yxe

Shake Things Up This Time!

Like most companies out there at this time of year, a crew of people, with no time to spare and holiday budget to blow, are frantically trying to piece together the makings of the best office holiday party yet! Will it be? Not if you invite this guy…

Holiday Salmon Roll

Meet Holiday Salmon Mold. He’s a metaphor and represents what I like to call the average holiday party ingredients; dinner + dance + mini Christmas tree centerpiece.

Shake things up why don’t you and add some life to your event space with Balloonatic crazyness! Put one on each table, instead of the tree, or holiday florals. Have a new prop in the photo booth this year (although, everyone loves an elf hat and mustache on a stick, I will agree with that). Have a few floating from the ceiling! Spell out your company name with giant Gold or Silver letters! There are so many more ideas here, just try me!

The holiday calendar is filling up fast, with events starting next weekend! Give me a shout and I can whip up something your staff will remember (or boss – sometimes they are left out of the planning, for good reason)!

Holiday Salmon Mold stinks. Balloonatic parties don’t! Contact me here or email balloonaticcreations@gmail.com for pricing and options.

Can’t wait to party with you, Holiday style!

Jen

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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!

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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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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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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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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