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Meet James and Melissa Bowden of Kids Party Experts in Copperfield

Today we’d like to introduce you to James and Melissa Bowden.

Thanks for sharing your story with us James and Melissa. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
As a child, I grew up with Saturday Morning Cartoons, Blockbuster Movies and Comic Books. I developed an extensive catalog of knowledge and nowhere to use it. Jump forward to 1997, I was working a part-time valet job at the Briar Club near River Oaks. An attractive young lady walked up in an elaborate pink dress. She made quite an impression and I commented saying, “that’s quite a big, pink dress you have there.” She informed me that she was there to perform as a princess for a birthday party. I told her I didn’t know that was a job and mentioned I knew a lot about superheroes. In a positive manner, she told me I should give it a try. That was the spark that ignited Heroes on Demand later to be transformed into Kids Party Experts once my wife got involved. I bought a book on sewing by hand and made my first 2 costumes, Batman & Robin. They were completed in time for the June 6th, 1997 release of Batman & Robin. I was figuratively all dressed with no where to go. So, I went to the Studio 30 movie theater on Dunvale and asked to speak to the manager. Never expecting to get that far, I was surprised when she asked my pricing for the service. I quickly quoted a price to be paid not in cash but rather in movie passes. She loved the idea and said she would see us on Saturday and Sunday to walk around and interact with the movie goers. While I was there there, I booked my 1st 3 birthday parties. The next week, Hercules cartoon movie was being released and the manager asked if I could be Hercules for that movie also. I made the costume and brought in a blue eyed, blond haired, body builder friend of mine to be Hercules while I portrayed Batman with him. After many weeks of working at the theatre, I had enough of a start to advertise in a local children’s magazine. As time progressed, we’ve added more costumes, face painters, balloon twisters, and clowns to our repertoire to meet the needs of Houston parents. We have been constantly changing and evolving into the entertainment company that Kids Party Experts is today.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Running a children’s entertainment company has not always been as easy as we initially thought it would be. For one, finding the right actors and actresses to portray characters that are believable to children is not easy. To find people who can handle the Houston heat in costumes, be knowledgeable of the character that they’re portraying, and have the temperament to work with children is not always an easy task.

Another difficulty was learning how to keep the children engaged at the parties. Our solution to this problem was to create theme and character specific activities that these characters might do if the actual characters were really at their party.

Dealing with the business of running the company was something that we had to learn along the way. Being that we are both actors and artists, it did not come naturally. It is one thing to excel at the entertainment part of the job, but an entirely different beast to make a schedule, create maps around road construction, properly gauge travel times in order to be on time, create a website, and manage the finances.

Even with the obstacles that we’ve encountered over the years, this occupation offers many more joys than struggles. This is one of the few jobs where everyone is always happy to see you show up.

Please tell us about Kids Party Experts.
We offer high quality children’s entertainment for families that are looking for a real deal experience for today’s smarter kids at a price they can afford. Our packages offer a lot of substance to our customers, but we always exceed expectations through our onsite work and through our customer service skills. We specialize in believable characters in realistic costumes that perform activities that the children know from the movies and shows they are from. Our artists do face painting and balloon twisting and clown visits in a consistent manner to create a quality product that you can depend on every time you have Kids Party Experts at your special celebration. Our artists are required to take painting and balloon twisting tests in order to prove that they have the skills that are worthy of representing us in the marketplace. We are best known for our believable portrayals of popular characters and doing activities that the children want to learn from their heroes. We are most proud of our ability to select the next rising character star, produce a realistic costume, and design engaging activities for that character to do with the children at the party. What sets us apart from others in the industry, is the way we can update and make intricate costumes with gadgets built in, mouths that move on certain characters, and touchable costumes that leave the children in belief. Even with our awesome costumes, there is another star present at our visits, our activities. Each character comes with games that are prop driven, interactive, and the feel that this is something the character knows about because the games come straight from the shows. From the very first communication, our customers find that we provide answers for their party needs, a quality product at their event and that we stay in contact along the way to ease their mind.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
We probably would’ve more closely studied which form of advertising really worked and invested more money into that form of advertising, rather than spreading our advertising budget so thin that we didn’t know which form was benefitting us.

We’ve also learned that it’s best to hire professionals outside of your personal life instead of hiring friends or family.

Most importantly, planning and prepping costumes, games, supplies, etc. in advance is vital to ensure that you’re prepared for any unexpected problems that may occur. We definitely had to kick the procrastination habit.


  • Character Packages Starting at $150
  • 2 Hour Face Painting and Balloon Packages Starting at $110
  • 2 Hour Character Artists Starting at $150
  • Photo Props $25

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Kids Party Experts

Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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