Balloon

Gold, Silver, Bronze Inspiration…

And no, I am not talking about the upcoming Sochi games.

I am speaking, no, answering the question I get asked all the time. It’s the first thing people ask when we get on the subject of this wild and crazy, hard-to-describe, “giant” side project of mine…”where did you come up with this idea?”

The best part about being asked that question, is that the answer isn’t shameful. In this day of the Pinterest pedestal, YouTube “how-to’s”, and “I’ll just Google it” mentality, I am an easy target for the assumption of “she must have just grabbed that from the Internet”. The truth is, I am not the first and only person on this planet to make a tassel tail for a giant balloon. I had inspiration. And the non-shameful part? I didn’t jump on Pinterest to learn how to do it. I made it my own. I started from scratch, did my research, made a TON of shitty tassel tails, got better, and used my other skills (the ones I like to call my “people” skills, which are actually more about my Social Media skills + my People skills + a little bit of Jen dorkiness/honesty thrown in) to get this business off the ground (man, Balloon puns can be so un-assuming).

So. Here they are. My Gold, Silver and Bronze winners of the inspiration ribbon. These ladies are it. What got me into this mess, and what inspire me on the regular to be better, be different, and to go “big” or go home.

Gold | Jihan Zencirli ~ Ever heard of Geronimo Balloons? I hadn’t until December 2012. This girl has wit, charm, wackiness, artistic snafu running through her veins. She is beyond the normal, yet, surprisingly normal. In every instance that I am asked about where “I” came up with this, I mention her. How could I not? That would make me a phony. Hands down, she is the top dollar, queen of the Balloon world. I bow.

Jihan Zencirli

Silver | Heidi Moore-Gill ~ Australian. Glamorous. Fanciful. Each time I peek into Heidi’s world, I am taken to another place. A whimsical dream with pony’s and posies. Heidi is a not only the mastermind behind Bespoke Balloonery, she is an amazing painter and event artist. Picture Circus tents, excessive amounts of paper flowers, hand painted linens, honey-comb giant paper fruits, streamer ceilings and of course, her fascinating version of Balloon decor. AMAZING.

Heidi Moore-Gill

Bronze | Amy Teixeira ~ Going to be honest here. I was actually jealous of Amy and the way she has captured the hearts of West Coast Balloon lovers so quickly. She wasn’t an original source of inspiration, in fact, we both began similar ventures around the same time. The inspiration part comes into play when I see past the jealousy and realize that this gal knows how to climb the ladder. She has captured the hearts of some big time players in the networking game, let alone her creations are simple, classic, beautifully captured on film, and trendily paired with other gals hustling at the same pace. She is huge. Already!

Amy Teixeira

 

I used to try and play catch up. Now I just have to remind myself to write my own rules, go outside of my boundaries, hustle to the max (the good hustle, not the bad) and soak in inspiration from the people that do it best. These are only three out of the million hits of inspiration one can absorb, and there are too many to name, most of which live in the vibrant place I call home.

Keep on inspo-ing on!

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An Appropriate Day to Give Thanks

On a day that we all reflect on what we love and are thankful the most for, I thought it was perfect timing to sit down and pen a quick thanks to some important factors in my everyday:

To my hubs – without you in my life, things would be a lot less sane, and let’s be honest here, life is crazy insane already, so thanks for bringing it down to a tolerable level. Love you and will forever.

To my wild boys – thanks for keeping my on my toes fellas. I have this feeling that without you two, I would get a lot less done in life. You two (without knowing this yet, based on your tender ages) drive me to be better, at everything, so that our lives together will be everything we hope for. Muah!

To my family – although most days you all think I’m crazy, I rest assured that deep down you see the bigger picture when it comes to me and my ways. Understanding ones differences is a personal goal I’ve been trying to work on, and I hope that crosses over to your understanding of me. I’m lucky to have everyone of you in my life. To those that are not here today, those experiences have shown all of us that although terrible things can and will sometimes happen, it leads us to something promising, and we learn from it, if we allow ourselves too.

To my friends – there are many reasons to give thanks to friends. Aside from the obvious, I have to let everyone of you know that it means a lot to hear, see and feel your support over the last 9 months. Starting off this biz as a side project, and watching it grow into a business because of the support of all of you has been extremely rewarding.

