Local business owner helps throw parties across the country

Stephanie Ben-Zeev recently launched More + Merrier, an e-commerce shop for custom party decor.

More + Merrier offers four different collections that include customizable, modular kits. Each kit offers different options, including hanging decor, tableware, tabletop decor and napkins. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Ben-Zeev

More + Merrier offers four different collections that include customizable, modular kits. Each kit offers different options, including hanging decor, tableware, tabletop decor and napkins. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Ben-Zeev

A Mercer Island local recently started a business that allows her to help host a dinner party anywhere in the country.

Stephanie Ben-Zeev has lived on the Island for about two years and is the owner of More + Merrier, an e-commerce shop that offers tabletop decor, disposable kitchenware and hanging decorations. The business launched in February and has since been shipping custom orders locally on the Eastside and throughout the country.

“It’s very overwhelming to host [parties] at home, and I wanted to find a way to make it simple and also beautiful,” Ben-Zeev said. “That was the hole I saw, and talking to friends on Mercer Island they had the same thoughts.”

More + Merrier is one of several similar businesses that were recently launched, but Ben-Zeev said she makes an effort to be more flexible than her competitors and she offers more durable decor.

Each order can be made to fit numerous occasions with modular options and customizable decor. Ben-Zeev pre-curates each order to fit the host’s needs, whether it’s a dinner party, birthday, bridal shower, baby shower or a custom kit for a wedding.

Ben-Zeev runs her business from home while caring for her two young children. Her goal was to start something that can be flexible and fulfill her passion.

“I’ve always enjoyed hosting parties at home,” Ben-Zeev said. “I was thinking how can I start a business that will be flexible for my family and also do something that’s fulfilling for me? So I started thinking about where I could go with my experience and particular talents.”

Previously, Ben-Zeev operated a residential interior design business in Los Angeles, but after the 2008 recession she had to shut down.

“That was my first go around with small business, and when I decided to start this one I knew I had a little bit of experience behind me and knew a little bit about what to expect,” Ben-Zeev said.

More + Merrier has been a success so far, with many of its customers giving positive feedback, according to Ben-Zeev.

“Planning parties and making everything look good on the table or bar doesn’t come naturally to me,” said Genevieve Manfredo, Ben-Zeev’s friend and More + Merrier customer. “Having a service where I can easily pull together the look I’m going for without having to figure it all out myself was great.”

Each set of customizable kits is named after one of Ben-Zeev’s close friends or family and one is named after Manfredo, “The Genevieve Collection.”

Manfredo used More + Merrier to host her daughter’s 10th birthday and was able to walk through the order with her daughter.

“I selected — with the help of my daughter, of course — paper plates, napkins and a cake topper that fit her style,” Manfredo said. “Then, I used the party kit, which included votives, vases and decorative items to style the table where the cake and snacks were located. More + Merrier provided me with ideas for which flowers to use and how to pull it all together.”

Manfredo added that Ben-Zeev donates a portion of the proceeds to charity.

Ben-Zeev hopes to eventually collaborate with other Mercer Island businesses and is currently looking at doing a pop up at a Mercer Island boutique.

“Pinterest is great for ideas, but More + Merrier makes them a reality,” Manfredo said. “I may see something I like online as inspiration, but I don’t know where to find those items or have the time to look for them. Stephanie takes the guesswork out of it.”

More in Business

Kailan Manandic / staff photo
                                (From left) Jane Broom, Microsoft Philanthropies senior director, former Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire, who now serves as CEO of Challenge Seattle, and Charlie Davis, partner and managing director at the Boston Consulting Group, speak on Microsoft’s $500 million commitment to affordable housing at a panel discussion during a Bellevue Downtown Association breakfast.
Microsoft reveals project criteria for $500 million affordable housing funds

The company will soon accept applications for projects related to affordable housing on the Eastside.

The first Digital First Chase bank branch opens on Mercer Island with “smart” ATMs meant to fill the traditional role of a teller while the former tellers work as financial advisers for clients. Kailan Manandic / Staff Photo
Mercer Island sees first wave of Eastside bank enhancements

Chase bank opened its first Digital First branches on the Eastside in Bellevue and Mercer Island.

Kailan Manandic / Staff photo
                                The Boutique Lounge offers a shopping space and cushioned chairs for locals to gather and hang out.
The Boutique Lounge open to South End shoppers

The shop opened on May 6 after years of planning.

The data visualized here was compiled from Apartment List’s monthly rent reports. See an interactive chart below. Kailan Manandic / data illustration
Eastside rental market could balance out with the region

Eastside rent medians increased by 2.8 in the past year, a decrease in growth from previous years.

The Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce held a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Christian Science Reading Room on April 30. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
The City of Mercer Island welcome the Christian Science Reading Room to the business community

An open house and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held on April 30.

Kailan Manandic / staff photo
                                Amazon recently announced it will move its Seattle-based worldwide operations team to Bellevue by 2023. The company plans to occupy an office tower, pictured here, currently occupied by Expedia, starting in 2020.
Amazon confirms move to Bellevue

The company’s worldwide operations team will make the move by 2023.

Eastside market heats up as major tech news hits

A real estate snapshot from John L. Scott Mercer Island.

The Factoria QFC (pictured here) was part of the phase out pilot last November that included five other locations in the area. Currently, the stores only have paper bags and offer reusable bags for purchase at the checkout aisles. Kailan Manandic / staff photo
QFC to stop offering plastic bags in all stores on April 1

The commitment comes early as its parent company, Kroger, pledged to end plastic bag use by 2025.

More + Merrier offers four different collections that include customizable, modular kits. Each kit offers different options, including hanging decor, tableware, tabletop decor and napkins. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Ben-Zeev
Local business owner helps throw parties across the country

Stephanie Ben-Zeev recently launched More + Merrier, an e-commerce shop for custom party decor.

Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo 
                                Paige Bisbee, of Bellevue is a paid employee at Davis Wright Tremaine in Bellevue. As part of the law firm’s inclusive program, Bisbee distributes snacks and office supplies to her co-workers.
People with disabilities find purpose through new employment opportunities

Paige Bisbee of Bellevue finds employment at Davis Wright Tremaine

Nintex acquires EnableSoft in company acquisition

Bellevue-based company is a world leader in workflow automation industry.

Inventory is up; buyers, sellers prep for spring

A real estate snapshot from John L. Scott Real Estate.