Just about every girl can name her favorite princess. Outside of movies, Disney Channel and a trip to Disneyland or Disney World. It’s rare that children see these princesses in real life.
Melissa Smith wanted to turn a little girl’s dream into reality by bringing these princesses to life.
Smith worked for Disney as an official princess at Disneyland from 2010 to 2014.
However, it wasn’t until two and a half years ago, with the help of her husband Logan Smith, that things started to get into motion for her to start her own company.
Logan Smith’s degree in communications helped Melissa Smith kick-start her company as her marketing manager. She bought all of the supplies, costumes and wigs herself.
The first person Smith invited to be a part of her new company, Crowns and Castles, was Ashley Schles, junior liberal studies major at California Baptist University, who she met in choir at Riverside Community College.
Schles has been working with Smith since the beginning. Smith trained her to be a Disney princess and in May 2015, they worked Crown and Castles’ first party.
“Ashley was so great from the beginning. She has the perfect mentality for this job and she is so patient and understanding. She has such a sweet demeanor and handles stress at the parties so well,” Smith said.
Since their first party together, Smith has hired more princesses and done more than 300 parties.
“I was singing ‘Let It Go’ for this little girl at the cancer center at Loma Linda Hospital, and she just lit up. Toward the end of the song, I looked over and saw her dad crying because, despite everything she was going through, he was able to see her so happy,” Schles said.
“Just being able to dress up and sing for this little girl made her day and it was such a humbling moment for me. All these little kids love these princesses so much and I was able to be a part of bringing her that joy.”
Smith said Schles is perfect for the job and appreciates having her on her team.
“I’ve had people call me and tell me how amazing she is and it’s true,” Smith said. “It goes beyond just being beautiful. It’s the heart behind it and she has it. She is a real princess inside and out and I love working with her.”
Smith said that it takes more than just a pretty face to be a princess, and Smith made it clear that Schles takes on the role completely and her ability to do that impacts the lives of the families she meets.
Schles continues to work with Smith through Crowns and Castles and takes on various princess roles.