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June 2009

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Captain Henry’s Pirate Store

Captain Henry’s Pirate Store in Portland, Ore., is not your usual store. It’s become a tourist destination and a favorite stop for locals. What began as a small retail store at the end of a haunted house in 2004 continued in one form or another as a temporary store within various fairs and festivals in the states of Washington and Oregon. It proved to be so popular, they decided to open it for the holidays in 2007 at a local mall, and that led to their permanent location in Lloyd Center, the largest mall in the city, in 2008. It’s true that the pirate theme had its heyday a few years ago in most parts of the country, but in Portland — where there are numerous pirate groups, pirate bands and the second largest pirate festival in the nation — pirate fever remains high. “The haunted house had…  » Read more

The 3/50 Project

Keep it local. We hear it said all the time, but as independent retailers, it’s often hard to get that message across to consumers. Having been an independent stationery store owner for 14 years, Cinda Baxter— now retail consultant, professional speaker and founder of The 3/50 Project — decided to take action. With the tag line “Save your local economy three stores at a time,” the project’s goal is to promote shopping in locally owned businesses while thanking customers for the positive impact that decision has on a local economy. Party & Paper Retailer talked to Baxter and project supporters about this innovative movement. PPR: What exactly is The 3/50 Project? CB: The 3/50 Project is a grass roots movement to support independent, locally owned, brick and mortar businesses, which in turn strengthens the local economy. Independents have been lost in the media as mainstream news…  » Read more

Winter Wearables

What would Santa be without his suit? What would angels be without their wings or an elf without his ears? Everyone knows about the popularity of Halloween costumes, but what about costumes for the rest of the winter holidays? From the traditional Santa suit and living nativity scenes to the office goof with the mistletoe hat, costumes and wearables can go a long way toward a jolly holiday for retailers. While you may not be equipped to sell complete costumes, smaller wearables — necklaces, hats, printed ties and accessories, antlers — can add the perfect touch to an ordinary outfit, or purchase. Party & Paper talked to Linda Sutherland of Fun Corner in San Bernardino, Calif., Mel Heywood at The Lippman Co. in Portland, Ore., and Kim Baker, product specialist for The Beistle Company, about what works and what to expect for the year ahead.…  » Read more