|Kris Daugherty and Prudence Sherman, the owners of Party Express, hold some pinatas that they stock in their store. The two started the business when after years of volunteering in the PTA they found that the Castle Valley area was lacking a good party supply store.|
For Prudence Sherman and Kris Daugherty it seemed like a natural thing to start a party store.
After all during years of being in the PTA at their local school, every time they wanted to do a good party for kids they found they had to drive over the mountain to get what they needed. And during all those conversations about the difficulties of doing that, they found their eventual calling.
Consequently, almost five years ago, after all the volunteer duties were done, they opened Party Express on Main Street in Price.
The little store at 29 East Main carries just about anything anyone would want for a party and many things most people wouldn't think of.
"You know probably the most frustrating thing about running this store is that people will come in here and say "Gee, I didn't know you were here or I would've come here to buy the stuff for our party instead of going to Wal Mart," said Sherman. "We are here and we want people to know what we have."
The list is long and some of what is there surprises most anyone who walks in the door.
"We have everything from balloons to candy to costumes," said Sherman. "We also do rentals for parties and weddings."
Sherman says that the best thing about running the store is the people, and the fact they are happy when they come in.
"If you are running a floral shop you get sad events and sad people because of funerals or other kinds of more solemn occasions," she said. "But for us, people are happy. They are excited about putting on a party."
As with most businesses there are slow times and busy times. The busiest time is October, with lots of fall parties and Halloween at the end of the month. The slowest time, as it is with many businesses, is January.
"That's the hardest thing about this business is making the cash flow each and every month," said Sherman. "You hope the good months get you through the bad ones."
The store's personnel will also create parties and do decorating for events. For Sherman, her favorite decorating job was the junior prom this year which was held at the Carbon County Events Center earlier this month.
As for the most touching event the business has worked on, Sherman says it was the "Voice of a Thousand Children" which was held last year after the Crandall Canyon disaster.
"We created this rainbow made of balloons," said Sherman. "It had been raining most of the day of the event. When we took it out there to hang it up, the rain stopped. It was amazing."
|Sherman, stands with her son Caden, as they look over the racing party stock in the store. Sherman and Daugherty try to stock party materials for all occasions in their small merchantile.|
Most people who know the store know that the standard (and some not so standard) party materials are sold there, but the rentals that store offers are a little less clear to most people in the area. A party isn't complete without some kinds of entertainment so the store rents a Mega Jumper, a dunk machine, nine kinds of games, a cotton candy machine, a snow cone machine and popcorn machines.
For weddings the store has many of the supplies such as invitations and other materials, but they also rent out backdrops, water fountains, punch fountains, banquet tables, long stem crystal serving dishes and more. They will event create an ice sculpture for a wedding featuring either a swan, dolphin or cherub.
"Best of all we will deliver anything," said Sherman. "And we will even set up the entire party for people if they want that."
Business has been good enough that the store they are presently in is almost too small. But they manage to run their business out of it despite the size restrictions.
"I guess it would be nice to have a bigger building but we like being on Main Street," said Sherman. "That is where we want to be."
The partners say they love working with each other and with the public.
"We are so close," said Daugherty. "We know each other so well that we actually finish each others sentences."
Daugherty also pointed out that the store seems to do better when they are both working there at one time.
"I don't know what it is, but we sell a lot more when we are both in the store," she says.
Maybe it's the enthusiasm each shows for their business. Or maybe it's just the fun atmosphere.
Nonetheless, these two are always ready for a party, or at least to make their customers parties fun and successful.