Former Dollar Magic owner finds a niche in inexpensive party supplies
When Raj Des closed his popular Dollar Magic store in West Haven recently because the rent increased, he remade his business into a discount party store and moved it only a few miles away, because he considers his customers like friends and family.
They have followed him to the new store, Party Magic N’ More at 65 Boston Post Road in Orange from as far away as Stamford, Danbury, Massachusetts, he said.
“My customers are like family — that’s very important to me. Making a business you only earn a living, but to be in people’s hearts keeps me going,” Des said.
In making the business change, Des realized after 20 years in the dollar store business, which began in Bridgeport, that party items and creating party ambiance both at a low cost for customers, are his true passion. Party supplies were among the many items he carried at Dollar Magic.
“I am very good at parties because it comes from the heart,” Des said. “I love to go out of my way to make customers happy.”
He’s even went as far at Dollar Magic as throwing a baby shower for a customer who was having financial problems.
“My customers are my friends first,” he said.
Party Magic N’ More, tucked at the end of the plaza where Town Fair Tire is located, has discounted party supplies for baby showers, kids’ birthday parties, weddings and seasonally, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and even Super Bowl.
He also has plates, tablecloths, aluminum baking pans in every shape and size, and pricier crystal and gold items that can be purchased or rented.
But there also fun in the store, such as flashing tiaras, balloon arches, unicorn horns, giant roses and balls of satin flowers that can hang from the ceiling and giant Styrofoam letters that can be decorated or painted. Des also has the ability to personalize sashes, ribbons, napkins, and more.
He said party decorations and favors don’t need to break the bank.
Part of his niche is items that can cover walls and transform non-fancy rooms into banquet hall-like quality. Among the wall coverings are glittery spandex, shimmery material in various colors and panels of wisteria.
Customers can buy the wallcoverings or rent and other items for rent complete the transformation to banquet facility — a fixture that will create a tree of wisteria, a white table base carved in the word “Love” with a glass tabletop, large fancy wicker chair, gold chairs.
The best part about it all, Des said, is that he can keep the prices down because he, “knows the market.” His business philosophy, Des said, is, “to be fair and keep the doors open.”
He walked around the store enthusiastically noting the difference in prices of his merchandise, compared to mainstream party stores.
He’s running some holiday specials beyond the discounts, including one New Year’s glass free when five are purchased, $10 off chair rentals, a free wreath with $25 in Christmas purchases.
Des said he had Dollar Magic in the Stop and Shop plaza in West Haven for 10 years, but when the lease came due the landlord was to double the rent, which he couldn’t afford. He started in the dollar store business 10 years before in Bridgeport.
He said the Orange location is much better.
“I just love this kind of business,” he said. “I love getting hugs from my customers.”