SHU junior starts local entertainment business in Essex County

Fairy tales are stories that defy reality. They contain mythical creatures that could never exist in the real world. However, junior Nicole Lippey has taken a fantasy world and turned it into a reality for young children.

Lippey has created a business called Custom Character Celebrations, in which she, her friends and student actors rent themselves out for birthday parties as popular fairy tale characters.

According to Lippey, the idea for this business endeavor came to her this past September after she directed the children’s show, “Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz.”

“After the children’s show the kids were glowing; they had such great reaction to all the characters and I thought to myself, ‘We can make money doing this,'” Lippey said. “I love theater: I love performing, directing, and I love children. I wanted to do something that implemented all of those things.”

According to Lippey, the most popular character that Custom Character Celebrations offers is Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz.” Due to copyright restriction, Disney characters such as Belle and Cinderella cannot be used, but Lippey has found a way to work around these copyright laws.

“These restrictions have allowed us to become a lot more creative,” she said. “We’ve come up with our own characters like Princess Sugarplum and Starla, the fairy.

Lippey said the projected age group that will be requesting these character services is from one year olds to eight year olds. Since Custom Character Celebrations is just in the beginning phase of its business, Lippey projects that music parties for older children are not out of the question.

For now, Lippey said she has only reached out to residents of Essex County, but she said she thinks that the business could expand out to other counties.

“We’re starting off small but I’m interested to see where this can go,” Lippey said. “I certainly wouldn’t mind making this a ‘traveling’ group.”

Justin Geringer can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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