Carl H. Lindner College of BusinessCarl H. Lindner College of BusinessUniversity of Cincinnati

Carl H. Lindner College of Business

UC College of Business Alumnus Returns to Inspire Young Leaders

Submitted: 6/17/2010 13:54:30
  • Entrepreneur Steve Mandell shared his retail experience with UC College of Business students on May 13 and 14.

On May 13 and 14, 2010, business owner and entrepreneur Steve Mandell spoke to honors undergraduates and marketing students at the University of Cincinnati College of Business. Mandell shared his experience in the field of retail in two candid speeches entitled "Your Career Journey: Lessons from a Leader and Entrepreneur" and "Your Career Journey: Lessons from a Retailing Leader."

Mandell highlighted the trials and tribulations that took him from his roots as a retail buyer to become the founder of Party City, the largest retail party supply store in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. He described the obstacles he had overcome on the road to his current position as owner of one of the country's largest online Halloween costume stores,

"Life doesn't always go in one direction," Mandell advised students. "As an entrepreneur you need to go around or through many obstacles to get to your destination." He summed up his philosophy in "Steve's Secret Sauce for Success," a seven-point system for being a successful entrepreneur, including believing in yourself, thinking outside the box, building a solid foundation, knowing that people are your biggest asset, practicing the art of listening, giving the customer what they want and having luck on your side.

Students expressed their appreciation for Mandell's straightforward advice in a letter of thanks in which each student noted what they had learned from his lecture.

"I am proud to have had the opportunity to address future entrepreneurs," Mandell says. "I know they are building a strong foundation for a successful future."

About Steve Mandell

In 2005, Steve Mandell, founder of Party City, decided to leverage his expertise in the Halloween costume business to create a costume website that makes purchasing costumes simple and convenient. Recognizing the need for increased selections, high quality, fashionable designs and year-round availability at low prices, Mandell created

Today, Mandell operates five websites. His most recent website, Wholesale Costume Club, was launched in April 2010. As the only website of its kind, Wholesale Costume Club is considered the newest innovation in online costume shopping.

Mandell earned a bachelor's in business administration from the University of Cincinnati College of Business in 1967.