Originally printed in the pages of Simply Family Magazine’s June 2017 issue. Never miss an issue, check out SFM’s digital editions, here!
article by Brooke Wagner
The date has been circled in red on the calendar. The guest list has been written and re-written. All that’s left to finalize now is obsessing over decorations, sending out the invitations, deciding on tablecloths, ordering the balloons and cake…the list goes on and on! Planning the perfect party can be overwhelming whether you are hosting an elegant gala, a western barn dance, or a birthday blowout. We sat down with Lisa Gouveia, owner of Party America in Billings, for a glimpse into their store and a few tips on putting together a special soiree for any celebration-worthy event in your life.
How long has Party America been in Billings and how did it get its start?
My husband and I opened a Party Universe franchise here in February of 2000. In 2003, the entire company was purchased by Party America. After experiencing several changes within the franchise, we became an independent party store (keeping the Party America name) in 2009. That same year we also opened our Heights location!
What is your role with Party America and what do you love most about it?
As owner of the store, I have many different jobs. I am the main buyer of all the party products and I manage all our employees. I work with my husband to plan marketing opportunities and our yearly budget. What I love most about my job are the customers! I love talking to them about their party (especially who the party is for) and helping to make their party great. I also love balloons, but really, who doesn’t? Balloons, to me, are happiness.
How does Party America help Billings families get celebration ready?
We listen to the customer’s needs and give suggestions. If the family or individual wants something we don’t have in stock, we work hard at helping them track it down. I also keep a list of local vendors that can help a customer with other aspects of their party, including lighting, a DJ or clown, bounce houses, and gaming trailers.
What are your top five party planning tips?
- Set a budget and stick to it!
- Create a guest list; but always plan for a few extras.
- Decide on a theme a few weeks before your party to allow time for special items to be ordered.
- Bring in your Oriental Trading Magazine to save 15% on any identical item we might have in the store.
- Order balloons! Even a few balloons make a party fun. Balloons fill empty spaces and add a pop of color.