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January 2013

January 2013
Party Line: Predictably Unpredictable
Shop Talk: Halloween Costume World
Shop Talk: Remember Our Balloons
A Sum of Individual Parts
Good Things Come in Small Packages
Behind the (Licensed) Scene
License to Thrill: Children's Costumes
Tricks, Treats and Trends: Halloween Tips for 2013
Halloween Scene
Industry Innovation: The PFA Costume Wall Builder
Get InCharacter
Everyday Parties
Party Pride: Same-sex wedding decor
Grow Your Business With Air
Pop-Up Retailing
Welcome to the Space Wars
The Store Room
Balloon Recipe
 
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On the cover: Celebrate OcktoberFEAST with costumes from InCharacter

All Articles

Party Line: Predictably Unpredictable

Party Line: Predictably Unpredictable

Last year at this time no one could have anticipated the full impact of the helium situation, the outcome of the election or the fact that Big Bird and “binders” would become hot costume choices for Halloween in 2012. That’s life in a nutshell — unpredictable. But what this industry can bank on is that even if a hurricane ravages cities the week of the holiday itself, Halloween won’t go away. Besides the obvious pleasures associated with free candy, what is it about the appeal of this day that makes it endure year to year? The fact that children are so captivated by Halloween tells us something important about its essential playful nature. It’s a day when the donning of disguises allows young and old to enjoy the possibility of being someone they normally never would be. A polite cashier can become a soul-sucking Zombie…  » Read more
Shop Talk: Halloween Costume World

Shop Talk: Halloween Costume World

Spotlight On: Water Street in Fitchburg, Mass. Giving scares and giving back Jack Hoover, owner of Halloween Costume World in Fitchburg, Mass., contends that he’s not in the party or costume business, but rather in the idea business. His props are displayed in several different scenes throughout the store, and it’s not unusual to see two skeletons playing cards in one scene, using a pickle barrel for a table, holding cards in their bony hands with an extra ace tucked in between their toes. There’s an animated “Freddy” as you walk through a door who talks and usually startles and scares the customers.  “It makes shopping fun,” Hoover said. “Sometimes the amount of fun involved in any career is in direct proportion to the amount of hard work it takes to make it in that industry. I’m always running, planning, making moves to be successful,…  » Read more
Shop Talk: Remember Our Balloons

Shop Talk: Remember Our Balloons

Robbie Furman builds incredible events Robbie Furman, CBA and founder of Remember Our Balloons: Building Incredible Events (ROBBIE, for short), remembers seeing a magician make a balloon animal at a party when he was seven years old and was instantly drawn to balloons. When he was 19 years old, he found Marvin Hardy’s book “Balloon Magic,” and as they say, the rest is history. That history includes having his balloons showcased on “All My Children,” “One Life to Live,” “Live with Regis and Kelly,” “Today Show,” “Ugly Betty” and “Good Morning America.” He’s been twisting, decorating and Deco Twisting for more than 20 years and has run his balloon business from Northern New Jersey for more than 10 years, decorating events and teaching his Deco Twisting style to thousands of students around the world.  From Stores to Shows Before he started his balloon business, he…  » Read more
Tricks, Treats and Trends

Tricks, Treats and Trends

Halloween tips for 2013 As the National Retail Federation’s (NRF’s) 2012 Halloween consumer spending survey told us, a record 170 million people planned to celebrate Halloween in 2012 and were expected to spend $79.82 on decorations, costumes and candy, with total Halloween spending estimated to reach $8 billion. There’s money to be made, and Party & Paper talked to industry experts on the trends, tricks and treats that retailers can use to cash in on Halloween fun. PPR: When it comes to Halloween, what should retailers be excited about seeing? Dawn Kirschner Unique Industries Unique is launching a new Black and Orange program that features the most popular accessory and tableware items using solid colors and a very simple dot pattern. While capturing the dot craze, these items can be used as a stand-alone collection and be mixed and matched with solid colors and other…  » Read more
Behind the (Licensed) Scenes

Behind the (Licensed) Scenes

What steps are taken to bring licensed costumes to life? Retailers know that licensed costumes are a huge part of the Halloween and party industry. Licensing gives manufacturers and retailers a bit of exclusivity within the marketplace, and a majority of the top costumes each year are reflective of the current Hollywood films, TV shows and pop culture icons. While some quality generic counterparts exist, many consumers still prefer the real thing. What retailers might not know is what goes on behind the scenes of those licensed costumes they sell. Party & Paper Retailer talked to some of the top manufacturers of licensed costumes to find out what makes a license important and the steps that are taken to produce licensed costumes they sell. PPR: How many licenses does your company hold and which have been the most popular? Sergio Lemus Marketing Specialist Disguise, Inc.…  » Read more
Party Pride

Party Pride

With limited décor options, same-sex couples stay simple and stylish By Stephen Swartz U.S. Balloon Co. With same-sex marriage legal in six states and civil unions recognized in another five, more gay and lesbian couples are planning engagement parties and weddings, but encountering one problem — they can’t find same-sex-specific décor. “There’s a limited menu of items for these couples,” said Sharon Hershkowitz, owner of Balloon Saloon in Manhattan, N.Y., who has been decorating gay and lesbian receptions even before same-sex marriage was legal. Since most of the balloon designs feature a man and a woman, gay couples have to get creative, and Hershkowitz often suggests using existing designs that can be used for gay or straight weddings. Hershkowitz recalled one of the first same-sex receptions she decorated for a lesbian couple. “They had these crazy three-foot balloons filled with these rainbow balloons inside, and…  » Read more

The Store Room: “What’s the oddest item you have in your store room?”

Our monthly column is devoted to what works and what doesn’t — for our readers, from our readers “What’s the oddest item you have in your store room?” Carolyn Moore Top Hat Balloons Magnolia, Texas Black plastic culvert pipe. It was cut into three different lengths, stood on an end-square of plywood as a tabletop and spray painted for a school dance. They liked it and requested storage and use at future dances. Denise Hagopian Heavenly Choice Flowers and Events Montebello, Calif. My stockroom is packed tight to the ceiling with a mini eclectic window prop antique storage area filled with pirate trunks, American Western barrels and old metal tins, washboards, early 1900s costumes and hand-woven fabric from Jerusalem, Uzbekistan and Iran, book shelves with costume research from 1878, etc. We also have haunted house columns, nine Christmas trees and handmade chimneys, Santa, snowmen, 400…  » Read more