A Chic Affair
As seen in Celebrations & Occasions 2022.
Pink Flamingo Party Co. began as just a hobby in Ashley Sodipo’s apartment.
Sodipo founded the business in 2018 with a goal of helping people curate fun, imaginative celebrations without growing overwhelmed by the preparation aspect.
At the onset of the pandemic, Sodipo says she felt people needed reasons to celebrate while isolated at home. As a result, she began doing balloon installations to lift spirits and help customers “reimagine their Zoom backgrounds.”
“I received so much interest, and then orders followed,” she says. “I leaned into it, and this was a life-changing decision. The business really boomed, and it gives me an opportunity to build a growing business that brings joy to people all over the country.”
Today, Pink Flamingo Party Co. has a brick-and-mortar location in West Hartford, Connecticut, and sells online to customers across the U.S. She strives to make the shopping experience warm, welcoming and inspiring for customers.
“Whether you are in our Connecticut shop or scrolling our social media feed, we want you to feel like you are catching up with a friend,” Sodipo says. “We want you to embrace the sparkle and spark creativity that we all have. Every product on our shelves has been hand-picked with a party or special person in mind.”
A VAST SELECTION
Pink Flamingo offers a myriad of products, ranging from novelty balloons to stylish tableware, as well as gifts and cards for every occasion.
Whether it’s a kid’s birthday party, bachelorette bash or holiday gathering, Pink Flamingo’s partywares are chic, fun and sophisticated. The company offers a variety of partyware themes, including garden party, fiesta and ballet.
“Our business really speaks to parents, family and friends wanting to create Pinterest-worthy event experiences, especially for children and teens,” she says.
Additionally, Sodipo says keeping inventory fresh and unexpected is important to her customers who want to throw standout parties.
“People are looking for new, imaginative party supplies and unique and niche cards,” she says. “They want to find items they have not seen repeatedly on Pinterest. We intentionally seek out these newer items.”
She adds that customers at Pink Flamingo largely prefer “stylish over practical” that adds to their parties’ wow factors.
“They often opt to purchase a fun-shaped die-cut plate that doesn’t hold as much food as a larger, solid color paper plate,” she explains. “It’s all in the details — and people love details in their decor.”
‘SUPER BOWL’ SEASON
Balloons are big at Pink Flamingo, which offers balloon services and rentals, as well as balloon kits for purchase.
In fact, Sodipo refers to graduation season — May through the end of June — as “Super Bowl season,” when the company is booked six to eight weeks in advance.
“This is also a big time on the East Coast for bridal showers, bachelorette parties, baby showers and more as the warm weather rolls in.”
But while warm-weather months bring in the most business on the balloon front, Pink Flamingo stays busy year-round, with fall and the holiday season being the busiest time for retail.
One aspect of the business important to Sodipo is that the majority of its items are made in the U.S. by small, women- owned businesses.
“We get hundreds of new items every week and are committed to saving retail space for people who may not get it elsewhere,” she says.
Additionally, Pink Flamingo values community over competition, Sodipo says, and created a Facebook group for balloon entrepreneurs who have their own businesses or are considering starting one. The group is dubbed “Learning with Balloons” and has more than 15,000 members.
“We created this community of people who are able to support and uplift each other, give and receive advice, celebrate big wins, and help each other when times are tough,” Sodipo concludes. “Being a small business owner isn’t easy, but we can always support each other.”