January 24, 2014
When I hand someone my colorful business card, inevitably I hear the same thing. “BALLOONS!, How fun! How did you get into doing balloons for a living?” No, really, Inquiring minds want to know! Ok, so hear it is…the tale of how we decided as a couple to become entrepreneurs.
My husband worked at a Pittsburgh party store during his college years and learned about balloons. While working there a fellow store employee asked him to dress up as a beloved childrens’ character and show up at her door with balloons. This favor blossomed into a lucrative side-business for him, and as his girlfriend I was the lovely assistant who would tag along to work the boom box while he entertained the kids. His love of entertaining and magic led to an interest in making balloon art. As Dave tells children who ask about how he got started, he went to the local library and checked out as many books as he could on the subject. Once he learned the basics he practiced and let his imagination go wild. This fun hobby led to more and more requests for balloon art. After college Dave worked in real estate and property management for many years never really feeling a connection to the work. One day he expressed the desire to work for himself and decided to take his avocation to the next level.
Dave approached his friend who was a clown and fellow balloonist and they decided to join forces to start their own company, Airheads Balloon Art. With their respective wives they formed the company and began booking entertainment gigs. The balloon business was soon inflating into balloon deliveries and decorating. As the company grew the other couple decided to leave our business to focus on other interests and their growing family. Dave and I decided to move forward and keep the business growing and in 2002 we purchased another balloon business, Balloons Over Pittsburgh which at the time was Pittsburgh’s oldest balloon business.
Over the next ten years, we saw highs and lows in the market and have learned a great deal about being entrepreneurs. As a couple we learned the value of ownership, hard work and flexibility in raising a family. In our life Airheads Balloon Art is more than what we do during the day to earn a paycheck…it is about creating something. We love working with our clients to create an immersive experience with balloons. We love seeing people’s reactions to what we have created and being a part of their important life events. Whether it is decorating a grand hall for a wedding or gala, marking an important milestone with a balloonicature of the guest of honor or delivering a cheerful bouquet to a sick friend, we love being a part of bringing joy to people’s lives.
“Do what you love”, sounds cliché, but essentially it is what we do. Being creative and bringing joy to people’s lives…yes, that is what do “for a living”. What can we do to help you celebrate life today?