Coleen Garrison, 16, of the Smithville section of Galloway Township, Maggie Cohen, 15, of Galloway Township, and Shayna Lowenstein, 15, of Northfield, princesses for Little Angels Princesses, posed for a photo in front of the Presbyterian Church of Mays Landing on Main Street.

The extravagant clothes. The exorbitant wealth. The romance with a handsome prince - what little girl wouldn't want to be a princess?

But while the career choice might be a popular one for the pre-tween set, it's not the most viable. No matter - if a little girl can't be a princess, she can get the next best thing: a princess party.

Mays Landing resident Mari Dattolo recently launched Little Angels Princess Events, which provides costumed actresses and actors for events and parties. So far, Dattolo said, the market for rented royalty looks to be bullish.

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"They're pretty hot right now," Dattolo said.

Dattolo first got the idea to create the company about three years ago, when her youngest daughter, Ciera, worked as a princess at a local children's attraction. The kids swarmed to her, which made Dattolo realize it might be a viable business venture.

Dattolo, who is an event planner and serves as a boardmember on a few local nonprofits, mulled over her idea for a few years before beginning her search for actors late last year.

After a few months of making the rounds at preschools and events, Little Angels made its debut at an open house July 13 at the shared Monteiro Studio in Mays Landing, which houses the business on weekends.

The cast is made up of 10 girls and two boys, most of them drama students at local high schools. The actors dress as famous cartoon princesses and heroes who can't be named explicitly for copyright reasons, but whose appearance and names - "Slipper Princess," or "Sweet Dreams Princess" - make it clear which characters they represent.

For the employees of Little Angels, the job is a dream come true - while their friends might have long since given up on their royal aspirations, they've achieved theirs.

Shayna Lowenstein, who portrays "Beauty Princess," said one recent trip to a preschool made her feel like a celebrity.

"A little boy just stood up and was like, 'Hi, Princess!'" Lowenstein said. "It made my heart melt."

"They started crying when she left," Dattolo added. "That was the funniest part."

On Aug. 10, Little Angels Princesses will offer a Princess Etiquette Tea class taught by certified etiquette consultant Ann Laltrello which will feature two princesses. The 10 a.m. to noon class is $36 per person and requires registration. The class will be held at Latz's by the Bay, 801 Bay Ave., in Somers Point.

In addition to private parties and events, Dattolo said she also plans to work with children's nonprofits. Event packages start at $149. For information or for a price list, visit or call 609-432-9692.

Contact Braden Campbell:



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