Running a Party Shop in Tacoma in a Pandemic with Natalie Bowman

hosted by
marguerite martin

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About This Episode

What is it like to open a small business in Tacoma during a pandemic? Natalie Bowman and her husband moved to Tacoma a few years back, just before the pandemic hit they went into the party shop business.

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Show Notes

What is it like to open a small business in Tacoma during a pandemic?

Natalie Bowman from Oh Happy Day Party Shop and her husband moved to Tacoma a few years back. Just before the pandemic hit they went into the party shop business. 

How Oh Happy Day Party Shop Came to Tacoma

Oh Happy Day Party Shop was originally located in San Francisco, and after buying the business, Natalie packed it up and moved it to a 4,000-square-foot warehouse in Tacoma’s McKinley neighborhood. Oh Happy Day does not have a storefront in Tacoma, but you can find their products in a few local shops in Tacoma (including Paper Luxe and The Curious Bear). Natalie's party shop sells products throughout the U.S., and last year they sold in 22 countries outside of the U.S. and they offer wholesale in 9 different countries. (Yeah, Oh Happy Day is a pretty big deal to have right here in Tacoma!)  Of course, during the COVID-19 pandemic, people have had to think differently about how they can celebrate the special moments in their lives. This has of course had a big impact on the party supply business.

In this episode, Natalie Bowman shares her insight on several things, including: 

  • What she’s learned about setting up a small business in Tacoma 
  • Why it's important for local media and people with large followings to amplify small businesses in Tacoma 
  • How people are celebrating differently now (people are still having parties with small groups, and people seem to be celebrating smaller moments more often) 
  • Tips for making small gatherings special (balloons, balloons, and more balloons! You don’t even need helium!) 
  • Why Tacomans should keep speaking up about businesses in your community that you love and find ways to continue to support them—so many businesses are just trying to stay afloat