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The Newsroom: Articles

E-vents Biz Pays Off!
From: Small Business Opportunities, New York, NY
November 2000

ONLINE PARTY SUPERSTORE MAKES IT EASY TO PLAN ANY CELEBRATION OR THEMED-EVENT.

Shindigz, reachable at www.shindigz.com, is the largest and most comprehensive online one-stop shop of high-quality branded and one-of-a-kind supplies for all occasions at rock bottom prices. The company prides itself on providing the customer with an entertaining, informative and completely secure shopping experience focusing on convenience, creativity, value and service.

Shindigz enables customers to make their party purchases any time, day or night - when the kids are asleep or after a long day of work - and from the convenience of their own home or office. Just as importantly, rather than being overwhelmed or disappointed with the choices of a brick and mortar party store, Shindigz provides the customer with the information and guidance necessary to create a fantastic and unique party tailored to his or her specific needs and interests.

Because it is cost and service conscious, all Shindigz party goods are priced about 40% below retail, and the standard delivery method is two-day Federal Express.

Launched in January 1999 by company President, Wendy Moyle, Shindigz plans to add new product stores on a monthly basis.

According to Moyle, "People are throwing more parties than ever before, and parties are becoming important expressions of our interest and personalities. Because people want to have great parties, but often don't have time or inspiration to pull them together, demand for Shindigz products has been tremendous," said Moyle.

As an example of these new product stores, Shindigz recently added 10 new product "stores" - each representing a major holiday, theme (such as luaus), occasion (wedding/reunions) or particular type of party supply (floats, personalized favors and gifts.)

The addition of these stores brings the total number of online stores to more than 40. New Shindigz store additions include western, Thanksgiving, Octoberfest, Casino Night, hats and Christmas.

"By adding these stores, Shindigz is attempting to keep ahead of our customers' desire for branded and unique party items and advice they can't find anywhere else. Customer demand keeps my in-house designers, who prototype and create unique products, and my party planning assistants very busy."

Moyle expects strong customer demand for party goods to expand over the next several months with the upcoming seasonal holiday time - Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah, and New Year's celebrations are bigger than ever.

"Serving as an on-line party planner, I offer my customers my years of experience in planning and hosting thousands of parties," added Moyle. "I know what works and what doesn't and what my customers need to create a memorable event. This knowledge of customer needs and wants, combined with a commitment to superior service, drives the development of new products and addition of new product 'stores' and sets Shindigz apart from the competition.

Headquartered in South Whitley, Indiana, Shindigz offers the convenience of full-service, secure on-line shopping with personal attention at every step of the party planning process. Customers can make their selections from more than 5,000 products, and a full staff of party planners is on hand to assist with questions, help choose a theme, or design a custom party kit, and most importantly, to make it all come together with minimal effort on the customer's part.

Wendy Moyle takes a hands-on approach to the business and is involved in every aspect, from design to purchasing to marketing, but her position is party planning, so she personally responds to many of the e-mail requests and questions the site gets. Have a party need? Out of ideas? Need to entertain a dozen screaming pre-schoolers? How about 50 high-powered business execs? Visit the site and ask Wendy.

HOW IT ALL BEGAN

In 1990, Wendy Moyle and her husband decided to leave their fast-track six figure income positions at a large and well respected Dallas company to purchase the family business in rural South Whitley, Indiana. The business, Stumps, inc., is a catalog business specializing in school event paraphernalia for proms, fundraisers, etc., and general party supplies. Stumps school party supply involvement dates back to 1926, when the company invented and started printing prom souvenir booklets. The rest is history.

Since Wendy and her husband took over, Stumps has more than tripled its sales and the company has grown from 50 go more than 250 employees and from 75,000 to 200,000 square feet of space. Stumps currently produces eight different catalog titles each year and, as the leading prom supplier in the nation, sells to eight out of every ten high schools in the United States and to schools in 23 foreign countries.

Additionally, Stumps has longstanding ties to an extensive network of party supply importers and exporters. It also has a large plant where one-of-a-kind party goods are custom designed, prototyped, personalized, built and distributed.

When it was time to prepare for her son's third birthday (Wendy is a mother of three), she had a million things to do: projects to finish at work, a board meeting for the Local American Cancer Society, fixing the snack for her daughter's kindergarten class and taking care of a sick baby, just to list a few. Finding the time to plan for fun was the last thing she could do. Because even SuperMoms have trouble doing it all, she decided there had to be a better way.

Out of this stress, Shindigz was launched as an online party superstore serving as a one-stop shop for creative party ideas, decorations and favors. Although the site is geared primarily toward Wendy's fellow "Wired Moms", Wendy has designed the site to meet universal desire to put on the perfect event with a special twist, even though time and budget might be limited for some shoppers.

Shindigz was launched to take advantage of the Internet as a new, emerging channel of distribution that provides the opportunity to reach the customer directly, allows the company to respond more quickly to market demands, enhances customer service and personalized assistance, and offers a convenient resource that fits into today's busy lives and schedules.

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