Apr 27, 2011
What themes surprised you?

Our monthly column is devoted to what works and what doesn’t – for our readers, from our readers.

“What themes, holidays or events have surprised you with their recent popularity?”

Betsy Ross
Betsy Ross Costumes
Clarence N.Y.
I was surprised at the recent number of bridal showers that have the theme of “Dress up to look like the bride.” It has brought an increase in sales of wigs that resemble the bride’s hairstyle. Occasionally there will be a certain hat or possibly glasses, all items that help the girls look like the bride. This can add up to a really nice sale if there are 10 or more girls attending.

Adriane Brandenburg
Fun Party and Wedding Services
Shawnee, Kan.
Our Halloween Shop has been rocking ALL year thanks to all the theme parties. For example, instead of a boring 50th birthday party, people are having guests dress up in 1960s attire. Schools have all sorts of spirit days and dances that keep us busy. Our biggest sellers include wigs, moustaches, makeup and accessories. We are fortunate to be able to keep the space open and stocked all year.

Katie Serrano
The Costume Shoppe
Maple Lake, Minn.
We saw a resurgence in specific characters from pop-culture, movies and history, while at the same time there was a big drop in the generic costumes. No one wanted to be just any plain pirate or cowboy or vampire – they wanted to be a particular person with a name and identity. This trend towards a defined character surprised us, but we were able to work with customers by combining some of our generic costume pieces and then labeling them as a specific person.

The top five most requested characters were Cleopatra, Captain Morgan, Mario Bros., Lady Gaga and Morticia Addams.

Craig Truman
Craig’s Party Store
Petaluma, Calif.
New Year’s has been a hit for us. As 2009 arrived, we were swamped and sold everything we had. It was a 60 percent jump in sales and still we ran out.

That gave us an interesting decision for next year on how much to buy, so we went for it by adding 50 percent more inventory. When 2010 arrived we sold everything and we did the same this last year. In fact, all three stores had their best sales days in our entire history. I can hardly wait to break records again this year.

Pat Schwerman
Huntsville, Ala.
Although we are six hours from Mobile, and at least eight from New Orleans, Mardi Gras in Huntsville, Ala. has grown and grown-beads, decorations, hats, invitations, paper products and more beads. And it’s not just the bars, but lots of individual parties. Who would ever think? I love it!

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