Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Simple Style: 5 Women Who Nailed it

Sometimes it's what you don't flaunt that makes the most lasting impression.

We are in the event business, specifically the portable restroom business. But what may not surprise you is that we don't really love talking about toilets. They are universally required, but more of a fact of life rather than a topic for your next dinner party.

But when you're planning an event, bathrooms – portable ones, especially – are a make-or-break kind of deal. Definitely a must-have, but not meant to be your event’s show stopper. They shouldn't draw attention, rather, leave you with a feeling of: “Gee, that was a nice restroom. Polished, but not fussy. Classy."

At Eliza J, we like to call this understated elegance. I may be in the porta potty business, but the women known for their classic, simple style are actually my inspiration. Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Coco Chanel, Greta Garbo, Jackie O…these ladies all had perfect polish, and their timeless looks created a lasting impression that was anything but over the top.

audrey hepburn
Classic Hepburn.
jackie o
Even relaxing, Jackie always looked great.
Before I make these women roll over in their graves, I want to be clear that I am not comparing five of the most remarkable style icons to toilets – even really nice ones like ours! But what is it that makes Audrey, Grace, Coco, Greta and Jackie so memorable? For Audrey, her pixie hair cut, signature cropped pants and ballet flats were casual, but she always looked 100% put together. Princess or not, Grace knew how to make a statement with a simple strand of pearls, without feeling the need to over-accessorize. Coco can be credited with both the women's suit (collarless jacket and shirt) and the little black dress. Greta had a slightly androgynous look that appealed to both sexes, yet she never lost her femininity. And Jackie. Whether she wore a Lilly Pulitzer shift dress as the First Lady, or a scarf and oversized shades as Mrs. Onassis, she always had a presence.


So, how do these style icons inspire me to deliver great portable restrooms? It’s simple. ElizaJ® portable restrooms are high quality, pristinely clean and attractive. They have everything you need – without the overpriced add-ons you don't need. All of our units are completely self contained, with fresh water flush and sinks, and solar, motion activated or electric lighting. Our Powder Room Comfort® Series Trailers also feature separate restrooms for men and women, no-hand touch sinks and flush, air conditioning – even a plug and play set up for music. Just the bells and whistles that matter… no gimmicks, no flaunting.


Need a clean, attractive and elegantly understated portable restroom for your event?
Contact us today to get a quote.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Elegant or Overdone?


Like many companies, we strive to provide quality products and first-rate customer service. But there's a special nuance to what we do at ElizaJ. Sure, we rent porta potties, but really, we're in the event business. For us, that means providing a service that is so seamless, guests are thrilled – yet perhaps they can't quite put their finger on why.  In other words, we provide "understated elegance."

What is undertstated elegance, you say? To us, it's that sense that all is right - in a subtle sort of way.  We like to say it with pictures. Here are some of our favorites.... can you guess which is the ElizaJ style?

THIS?
OR THIS?
THIS?
OR THIS?
THIS?
OR THIS?
THIS?

OR THIS?

You get the idea... we believe in understated elegance.

ElizaJ portable restrooms are ultra clean (we hope that goes without saying). They are attractive. They are stocked with all the essentials, but not overloaded with the pricey items you don't need.

After many years in the event planning side of the business, the inspiration for ElizaJ was simple. Ask any woman if she's ever used a porta potty in a dress, and the reaction is usually pretty grim. But ask her if she's ever used an ElizaJ® portable restroom in a dress, and she'll give you rave reviews.


Photo credits, clockwise from top left: Style Motivation, Pinterest, Blue Kitchen, Buffalo Spree, Mary L Pink and Green, One Hally U, Cake Picture Gallery, Fondant Cake Images

Monday, July 27, 2015

Porta Potty Etiquette

Eight Tips for Toilet Teamwork

Portapotty etiquette: IS there such a thing? You bet! It might seem like etiquette would be the last thing to consider in a portable restroom, but no matter where you go, common bathroom courtesies are expected and appreciated. 

At ElizaJ, we guarantee clean (and great looking!) portable restrooms for your outdoor event. But it takes a village... to ensure the best experience possible for all involved, here are my suggestions for proper portapotty protocol:

1. Wait your turn. At some point during the event, there’s bound to be a line for the bathroom. But no matter what, cutting is never cool. Sorry, first come, first served.


