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May 2014

May 2014
Party Line: The Write Stuff
Shop Talk: Celebrations Party Store
Sugar Rush
Custom Creations
Industry Icons
Putting Your Best Staff Forward
Three Shows, One Marketplace
Balloon Recipe
Party People
 
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Party Line: The Write Stuff

Party Line: The Write Stuff

I recently had two experiences as a consumer that initially left me less than satisfied. In one instance the perishable products I bought were prematurely spoiled and in the other it was completely void of the actual advertised product.   Seeing as I’m not Donald Trump and generally like to get what I paid for, I contacted both of the companies with my complaints. After a little bit of back and forth on details, both companies promised to send me compensatory coupons for free replacements of their products.   That would have been enough for me, but when the coupons arrived they included a handwritten note that apologized for my inconvenience, assured me they were looking into the issues and invited me to contact them at any time in the future should problems arise.   In an age of electronic communication, I found the fact…  » Read more
Shop Talk: Celebrations Party Store

Shop Talk: Celebrations Party Store

Spotlight On: Abilene, Kansas   The journey from a back-burner idea to immediate business success   When Jaime Durham graduated high school, she was unsure of her future endeavors. She wanted a career, but didn’t know what path to choose. Durham started working at a local party store in her hometown of Grand Island, Neb., and found that it was something she enjoyed doing.   “I worked there for about two years, but as a young adult I moved on to other career choices,” Durham said. “Through the years, as friends of mine would get married, I would help them decorate their weddings and do some balloon décor for them." Owning and operating a party store was always on her mind. It was something that was on that back-burner, so to speak.   Success From the Start Durham achieved her dream — Celebrations Party Store…  » Read more
Sugar Rush

Sugar Rush

DIY pastry products bring profits   With the increased interest in cupcakes and baking shows in recent years — Cupcake Wars, Cake Boss, etc.— many shoppers are looking to build on the DIY (do-it-yourself) trend and make creative sweets of their own.   Deb Kerkstra initially started Creative Events in Allegan, Mich. in 2005 to provide cakes and cake decorating supplies to customers, but soon realized cake and party supplies went hand–in-hand, so she added balloons and party goods.   Now they can provide a customer with not only supplies for the novice to professional decorator, but the ancillary party products as well.   “When a retailer is deciding what baking supplies to carry, they must think of what the customer is going to need throughout the process,” Kerkstra said. “For starters, customers will need the basics such as cake pans, cookie sheets, muffin pans,…  » Read more
Custom Creations

Custom Creations

Brides-to-be search for invitations to match their personal style   By the time you read this story, wedding season will be in full swing. It may be too late to make changes now, but it’s never too late to update your selection going forward.   Styles will come and go and new patterns will be added, but brides will always come knocking. Why? Because they want a personalized product to acknowledge their special day.   As most of you know, personalization is key, so the invitation business calls for hours of overtime and loads of staff assistance. Are you up for the challenge? You should be, because profits are almost guaranteed.   Personalized Perfection When a bride calls Dori Pomerantz Saypol, owner of Total Party, looking for personalized invitations, she wastes no time getting the process rolling.   Pomerantz Saypol schedules an in-person appointment and…  » Read more
Party People: Debra Kerkstra

Party People: Debra Kerkstra

Debra Kerkstra Creative Events Allegan, Mich.   Kerkstra has worked for several bakeries and retail venues throughout the years and opened a small storefront in downtown Allegan in 2005. She initially started as a cake decorating supplier, but soon got involved with party supplies as well. When rent became an issue, Kerkstra and her husband decided to purchase a building a street over, which allowed more room for growth and freedom from a landlord. Today you can get a decorated cake, party supplies, balloons and even a gift at the store.   1.  What is the best retail advice you’ve received? The best advice I got was from my husband, Ron — don’t go into debt to open the store. We started from savings and let sales pay for product as we could afford to. It’s a slower way to grow, but I don’t have…  » Read more