Have you seen these cheery, giant balloons with flowing tails? If so, you have Jen Korney, creator of Balloonatic to thank! She's been busy spreading balloon love all over town. Her creations are a hit from store fronts to birthday parties and any celebration in between. They add an instant wow factor with their giant 36" size and colorful custom-made tails! Having had the pleasure of getting to know this fun-loving gal in person and via social media, I can tell you that her bright balloons and sunny disposition are an absolute treat. Being an incredibly positive, fun and encouraging entrepreneur, I just had to feature her on Our Collective Muse. Today we talk balloons, life and parties. I mean, is there anything better?
1. You're custom balloons have made appearances locally. Do you have a favorite event or celebration that you loved seeing them at?
So tricky! If I had to pick (which I really had a hard time doing), I would have to say that I have most enjoyed the times where I have a photographer call on my services. I have had the chance to work with some (maybe most?) of the city's most talented snappers (including you ma'am) and I always feel so grateful that someone is going to capture them the way they truly are....wild, unpredictable, breezy, weird, artsy, flowy, and everything in between. There are still some local photographers I have yet to work with....hopefully soon though! Plus, everyone has been so grateful and shared images with me after, something I can't even put a value on....I credit them for helping me grow my business to where it is today!
2. How did your dream business all begin?
One night, sitting on the couch, I stumbled upon a gal from LA who is the pioneer you could say, of giant balloon popularity. Having spent many of my younger working days planning weddings and events from the venue side, I've had the pleasure of seeing all sorts of decor options. NEVER had I come across this, and my mind was blown. Within a few minutes, I was furiously googling everything I could about the local talent in balloons (or lack there of, in the wild and new category). Every city has someone who makes balloon animals (we love you Warrenn), balloon arches, and balloon bouquets. But nothing I hadn't seen before. So.....I called the guys at Bazaar and Novelty and bombarded them with a million questions! Do they sell these types of balloons, how do I order them, how much is helium, how do I get it.....I knew nothing. The name, the branding, the social media account securing and some serious trial and error followed. I had never made a tassel tail before, and swore I wouldn't go the Pinterest route. Nothing against it, I just wanted to make it my own, be original from the starting gate. Learn how. Took me a while to come to where I am now and I still have plenty to learn. I want this to have longevity.
3. Any advice for budding entrepreneurs?
My husband, at the start, thought I was nuts. I probably was. But I knew in my gut that this was something unique, and I knew I had the drive to pull it off. I convinced him of the same . So my advice would be to think the idea through, then dig your heels in. Drive to succeed will make even the craziest business models work.
4. How do you find balance with family, career and Balloonatic?
Is that possible? Most days I feel like I am on the edge on insanity, but with that is a weird sense of feeling like it's all a ticking clock. I am lucky to have amazing employers at my "career" job, a family that allows me to hide in my studio for hours at a time, and answer emails after kids are bathed, and friends and clients who continually amaze me with their word of mouth and support. Wow. I am lucky!
5. Do you have any party decorating tips or tricks or trends you love?
Where do I start! I love the wild and obscure. I find it amazing to sift through the creativity out there right now. Instagram is my guilty pleasure, and I spend hours a week, flicking through the most amazing feeds. Currently, I am obsessed with @papierdamour (an Australian paper goodies market), @HeidiMooreGill (Australian owner of Bespoke Balloonery -- my inspiration I would say), and @heygorgeevents (I've read she's OCD, and it shows, but in the most amazing way possible. Event perfection). So I think I would sum myself up as being less involved in trends, and more into sources of inspiration these days.
6. With wedding season around the corner, how do brides incorporate your gorgeous pieces into their big day?
- Floating giant balloons to the venue ceiling, with lots of frill tails hanging or draping provides big impact to a drabby venue.
- Balloons for wedding party is always a great way to add pop (not actual pop, because that would be bad) to photo sessions
- Giant letter and number balloon possibilities are endless -- spell out a special word, or use your initials placed above the cake table, or head table
- Big balloons hung above the dance floor (a colourful alternative to the lantern trend) or even placed around the dance floor like big orbs.
- build your own flower arrangement station. I want an excuse to do one. Besides balloons I would say flower arranging is one of my second favorite hobbies.
Want to see more? Click the photo above!
Funny thing, as I was writing this post and admiring the photos, a light bulb went off. These giant balloons would fit in perfectly at a party I'm throwing this weekend. I stopped typing just long enough to place an order! Thanks so much for your time, Jen and to Little Black Dress Photography for the use of these beautiful photos!