Based near Richmond in South West London, A Party Palace has been trading for 12 years, with owner Adrienne D’Souza making sure that – depsite this year’s many difficulties – consumers always leave feeling happier than when they walked in.
“There are six of us in the team – one full timer and a fabulous bunch of multi-skilled part-timers. I am very blessed and we really have held each other together since March. They blow me away!
We’ve just put some Christmas balloon designs together. Santa won’t be in any grottos this year so families will try harder to bring him home – we’re thinking Santa suits will be popular, as will Christmas dress-up items for the head that work well on Zoom. Fun family Christmas games, paper decorations, tinsel – basically as much joy as we can sell! People want anything that can add fun to this crazy situation. I’m also really eyeing up the new wig range Manic Panic from Smiffys, I think they have great potential on lots of levels.
The main thing I’m taking away from this year is to be brave and smile, keep pivoting, think ahead and work out all possible scenarios. Have a plan A,B,C and D! Also, engage with other retailers. I’ve had lots of Instagram chats with fellow retailers and it’s been really helpful when I’ve been feeling a bit lost.
We have Facebook, Twitter or Instagram but work particularly hard on the latter. It’s been worth it as we get lots of engagement and receive lots of enquiries and orders through it. We’ve learnt to have a laugh, as the more fun you have the more people love it.”