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Vegas Balloon Blogger:From Balloon Enthusiast to running a Thriving Business-My journey with Balloon

Updated: Dec 18, 2023


In a world where creativity knows no bounds, the art of balloon decorating, out of nowhere emerged as a fun and lucrative avenue for me and took me from being a single struggling mother to financial freedom. This blog post delves into my journey, exploring how my passion for balloons not only led me to balloon decorating school but also paved the way for financial independence and grew a lucrative business I never saw coming.

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Learn to blow with Jess Flo.


Balloon boss
Las Vegas Balloon Diva

Discovering My Passion for the Balloon Business

It all began with another side of the event world; I was a promoter, community activist, autism mom & advocate, and spoken word artist (thus the name Jess Flo). I had been awarded a proclamation for a day from the City of Las Vegas, performed on the stage in front of thousands at the 2018 women's march, along with countless other locations, and won many other awards, my work published in three books, but something was missing. I wanted to Start a Balloon Business. I came across a YouTube video that showed how to create balloon décor from the 99 Cent store,




and one summer, I happened to be at the store and grabbed the items. I completed my first balloon column (pictured to the left), and my love for balloons began; by the end of that week, I had accumulated a tote full of practice balloons. Now, like with everything I decide to get into, I get into it. I started researching the industry to know who the players were, the history, and new trends. I taught myself how to do balloon arches, walls and dabbled in twisting. I thought to myself, it has to be a school or class or something to master this skill, and what did you know, I came across the Balloon Training Institute located in Sherville, Tennessee.

I thought a balloon school was wacky, so as a joke, I posted on my social media that I was starting a Go Fund Me to raise money to attend the school. A few days later, I received a call from one of the instructors at the school saying someone had called and paid my tuition in-full to the attend. It took me a while to figure out who my guardian angel was, and even today, she doesn't like me to speak about what she's done for me, but she said I had done so much for others through my community work and it was time for somebody to do for me. Talk about one passion/talent leading the way for another.

 

Enrolling in Balloon Decorating School

On the day I was to go to balloon school, I was scared; I thought for sure that these people had to be Carney people, who were going to kidnap me, and it didn't help that the school was in the middle of nowhere in the Rocky Mountains. I tried to come up with every excuse, and as my friend was driving me to the airport, my car caught a flat, and I thought that was a sign that I shouldn't be going. However, fate had different plans, and highway patrol showed up and got me to the airport. Darn it

When I walked into the class, I was surprised to see normal-looking people and even met one person who had also traveled from Las Vegas. The course was taught by two witty characters who kept it honest and told the truth about the balloon industry, which they had a love-hate relationship with. We learned a lot about classic décor, pricing, the business of balloons, and balloon drops, and I got them to cover some traditional décor. All in all, balloon school honed my skills and taught me the artistry, techniques, and business acumen required to succeed in the competitive world of event decoration. Check out my next blog as I indulge more in balloon school and my thoughts on going 100% into starting a balloon business.

 

Starting my Balloon Decorating Business:


Stuffed Balloon Easter bunny
Stuffed Balloon Easter Bunny

Armed with the knowledge and skills acquired from balloon school, I took the plunge and launched my own balloon decorating business. Unfortunately for me, Covid hit, and boom, I was like, what the hell. I had just purchased a $700 balloon stuffing machine, which was a significant investment for me as a single mother of a teenager and an Autistic child; times were already hard, and now what am I supposed to do with a seven hundred dollar machine that by the way I couldn't figure out how to use at the time. During that time I had to pivot and started no-contact deliveries, Yard surprises and I figured out how to us that expensive machine and also discovered that balloons were Pandemic proof, which doubled down on my love for this new crazy world I stepped into.

What Easter during Covid would look like for many parents was a mystery, but I watched all the comments in the Mom groups, and how so may moms still wanted to do something special for their little ones, so I offered the Easter bunnies in my area and I received an unexpected and overwhelming response. I think that I delivered over a hundred bunnies by myself that Easter; I had confetti coming out my ears, nose and butt, I didn't want to see another bunny, but glad to help so many parents still celebrate Easter during Covid. I made my money back from the buying the machine plus some and I knew I had to keep going because I was on to something.

With creativity at its core, my business quickly gained recognition, attracting clients who appreciated the unique and personalized touch I brought to every event. I quickly became the Balloon lady in my community.

 

Financial Freedom and Entrepreneurial Success


Balloon high heel sculpture
High Heel Balloon sculpture

As my business flourished, I experienced the financial freedom I had always dreamed of. About a year into my balloon-making, my daughter asked me for some money one day. I told her to give me a few days, and her response was, "You haven't said that in a while." That sounded so good to me. Before balloons, I was living paycheck to paycheck and had to tell my daughter NO quite often. Again to the idea of one passion/talent lending to another, the balloon business was solely thriving in the beginning based on people from the community who just wanted to support what I was doing, and the support led me to do $80,000 in sales with little to no advertising, my first year in business. Balloon decorating became not just a creative outlet but a thriving enterprise that allowed me to support myself and my family comfortably. The flexibility of the business also gave me the freedom to pursue my passion on my terms.

 

Conclusion:


My journey from a balloon enthusiast to a successful entrepreneur is a testament to the transformative power of pursuing one's passion. Balloon decorating school not only equipped me with the necessary skills but also opened doors to a world of opportunities. Through dedication, creativity, and a touch of entrepreneurial spirit, I achieved financial freedom while doing what I love the most—bringing joy to people's lives, one balloon at a time.

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