Cheryl Friesen, owner of the LOL Party Shop, believes that parties are one of the best ways to show someone how much you appreciate them. “That’s what we’re all about at the LOL Party Shop,” says Cheryl. “Parties are a great way for people and families to establish important memories.”
Prior to opening the party shop, she worked for 20 years as a professional banker. “I just couldn’t see myself doing that for another 20 years,” says Cheryl. “I wanted to do something fun, something I could really invest myself into.”
She started putting the pieces into place a year earlier by joining a buying network. The buying group helps independent business owners pool their resources and their purchasing power. This enables Cheryl to keep her prices low and compete effectively with places like Party City, the largest party supply chain in the U.S.
The buying network also helped her to set up the store by providing advice about organizing the store and stocking an optimal selection of party items. “I’m still an independent business, and I choose all of my own merchandise,” says Cheryl. “The buying group just took a lot of the pressure off setting everything up.”
LOL Party Shop has a little bit of everything in stock. The buying network gives Cheryl immediate access to 47 suppliers, enabling Cheryl to handle just about any theme a customer has in mind. “I’m planning to bring in a lot of pirate theme items for the Gasparilla Pirate Extravaganza in January,” Cheryl says.
There are many places where party supplies can be purchased, but Cheryl gives her customers a great deal more. “How many sales people are truly interested in helping you to plan your party?” says Cheryl. “I’ll probably be just as excited about putting together their party as they are.”
Cheryl has taken courses to become a certified event decorator and is preparing to take the certification exams. She is planning to get more involved in decorating as the business grows. Right now she can help you plan and organize your special event in full.
This was a passionate decision for Cheryl. She’s been planning and decorating family parties for years. Lately she’s been doing it for local groups such as homeowner associations and business networking groups. “I’ve always enjoyed creating an atmosphere of enjoyment,” says Cheryl. “Even when I was a banker, I was always looking for opportunities to express an enjoyable side of life.”
Cheryl wants the LOL Party Shop to be a very community-oriented business. We want to be able to support our community and other local independent business owners. She wants to build relationships with other party-oriented business owners so she can further assist her customers in planning a complete event.
“I want to be able to help people create an event their friends and family will love and remember for years to come,” says Cheryl. “I get really excited about this. It’s hard to believe it’s my job.”
Cheryl’s husband, Bruce, is a sociology professor and is currently helping out with the business part-time. They’re looking forward to helping people set the stage for a really amazing party. They’re also looking for input from their customers about the types of themes they’re looking for.
LOL Party Shop is open for business right now. Their grand opening is November 10th. They are located at 24720 State Road 54, Lutz. Call them at (813) 388-2932, or visit them at LOLPartyShop.com.
– Mike Matthew
This story is a feature of the advertising department.
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