The One Stop Event Rentals Story

“One Stop knows me so well they know it’s me calling just from my voice. That’s how close our relationship is.” –– Nancy Cerny, CVC Catering Group ––







Our story begins in 1954, when Merle and Gloria Watson saw an opportunity and decided to open one of the first rental equipment stores in Maine, Handyman Equipment Rental Company, which still operates in its original South Portland location. Daughters Kimberly Watson Carter and Lynne Watson Cousins learned the ins and outs of the rental industry at a young age when they began working in their parents’ store at ages 19 and 20.


Demand for event rentals grew and in 1975, Kathleen Lacombe, sister to Gloria Watson, suggested the company branch out into this growing market. This began with renting party equipment from a small corner of the Handyman store. By 1982, the company was doing so much business in event rentals, they created a separate specialty company called One Stop Party Shoppe. Lynne and Kimberly shifted from Handyman Equipment Rental to manage the new enterprise.


Merle and Gloria have retired, but the Watson sisters continue their family’s legacy as co-owners. Kim now focuses on warehouse operations and Lynne leads the customer service team in the One Stop Showroom building. Kim’s husband Dana Carter is Operations Manager and Lead Foreman for Tent Installation.


In 1976, Handyman Rental Company opened a second location in Portland and is now run by Merle and Gloria’s son Brad Watson with Lynne’s husband Michael Cousins serving as Vice President.


For over 35 years, we have built a large extended family of amazing employees, wedding planners, brides-to-be, venues, and other event hosts. Our clients, just like our relatives, are all part of the ever-growing One Stop family.