2. Don't save spots. This is an extension of the "waiting your turn" rule. Allowing your friends to join you in line is bound to upset anyone with a full bladder.


3. Get down to business. Be considerate of others who may be waiting – this isn't the best time for a full makeup redo or send a text message in private (see #4). 


4. Leave your phone behind. This might seem obvious, but these days we seem to be connected to our phones - even "in there." Not only does this seem like overdoing it on the multitasking, but accidentally dropping it in the flush is a sure way to have to shell out the dough for a new iPhone 6.


5. Let us know you're in there. Have you ever walked into a porta potty (or airplane bathroom) that displayed the “vacant” sign, only to walk in on someone? Keep your private business private, by making sure to lock the door upon entering.

6. Relax. Like taxi cabs, clothing stores, restaurants and libraries, porta potties are just another example of something we share with others. If you shake hands with people without first using hand sanitizer, you can open the door to a portable bathroom, too. But please do wash your hands on your way out. :-)


7. Clean up after yourself. Just like your mother taught you, leaving a place a little cleaner that you found it is a sign of great manners. Make sure the toilet paper gets flushed, and leave the seat down and free of any surprise "sprinkles" for the next guest.

8. Hold the door. When you have completed your mission, hold the door for the next person in line. This lets them know that the toilet is free to use. And if you've been a good doobie as explained in #7, they'll be walking into a nice, clean one.


So that's it - some common courtesies to keep in mind for your next portable toilet experience! To inquire about renting a high quality, clean and attractive portable restroom for your event, please contact me at ekendall@elizaj.com.

Best, 
Liza


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Understated Elegance

The late Lilly Pullitzer. Picture credit: PA Photo


Coco Chanel. Audrey Hepburn. Lilly Pulitzer. These late great women all had their own individual appeal, but there is one thing they all had in common: understated elegance. In other words, graceful yet refined; tasteful yet timeless.

You might wonder why your local portable restroom maven is blogging about icons of fashion and film. Well, it just so happens that understated elegance is my business, too. 

Toilets don't have a lot of built in style or beauty. Unfortunately, their "Je ne sais quoi" is often "Je ne sais quoi... that smell is." So we potty peddlers have some pretty big sterotypes to overcome. My background is in event planning, so we always knew we would be a step above the garden variety "construction site" portapotties. When I talk about my inspiration for ElizaJ, all I have to do is ask a woman if she's ever used a porta potty in a dress... the rest is self-explanatory. My signature on a unit guarantees it's wince-free.

But wince-free isn't all. It may seem like a lofty goal, but when you enter one of my portable restrooms, I hope to evoke the same type of emotions you would have watching a classic Hepburn movie – or seeing Jackie Kennedy rocking a colorful yet simple Pullitzer shift dress. I want you to feel comfortable and confident, never distracted or put off.

ElizaJ® portable restrooms are high quality, clean and attractive.  They have everything you need – without the overpriced add-ons you don't need. All of our units are clean, pristine and completely self contained, with fresh water flush and sinks, and solar, motion activated or electric lighting. Our Powder Room Comfort® Series Trailers also feature separate restrooms for men and women, no-hand touch sinks and flush, air conditioning – even a plug and play set up for music.

But perhaps pictures say it best.  Some just wont do. Some are over the top. Some are just right.

Not for MY wedding!
Is the event itself in the bathroom?
Understated elegance...
...inside and out.

Ms. Chanel once said: "Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance."  We think so, too.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Your Portapotty Pro: Make Sure Their Reputation Isn't in the Toilet

And... we're back. Earlier this month, we began talking about some of the questions you should ask when renting portable restrooms. You might think portapotties are a dime a dozen, but there is actually a very large discrepancy between elegantly understated, run of the mill, and just plain awful.

Last time, we explored the question: "Do I Need a Portable Restroom Attendant at My Event?" (The short answer is no, as long as you're dealing with a respected, professional company). This week, we're talking about the second important question to ask a portable restroom company: What is your reputation in the industry?

Reputation is a big deal. This is not your own carefully-crafted marketing speak, it's what others have to say about you. Sure, every once in a while someone with an axe to grind might blurt out a negative remark regarding one of their collegues – especially if they feel threatened by the competition. But by and large, a professionals' rep among their peers is a pretty good indicator of what you'll get if you hire them.

