“Because they all grew up with me working, Party Pieces has been very much part of our lives and what we talked about,” Carole continued. “I still ask their advice and say “What do you think of this?” Carole also decided to dive into the origin of her party business, saying, “In 1987, I had two young children and was pregnant with my son, James,” Carole recalled. “We had come back to the UK from living abroad and I was a full-time mum. I didn’t want to miss out on my children growing up, so I considered starting my own business.”

And that’s when Carole decided to put a notice in her daughters’ playgroup, and the customers came flocking in. “For the first year, business came through advertising in playgroups, Carole said. “Our big break came when I used a company called Red House Books to send out flyers about Party Pieces. We put out 10,000 leaflets, which gave a huge boost to our orders. I thought if we could do that on 10,000, why not send out 100,000? We could scale up.”

Carole Middleton
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“We realized we needed a warehouse, so we moved to a small start-up unit in Hungerford,” Carole added. “In 1995, we moved to Child’s Court Farm, where we’ve been ever since.” The main point here is that before Kate was hanging around with William as the Duchess of Cambridge, she was deciding on which piñata she was all about. Remember that. And remember how Carole’s kids helped out with the family business next time one of your family members approaches you with another idea for an Etsy shop.

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