Partying With You Since 1986
Sowing the seed...
Kate left University and started a role with Ushers Brewery, promoting pubs in the Somerset area. She suggested hosting a Halloween night and was met with incredulity. Kate persisted and visited a local party supplier to purchase lots of themed items and designed and printed posters, enough to make up 30 packs for the pubs. The idea was a huge success, with profits from the night matching that of New Year’s Eve. This was to sow the seed for a business venture later in life.
Following her marriage to a local farmer and the arrival of her two sons, Kate found herself with time on her hands and in recalling the success of the party packs some years ago, she saw the upcoming Royal Wedding of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson as an opportunity not be missed. Sourcing whatever supplies and materials she could, she made hats and printed posters to make up the Royal Wedding Celebration Packs. Calling upon local Mums to help and working out of an old apple store on her farm, ‘Party Packs for Pubs’ was officially born.
With plenty of scope and ideas for different themes, demand from the Breweries increased until the 1990’s when budgets were tightened due to the Gulf War and rising oil prices. Although still servicing the licensed trade, Kate shifted the focus of the company to family orientated events when requests for Children’s Packs were on the increase. A new four page family orientated catalogue was created and ‘for Pubs’ was dropped from the company name.
The world wide web...
Fast forward to VE Day 50th Celebrations and the demand on Party Packs was as such that a new 6,000ft warehouse on the farm was built. It still remains the single biggest event serviced by Kate’s company in its 30 plus year history. Not only was this humble, ‘kitchen table’ business thriving, the introduction of the internet to the commercial market opened a whole new world for Party Packs. With the help of her brother, Kate launched what is believed to be the first internet party site in the UK.
The early noughties saw the last of the catalogues printed as the internet paved the way for a new era of shopping, expanding the scope from a mere 1,400 products to the approx. 18,000 now available on the website.
The big move...
Now employing around 30 local people and still growing, the decision was made to move from the on-farm warehouse to a purpose built 10,000 sq ft warehouse in Westbury-sub-Mendip, 10 miles down the road. More easily accessible for staff and postal services, the new facility was necessary but Kate and her Party Packs family still very much remains the heart of the company.
This year has seen the re-launch of the Party Packs website, alongside company rebranding. A huge undertaking given the range of products, changing trends and long history of the company. Since its launch in 1995, the website has been the lifeline of the business and is now updated to meet modern demand.