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August 2012

August 2012
Party Line: Inflate Your Ego
Shop Talk: JJ Blinkers
Trending Up
Balloon Brag Book
The Air Up There
Ahoy, Me Hearties!
Family Values
Inflate, Deliver, Repeat
The Store Room
Balloon Recipe

 

 

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Party Line: Inflate Your Ego

Party Line: Inflate Your Ego

Humility is a great trait to have, and I’m always amazed that some of the most talented people I meet also are the most modest. They don’t go around telling everyone how skilled or adept they are — they simply convey this through their actions.   However, to be successful, you also have to promote yourself and show people what you can do and how well you can do it. For those who are humble and modest, that can be a little bit uncomfortable. But to make a profit, you have to make some noise, and showing your skills is the best way to go.   That’s why I’m so excited to present to you the first-ever Party & Paper “Balloon Brag Book” in this, our Annual Balloon Issue. We put out a call for any and every retailer to send us a couple of…  » Read more
Shop Talk: JJ Blinkers

Shop Talk: JJ Blinkers

Spotlight On: Antioch, Ill.   Bring your imagination to life at any age   As a young girl, Joanne Linker loved “playing store.” When she was 14, her grandma’s friend asked if she wanted to come to the dry cleaner she owned for the day. It was Linker’s first time behind the counter of a business, and she knew that some day she wanted a business of her own.   When she married her husband Josh, her brother and sister-in-law had their own family business in Morro Bay, Calif. and gave Linker a real push to do just that. And on Memorial Day Weekend in 1985, they opening the doors of JJ Blinkers in Antioch, Ill. and have now grown to more than 4,000 square feet filled from top to bottom with jokes, tricks, magic and a full-blown costume shop year round.   Working Girl…  » Read more
Trending Up

Trending Up

Send balloon sales soaring sky high in the upcoming year   It’s no surprise that the helium situation will be at the forefront of retailers’ minds in 2013, which means that the trend is going to be toward an emphasis on more creative retail solutions and uses for air-filled décor and designs.    But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still a plethora of themes, colors and designs that will influence balloon sales as well. Party & Paper invited several of those in the know to contribute their insights, tips and tricks to help you inflate those profits in 2013.   PPR: What themes can we expect? Peggy Williams burton + BURTON I find global themes such as Asian, Egyptian and Arabian-based are popular. The perennial favorites of patriotic red, white and blue, Hollywood, Vegas and New York themes will stay strong, and tropical/nature-oriented themes are…  » Read more
Balloon Brag Book

Balloon Brag Book

Party & Paper Retailer put out a call for any and every retailer to brag, show us their skills and promote what they do by sending in photos of their favorite creations. As a result, what you have before you is the first-ever Party & Paper Balloon Brag Book!   While we couldn’t publish all of them in this issue, you can find the remainder of the submissions on our website and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/PartyPaperRetailer). And just because the deadline has passed doesn’t mean you can’t continue to post your pictures on our wall. Sharing what you do with others who do it is what keeps this industry strong.   Thank you to everyone who participated!  

The Air Up There

What’s being done about helium?   The current helium situation/shortage is of great concern to those who base a majority of their business on balloon décor and sales. Party & Paper Retailer talked to Doug Sherman, vice president of communications for Airgas Inc. and Marty Fish, executive director of the International Balloon Association (IBA) to get their perspectives on the industry impact and what retailers can expect in the future.   PPR: What is the current state of helium in relation to the party industry? DS: We are definitely in short supply, as our suppliers (the refiners of helium) have put us on 70 percent allocation, meaning we are only able to receive 70 percent of our historical demand. However, the problem is compounded for the party industry because of the seasonality of usage.   In normal years, we’re able to buy and distribute more…  » Read more
Ahoy, Me Hearties!

Ahoy, Me Hearties!

Store owners have no choice: join the pirate party craze, or walk the plank   When my daughter asked for a pirate party for her fourth birthday, I thought she was crazy. How could eye patches, peg legs and horrible grammar be any fun? And it certainly doesn’t accurately depict my adorable girly girl that loves dresses and the color pink.   So before committing, I did some research to see if a pirate party would be worth my time and effort. Turns out, it doesn’t matter if you’re a landlubber or a scallywag, old or young, boy or girl – if ye be lookin’ for a swashbucklin’ good time, pirate partying is the ultimate theme.   Generally, theme parties are the ultimate party paradox: a specific theme for a not-so-specific occasion. But — as in the case of pirates — they can turn into…  » Read more
Family Values

Family Values

burton + Burton celebrates its 30th Anniversary   Burton + BURTON celebrated 30 years in the industry in March with a yearlong celebration that includes employee events, special logo packaging and customer appreciation efforts.   Party & Paper Retailer talked with Steven Rose, communications manager for burton + Burton, about how this successful family business was built.   PPR: How did things get started back in 1982? SR: Maxine Burton was looking for ways to help increase sales at the wholesale florist where her husband was a co-owner. She’d been to a tradeshow and saw helium-filled foil balloons with printed messages on them. At the time, this was a relatively new and novel idea. Maxine started promoting and selling the balloons to local florists, and the business grew from there.   PPR: How did she develop an interest in balloons, and in turn, develop the…  » Read more

Inflate, Deliver, Repeat

Discover the keys to making professional balloon deliveries that will keep customers coming back again and again.   You already know that a well-designed and value-added balloon design will set you apart from your competition. Beyond that, however, there are other important aspects to focus on that will help you build a successful delivery business.   Staff In a business focused on direct interaction with customers, it’s important for your staff to have a professional appearance. This pertains to employees that make deliveries as well as your store personnel. Are they well groomed? Do they have a pleasant demeanor? A friendly smile will go a long way toward making a good impression with customers and delivery recipients. When you’re hiring new employees — whether full-time, part-time or temporary — be sure to look for these qualities.   Also, promote a polished image by providing staff…  » Read more

The Store Room: When do you start preparing for Halloween?

  Our monthly column is devoted to what works and what doesn’t — for our readers, from our readers   “When do you start preparing your store for Halloween?”     Adriane Brandenburg, Fun Party & Wedding Services Shawnee, Kan. We start preparing for Halloween in November, but it never really ends. In November, we recap what we didn’t have that people requested, what we ran out of and what we want to get rid of. Since our Halloween Store is open all year long, I place a small reorder in mid-November to replenish what people ask for all year. Once January rolls around we take advantage of the show’s early buy discounts and the merchandise starts arriving in February. We try to keep up with it as it comes in and get it out. The downside is we do rework the displays a couple times if…  » Read more