Here to help you make magical memories…
Since our modest beginnings in the Middleton’s garden shed, to the bustling business we are today, we have always believed in helping people create lasting and happy memories with their loved ones.
We are here to offer the busy party planner all the inspiration, ideas and items they need to hold wonderful celebrations of every kind.
From decorations and tableware to personalised cakes and party bag fillers, here at Party Pieces we pride ourselves on choosing products which offer quality, value for money and which look lovely, too.
We hope you enjoy your Party Pieces purchases as much as we enjoy curating them. We are forever inspired by our customers' imaginative thinking and love seeing photos of how you have used our items to create your own fantastic celebrations.
How it started...
Back in 1987, Carole Middleton was a young mother looking for inspiration for her eldest daughter Catherine’s birthday party. All she could find was a range of paper plates decorated with clowns – and she realised there was a gap in the market for time-pressed parents like her, who wanted to create imaginative parties for their children.
Carole had two children at the time – Catherine and Pippa were five and three - and she was seven months pregnant with James. She ventured up to a trade show at Birmingham’s NEC and put together a small range of products which she knew would help parents hold simple but fun parties for their little ones.
She advertised the business with a solitary poster at Pippa’s nursery. A couple of orders came in – and Party Pieces was up and running.
A family business at heart
Initially, Carole was working from her kitchen table, and later in their cleared-out garden shed. She would work while the children were in school or nursery, or after they were tucked up in bed. Her husband Michael would help in his spare time and they enjoyed working together as a couple. They often worked through the night – occasionally even driving to deliver the boxes of bunting or balloons themselves, if it meant getting them to a customer in time for their party.
When they started advertising with a children’s book delivery service, and orders suddenly went from the hundreds to the thousands, Michael took a leap of faith, resigned from his day job and joined Party Pieces full-time too.
Of course the children, when they were small, enjoyed being around the toys and balloons; and were often the chief product testers and feedback committee!
After a while, Party Pieces moved into an office in Hungerford and employed a team, but it was still very much a family business. The children would come to the office after school, and would model for our early catalogues.
The children remained close to and interested in the business: as young adults Catherine curated Party Pieces’s debut First Birthday collection
, Pippa ran the blog for several years and it was James’s idea to start selling personalised cakes
Party Pieces today
We’re now based in a converted barn in the Berkshire countryside. We send hundreds of orders out each day, mainly to the UK but we also have customers all over the world. Our staff are committed and knowledgeable, and do a wonderful job – from the buying team who help select the products that we know our customers will love; to the sales team who know our products inside out and are brilliant at advising customers over the phone; and the team in the warehouse who make sure everything is carefully packed up and shipped out on time. It’s all about providing the best products and service for our customers.
Carole’s first passion has always been for the creative side of business. She loves selecting products that will wow our customers and which will bring joy to their occasions. She has a keen eye for best-sellers and, in the early days, when she couldn’t find what she was looking for, she would occasionally hand-make it instead.
She still enjoys going into the warehouse and looking at what people are ordering and where orders are going to. Once deliveries have been made, she especially loves seeing customer pictures of their banners and backdrops in position – because that shows we’ve done our job successfully.
Now that Carole is a grandmother, she is even more dedicated to helping people create magical celebrations for their loved ones. She sees children’s parties especially with a new perspective – and now says she gets to enjoy them just as much but without the responsibility of organising them!
Carole and all at Party Pieces have always been committed to giving our customers a wide choice of high quality products, while also giving them value for money... and we always will be.