Stumps has been America’s favorite for Prom and party supplies. From coast to coast, we’ve played a pivotal role in transforming millions of special events from ordinary to extraordinary. When we first introduced the first memory book and the first decorations for Prom 78 years ago, who would have imagined what Prom would ultimately become!
History of Stumps
Stumps was founded in 1926 by Hubert Stump in South Whitley, Indiana. South Whitley is a small town of 1,400 people, and it is located just outside Fort Wayne, Indiana. The original Stump Printing Company was started primarily as a commercial printer and local newspaper publisher. As local legend has it, in the depths of the Depression, Hubert Stump was left with one nickel that he could either buy a loaf of bread with or put in the church collection plate. Hubert, as the story goes, put the nickel in the collection plate.
The next day, Hubert came up with the concept of the “Memorie” booklet, a printed favor for “proms and junior-senior receptions.” The “Memorie” booklet was a great success, and over the years Stumps continued to expand into additional printed products for schools like lunch tickets, menus, athletic schedules and award certificates.
The first Stumps catalog was printed on green paper and was eight pages long and 3″ wide by 6″ high. This year’s catalog is over 500 pages!
Meanwhile, high school customers continued to request decorating items and ideas for Senior Proms. So Stumps introduced crepe streamers and balloons in the 1940s. Not long after, Stumps offered the first large area decorating theme kit — “Evening in Paris” — that provided all of the necessary decorations for the big event.
During the 1940s and 1950s, high school Proms were the major event of the school year. Nearly all Proms were held in the high school (either in the gymnasium or in the cafeteria). Countless days were spent decorating and preparing for the Prom, and almost all students would attend. Many schools would invite parents from the community to an open house to see the spectacular creations that the students had created. Popular themes during this time included “Dancing in the Dark” and “Stardust.”
In the 1960s, Stumps introduced the first full-color catalog featuring theme kits such as “Starry, Starry Night,” “A Night in Venice” and “Roman Nights.” Tissue flowers and crepe paper were still the popular items of the day. Stumps also moved to a new manufacturing and distribution facility in 1962.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Stumps grew rapidly, and the company changed dramatically. Photographs were introduced in the catalog in 1974. During that same time, Stumps offered the first imprinted favors for high school students with custom imprinted glassware, key tags and Prom jewelry. As the company continued to grow, a variety of new Prom and party concepts were added and the company introduced a new “Special Occasion” catalog targeted to the club and individual market.
In 1990, Shep and Wendy Moyle purchased Stumps. Since that time the company has moved aggressively to focus on 100% customer satisfaction, exceptional quality, and solid product values. Stumps also introduced a new Homecoming Spirit Catalog in 1991 and a new elementary school catalog called Everything Elementary in 1994.
In 1996, Stumps pioneered a new concept for the Prom and party industry by developing the first website devoted entirely to facilitating the party and Prom market. At StumpsParty.com, you can get Prom planning advice from experts on everything from fundraising ideas, to great decorating themes, Prom Surveys, and tips on how to get ready for the big date. Stumps customers can order on-line 24 hours per day.
These days, Stumps is moving forward by introducing thousands of new products, a new web ordering system and a total of five revolutionary websites with everything for Proms, Homecoming, Elementary, Birthdays, Special Occasions, Holidays, and your everyday parties. Stumps continues to be on the cutting edge of innovation in the Prom & Party industry by focusing on a simple formula of fun, unique products with good value, backed by extraordinary customer satisfaction. So welcome to America’s party place…on-line!
Over 85 years of experience tells you that Stumps is your complete source for the best Prom and party supplies in the business. So take some time to browse through our many sites, and see if you can’t pick up a few tips for your special events along the way. We’re here to help you make this year the best ever!