LEWISTOWN - Two women with a passion for parties have taken over a local business, and have colorful plans for its future.
Mary Jane Partchey and Trish Cunningham took over ownership of Central Novelty in July, because the previous owners, Robert and Mary Ford, decided to retire.
The store, located on Knepp Avenue in Lewistown, offers a variety of event products and services, such as party supplies, paper goods, tuxedo rentals, bow making and wedding accessories, Partchey said.
New owners of Central Novelty, Mary Jane Partchey, left, and Trish Cunningham, stand inside the party goods and supply store on 515 Knepp Ave. in Lewistown. The two women took over ownership in July after the previous owners retired. Central Novelty offers tuxedo rentals, clothing alterations, party supplies, colored paper, bow making and wedding accessories.
When Robert Ford announced he would close the store unless someone else was interested in buying it, Partchey and Cunningham immediately discussed the idea with their husbands, they said, and then moved forward with taking over the company.
"We both like this business," Partchey said.
Partchey has worked at Central Novelty for 30 years, she said, and Cunningham for about eight. The original owners, Clyde and LeEllen DeArment, built the business in the late 1970s, Partchey said. It burned down in January 1992, but was back up and running again by that June, she said, noting the strong-willed driving force behind the company.
Besides a variety of party and wedding supplies, Central Novelty also offers alterations, which are done by Partchey.
She said she alters anything from party dresses and tuxedos to jackets and casual wear, adding that she even installs zippers.
Since taking over the company Partchey and Cunningham have expanded the party supply and colored paper sections. They have included more bachelorette party items, birthday and other gag gifts, and round table covers.
The store now carries more than 25 colors of party goods, Partchey said.
Additionally, it also offers more than 115 different styles of tuxedos, and tuxedo accessories for such events as weddings, proms, and other occasions, Partchey said.
"We probably have the largest selection of tuxedos," she said.
In the future, Partchey said she and Cunningham might get into decorating for weddings, such as making balloon arches, and other on-site items.
Whatever their plans, Partchey's passion for what she does remains consistent: "I enjoy working with people," she said.
She said she enjoys both the alterations aspect of the business, and aiding customers in planning their events.
"(I like) helping people get ready for the fun things in their life," she said.
Partchey said when customers come in, she walks them through the planning process, which is especially helpful for those who may be overwhelmed, she said.
"It's fun to help them pull it all together," Partchey said.
Cunningham said she shares the same excitement of getting to meet, and work with, new people almost every day.
She also enjoys showing customers the different choices they have when it comes to party planning, she said, and "putting the whole party together."
Central Novelty, at 515 Knepp Ave., is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday; and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. For more information call 248-0367.