Balloons

Teaming up!

You know what’s better than one YXE Balloon lady?

Two!

Meet Crystal Brodeur!

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Owner and Creative at Love + Lace Event Design, and my new Balloon go-to gal. Crystal has a knack for turning the usual old event, into a top notch soirée! She’ll be your big event, on-site, helium-hauling, balloon-knotting, “heavy-lifter”.

To my clients with the big events in the books, you will meet Crystal, and she’ll make sure every home made paper tail trimming is fastened and placed, just as you wanted them!

Me, I’ll stick to the paper handling — pressing flat, chop chopping and individually fastening — and of course, the usual every day happenings of a small business owner!

Crystal and I are looking forward to being at your next event!

J & C
BalloonaticCo.
@BalloonaticCo.

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Straying From the Ordinary

This is somewhat of an extension of my post last summer when I listed my most favorite & unique ways to use a Balloonatic creation

During the past month I have been consumed with inquiries. Which is amazing. The best part? The requests that have come in aren’t for my traditional Balloon + Tail “column” style party-goers, but for elaborate, design-influenced installs, and I couldn’t be more pleased! Here are the top three install styles I will be working on in the coming months:

The Ceiling Swag ~ Picture this. You book a venue. The ceilings are drab or a canvas waiting to be covered. This is not a new problem when it comes to event planning…and balloons have been done before you could say, along with light transfers and fabric draping. This time around, think bigger. Giant balloons bobbing along the ceiling, or cozying up to architectural indents in somewhat of an upside-down-candy-dish sort of way. The icing on the cake is when we add miles of intertwined tassel swag, draped from balloon to balloon, to create a ceiling install that will likely still be talked about at breakfast the next morning. 

The Floating Forest ~ Plant a forest of balloon columns, let them float to the ceiling, repeat. An amazing way to bring a high ceiling down to an intimate level of fantasy fringe, hung almost within arms reach. This is only a slight variation of The Ceiling Swag, but imagine the change in scenery from one to the other.

The Gazebo ~ Where there is no ceiling, we shall invent one! Picture a runway, or outdoor ceremony underneath a “ceiling” of variant sized, monochromatic (or not) balloons, all invisibly strung to a similar height above chairs.

The Ceiling Effect

 

Bonus | The Backdrop ~ Lastly, a little something I obsessing over other than installs above the head…the Balloon wall backdrop. I can’t tell you how anxious I am to see this variation of a backdrop in place. Again, variant sized balloons come in to play and as far as color schemes, endless. I prefer a monochromatic version myself, with a close second place that utilizes clear balloons and glittery filling.

Watch my social feeds for the real-deal images in the upcoming months!

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!

From 4 to 42

And just like that, business got BIG!

Thanks to a recommendation from colleagues at The Willows, I was approached by Ernst & Young to make their client reception stand out. Big Impact. Over the top. Not 1. Not a few. 42!!!!!!

42 custom balloons, in varying heights, spread around the sprawling clubhouse. At first, I wasn’t sure I could make that many! Let alone within the time crunch of 14 days! It was a challenge and I was most definitely up for it.

Plenty of planning and prep took place in the first few days. I needed to source the balloons from a supplier in Ontario because of the short time frame. Helium tanks needed to be reserved. Materials had to be purchased. Hang tags designed. Renderings approved. By time I got down to actually making them, about 5 a day to stay on track, only 8 days remained!

Two nights before, all the weights had to be prepared, hang tags added and all the bags of supplies packed. The evening before the big night required me to be at The Willows, filling the balloons, so everything had to be completed and ready to go a night early.

On the eve of the big event, I hid out in the ladies locker room for a good 3 hours, filling and tying my giant balloons. I couldn’t sleep that night,
worried that my floating friends would suffer a pop or two, but alas, all were unharmed the next morning.

I finally took a massive breath when all the balloons were placed and the eyes of my client were big with excitement! I did it, and the experience gained was more valuable than I could imagine.

Patiently waiting for my next big order gig! Hoping for 100. Did I mention I like a challenge?

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The Real Deal

The moment when you make your first actual sale….indescribable.

Someone actually thought my creations were worthy enough to float above the tables at a very special 60th Anniversary celebration.

I jumped right away at this chance and dove head first into the job. I immediately started quizzing my client (who happened to be the Granddaughter that was spearheading the planning) what the guest of honors’ wedding colors were, anything special that could be incorporated and any other hints that would help me develop the initial colors and materials.

The actual wedding day of Josephine & Lorne was very modest and the bride chose the non-traditional route of wearing a navy blue women’s dress suit. Any ideas I had before knowing this were instantly wiped out, instead I was now on a new color train, sparked by the blue in Jo’s wedding day wardrobe, and the blue and cream decor of the Wedgewood Room at The Willows.

Later on, that very same day I received a heartwarming video from Jo (as most people know her by) stating that her favorite colors are blue and yellow. That left me with an obvious and fitting accent choice of silver Mylar and sparkly silver ribbon to play into the “diamond” anniversary year and a small touch of white lace just to add a little hint of wedding to the pieces.

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My original plan, since there were four of them, was to have all four tails topped with white balloons.

That didn’t exactly go the way I wanted it to! That day before the party, I brought home four, giant white balloons, filled to the brim with helium. I took them down to my “balloon room” for overnight storage and instantly one popped. It was the loudest balloon pop I’ve ever witnessed. And it popped my plan, bigtime!

You might be wondering why? Well I knew I had just bought the party store out of their supply of white balloons.

Time for plan b. I called my client and ran the plan by her. Two blue balloons and two white ones. With an extra white one on hand just in case of another popping incident! She loved it, especially when I sent her this….

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I had arrived at the party store shortly after just leaving there, and they graciously filled both giant blue balloons with helium, free of charge! What a relief! Helium isn’t cheap…but I’ll dig into that topic another day.

That night, I finished up the tail assembly and had everything ready to go. It felt amazing to only have one small little snag in the process, and be pleased with the product I was to deliver the next day.

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The next morning, I loaded five balloons into my wagon, four tails, and a bag of “just in case” supplies. I headed out to The Willows with excitement in my veins and hope that everyone would be pleased with what I had tediously prepared.

Arriving at the front door, I was greeted with shrieks and jumps of joy! Nothing better than that! I placed and weighted the balloons and sure enough…no camera on me! Something I never even leave my bedroom without, was sitting at home, in my bedroom! I snagged a camera from a staff member and was so relieved to have captured the moment.

Until the next post….

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Gifting Gets Going

I guess you could consider the next Balloonatic creation a test piece, with the most perfect little tester as the receiver. If a one and a half year old little gal doesn’t love my balloons, nobody will!

Miss T, as she is affectionately referred to by her super cool parents, has a very neat theme to her bedroom. This sweet little girl will proudly boast that her parents gave her the hippest, vintage throwback baby room in town! A slightly girly twist to the rarely used, Yellow Submarine motif. Awesome, right?

That led me to pick the obvious for her balloon. I decided to re-use the white balloon from my first creation. It had just been filled the day before and would work well as the topper to another Balloonatic frill tail.

Yellow and Blue frill, highlighted by a few pink clusters and voila! A successful attempt at working towards bettering each balloon effort. Making balloons for friends and family to me, was the easiest route to hear supportive and constructive feedback, along with enjoying the moment when you walk into a room of them, and there is instant wow. I was definitely in for this ride…..

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Virgin Balloonier

It was like the idea hit me over the head, although I didn’t feel any pain, nor show any signs of injury. My head however, was swollen. With ideas. One by one, things just fit into place like a puzzle.

Balloonatic. An idea to be Saskatoon’s first “Wondrous Balloon Creator”. Giant balloons in dreamy colors, long tails made of hand-cut paper, sparkling ribbon, intricate lace, using colors to compliment its feature.

The idea turned into reality one week ago, when I frilled the first tail, then put together my first Balloonatic Balloonatic creation. A combination of soft Orange, Aqua Blue and White, paired with a White Balloon.

I decided to use my office gal pals as a small, but highly qualified, test audience. I walked in to work after my lunch break (which wasn’t spent chowing down my homemade Chicken meatballs, instead visiting the local go to party store, Bazaar & Novelty to load that big Balloon up with 14 cubic feet of Helium!) and the instantaneous reaction made my stomach do flips. Good flips I might add! The girls all gushed and used many words of praise and encouragement, to which I am very grateful for. I placed the giant Balloon on my desk and watched in joy each time a new colleague stepped into the room. Their reactions were all over the good map and that was it, I was hooked……

More project details to come….

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