Saturday, 5 March 2016


I started getting a bit restless at not being able to do more clients but thinking of something that I could do with my health related problems and also being home for the children was becoming a bit of a challenge. Then one day while chatting to one of my clients about my situation she jokingly said that I ought to go into the balloon business as you could not get anything lighter than a balloon. The seed was planted and I started finding out all I could about helium balloons for events. This was before you could just tap into 'Google' and find out anything you wanted to know.
The client who had given me the idea of a balloon business ran a successful local bridal shop. She also did balloon decorations for her brides weddings but was struggling to manage both. I think you can probably guess what happened next.
The deal was done and I went along with them to a few weddings to learn all about my new business. I went on a number of courses to learn even more about balloon decorating and the business well and truly took off (literally).
The balloon business went from strength to strength and I won some awards along the way -

  • 1991 Runner up Nottingham Evening Post “Business Woman of the Year”
  • 1996 Vice President of North Nottinghamshire Business Women's Network
  • 1998 North Nottinghamshire Winner “Business Woman of the Year”
But the dark clouds were starting to roll in slowly but surely. I was in a serious amount of pain not only in my lumber spine but also in my cervical spine. I saw a specialist who advised another spinal surgery on my cervical spine using bone from my hip to fuse it together. So I had to plan well ahead when the best time would be for me to have the surgery.
This was difficult as I had brides booked for 1 and 2 years ahead for their weddings. But what I did have a great team behind me and with the help of them and my family I sailed through my third spinal surgery and it wasn't long before I was back in the saddle and back to normal. 
I expanded into Christmas Tree hire for the winter months as apart from the odd bookings for bunches of balloons for birthdays/anniversaries etc the business went much quieter over the winter period. 
The Christmas Tree hire business took off well and we also decorated the trees for them which were mainly used in Hotels etc but the repeat business gave us a lot of work when things were quiet.
My health started to suffer (again) and I had to have further surgery to my lumber spine, using a new technique which involved having a cage put in my spine with nuts and bolts to support it all.
Sadly this time everything did not go according to plan, and I ended up needing surgery for a massive haematoma in my stomach and then ended up in hospital for nearly three months with an infection.
My children both had cars so they managed to hold the fort and work with my other to keep the business running. But it really affected my confidence and I really worried about things going wrong and felt I was really letting the brides down when I had assured them that I would be personally decorating their events.
My family saw me slipping and together decided to sit me down, and made a suggestion that maybe this was the time to retire. After ten years of seeing the business going from strength to strength and winnings lots of awards on the way I truly did NOT want to give it up, but deep down I knew it was the right thing to do.
Now the helium balloon business's do far more technical things with exploding confetti bombs and balloon sculptures and although I don't think it's as popular for weddings now as it was back then, decorating venues for events will always be a good business to work in. The list of different types of decorations you could go into is long and I will cover some others at a later date. 
As I have written before on most of my posts, a good business plan is essential and help with funding for something like this could be found through websites like Gov UK, or Business Angels, Crowd Cube, or UK Business Angels Association.  If you look you will find funding is available for new business start ups no matter what part of the country you live in. With the right pitch and business plan you could soon find help available.  Thinking of a catchy name for this sort of business is also essential. I called mine 'Bubbles Balloons' and was known as 'Bubbles' by most of my clients.
In the next post I will cover the basics to start an event decoration business.

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