We would like to pay tribute to Peter John Nikolas who passed away on Thursday the 19th August 2021.
In a statement from Peter’s family, his grandson, and chief party dude at The Party People, Dean Salakas, said:
“35 years ago, Peter Nikolas founded The Party People with his daughter (our mother) Mala Salakas. When Mala wanted to start a party shop, her father Peter thought she was crazy. However, as father’s do, he lent her the money to start the business. As the business grew he even left his property maintenance job to help run the business full time.
In 1998, Mala wanted to launch an online party store but Peter was hesitant. Despite this he supported his daughter and it went on to be the first online party store in Australia.
Over this time Peter became more interested in Balloons and the Party industry. In Australia the Balloon Industry was gaining momentum, Peter was instrumental in helping start up BASA (Balloon Artists and Suppliers Association) of NSW and the National Body of BASA A. Not able to say no to a job he put his hand up for many roles and over the years including Treasurer and committee member.
As a committee member this allowed Peter to attend many a Balloon conventions in Australia and often took on the role of Sheriff. This role allowed him to meet and help many people within the industry and was always willing to share his knowledge. It also allowed him to take control of stock and equipment. Peter’s pet hate was waste and he was always in control of never allowing people to waste Supplier’s products.
Early in 2000, at the age of 65, Peter decided to earn accreditation in the Balloon Industry and gained his CBA (Certified Balloon Artist) where he was examined in all aspects of the industry from inflating balloons, balloon design and business acumen.
In 2007 Peter and Mala sold the business to us (his grandsons) so they could retire. This didn’t stop Peter and he continued to help in the business by transferring stock between stores with his dog Jack and upon delivery was known for telling terrible jokes. Peter kept an enthusiastic interest in the business asking many questions and was always there to offer advice or help when it was needed.
Peter was larger than life, was proud of what he started and proud of what is now the largest and most awarded party store in Australia. As BASA NSW stated in a Facebook page, “Peter was a Pioneer in the Australian Balloon and Party Industry”
So Peter, it’s time to take a well-deserved break, you will always inspire us even though you may be gone. Rest in peace.”