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September 2011

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Party Line: Express Yourself

Party Line: Express Yourself

Ahh...Valentine's Day. The mere mention of the holiday can send some men (and women) into a frenzied state of panic. Despite a saturation of red and pink hearts and Cupid in store windows, there are those that will still wait until the last minute to zip through the express lane with a card and gift that expresses their love and affection. Good thing retailers are on top of it. As the "Be Mine" feature shows, with people still looking to make the most of both their time and their money, a successful retail strategy for this time of year shifts to affordable options that are premade, priced and ready to go. There will be no shortage of options for them to choose from when they arrive in your store, guaranteeing not only a sale, but also gratitude that will bring them back in the future.…  » Read more
Shop Talk: Rose Costumes

Shop Talk: Rose Costumes

Spotlight On: Denton, Texas Where style and sales know no season Walking through the doors of Rose Costumes in Denton, Texas is like entering a whole new world. Every square inch is decorated in some sort of theme, transporting you from everyday life to a fun fantasy world of show tunes, movie songs, TV themes, big band music and current favorites. "The attention to detail in the decoration is overwhelming," said owner Judy Smith. "You could spend a whole day here and still miss something." Back in 1976, the store itself began as Secondhand Rose and sold vintage furniture, clothes, jewelry and hats with a jean mending business in the back room of the store. There was so much costumer demand for renting the vintage clothing and accessories that Judy decided to change the course of the business. By the mid 1980s, the furniture was…  » Read more
Be Mine

Be Mine

Premade, priced and ready to go Time is money, even when it comes to a sentimental holiday like Valentine's Day. According to the National Retail Federation's 2011 Valentine's Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, the average person was expected to spend $116.21 on traditional Valentine's Day merchandise in 2011, and total holiday spending was estimated to reach $15.7 billion. Retailers know that this time of year can mean big sales, but with people still looking to make the most of both their time and their money, the strategy shifts from one of elaborate designs to affordable options that are premade, priced and ready to go. A Date to Inflate At Card & Party Factory/Wally's Party Factory in Ennis, Texas, Marketing and Merchandising Assistant Kelly Ludwig knows that not everyone has the time to shop, so they have pre-made bouquets that are all…  » Read more
“The” Balloon Designers

“The” Balloon Designers

Decoration, education and innovation Balloon Designers has grown from a small, part-time hobby into an award-winning, internationally known leader in the world of balloon décor and entertainment. Its founder and principle designer, Steven Jones, began the business in 1998 and has won awards and accolades for his efforts in the field of balloon décor and design. In addition, Jones is also committed to the advancement of the balloon industry through education. PPR: What drew you to balloons?SJ: I was an art major in college, but ended up leaving college for the work force and actually entered the balloon world in 1996 after attending a "start your own business" expo. Initially I leaned towards the twisting side of things, but it wasn't until after attending my first convention in 1997 that I realized how amazing the décor side of things could be. From that point, I…  » Read more
A Little Bit Bridal

A Little Bit Bridal

Something old, something new, something profitable for you Most party stores pride themselves on being a one-stop shop for those shopping for a variety of celebrations. Balloons, paper goods, decorations - if customers can get it all in one place, that means more profits for the store. But that story changes when it comes to weddings. Most brides will seek out specialty bridal shops for a majority of their needs, but that doesn't mean that party stores should wave the white flag completely. There are showers that need to be decorated, cards that need to be sent and favors that need to be bought. Encourage these shoppers to walk down your aisles and out the door a satisfied customer by doing what you do best-party. The Write StuffEven though not all party stores carry an extensive collection of bridal products, they should make sure to…  » Read more
Seeing Pink

Seeing Pink

Make a purchase, make a difference October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but considering you would be hard pressed to find someone who hasn't been touched in some way by breast cancer, the spirit of support is a force felt year round in everything from races for the cure to pink parties. Many companies have thrown their philanthropic hat into the retail ring as well by creating specific products and lines in support of the cause. Because it may be financially difficult for someone to make their own significant donation to an organization, purchasing these products is an easy way to feel good about not only what they buy, but also where their money goes. Pink it ForwardIt often takes a personal connection to spark a philanthropic venture, as was the case with Kathy McEvoy, creator of Celebrate In Pink LLC, a company that…  » Read more
Morphsuit Mania

Morphsuit Mania

Life is more fun in color Technically speaking, the word "morph" means to change, and since 2009 Morphsuits has changed the costume landscape with their innovative concept and design. The men behind the Morphsuits are Gregor Lawson and brothers Fraser and Ali Smeaton, and Lawson took the time to talk with Party & Paper about how they've used social media and innovation to create a product that's morphing the costume scene. What are Morphsuits? Morphsuits are all-in-one spandex suits that cover the whole of your body from head to toe. You can breathe through them, drink through them and see through them, but no one can see you. Morphsuits come in 40 different colors and patterns in different sizes to fit all shapes and sizes. They can be used for just about anything - parties to Prom, charity runs to Christmas and Halloween, birthdays to…  » Read more

Turn Pictures into Profits

No matter how beautiful your balloon deliveries and décor are, a portfolio full of blurry photos taken in bad lighting isn't going to impress potential customers. If you want your photos to help sell your work, it's important to have the right tools that will help you get great results. Cameras and AccessoriesToday's point-and-shoot digital cameras provide a cost-effective option for most people who take photos on a casual basis. Most digital cameras these days can do just about everything automatically when it comes to the best settings for your conditions; all you need to do is aim and take the picture. A 16 or 32 megabyte (MB) storage card comes standard with many cameras, but you'll probably want to purchase a card with greatest storage capacity. Depending on the card's size - and your camera's settings - you can store up to hundreds of…  » Read more

The Store Room: “Halloween is fast approaching. What will you do to prepare?”

Our monthly column is devoted to what works and what doesn't - for our readers, from our readers "Halloween is fast approaching. What will you do to prepare?" Adriane Brandenburg Fun Party & Wedding ServicesShawnee, Kan.Since Halloween is on a Monday and the adults will be going to work, I bought a lot of accessories. I can see a bank teller going to work as a witch in a black outfit she owns and adding in one of the cute new mini witch hats and mini brooms (from Forum Novelties). Or maybe a teacher wants to be a clown wearing her own mismatched outfit along with a jumbo tie and striped stockings. We have been reorganizing our merchandise since March (year-round shop) and will keep adding new stuff until we get that last shipment of the latest and greatest. The only strategy is to talk…  » Read more