Entries tagged with: Profiles

Fledging New England Party Supplies store featured by Taunton Gazette

Tristan Michael-Savage’s story of starting his own balloon and party store is a feel-good one, but also one of caution. Michael-Savage’s store, New England Party Supplies, is located in Silver City Galleria mall in Taunton, Massachusetts. It opened in November 2016, although Michael-Savage’s history as a budding retailer started when he was 10 years old, when he used to buy cases of candy from a local iParty store and sell it to kids in the…  » Read more

Peer Perspective: Jelle Van Der Zwet, OppoSuits

Director and co-founder, OppoSuits Amsterdam Jelle Van Der Zwet and his friends were seeking festive garb to wear during the 2010 World Cup, but the response they got quickly hatched an idea — OppoSuits. Their colorful, coordinated ensembles wear and feel like everyday suits, but they look like anything but. Where did the idea for OppoSuits come from? The idea came about when one of my business partners, Jasper Castelein, and I were traveling in…  » Read more

Peer Perspective: Diane Delorier, Carolina Party

Diane Delorier Owner, Carolina Party Inc. Swansboro, North Carolina Diane Delorier opened Carolina Party in 2001. Over the past 15 years, she’s become a seasoned and savvy party storeowner and buyer. One of her biggest pieces of advice for fellow retailers: Think about exactly why the world needs your business. How were your Halloween sales in 2016? Our Halloween was not as great as last year. I was very satisfied with our numbers in 2015. Our store…  » Read more

Spotlight On: The Costumer

Longtime owner celebrates The Costumer’s 100th anniversary by passing baton to next generation  By Zeke Jennings | (Click on image for photo gallery) When seamstress Anna White started her Schenectady, New York costume-making business in 1917, she didn’t even have the right to vote. This is something Kathe Sheehan — longtime owner of The Costumer, the very business White started — likes to point out to put the shop’s longevity in perspective. The Costumer will celebrate…  » Read more

Peer Perspective: Amy Dufour, Urban Expositions

Amy Dufour Marketing Manager, Urban Expositions Kennesaw, Georgia We asked Amy Dufour, a marketing manager for Urban Expositions — administrator of the Halloween & Party Expo — what the most common mistake she sees companies in the field make. Her answer was two-fold, but both involve the internet. What is your professional background? I have 14 years of public relations and marketing experience serving the trade show, sporting and entertainment industries. What is the most…  » Read more

Spotlight On: Williams Costume Company

After 60 years in business in Sin City, Nancy Williams has seen it all By Zeke Jennings | (click image above for photo gallery) Nancy Williams spoke with a wry smile of her early days in Las Vegas, reminiscing about the late 1940s in great detail as if it were yesterday. She arrived in Sin City in 1948 as an 18-year-old dancer, thinking her stint would be a short two-week job at the El…  » Read more

Focus On: Partycraft Alaska

It's been a long and winding road for Kim and Greg Hunt (Click on photo to see photo gallery of Partycraft) By Zeke Jennings | The story of Greg and Kim Hunt is part fairy tale, part soap opera and 100 percent unpredictable. Even though they met and married nearly 40 years ago, the Hunts becoming co-owners of two Anchorage, Alaska party-supply stores would have seemed improbable, even to them, as recently as a…  » Read more

Peer Perspective: Nancy Williams, Williams Costume Co.

Nancy Williams Owner, Williams Costume Co. Las Vegas PPR: Where did you grow up? My dad was in the Navy, so we were here and there, but I was born in San Diego. We lived in Washington D.C., and we lived in the Philippines and different places like you do when you’re in the Navy. (The family was in the Philippines in 1940, just prior to the start of World War II.) My mother and…  » Read more

Peer Perspective: Karen Rosales, Maple City Rubber

Karen Rosales Receptionist and Customer Service Rep, Maple City Rubber Norwalk, Ohio PPR: Could you describe what your job entails?  I am on the phone for a good part of my day, taking orders, processing orders, answering questions and providing information on orders to be shipped, orders that have been shipped and providing tracking information. I also invoice and try to lend a hand where needed. PPR: What do you enjoy most about it?  I really…  » Read more

Focus On: Doolin’s

Originally an equipment rental company, Chicago business has evolved over its 54 years in operation By Zeke Jennings | Almost from day one, things didn’t go as planned for John Doolin as a business owner. In 1962, Doolin purchased the amusement supply company he managed, officially renaming it Doolin Amusement Supply Co. Shortly thereafter, Doolin’s wife, Helen, died unexpectedly, making him a widower and single father. “It was kind of rough on him,” Dan…  » Read more

Peer Perspective: Donna Petracca, Dreamgirl Costumes

Donna Petracca Design Director, Dreamgirl Costumes Los Angeles PPR: What does your job entail? I design all of the women’s and men’s costumes and accessories for the Dreamgirl Costume Collection. I do the design direction for the catalogue and write the descriptions and copy. My job also includes fitting the line and working with key customers in selling the line. PPR: What do you enjoy most about it? I love the people that I work…  » Read more

Peer Perspective: Best of ...

