New business brings the party to Oak Harbor
By REBECCA OLSON
Whidbey News Times Staff reporter
April 10, 2012 · Updated 1:43 PM
It’s the new home of Darth Vader pinatas and fluffy feather boas. Angry Birds balloons, classy candles and zebra-print plates and cups are also in stock because it’s party time once again in Oak Harbor.
Whidbey Islanders no longer have to travel off-island for party supplies thanks to the newly opened Whidbey Party Store.
Robyn and Orin Kolaitis, owners, held a grand opening celebration March 29.
“It was desperately needed on the island,” Robyn Kolaitis said of the party store, which features supplies for everything from weddings to graduation to baby’s first birthday. “I knew a whole lot of moms driving to Burlington every time they had a party.”
And all she’s heard since the store’s opening has been how great it is to have a party store on the island again.
Already, the store has sold out of Angry Birds balloons, which are based on the popular video game, but there’s still an entire wall dedicated to balloons for every occasion.
“No one’s stumped me yet,” Kolaitis said.
She’s taking pre-orders for Mother’s Day balloon bouquets, which feature fancy bundles of balloons shaped like flowers, chocolates and more. Kolaitis said the elegant black and white bouquet is her favorite.
Another aisle is decked out in purple and gold in preparation for high school graduation. Decorations and items in the colors of all three Whidbey Island high schools are available.
Their products are high-quality but affordable, the Kolaitises said. From Root candles in a wide variety of colors and scents to top-notch wedding decorations, guest books, invitations and more in a number of themes, the store can bring any party to life.
An important aspect of the store is the push to sell locally crafted party items. A variety of locally made cupcake wrappers by Sprout’s Custom Creations and candles by Harbor Glow, which used to be located on Pioneer Way, are available. The cupcake wrappers come in colorful designs, including ducks, flowers and solid hues. Harbor Glow will refill the candles at a discount.
The store also carries Wilton, a brand that offers cookie and cake decorating supplies.
“It was much needed on the island, it was lacking. We brought in as much as could fit on the shelves,” Kolaitis said.
There are life-size cutouts, from John Wayne to Cinderella, and a crowd of pinatas, of which Kolaitis’ favorite is the Transformers pinata. Part of an aisle is dedicated to soccer, which Kolaitis said she made sure to get in for soccer season.
When people come down one aisle, the ladybug set elicits cries of, “Oh, how cute that is!” Kolaitis said. Treat bags, balloons, hats and even a high-chair kit come decorated in the red, black and white ladybug design.
Tammi Huckelberry, one of three employees, said she enjoys the baby items the most as she prepares for the birth of a grand-baby.
“And I really love our fabulous line with the boas --- it’s really fun,” Huckelberry said.
“I have people come in all day long to tell me they’re so glad to have a party store in town. We’re just as happy to be here as they are to have us,” Huckelberry added.
The Kolaitises have a couple of extra “employees” when their 8- and 5-year-old daughters visit the store.
“They’re just really excited about the store,” Kolaitis said, adding that they help “decorate” by moving necklaces around the store. The Kolaitis’ son, 18 months, isn’t too interested in decorating quite yet.
The Kolaitises have also owned O & R Construction since 2003, which was one of many local businesses that helped turn the previous mortgage offices into the colorful party store.
Local businesses that helped with construction were B & C Electric, Floors Plus-Carpet One, Sherwin-Williams Paints and G & B Custom Cabinets.
Don’t wait for a party to visit Whidbey Party Store, which is located at 270 Cabot Dr. #2 in Oak Harbor, next to Domino’s Pizza and Island Cafe. For information, call 360-544-3068.
Contact Whidbey News Times Staff reporter Rebecca Olson at email@example.com or 360-675-6611 ext. 5052.