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Party People: Debbie Easley

Party People: Debbie Easley

Easley’s Fun Shop
Phoenix, Arizona

Easley’s Fun Shop has been family-owned and -operated for nearly seven decades. Founded in 1947 by Bert Easley, a Vaudeville magician and entrepreneur, Easley’s began as a small magic shop before adding gag gifts, novelty items, costumes and the ecommerce store it offers today. Members of four generations of the Easley family have operated the 15,000-square foot store, including current owner Deb Easley.

1. What is the best retail advice you’ve received?
Follow your heart (and) your instincts. Advisors and consultants are fine, but who knows more about my business than me? Only my parents!

2. What are your goals for the rest of 2015?
We are working with a new company for our website to improve our look and feel online, and we’d like to strengthen our social media presence. In other words, hire young people and let them do their thing.

3. What are your biggest frustrations and how do you handle them?
When people ask me for discounts! People feel it doesn’t hurt to ask, but I still find it offensive! I price fairly to begin with, but with the Web, competitive pricing is especially important, and overpricing or padding prices isn’t an option.

4. How do you stay passionate about what you do? 
I love my customers! I love my job! There are no limits to my imagination, and I’m fortunate that my parents (second generation) always encourage my craziness!

5. If you had $10,000 to do anything to your store, what renovations would you make?
I would renovate my dressing rooms.

Originally posted Friday, May. 29, 2015