Our industry is much broader than a circle of potty pros. We fit within the event industry as a whole – on par with caterers, event planners, tent rental companies, DJs, florists, photographers and more. So we really take stock in what these other professionals have to say about us. We all work together to put on great events, so it only makes sense that each one of us would only refer and speak highly of the companies we know we can count on. It doesn't matter what kind of event it is, pros want to work with other pros. They want everything to run smoothly. 

elizaj portable restrooms wedding tent
ElizaJ comes to the table with 40+ years combined experience in the event community, and our background covers way more than portapotty pickup and delivery. We've planned fundraisers, corporate outings, private functions and weddings. We were also the leading local entertainment agency for many years booking bands, DJs and magic shows. In fact, for one of our high profile gigs back in the late 90s, we booked the DJ for Rory Kennedy and Mark Bailey's rehearsal dinner at the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port, and a magician for the children the day after the wedding. The DJ was actually still there when John Jr. and the Bessettes were reported missing, and we recieved a call then next morning from the Kennedy compound informing us of the tragedy and the cancellation of the magician. It is still a very sad memory, forever locked in my mind.

But the point here is that a good reputation is made and earned. You should not assume it's a given – it takes time, experience and proven professionalism.  We look at portable restroom rentals as one piece of a much bigger puzzle, so it's imperative that we work with every other vendor to do a great job and above all, keep the customer happy. It's a winning combination.

Until next time, 
Liza

p.s. Stay tuned in the coming weeks to get the skinny on event industry experience, and why it matters when it comes to hiring a portable restroom professional.

Wedding and Event News You Can Use: THE 5 THINGS TO DO FIRST WHEN YOU GET ENGAGED

We are always on the lookout for information to help you with your wedding or event.  We found this great article on the "Oh Lovely Day" blog.  Click  here to check out the article "The 5 Things to do First When You Get Engaged".

Keep checking back here to find helpful articles, tips, and information for your event planning needs!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Do I Need a Portable Restroom Attendant at My Event?

Brrr! Temps here on Cape Cod were hovering around zero this morning, with the wind chill way below that. So, what better time to dicuss the finer points of portable restrooms?

Actually, it's a great time for these discussions. Although we're in the off season here at ElizaJ, this is the time of year when people start booking services for their spring and summer events. Brides, event managers, caterers, and all the other folks in need of portable restrooms are starting their research – and we would like to share our 40+ years of experience to help you ask the right questions.

First in a series exploring these very questions is:
#1 Do I Need a Portable Restroom Attendant at My Event?

I am asked this question a lot. Although it seems like hiring an attendant could only be a good thing, my answer (no) surprises many of my customers. But before I say no and move on, I begin by asking my client a question in return: "Do you need to spend extra money just for a person to check on supply and demand?"

When I see the lightbulb go on, we talk about what an attendant's job really is – which is to restock and monitor. I have provided very few attendants for my clients (which is more than 1,000), because they really are unnecessary if you're working with a reputable company that's done their leg work. 

One of our (fully stocked) Comfort Series® portable restroom trailers
An attendant is a novelty. All units should be fully stocked with everything needed, and then some. In addition to toilet paper, paper towels and soap, a portable restroom is worthless if it's delivered in anything less than perfect working order. We always deliver our portable restroom trailers and free standing units to the event site personally, making sure we have shown an onsite contact person how they work in the off chance that a problem should arise. If it ever does, we're available 24/7 to come fix the issue, at no additional cost.

So when does having a restroom attendant make sense? There are some large scale events where the usage is much heavier, such as a pro tennis or golf event. For example, during the Best Buddies events (Go, Team Tom Brady!), when most of our portable restroom trailer units are on site, we stay on hand just to make sure everything runs smoothly. But we don't charge a fee for that service. We view it as a courtesy and good professional practice.

In a nutshell, having a portable restroom attendant sounds nice, but you probably don't need one. And if you're anything like the rest of our clients, we're pretty sure you can find a better use of your event budget. More champagne, anyone?

Until next time, 
Liza

p.s. In our next posts, we'll explore more questions you should ask a portable restroom pro, including how to get the real answers about their industry experience and reputation.