Wicks put a little Monkey Business into their careers
Party supply store and party venue caters to kids and moms
Staring vacantly out his office window one day in late 2010, Ken Wick experienced a moment of clarity.
"I was day-dreaming about the future, thinking how I don't want to be working in the corporate world for 20 more years, when it suddenly came to me that I should start my own business," said Wick, who now co-owns Monkey Business, a party supply store and kids party venue in Brookfield with his wife, Mary. "So, I put together a business plan, attended night school at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and in March of this year opened our store."
Located in the Sendik's Towne Centre in the 19000 block of West Capitol Drive, Monkey Business hosts children's theme parties and carries gifts, greeting cards and candy, in addition to a selection of party supplies and accessories.
The store's party room, extensive inventory and "fun factor" separates Monkey Business from its competitors, Wick said.
"We're bright, clean and have trendy products, like bacon Band-aids and mustache magnets, that you can't get elsewhere, as well as a party room, which other area party supply stores don't have," he said. "My experience as a consumer and working in the corporate world taught me that people need to be treated better. We want our store to be a fun place to visit. That's why everyone who enters our store is greeted warmly and every child receives a free balloon animal."
Open daily, Monkey Business' target market is females age 25 to 55, who have children and grandchildren, Wick said. Future plans include opening two more Monkey Businesses in the next four years in the greater Milwaukee area. In the meantime, Wick couldn't be happier with his transition from corporate life to the retail world.
"I'd much rather work 72 hours a week here than 40 hours a week in the corporate world," he said. "When a child smiles at me after I've made them a balloon animal, or a customer says that our store is cool and fun and that they'll be back, then I know our business is on the right track."
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JUST THE FACTS
BUSINESS: Monkey Business
ADDRESS: 19045 W. Capitol Drive, Brookfield
PHONE: (262) 439-8425
OWNERS: Ken and Mary Wick
TYPE OF BUSINESS: party supplies
PEARLS OF WISDOM: "Our mantra is to put more fun into people's lives."
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