It was just last December when viewers tuned in to the OWN network for six episodes of the reality show called “Party at Tiffany's.” The show featured lots of pink and tons of fun spearheaded by Tiffany Young, a former corporate salesperson turned entrepreneur. Originally scheduled to air on TLC, the show featured Young inside the Pink Pastry Parlor hosting parties that made guests feel like royalty and that the world truly revolved around them for a day. This summer, she'll be the life of her own party as she prepares to walk down the aisle in her own fairy tale wedding to fiancé Jermaine Cooper.
Yes, Young is now living the life that she once dreamed of as a child but not before hitting a few bumps in the road. “I was taught that if you do great in high school, you come out without being pregnant and you go to college and you complete it, you're going to meet your husband there and he is going to have this wonderful job and he is going to say, ‘Okay baby, do your dream and I'll take care of home' and then you're going to have 2.5 children and then you're going to have a house. I was told this fairy tale.” But looking back, this did not happen this way nor did she expect the turn of events that would ultimately propel her to launch her dream business, the Pink Pastry Parlor.
Lessons From Grandma
Born in Louisiana and raised in Georgia, Young went on to receive not one but two college degrees and started a successful six-figure career in sales. At the age of 22, she was on top of the world. But everything came crashing down years later as her department was eliminated and soon Young found herself without a job, house and car. Instead of looking down, she saw this time as an opportunity to pursue her dream; mentoring young girls and getting back to days of self-empowerment and pampering. “I love kids and the old traditions that my granny taught me which is the tea parties and pampering yourself. I used to do all of these things with my great grandmother,” says Young. “She taught me how to bake and we would have teacakes and cupcakes, mini pies and things like that at my time in Louisiana with her.”
Moving forward to make her dream come true, Young says it was difficult finding a job without having a car and walked to various locations for interviews. She eventually got hired at the Cheesecake Factory in Atlanta and keeping her eye on the prize, she bussed and served tables, saving everything she could. “It is about doing what you have to do so you can do what you want to do,” she says as customers would pull her to the side and told her that she “needed to be doing something bigger” based on her personality. “I was like, oh if you only knew.”
She eventually saved enough money to open her first location a year and a half later in 2010 but on the day it was set to open, it was shut down by Code Enforcement.
Around this time, Cooper would enter the picture and you could say the fairy tale was back on track. “I was honest with him and said hey look, I just lost my house, I just lost my car, I am trying to get my business going, I don't have time to date. You seem pretty nice but I just don't have time,” she remembers telling him. “And I will never forget his words, ‘Well just give me a hammer and some nails.'” She later shares, “Being with him makes me know why it didn't work with anyone else.”
They never had a “real date” and instead traded romantic dinners out for painting, building and doing whatever else needed to be done to open the business. Determined to make it on her own terms and in spite of pleas from her mom to come home, Young chose to live out of her shop until things got off the ground. “The big apartment where the girls can pillow fight and jump up and down, I created that because I needed a way to sleep in my shop without customers noticing and now it ended up being the most talked-about part of the party, ” says Young. “It is funny, you know God has a way of taking things that you thought were worst things ever in your life and making them work for you.”
Things continued to keep working as she opened the business in another location last June and since then has hosted parties with a passion for pink for celebrities such as P. Diddy, who threw a birthday party for his daughter, as well as for the daughters of Steve Harvey and Atlanta Hawks players.
Living the Fairy Tale
Young uses her business to mentor and empower young girls teaching them to be responsible, respectful and ultimately successful in whatever they set out to do in life. All of her employees are under 18. She allows 13, 14, and 15-year-olds to volunteer with 16, 17 and 18 year-olds working the parties. “I strongly believe that for teenagers, they just want a direction,” says Young. Just as Young is setting an example for all of her girls, she expects the older teenagers to be an example for the younger ones which means being the best worker and person they can be and properly representing themselves at all time.
It would be one guest who decided to video her party that would get the ball rolling and eventually a phone call from TLC. Unknowingly, the video made its way around various networks so when TLC called Young to learn more about her story, she was surprised. The call led to an interview and the birth of “Party at Tiffany's,” a reality show about empowering women and young girls to run a business while overcoming obstacles to reach success. The show aired for six episodes in December 2011.
At the end the season, viewers witnessed a surprise marriage proposal by Cooper which totally caught Young off guard. Making plans to walk down the aisle on July 22, Young says the wedding is all about being an elegant princess. Of course, there will be pink everywhere as 250 guests prepare for one of the biggest events that Young will ever host.
TLC will come back to Georgia to film the wedding and the seven days leading up to it that will include the bachelorette party. This past February, Young was on TLC's “Say Yes to the Dress,” and is in the midst of making final plans as the months leading up to July are sure to go by fast. Sharing a little bit about the day, she notes that the menu will include baked chicken, roast beef, couscous, green beans, broccoli, and garlic mash potatoes. There will be two bartenders on hand serving drinks with alcohol and those without. A candy buffet and some of her favorite chocolatiers will also be a part of the big day. Put a tickler on your calendar to look for Young and Cooper's wedding on TLC this fall.
If you would have told Young that her fairy tale was just delayed and not denied, it might have been a big pill for her to swallow. But in the end she says without hesitation, “It was a struggle to get here but once you get through, you see why you had to go through it all.”