It’s not that he’s perfectly fine with a global shortage of helium. In fact, his voice actually seems to rise at the mere mention.
It’s just that Dave O’Connor, president of (arguably) Nova Scotia’s leading party-supply outfit, doesn’t let much get him down—something about tears of a clown, which would be bad for business.
Over at Dartmouth-based Glow (where 35,000 square feet of tables, chairs, tents, tablecloths, glasses, ribbons, streamers, signs, placards, and, when the season requires, costumes, beckon to celebrants of every disposition) business is booming.
That might be partly due to the worldwide growth over the past five years of the “instant party,” a social-media-driven phenomenon that now recognizes World Goth Day and International Talk Like A Pirate Day alongside Christmas and Easter.
But O’Connor, who started the business 23 years ago and now employs as many as 150 people seasonally through the year, prefers to explain his success as a combination of good old-fashioned customer service and a buoyant, anything-goes attitude.
“We are a one-stop shop with five divisions,” says the Halifax Chamber of Commerce business leader award-winner (2018). “We do signs, games, parties, events, and Halloween. Hey, we’re on the cutting edge of bounce castles.”
Says one of the store’s Facebook friends: “Glow is the best place to go for balloon bouquets. We release balloons every year (into the air) and they are biodegradable.”
Until, of course, the helium runs out. Still, says O’Connor with typical élan: “If we have to, we’ll fix ‘em to sticks.”