The secret to a great get-together? It all starts with the party’s guest list — namely, inviting people who don’t all know each other.
“Even when I’m throwing a personal party, I always tell everyone to bring a guest,” said Angela Wator, who’s made a career out of helping people celebrate. “It just makes the conversation so much more interesting.”
Wator has owned Bash Party Goods for a year and a half, but her longtime dream of owning a party shop has now been realized with Festive Collective, a new party supply and décor store at 3279 W. Armitage Ave., the former home of the Busy Beaver Button Co. (Don’t worry, Busy Beaver just moved down the street.) She celebrated the opening with a party, of course, and friends, neighbors and customers munched on empanadas, sipped champagne and browsed merchandise at a casual fete on Jan. 12.
“I love this neighborhood, and we’re in good company,” she said. “There are so many good stores right here on Armitage.”
Along with Bash products, which range from plates, cups and napkins to streamers and honeycomb decorations, Festive Collective features products from two other women-owned Chicago brands — Anne and Kate, which makes screen-printed stationery and party goods, and Luft Balloons.
“We all run home-based businesses, so it’s nice to be able to collaborate together,” Wator said.
Festive Collective features a balloon bar where shoppers can order custom-colored balloons or larger balloon installations from Luft Balloons, as well as an extensive array of greeting and holiday cards from Anne and Kate. Anne and Kate co-owner Kate Jensen, a freelance graphic designer, met Wator at the National Stationery Show last May, and they clicked. A few months later, plans to move into Festive Collective began to gel.
“Something about the shared space really strengthens the voice of our individual brand,” Jensen said.
Anne and Kate’s other co-owner, Anne Schaeffer, appreciates the energy of the creative women behind Festive Collective, as well as Logan Square as a whole.
“People are just happy to see some pink!” Schaffer said. “I’ve heard so many comments about, ‘I’ve been waiting for this to open!’ It’s good that people are so invested in their neighborhood.”
Those neighbors are now welcome to stop by Festive Collective — either to pick up some party supplies or even host an event themselves. Wator said because she isn’t expecting a ton of street traffic, she’ll supplement by renting out the space for birthdays, showers or community meetings.
“It’s a really fun atmosphere, and there are not a lot of small spaces for rent for that kind of purpose, besides restaurants,” she said.
Festive Collective will also be hosting crafting workshops, mostly on Tuesdays. First up is a Valentine makefest at 6 p.m. on Feb. 7. The cost is $30, and Festive Collective will provide all the crafting supplies, as well as drinks and snacks. At the end, Wator and her team will deliver everyone’s valentines to the mailbox.
“For me, that’s always the big hold up,” she said. “Getting the stamp and the envelope.”