Why We Party
(and Why You Should Too)
We believe anyone can theme party.
If you love something enough to want to throw a theme party around it, then dammit, you should be able to throw that party. No matter your age, skill-set, lifestyle, or budget, we’re here to lend our imagination and knowledge to help you achieve your grown up heart’s themeiest, nerdiest desires.
We believe parties are better with friends.
When Haley threw her Lisa Frank themed birthday party, dinosaur-partier Ellie knew she had found a kindred soul, and they realized that they could reach great theme party heights together. Afterall, who wants to party alone? Together, they’re making their shindig dreams come true.
We want to give grown ups ideas, inspiration and the courage to theme party. So please explore, read, download & soak up all our advice to make your Fight for the Right to Party easier. If you don’t feel like doing all it yourself, we’ve got you covered there too (hire us!). We’ll look for your owl.
How it Began
This whole adventure started as a blog. One sunny February day in 2016, Ellie and Haley took a break from their hectic TV art department schedules to meet for lunch on the Universal Studios film lot, discussing their mutual dreams and frustrations of throwing epic grown up theme parties (I mean, what else do you talk about at lunch?). Ellie had recently thrown herself a Dinosaur birthday party, but found the supposedly unlimited World Wide Web incredibly limited when it came to cool dinosaur birthday party ideas for grown ups. Haley, too, had just come off of throwing herself a Lisa Frank birthday party and had reached similar conclusions. There just wasn’t anything out there about throwing grown up theme parties. The two realized they should probably team up and start a revolution. With film design tricks up the four sleeves and pantlegs between them, Haley and Ellie knew they needed to share their adventures in theme partying with the world. As they blogged away in the months to come – a few things became very clear: geekiness + parties are their OTP, regular blogging is hard, and that they wanted to take their immersive party game to the next level.
In mid-2017, Ellie and Haley re-launched Damn Good Shindig as a company for throwing the best geeky parties and immersive events for grown ups, and haven’t looked back since.
Meet the Team
Ellie Kushner, Co-Owner
Ellie is a Midwestern adventure seeker, avid reader, and all around dino-lover whose heart is three times as big as a T. rex’s arms are small. Growing up, she was always dreaming up different adventures and stories. From inventing alien invasion games to performing in a two-woman show about Batman and Robin (Ellie retains that George Clooney is still the best Batman), nothing was out of her inventive reach. Ellie has carried her imagination with her into adulthood and has used it as a vital part of her living. Ellie has worked in the art department of film and television for the past nine years, fabricating fantastic worlds and intricate sets to her heart’s content. As a child, Ellie would wait until Halloween in order to have a spooky birthday party, even though her birthday is in September. Her love of theme parties has only grown with time. Ellie believes you can manifest anything from your dreams with a little bit of creativity, and that her dog, Agent Doggett, is the cutest pup that has ever lived.
Hogwarts House: Gryffindor
Biggest Geek Outs: Dinosaurs, Space, Harry Potter, and X-Files
Haley Keim, Co-Owner
Haley is a graphic & film designer, lover of stories and the stage, and the owner of a 5-time champion Unicorn. Her love affair with design began at 10, as she filled her sketch books with the shops of Diagon Alley and the wizards who inhabited them. As a grown up, she has production designed/decorated a fun assortment of projects including the indie romance darling “Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong,” and viral video “Sexy Wookiee Hotline” (don’t ask, just Google it… but maybe not at work). As a film graphic designer, she has designed films such as “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda,” “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul,” “Keanu,” “Dumb and Dumber To,” “The DUFF,” as well the pilot of “Constantine, and created the entire brand of Cloud 9 for “Superstore” on NBC. Her obsession with immersive theme parties began in college when she transformed the dorm’s common room into a psychadellic Wonderland, complete with a rabbit hole made out of tie-dyed bedsheets, that you had to worm your way through to get to the band playing on the other side. Haley likes to think her specialty is creating beauty from chaos, and is known for her crafty solutions for lofty challenges.
Hogwarts House: Hufflepuff
Biggest Geek Outs: Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Buffy, Unicorns
Christina Matthews, Public Affairs & Booking Manager
Christina is a wanderluster and otherwise magical human who has worked as a Set Costumer for seven years in Los Angeles, and as a glitter-encrusted creator of themed decor, art installations, and centerpieces for the VIP areas at Insomniac Music Festivals. One of Christina’s favorite memories from childhood is sneaking out of her conservative parents’ home to attend midnight release parties for the Harry Potter books. She’s DGS’s carnival barker and reconnoitour of LA’s best locations for geeky parties.
Hogwarts House: Gryffindor
Biggest Geek Outs: Harry Potter, Mad Max Fury Road, Fifth Element, plants – especially succulents.
Mandy (Web Design)
Mandy has an unusual talent for winning stuffed animals from claw machines. She once listed “a love for theme parties” on her OkCupid profile and is currently planning a BarkMitvah party for her Maltipoo.
Instagram…is weird. But you can find her at mandymenaker.com
Favorite Feels: Hugging dogs, Biking in the rain, Well-timed subway cars