Gettin' down with Carroll's Party Town
August 23, 2013
Douglas Burns | Daily Times Herald
Jacque Lyons, manager of Party Town, makes a custom bow to adorn a gift. The store’s bow machine can spin out a variety of styles and color combinations for bows.
Red balloons. Yellow. Blue. Zebra striped. Is it possible to have that many balloons in one store - 231 balloon displays, in fact? Yes. Carroll's new Party Town store, located in the strip mall south of the Walmart Supercenter, is a one-stop shop for parties of all shapes and size, for all ages and occasions.
Want to break out a life-sized cut-out of "The Big Bang Theory's" Sheldon? Check.
Looking for an assortment of colors for table settings for a bachelorette party? Check.
Aiming to surprise your 6-year-old son with a Superman-themed birthday party - or want to see your daughter feted like a princess? Check.
"We've got a lot of kids' birthday themes," said owner Becky Law of Glidden.
Law, who has a quarter century of tireless workdays as a restaurateur in western Iowa, most recently with B.J.'s in Glidden, decided she wanted a change. So she stretched her entrepreneurial mind, mined those experiences as a small-businesses woman, one who understands entertainment.
"I was just thinking one day what I could do that didn't pertain to food," Law said.
The idea hit. Open a party store. It's a hole filled in Carroll's retail landscape.
So she reached out to the 18-year industry veteran Las Vegas-based Discount Party Stores Developers and came up with the straightforward name of her store. Party Town is an independent sole proprietorship - with the Nevada company functioning as a consultant. The Carroll business opened Aug. 5 with three employees in strip mall built by Wisconsin-based developers.
"I just look for this whole area to fill up," Law said. "I just thought it was a great location."
Law didn't just inhabit the kitchens of her restaurants in Glidden, Auburn, Arcadia, Carnarvon and Churdan. She talked with customers. Law understands their interests. Which is why, for example, Party Town stocks an assortment of John Deere items for devotees.
The 2,000-square-foot store has an inventory with Iowa State and University of Iowa and University of Nebraska fare, too.
There's an impressive collection of life-sized cutouts if you want to invite Sheldon or John Wayne or Elvis or Buzz Lightyear to your party for friendly photo opps.
What's more, if you want to be the star, Party Town can customize life-size cardboard cut-outs, of well, you.
Another feature attraction is the bow-making machine expertly employed by store manager Jacque Lyons. She can spin out multi-colored bows to make your gifts stand out at any party.
Longer term, Law plans on getting heavily involved in the Halloween costume business.
So far, Law says, she's been drawing from a 40-mile radius around Carroll.
"If I felt I could expand, I might," Law said.
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