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Party Connection closes today

SALISBURY — Joyce Goodwin said her party-throwing days are over, now that the Party Connection is going out of business in downtown Salisbury.
“I’ll never be able to have a party again,” said Goodwin, who shopped for deeply discounted party supplies Thursday. “I’m losing the greatest party consultant that anybody could have.”
Goodwin and other customers have been beside themselves since owner Melanie Shorter announced that she will retire after 15 years in business. Shorter will close her doors at 121 S. Main St. for good at 3 p.m. today.
“I love this place,” said customer Rita Honeycutt, who bought many pink helium balloons and one of Shorter’s famous “baby” balloon sculptures for her daughter’s baby shower. “I hate to see her go.”
Shorter will continue making unique and sometimes massive balloon displays from her home and will maintain her corporate clients, she said. Customers can reach her at www.partyconnection1.com.
She’s leaving the retail world to spend more time with granddaughter Bailey Collins, 14, who practically grew up in the shop, as well as a second granddaughter on the way.
But Shorter said she still needs an outlet for her creativity and can’t give up the balloons just yet.
She also makes salt dough ornaments and will sell her creations at 24 crafts shows in the fall as “Adoughables.”
“Retirement won’t be sitting on my porch,” she said.
As a customer left the shop Friday with a bunch of helium balloons in hand, Shorter called out the warning she’s been issuing every day for 15 years, “Watch out for bricks, trees, awnings and rabid squirrels.”
No word yet on a future tenant for the storefront that for years has entertained passersby with balloon creations of all sorts. Shorter has one wish for whatever business will follow in her footsteps.
“I hope it’s something fun,” she said.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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