This month we profile another business in the party industry, Karen from Balloons Infinity. Karen has always liked balloons and when her youngest son was turning 5 she wanted to do something different for his birthday. Karen says ‘I did some research and quickly realised there was a lot more to balloons than just helium balloons so I decided to have a go at making him a character. I started with something simple first and after many, many failed attempts at twisting a simple flower I finally had success. After that, I slowly worked my way up to more difficult creations like cartoon and Disney characters. I started off for a bit of fun making balloon sculptures for my kids, and to give as unique gifts to my friends and relatives. It wasn’t long and people started telling me how good they were and that I should do them for birthday parties and should consider selling them. After thinking long and hard and discussing it with my family Balloons Infinity was born. I decided on the name Balloons Infinity as I quickly realised what you can do with balloons is infinite!”
What products do you specifically create?
I make all different types of balloons, from foil and helium balloons to arches and twisted sculptures. At the moment I do a lot of christening and first birthday balloon sculptures and in the last twelve months or so have made a number of very large (three feet wide) helium balloon table decorations at places like the national wine centre and other reception venues. There are a lot of people that may twist balloons for kid’s parties but some of the complicated sculptures I make can take hours. A positive for me is that a large percentage of my customers come from repeat business or word of mouth from customers who have been referred to me by existing happy customers. I pride myself on offering a one on one service to all my customers, meaning I am the one who will answer your calls/emails, I am the one who will make and or design your balloon creation/s and I am the one who will deliver and set up your order. Quite often people are unsure of what they are looking for so I will send designs to them so they can visualise what their idea may look like. As part of that I was actually approached by a balloon business in the USA who now pay me for the use of my designs on their website.
Explain a typical start to finish process in your business.
The start to finish process for my work depends on what has been ordered and when it is needed. From order to delivery can take days or sometimes weeks. I start by answering the customers call or email, if they are not sure what they want I will create some designs and give them some ideas or if they know exactly what they want I will give them a price. They then confirm the order with me. As 95% of my orders are done on line I invoice them to let them know when and how much they need to pay as a deposit to secure their order. After a confirming deposit has been paid I prepare for the job by making sure I have the balloons and other items I need. Helium balloons are made the day of the event but most other balloon creations and sculptures are made the day before. I do this so if there are any faulty balloons or leaks they will show up overnight and I can replace these balloons before the order goes out or I deliver the items. Once the creations have been checked and any faulty balloons replaced people then either come to pick them up or they are put in protective travel bags and loaded into the delivery car. At the delivery address they are carefully unloaded from the car and set up where the customer has requested.
What’s been your favourite or memorable party you’ve serviced to date and why?
There have been so many memorable balloons and events and I really enjoy what I do, from launching a balloon sculpture into the air for an online story for dogecoin, to being part of a balloon release for a memorial service. I have made everything from Scooby Do to the Smurfs and grand final mascots. I once made a giant spider that covered the whole of my front lawn for Halloween. If I had to nominate one though I think that my most memorable balloon creation would probably have to be the huge burlesque mask I made for the Australian Craniofacial Foundation ball a couple years ago. The mask was 3m/300cm high and 5.5m/550cm wide it was so huge it had to be picked up by a removal truck. So much work but very satisfying and for a great cause.
You can see more and get in contact with Balloons Infinity below: