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March 2014

March 2014
Party Line: Realistic Optimism
Shop Talk: Masquerade and Balloons Galore
Wear It, Declare It
The Good, the Bad and the Affordable Care Act
Small Employer Tax Credit
Bachelorette Party Bliss
Cute and Cuddly
PCA Members' Conference
Profit Inflation
2014 Costume Licensing List
Rubie's Halloween Seminar
The Great Gala
Party People
Balloon Recipe
 
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Party Line: Realistic Optimism

Party Line: Realistic Optimism

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” —Winston Churchill   With the saturation of social media these days, it’s easy to get sucked into thinking that the online world is always a direct reflection of what’s going on when people log off.   We see happy, smiling people in pictures and updates about a successful store event or big projects. While you smile yourself and congratulate them, you might also wonder what you’re doing wrong if you’re not experiencing the same projected levels of success.   The crafting of a perfect persona is part of our culture now — online and off — whether we like it or don’t. And we’ve all heard the importance of putting on a brave face and acting like everything’s fine, even when you’re struggling to make payroll or sales have…  » Read more
Shop Talk: Masquerade and Balloons Galore

Shop Talk: Masquerade and Balloons Galore

Spotlight On: Fort Myers, Fla.   Creating custom looks one customer at a time   For those in the party industry, work is exciting, ever-changing and always expanding — especially the people at Masquerade and Balloons Galore. When business declined, the store added different elements. When products sold out, the owners started expansion. When customers came asking for unique ideas, their needs were met with open arms. Over the years, business altered, profits soared, but one thing remained — the value of family.   A Family Affair Rodney Baier, the patriarch, has 30 years of sales experience in corporate America and a degree in business administration. Barbara Baier, the matriarch and a CBA, has a degree in business and ample amounts of experience as a secretary. Bethany Baier, daughter of the Masquerade masterminds, grew up in the family business and has spent more than 20…  » Read more
Wear It, Declare It

Wear It, Declare It

Looks to be seen in 2014   Whether it’s a superhero or a superstar from the screen, licensed costumes are posed to top the costume charts in 2014. Add in innovative design features, accessories and a growing tween and children’s customer base, and you have a recipe for retail success.   PPR: Are there certain themes or licenses that retailers should have on their radar? Amanda Marples Disguise Marvel movies will be big in 2014, kicking off in April with “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” then “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” in May and the “Guardians of the Galaxy” in August. Retailers should also stock up on Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. and evergreen license, Power Rangers, with the next installment, Super Megaforce.   Phil Young Party King The Shaper Costume line is now three years old and has become increasingly popular with customers in the U.S and…  » Read more
The Good, the bad and the Affordable Care Act

The Good, the bad and the Affordable Care Act

The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed March 23, 2010, started a chain of events that business owners will be dealing with for years to come. It will call into question whether you, a business owner, should offer coverage to your employees or not. This is not as simple as it appears when it comes to the “big picture.” Let’s make sure we cover some of the areas that haven’t changed before we look at what has. First off, you still do NOT have to offer employer–sponsored coverage right now. If you do choose to offer, ask yourself, why? Was it because you wanted to do a nice thing for your employees? Was it because your business had so much extra cash that you were just trying to find ways to spend it? Perhaps it was because you have an employee…  » Read more
Cute and Cuddly

Cute and Cuddly

Animal costumes will continue to appeal to toddlers in 2014   It hasn’t been scientifically proven per se, but it’s no secret that children love animals. Why? Because animals are everywhere. They are roaming around your local zoo, hiding out in your backyard, starring in shows on television and living inside your warm home. Perhaps that’s why toddlers and their parents are requesting animal-themed costumes by the dozens. “Let’s face it, animals are a staple character — they have been around from the very beginning and it is a win-win costume idea when it comes to infant and toddlers,” said Alan Geller, president of Fun World.   Toddler Trends According to Danielle Shaw Doyle, assistant manager at Kids Costumes in Toronto, parents aim to select costumes their toddlers will recognize. And parents aim for cute and cuddly.   “Usually the animal costumes are very cozy,…  » Read more
Rubie’s Halloween Seminar

Rubie’s Halloween Seminar

Rubie’s Costume Co. celebrated its 32nd Annual Halloween Seminar Jan. 10-13 at the Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa. Known as the “other” Las Vegas with more big beautiful sky, this exclusive event showcased new products and accessories for 2014 from each of their divisions: Rubie’s Pet Shop Boutique, Imagine by Rubie’s, Forum Novelties, Charades, Morbid, Secret Wishes, Delicious of New York, Highest Heel and the newly acquired Princess Paradise. As the largest private show in the industry, this 3-1/2 day event was attended by hundreds of Rubie’s VIP customers. The select attendees were given a preview of the upcoming season’s hottest licenses, including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Batman Arkham City, Star Wars Rebels and Ever After High, a companion line to the popular Monster High Collection. In addition, Rubie’s announced its recent licensing agreement with Marvel that will include all classic Marvel properties…  » Read more
Party People: Brenda Fink

Party People: Brenda Fink

Brenda Fink Party Magic Godfrey, Ill.   Brenda graduated from Hickey College with a business degree and has been in retail for more than 37 years. She is a Certified Balloon Artist (CBA) and charter member of the Qualatex Balloon Network. She started with decorating events out of her home in 1991 and then opened a retail store three years later. Since then she has moved her store three times, continually increasing it in size, and has been at her current 5,500-square-foot store for more than 12 years.   1. What is the best retail advice you’ve received? Never quit learning, and join a buying club. The networking with Party Club of America is priceless.   2. What are your goals for the upcoming year? I would like to attend at least two conventions, including the World Balloon Convention, for much needed motivation, learning and networking.…  » Read more