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Store ready to party all the time

Pet store owners open new business
By: Gloria Young, Journal Staff Writer
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The owners of an Auburn pet store are spreading their wings in a new direction. Monica and Larry Taylor, who run Pet Xing, opened Party Maker this week in North Auburn. The Taylors have owned Pet Xing for a year and a half, and previously had Tri-Valley Insurance in Auburn for 10 years. “We got out of insurance and decided to do something fun,” Monica Taylor said. “The pet store has been phenomenal. My husband runs the pet store and I wanted my own store.” A party store was a natural choice for Taylor. “I’ve always loved to entertain and always had raging parties,” she said. Visitors to the shop will find floor-to-ceiling goodies. A huge selection of balloons, in dozens of colors and styles, rings the perimeter of the ceiling. “There are singing balloons, walking balloons, Elvis,” Monica Taylor said. There’s even a balloon in the shape of a wedding ring for someone ready to pop the question. And Taylor has stocked special balloon bags, so customers won’t have to struggle to hold on to their purchase in the wind on their way out to the car. Those planning a special bash — from birthdays, anniversaries and baby showers to business dinners and Saturday night barbecues — have lots of options. There are 30 themes for kids’ parties — among them firemen, Hannah Montana, Dora the Explorer, cars and all types of sports. For adults, the many choices include luaus and fiestas. A display at the front of the store features stars-and stripes-themed party items. “I’ll always have a patriotic (display),” Taylor said. In fact, she’d like for customers to bring in photos and news articles of family members serving in the Armed Forces. Taylor has created a special room for the biggest events of all — weddings. The space is stocked with a selection of custom invitations along with photographer and videographer recommendations. “You can sit at my table and plan your entire wedding,” Taylor said. “We’ll be able to order really cool custom things and will have a wide variety of wedding items.” Party Maker is a franchise, with the parent company headquartered in South Carolina. Taylor’s store is the first for the chain on the West Coast and she has taken on the task of West Coast development coordinator, she said. Finding just the right spot — Taylor wanted to be in a busy location — and setting up the Auburn store has been a family affair with her husband and daughter pitching in to paint, put down carpeting and set up display shelves. For Taylor, the business is about more than selling tablecloths and napkins. As someone who entertains frequently, she has the recipe for success. “A good party needs great atmosphere,” Taylor said. “When people walk in, they need to feel a party atmosphere.” And she’s very willing to create the atmosphere for her customers. “If you don’t know how to make your party fantastic, I’ll decorate for you,” she said. At next door’s American Cancer Society Discovery Shop, volunteer Kathy Townsley has been watching the progress of preparations to open the store. “They’re having a great time over there getting this thing going,” Townsley said. “I hear a lot of laughing. I think it is going to be really good. I think it is going to bring a lot more business to the area and that can only be good,” she said. The Journal’s Gloria Young can be reached at gloriay@goldcountrymedia.com or comment.