This story was written by Associate Regional Editor Sherri Lonon.
She might not be bona fide royalty, but that doesn’t seem to bother the little girls whose parties are made regal by personal visits from Princess Emerald Skye.
Known as Emerald Skye Pritchard to her friends, the Northwest Hillsborough teenager began donning dresses, curls and tiaras on the weekends as a favor for one of her mother’s friends. That first party visit has since turned into a one-girl show of sorts that has Emerald Skye, 17, dressing as a princess, ballerina and even anime girl on a regular basis to entertain young party guests.
While she had long since grown out of dressing in girly fashion when the idea to help out at that first party came up, Emerald said her mother, Sue Pritchard, was in beauty pageants when she was younger. To get started, the two dusted off Susan’s old gowns and the idea for the business took off.
Now, Emerald spends her weekends saving up money to pay for car insurance by turning fairytale dreams into reality for young girls. Over the summer, she spent quite a bit of time giving back to the community, as well. She made appearances at Lowry Park’s Fairytales and Frogs event, the Glazer Museum and lent a hand at a fundraiser for Ireland Nugent, the Palm Harbor child who lost her feet in a lawnmower accident.
“It’s the least I can do for the community that helped me grow up,” Emerald said. “I really feel like I can make the world a better place. I’m trying to do the most that I can.”
There’s more to Emerald than playing dress up on the weekends. She’s also fluent in American Sign Language, is dual enrolled at Hillsborough Community College and she already has a plan in place for her future. It’s her hope to become a sign language interpreter.
Emerald was first introduced to sign language as a child. Her grandmother had a friend with a daughter who was deaf.
“I wanted to learn how to talk to her,” she explained. “My mom took me to her house and I would learn the basics of sign language. From there, I decided I wanted to work with deaf kids for the rest of my life.”
Emerald may have her future figured out, but her mom assures she still very much a typical teenager in the here and now.
“We have our moments,” Sue joked.
All kidding aside, Sue said she’s quite proud of her daughter.
“The fact that she knows what she wants to do with her life really impresses me.”
So, what does Mom think about her “princess?”
“How many moms of a 17-year-old get to dress their daughters up in ruffles and bows,” she asked. “It’s a lot of fun for me.”
Want to book Princess Emerald Skye for a child's party?
Just email PrincessESkye@aol.com for more details or visit her Facebook page.