Rachel and Ari Carus, the husband-and-wife team behind JAP Entertainment, are excited to get back to the party this upcoming simcha season. Emerging from the COVID lull with a bang, the company has a full schedule of events on the calendar—and is getting booked up years in advance.
With parties being few and far between these last two years, Rachel and Ari used the time to incorporate exciting new additions to the company’s already extensive repertoire. JAP Entertainment now boasts new, upgraded equipment, including new lighting and a new projector system. Customers will love the fabulous new arches, limbo sticks and more as they dance the night away with dancers decked out with new outfits and accessories. Most exciting is the addition of a fun, versatile photobooth, which can be included with any JAP Entertainment package.
Rachel started JAP Entertainment when she was just a teenager after being spotted dancing at her cousin’s bar mitzvah, when she was just 15, and was approached by the party motivator. “You should come work for us,” the motivator told Rachel. “Send an application to my boss.” Though she was denied the job because of her young age, she decided not to let that get in the way of her dream and launched her own DJ company with the help of her parents.
“My parents helped me get my equipment, set up my social media presence and phone system, and build a website. Where many parents would have dismissed this idea as a pipe dream, my parents were
really supportive,” said Rachel.
Her first gig was a friend’s 11-year-old sister’s birthday party. Rachel charged $50 and hired a DJ and a dancer, each of whom were paid $25. Rachel’s father carried her equipment and the party was a rousing success.
“Word spread from there,” Rachel recalled. People heard that JAP Entertainment threw a great party and had a knack for tailoring events to each honoree’s personality. Requests began pouring in, and Rachel scrambled to recruit more dancers, DJs and entertainers. She designed various party packages, built music playlists and developed relationships with party vendors including event planners, photographers and artists. Her father drew up a boilerplate contract. Soon, Rachel was booking two, sometimes three parties a day and loving every minute of it.
Rachel and Ari met at a Tu B’Av party in 2015. “My mother always told me, ‘All I want for you is to meet a guy who can carry your equipment,’” Rachel said with a laugh. “I knew that whoever I dated needed to learn to be a part of my company.”
In Ari, Rachel found someone more than up to the task. A fitness buff and break dancer, Ari is extraverted and projects boundless enthusiasm. In addition to schlepping JAP’s equipment, Ari has assumed DJ and emcee responsibilities. He seamlessly transitioned into the company, and now husband and wife throw parties side by side. “The best part of this job is that I get to work with my wife,” Ari said. “The worst part is party venues that don’t have elevators.”
For Rachel, who has been enlivening bar and bat mitzvahs, engagements and other special events for 13 years, “The best part of this job is that I get to relive my own bat mitzvah all the time. I really love making sure my customers have a party that they won’t forget.”