Power Networking in Pajamas for Women: Crave Parties Combine Spa Treatments, Fashion, Entertainment, and Fun

Described as the pseudo-slumber party of your dreams, with champagne, games, and yes, networking possibilities, Crave Parties are fast becoming the hit of the Pacific Northwest, with events in Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland. Focused on getting professional women out of their business suits and into their PJ's, Crave Parties are the brainchild of Seattle area entrepreneur Melody Biringer. Biringer's concept was to create a party experience where women could literally let their hair down, have some fun, and relax with their girlfriends.

Crave Parties are part of a growing trend in the day spa industry, which focuses on a delivering a high level of specialization of services. An upcoming SpaTrade Path 2 Profitability Report identifies this trend as a subset of "Niche Equals Rich" referred to as "Takin' It To The Streets." Biringer's wildly successful efforts to bring the spa experience directly to the people feature local high-end boutique sponsors, champagne and gourmet food, and wonderful goodie bags. What makes Crave Parties truly unique is that they are always held in a beautiful, unusual, or outrageous location — this weekend's event in Portland, OR (Feb. 16) is being held at the Crown Ballroom, an architectural gem atop the historic Pythian Castle building, considered a treasure of Italianate design.

'Women are natural networkers,' says Biringer, 'I just think we're so busy that we don't spend enough time with our friends, or make much time to meet new friends, either.' Biringer has added a twist to the otherwise bubbly affair. There's a speed-dating-style interview in which two women have 30 seconds to talk to each other and exchange business cards before everyone changes partners.

Biringer, of Biringer Farms -- an agricultural business with products sold at several outlets, including a storefront at Seattle's historic Pike Place Market -- knows about being a busy woman. Voted one of Seattle's Top Entrepreneurs Under 40 last year by the Puget Sound Business Journal, Biringer has started and run several businesses over the years.

A few years ago she started a home spa party business. Armed with food, beauty experts and massage therapists, Biringer would go to house parties, bridal showers, wherever women wanted her services — and the Crave Parties evolved from there.

'I kept hearing 'I never get out without the kids and the husband, I'm so busy, I never see my friends,' and I kept hearing it over and over and over, ' she states.

After wrangling enough massage therapists, manicurists and other beauty experts (Biringer insists on dealing with independently owned businesses run by women), she threw her first Crave parties — over three nights — in November at the Ruins, one of Seattle's top private clubs. The parties sold out a week before the first event, and the waiting list grew.

For more information on Crave Parties, please visit www.craveparty.com. Next Crave Party event is SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16 IN PORTLAND, OR.