Mixing Up the Most Creative Party Favors: A to Z Dough
Today, we're diving into the story of an incredible mom and business owner who turned her love for creativity and fun play for kids into a flourishing business. Her passion and excitement brightened our day, and we can’t wait to share this story with you! Get ready to be inspired as we explore the colorful world of themed, homemade dough kits, sensory bins, and personalized party favors that bring a spark of joy to little ones everywhere. Let's get rolling with A to Z Dough!
Getting Started: From Teaching to Creating Unique Sensory Play for Kids
Ashley Zaumseil, our superstar entrepreneur began her career as a pre-kindergarden and preschool teacher. She dazzled children at her school with new and creative themed sensory bins. Whether for holidays, changing seasons, or just for fun, the ever-changing themed sensory bins in her classroom earned her the nickname, “The Sensory Teacher.”
After making the move to stay at home with her two daughters, Ashley started her journey to building her business during the 2020 COVID lockdown. With her daughters in need of activities, she tapped into her creativity and started making dough for play. With her teaching experience, whipping up batches of dough was second nature to her. Then, she added a twist—themed trinkets! She began to bring the boxes and jars to events and giving them as gifts. When friends told her she should sell them, she decided it was time to bring A to Z Dough to life.
The Birth of a Party Business
As word spread about her amazing dough kits and sensory bins, local moms became repeat customers, and the demand for themed kits grew. Eventually, she began offering multiple sizes and custom theme options, finding a special niche in kids party favors. From pink dough and Barbie trinkets, unicorn and mermaid themes, to sports and superheroes, she delighted in creating the perfect sensory experience for birthdays and special occasions. The dough jars make a super cute addition to party décor. Plus, Ashley adds personalized tags and stickers as the final touch.
From small jars with half dough and half trinkets to larger kits with multiple compartments, she crafts a world of wonder for children of all ages. The joy she brings to children is the driving force behind her business, and she cherishes the opportunity to surprise parents hosting with unexpected and memorable experiences. Now, A to Z Dough has created hundreds of party favors and kits for party themes including Paw Patrol, Sonic, Gabby’s Dollhouse, soccer and sports, flamingos and animals, and just about anything kids can come up with!
The Details: Unique Favors and Birthday Gifts for Kids
A to Z Dough offers three different sizes of custom sensory bins and jars:
- Full-size: Typically given for gifts, includes two rolls of dough and nine compartments for trinkets to support the theme.
- Mid-size: Slightly smaller with one roll of dough and trinkets.
- Jars: Five-ounces, perfect for party favors, includes half dough and half trinkets.
Prices range from $8 - $30. All dough is non-toxic and made from safe, pantry items. Everything can be customized to fit your theme and age range. Most boxes and jars are specifically for kids three and over, but can be customized for younger children, when needed.
Standard orders can be placed through the A to Z Dough shop on Etsy. For a truly unique and fun party favor, contact her directly through the shop or Instagram to chat about your theme and bring your party favors to life!
A Little Q&A with Ashley…
Confetti Jar spent some time with Ashley to learn more about her business and the joy of creating the perfect party favor.
What is your favorite part of running A to Z Dough?
I truly believe every day is super fun. I am so passionate about this! My children are never tired of it. Every time I make a new kit, they get just as excited, even being around it 24/7. They constantly ask, “What are we doing today, Mom?” And even offer new ideas. Just yesterday they asked, “Maybe we can do a lemonade stand theme?!” The joy it brings them and me is something that will never get old.
Also, I appreciate the flexibility I have as I juggle being a mom and running a small business. Through this experience, I have met so many amazing women doing the same; I’ll never want to shop big box anymore. There are many local businesses that love what they are doing and it has been empowering and exciting to connect with them.
What is your favorite theme that you have used for party favors?
Oh, that’s a great question - we have done so many fun things! I have to say… recently, I created jars for a Berry Sweet First Birthday. It was a berry themed party hosted by a good friend of mine for her one-year-old daughter. She told me about the theme and let me run with it. I filled jam jars with strawberry scented dough and put them in baskets with stamps, ribbons, and sweet berry trinkets. They fit the theme perfectly and looked so precious on table!
Tell us what you need from parents in order to create the perfect gift or kids party favors.
Not too much, I want it to be as easy as possible for them! I typically need one to two weeks’ notice. Also, just share as much information as you can about the theme or images of other party décor and I can create the perfect party favors to match.
What do you love most about working in the kids’ party space?
I love kids, love the creativity, and love this niche. I am always looking for something parents won’t expect and that makes it exciting for me. I put so much time into each jar, kit, or party favor. Every jar is different and making something different makes it special to me.
I have really enjoyed talking with you today! To close, tell me what’s next for A to Z Dough.
As we continue to grow, I am also doing more and more gifts for special – and random – occasions. Parents are really embracing creativity and wanting to give thoughtful gifts for all occasions. Everything from first day of school gift baskets to Valentine's Day goodies, we are continuing to grow by catering to these unique moments.
We loved getting to spend time with Ashley at A to Z Dough! She is a truly an inspiring local entrepreneur, creating unique and creative party favors that add a touch of magic to any child’s party. Follow @atozdough on Instagram to learn more and find the perfect party favor!