Business

PartyPail celebrates its success

Enumclaw-based online retailer PartyPail filled its 100,000th order recently. - Photo by Brenda Sexton. To view or buy photos go to www.courierherald.com
Enumclaw-based online retailer PartyPail filled its 100,000th order recently.
— image credit: Photo by Brenda Sexton. To view or buy photos go to www.courierherald.com

There was a little celebration at PartyPail Sept. 29, as the Enumclaw-based e-retailer served its 100,000th customer.

That’s an impressive number for a company started three years ago in Edward and Lisa Hechter’s kitchen and garage.

PartyPail sells party supplies, favors, paper goods, custom-imprinted wedding and party favors and specialty gifts on-line over the Internet. It specializes in adult milestone celebrations, bridal showers, weddings, first birthday, baby showers and anniversaries. The Enumclaw warehouse filled with those items goes unnoticed to most people in the community.

“It’s purely on-line, there is no foot traffic,” Edward Hechter said.

During the past 36 months, PartyPail has added 15 employees and moved from its original facility to a 11,000-square-foot warehouse and calling center near downtown Enumclaw.

That first day the Hechters shipped two orders. Today, more than 400 packages go out the door on a typical Monday.

It didn’t take long for the Hechters to realize they were on to something.

They laugh about it now, but shortly after the business launched, Edward made plans to help with a Boy Scout event. Lisa sent him on his way and said she would handle the orders as they arrived. The orders flooded in and the Hechters were overwhelmed.

The secret to their success, they will tell anyone who asks, is, “best possible selection, great pricing, unique high quality products, shipped quickly with great service.”

Those qualities also make them one of the top picks for search engines like Google.

According to statistics from the city of Enumclaw, of the 535 business on the books this year, six, including PartyPail, are listed as electronic shopping.

“Enumclaw is a great town to do business in,” Hechter said. “We love doing business here in Enumclaw.

“The model is changing and the city of Enumclaw is doing a great job creating a business climate conducive to folks like us,” he said.

Hechter said there will always be a place for storefronts, but retail is evolving. For example, in a Main Street store where a retailer may provide two or three baby shower theme choices, www.BabyShowerDecorations.net stocks 65.

“The shopping experience is simplified, everything they are looking for is all right there,” Hechter said.

From its Enumclaw location, PartyPail operates six e-commerce websites including www.PartyPail.com, which started it all in January 2007. In 2008, the company launched www.1stbirthdayparty.com and acquired and relaunched www.BellissimoFavors.com. This spring the company launched www.BabyShowerDecorations.net, added www.50thBirthdayParty.com in September and Oct. 4 started www.OverTheHillBirthdayParty.com.

Although PartyPail doesn’t have a storefront, the company boosts the local economy.

Hechter said the 18 people who work there also live and shop in Enumclaw. The delivery drivers, and there are a number coming and going from the warehouse, eat lunch in town. PartyPail also uses local companies, like Skynet, for their technology services. They are also regular supporters of the Enumclaw Education Foundation, Boy Scouts, PTA and the hospital.

PartyPail offers another perk. It’s family-friendly, allowing employees to be active members of the community and support their children’s endeavors, something Hechter didn’t find until he retired.

“That was something the corporate world didn’t let me be, a good dad or a good husband,” he said. “Now, I get to work with my wife, which I adore.”

The party isn’t over. In the future, PartyPail would like to expand to include Sweet 16 and quinceañera celebrations. There are also 2011 plans to expand into select international markets.

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