Everything Party has 30,000 items to make any event a huge success

Tiara Nixon

Tiara Nixon

Six weeks. That’s how long it took Linda Potter to plan her Halloween party each year. Much of that time, some 15 years ago, was spent searching for decorations and party favors.

“I’d go around, but I never could find anything good, the really fun kind of things,” Linda says.

She often had to make those fun things, and many of the basic things, for her annual pumpkin party.

A gift buyer for Nordstrom at the time, Linda and her then banker husband Mark dreamed of a store with a better selection of party gear. Thirteen years ago they opened that store: Everything Party in Redmond. Seven months ago they opened a second Everything Party store at The Landing in Renton.

With 9,000 square feet of party goods, Everything Party stocks enough Halloween decorations to outfit several of Linda’s ghoulish parties each fall. But booming October business has canceled Linda’s parties during the last several years.

She and Mark have been too busy helping shoppers throw their own parties for Halloween — and every other kind of event.

Kids’ birthdays account for most of the store’s business. Then there are graduations, retirements, wedding anniversaries, luaus, and all the holidays and seasonal celebrations in between.

Shelves, bins and racks in the airy store are heaped with invitations, stickers, toys, plates, wigs, megaphones, balloons, and virtually every other party accessory, in every color of the rainbow.

Everything Party is stocked with more than 30,000 items purchased from more than 300 companies.

That breadth of selection, plus competitive pricing, gives the Potters plenty of ammunition to take on the corporate big boys, including Target and national chain Party City.

Most of the seven employees at Renton’s Everything Party are trained party experts ready to offer party-planning assistance.

“People not only don’t have the time to shop, they don’t have the time to be creative,” Mark says. “They want the best party, but they don’t have the time to think about it.”

The “extra creative ideas” supplied by Everything Party staff is part of what Mark says has made the Redmond store a success.

With 22 employees, the Redmond Everything Party is about 25 percent bigger than the Renton store.

Another part of Everything Party’s success is the Potters’ belief that they do more than sell stuff.

“This is corny, but we feel like we don’t sell stuff — we’re selling the event,” Mark says. “We have the stuff, but that’s not really what people are buying. It’s all events. The stuff is just a vehicle to have them.”

Still, the Potters want to keep selling their party stuff. So far, they’ve been keeping up sales and weathering the recession just fine.

“These are not high-ticket items, and people aren’t going to give up celebrating key moments in their life,” Mark says.

By next Halloween he expects to be “very happy” about the business at Everything Party in Renton.

That would put him in the same mood of most of his customers, who come in excited about celebrating their next big event.

And why shouldn’t they be excited shopping at a store called Everything Party?

“No one has everything, but we feel confident we have the best and the broadest selection of everything for parties,” Mark says.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Business

Pexels photo
Ways to shop small on the Eastside

The city of Bellevue has developed a quick list of easy ways to support local businesses

Courtesy photo/Artists Sunday
Artists Sunday, following Black Friday, puts out call for participants before Nov. 29

The movement has a website that offers a free directory of artists and art organizations that participate

PSE offering four businesses an energy upgrade
PSE offering four businesses an energy upgrade

You can nominate your favorite business by Oct. 18

Stock photo
Union files charges against QFC, Fred Meyer over Black Lives Matter button ban

Grocery store workers condemn ban; QFC spokesperson says wristband options available to employees

Facebook purchases unused Bellevue REI headquarters
Facebook purchases unused Bellevue REI headquarters

The companies will also each donate $1 million to the Eastrail

200 Mill project still expected for downtown Renton
200 Mill project still expected for downtown Renton

Despite the economic difficulties with COVID-19, only main difference is uncertainty of hotel

The pandemic’s roots: UW Bothell team models the coronavirus
The pandemic’s roots: UW Bothell team models the coronavirus

A team of computational scientists has developed web-based software that maps the virus’ protein spikes.

New bookstore in downtown Renton hopes to appeal to local readers
New bookstore in downtown Renton hopes to appeal to local readers

Owner of Apparition Books hopes it will become the cozy neighborhood used bookstore.

Chamber offering PPE kits for small businesses
Chamber offering PPE kits for small businesses

Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday will be distribution days for the kits of masks and hand sanitizer.

Free face masks available at King County Safeway locations
Free face masks available at King County Safeway locations

Stores to distribute 750,000 purchased by King County starting Aug. 24

Renton resident uses TikTok to sell her message of kindness
Renton resident uses TikTok to sell her message of kindness

Just Be Kind co. has been a way for the Bella Wolfe to explore her passions for design and spreading positivity

File Photo
LA Fitness to reopen all locations Aug. 10

Gyms will follow state guidelines