By Wyatt Ashlock, Arts & Entertainment/Opinions Editor
September 25, 2021
Many children dream about their favorite princess or superhero coming to their birthday party. Fancyful in Little Rock makes those dreams come true, one party at a time.
The current owners of Fancyful, Timothy and Heather Drennan, met each other at Ouachita in the musical theatre program. Heather Drennan was freelancing when she realized there was currently no business catering to the market for princesses in Little Rock.
Jessica Selby made the same realization and created Fancyful. Heather Drennan started out as an actress but eventually became the full-time manager of Fancyful. When Selby’s husband got a job offer in Texas, she left Fancyful to the Drennans who took it over in 2018, becoming co-owners of the company.
“For them, the magic is real, and it is for us too. That’s exactly what we want to bring to them,” Heather Drennan said. “Our goal is to give each child we interact with a true life-changing experience.”
The Drennans have worked hard to make Fancyful the best it can be. They work closely with Project Zero and the Whole Kids Foundation to bring hope to children all over Little Rock. Fancyful won the award for “Best Choice in Birthday Parties Age 0-6” in 2019, 2020 and 2021 in recognition of all they do for the community.
Children have emotional attachments to these characters, and being able to bring the magic from the big screen to their front doors is something special. Giving children the chance to spend time with their favorite characters makes a big impact on the lives of children and performers alike. Many former and current students from Ouachita work to bring memorable experiences to children around the Little Rock area.
“I will never forget their sweet faces and the feeling that fulfilling their dreams gave me when I met them,” Melody Stotts, a senior middle school education major, said.
“It has helped me grow not only as a performer but also as a daughter of Christ. Fancyful is family to me,” Ouachita alumna Hannah Hill said.
Each character Fancyful offers has been specially picked. Costumes are created with much detail as well. Fancyful offers many princesses, galactic characters, superheroes, mermaids and even Mrs. Claus around Christmastime. They are constantly offering new characters like Pocahontas and Panther King.
When COVID hit, Fancyful stopped doing in-person parties. However, they still figured out a way to make the children’s wishes come true. They were able to use Zoom to bring children’s favorite characters into their own home from the safety of Fancyful headquarters. The company also opened up a gift shop selling themed face masks to make social distancing more fun. With the new COVID protocols, Fancyful can now have socially distanced parties.
Fancyful is more than a photo-op company. The characters take the time to connect with children through singing, dancing, storytelling and one-on-one conversations. A Fancyful party is the most magical experience a child can have.
More information on everything that Fancyful offers, including their gift shop, can be found at http://www.fancyful.com/.