What is the best retail advice you have received or could offer? Jennifer Davis, Balloons or Bust, Hudsonville, Michigan Customer service is essential to the success of any business. I try to go above and beyond my customers’ expectations. Responding to questions and inquiries quickly is a top priority for me, as well as following up with customers to make sure they were completely satisfied and, most of all, happy. Mark Specht, Balloons Galore and Gifts, Dayton, Ohio One thing…  » Read more

Focus On: The Ballooney Bin

It’s all about balloons and the blues for Cindy Fuller By Zeke Jennings | Cindy Fuller’s first career was dedicated to helping people. The dual career she enjoys now just helps people smile. A former social worker, Fuller rather abruptly left the field 10 years ago to open The Ballooney Bin in Jackson, Michigan, which consists of a brick-and-mortar retail store and a balloon design and delivery business. Fuller also doubles as the lead…  » Read more

Spotlight On: Louis Wittenburg Halloween & Party Supplies

Louis Wittenburg at forefront of growing European Halloween tradition By Zeke Jennings | With 115 years of history and just four owners, the Louis Wittenburg party store in Amsterdam has established longevity and stability. However, when Francesco Tijnagel bought the store in 1988, he wasn’t afraid to take it in a new direction based what he saw as a coming trend. “In the first year of owning the business, I was talking to some…  » Read more

Industry Profile: Diana Clements, July 2016

Diana Clements, president, Princess Paradise Fort Collins, Colorado PPR: What drew you to the costume industry?  Customers asking for what was missing in the market. PPR: What do you enjoy most about your job?  Designing and working with our customers. PPR: Where do you seek inspiration for new costumes?  The fabric and other markets, trend and other searches, shopping, media and research.     PPR: Do you get much feedback from customers?  Yes, and we…  » Read more

Industry Profile: Francesco Tijnagel, June 2016

Francesco Tijnagel Owner, Louis Wittenburg Halloween & Party Supplies Amsterdam, The Netherlands PPR: How long have you been in business? The store was founded in 1901. I brought the store in 1988, and I’m the fourth owner. PPR: When did you develop a fascination with Halloween and costumes? In the first year of owning the business, I was talking to some U.S. costumers who couldn’t find anything for Halloween. That was my trigger point. PPR:…  » Read more

Spotlight On: Shindigs & Celebrations

Purchase of longtime party business brings family closer together By Zeke Jennings | As the old saying goes, a family that works together stays together. Well, maybe that’s not quite the adage, but quality, productive time spent with loved ones is almost always a good thing. That’s certainly been the case for the Vaught family of Nashville. Sandra and Wayne Vaught have found enjoyable, albeit demanding, second careers as the owners of Shindigs &…  » Read more

Party People: Kelley Vaught, Shindigs & Celebrations

Kelley Vaught Employee, Shindigs & Celebrations Nashville, Tennessee Q: What drew you to this business? I attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and chose to major in communications. Fortunately for me, this major proved to be an umbrella of many things I enjoyed studying. I was able to take classes in Public Relations and Web Design and intern with event planners and marketing coordinators at the Doubletree Hotel, Alexian Brothers Health Systems and Parkridge…  » Read more

Manager’s Corner: Shawne Sheldon, Washington Park Zoo

Volunteering at the local zoo has blossomed into a career for Shawne Sheldon. Ten years ago, Sheldon began volunteering her time at the Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City, Indiana, which, at that time, didn’t even have a gift shop, but rather a gift cart. Sheldon eventually got a job working the cart, and when the zoo entrance was expanded and a gift shop was added, Sheldon, with little retail experience, was tabbed to run…  » Read more

Quick Q&A with Korynn Knight of Party Heaven

Korynn Knight’s role as manager of Party Heaven in Berkeley, California, combines several of her passions: small “mom-and-pop” businesses, creativity and comics. Knight has been with Party Heaven for nearly 10 years after previously running a small gift shop in Yosemite National Park. As Knight put it, she “loves small businesses best.” PPR: Have you always had a passion for costumes? I have always been really interested in building costumes. I am definitely a crafty…  » Read more

Industry Profile: Paula Federici, April 2016

Paula Federici Executive Buyer, Paper First Affiliates Brookline, Massachusetts Paula Federici’s time in retail dates back to college, when she started as a part-time employee at The Big Party!’s first store. Now 22 years later, Federici has held several buying positions, including as an executive buyer for Paper First Affiliates for the past nine months. Q: What are your responsibilities at Paper First Affiliates? To strengthen PFA’s merchandising position, product programs, member and vendor relationships,…  » Read more