To my clients – we know each other in difference ways, some not at all, but each and every client I have had to date has provided me with a rewarding interaction. It’s not always the case in business when the feedback is so excited and positive, and for that I consider myself to be the luckiest. Giving credit where credit is due is important to me and where my business is today is mostly in part to do with some major repeat clients and business counterparts. If I had to list names (and please pardon if I miss someone) I would point out the ladies at Ernst & Young, Roxanne and her use of my creations for her big moments in business at Tonic, the gorgeous due of Carrie & Kelly at Little Black Dress photography, who graciously exchanged services and I now enjoy professional shots for business and career enjoyment. There have obviously been many more encounters with local businesses, photographers, beautiful brides, new mommas and plenty of little people that enjoyed a giant oversized creation on their birthday. They have all been memorable and I am thankful to have a majority of those moments documented on my Instagram feed. Thanks to each and every client!

To my suppliers – I have come to be quite aware that gestures from one business owner to the next can create windows of opportunity, far beyond the power of the marketing world. Without the kind-hearted, caring, courteous folks at Bazaar & Novelty, there is no way possible I would be able to do this on a daily basis. They are amazing and they always go the extra mile to make my life easier….even when it makes theirs harder. I make sure to give them my sincerest thanks and appreciation each time I am there (which, in no surprise, is a few times a week). I could start listing all of the large and small gestures they’ve made, but it would take forever.

To everyone else who can’t be categorized (fans, likers, followers, word of mouth spreaders, sharers), giving thanks to you today for all of the little things that help me grow, both personally and in business.

Many thanks on a thankful day, and every day…..

JK

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5 uncommon uses for a Balloonatic Balloon!

There are plenty of reasons to add a crazy giant balloon, complete with loads of paper frill, to your Birthday Party or Baby Shower. However, you may not have thought how much spark one would add to these types of events:

1. Gender Reveal Party – Say what? Ever thought of throwing a bash to let your friends and family know what color of onesies they should be buying? If you didn’t, that’s ok, but a major trend in the bash biz is that very type of soirée! How to host one, you ask? Gather up your closest friends and loved ones and organize a special delivery; a blue or pink themed giant balloon! Also a great reason to throw a couples shower, another growing trend and a thoughtful way to incorporate the new dad-to-be.

2. Storefront Window Install – Having dabbled in the art of creating a unique and eye-catching window display, both at Gap Kids and my family retail store, I know first hand it can be a challenge to come up with new ideas. Now, giant balloons with fancy frill aren’t for every establishment, but they can add the perfect amount of whimsy to a children’s store, or the right touch of trend to a Woman’s shop . Bridal dress boutiques, Bakeries & Cake Shops, along with any business celebrating a milestone, can indulge in the fun of having these giant “greeters” turning heads on the street. Balloons last 3-5 days with the option to add a coating inside the balloon, which will make each one will last at least two weeks.

3. Photographer | Stylist | Collaborator – I honestly can’t describe to you how much fun you’ll have working with these fancy “props”. But I can tell you, I’ve heard the laughs and witnessed the wow factor! Ask anyone I’ve worked with, they are way more outrageous in person.

4. Corporate Launch Bash – Go big or go home folks, we’ve all heard it before. Adding giant show-stopper Balloons should do. And the best part? You’ll be off the hook for the rest of the decor, no need for much more. Just add food, music, drinks and serve. Adding subtle hints of brand colors takes it to the next level. See my upcoming post on “Local
Brand Leaders” to read about some of the local vendors I have had the pleasure in working with; all of which have helped me share so much #balloonlove” around Saskatoon.

5. Skip the Florals – Don’t get me wrong, I could pass out at the sight of fresh florals; Peonies, Ranunculas, Poppies, and Succulents are the petals of choice. An over-the-top balloon + tail combination is just another option, a way to “shake it up” or “walk the line” 😉

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Surprise!

From the very start, I had been brainstorming ways to get exposure. Among many ideas, was the surprise idea. Show up to a party with a giant balloon complete with fancy, flowing tassels and someone is sure to take notice!

My sister Sara is a Manager at on of Saskatoon’s many Wendy’s restaurants and I was invited to tag along to their recent manager party at the Sheraton Cavalier . An afternoon spent with families of the managers at the watersides. Since I knew there would be plenty of kids in attendance, I decided this would be a perfect time to bring along a surprise balloon.

I used Wendy’s colors; Yellow for the balloon, Red, Light Blue and accents of Gold Mylar and sparkly gold ribbon for the tassel tail. I decided not to tell Sara but made sure to drop plenty of hints via the Balloonatic Twitter & Facebook accounts.

We met at the hotel on Saturday. After I unloaded the kids from the car, out came the giant Yellow surprise! She was so excited! Everywhere that this yellow balloon trailed us, so did excited looks, lots of “oh wow’s” and plenty of smiles. We tied the balloon to our table at the pool and had plenty of comments and questions. It was the perfect mix of gift and garnering exposure. Not to mention my favorite creation so far….

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