by Carolyn Tamler
Whether you’re planning an event for 10 people or 100, Robyn Kolaitis, owner of the Whidbey Party Store in Oak Harbor, knows she has all of the supplies you’ll need to make it a great success. She also notes, “Our employees have great fun helping others plan an event.”
The staff at Whidbey Party Store can provide suggestions for the perfect colors, balloons, favors and décor for any occasion. They are on the lookout for new items all the time. Robyn is always looking for great new suppliers and new patterns and styles.
Whidbey Party Store also carries a local, American-made favorite, Root Candles, and a great Selection of Wilton Cake Decorating Products.
Several years ago, living in Yakima, Robyn couldn’t have imagined her current business venture. She and her husband, Orin, had been talking about how much they loved the Puget Sound area, especially thinking about where they wanted to raise a family. Orin’s father provided the impetus, when he suggested they return to Whidbey Island. Robyn and Orin decided to come back and start a new business.
Orin started O & R Construction and quickly learned the ins and outs of quality construction. His services were soon in demand, mostly through word-of-mouth marketing.
When they first settled in Oak Harbor, they had one child, but soon added two more children to the family. Robyn was a stay-at-home mom and worked part-time in the evenings and weekends at a nearby Home Depot Store and tended to the books for O & R Construction.
Robyn was talking about future plans with Orin one day and told him, “What this town really needs is another party store.” The Discount Party Store in Oak Harbor closed in 2009, and Robyn realized how much fun she had had shopping there. The two of them researched the possibilities (and in the process learned everything there is to know about balloons…among other party specialties).
Robyn contacted a consulting company that specializes in opening party stores, and she also contacted Nancy Fey, the former owner of the Discount Party Store to get her input and advice.
Whidbey Party Store opened on March 29, 2012. Robyn admits, “It has been a harrowing learning experience, but it has also been great fun. Everyone in the community has been so encouraging and helpful.”
Orin is still involved with O & R Construction, but he is also the Construction Manager for Habitat for Humanity in Island County.
Robyn believes that her store has been a great way to become involved in the community: “I love being able to celebrate and share so many milestones with the people who come into our store.”
To see the amazing variety offered at the Whidbey Party Store, stop by 270 SE Cabot #2 (across from the AM/PM). You can also call them to see if they have something special to fit your party needs - 360 544 3068 - or check out the website: www.whidbeyparty.com.