Last week I asked members of the QBN (Qualatex Balloon Network) Facebook Group if they would kindly share how they set up their working and storage area's and any tips that they might have, I was overwhelmed by the number of responses that I received and felt that they should all be included.
Jenny Murphy of Red Balloon shares her top tips:
My local sweetshop was a huge help, they supplied me with empty haribo boxes! All my balloons are stored in these. For my most popular balloons we keep them in a pick and mix stand closest to the workstation so they are always at hand. The balloon boxes are stored on IKEA shelving according to size, brand and occasion.
For our wire, poles etc we have large brackets on the wall at different heights. This has made life so much easier to organise and work with.
I bought 3 x Single wardrobe carcasses from IKEA and put wire drawers in one (for ribbons, weights and fabrics), plastic drawers in the middle one (4 for modelling balloons and 4 for foils / bubbles) and the last one just has shelves.
For my latex I have linbins wall mounted on a rack which means I can change the order around as often as I like.
Ruti Grodzinsky of Designed by Ruti.
|Ruti's Balloon Cupboard|
I love Ina Grounds Blazer CBA of Blazers Party Creations quote "a place for everything and everything in it's place"!
Latex in containers. Large containers have 11" and the small container on top has 5".
The shelves have a small tag with a colored balloon and the name. Tags on the containers have a colored balloon (matches the shelf color) and the Qualatex number and the size of the balloon. Tags for the 5" are on the bottom of the container. A place for everything and everything in its place!
Ribbon on shelving units. Specialty ribbon on one shelf and qualatex #40 #9 and matching curling ribbon on the other shelf.
Ina's ribbon shelve are slightly angled up in front so ribbon stays put. "I have been told I have too much ribbon but there is room for more. guess I better get shopping"!
Note from Sue: You can never have too much ribbon, I love ribbon!
I also use a plastic bin to store everything long... including floral bamboo canes, cellophanes, magmover poles, the list is endless!
Stuart Davies of Balloons & Parties of Tonyrefail
The work area is built around a staircase that I opened up even further... as I use this space for practising with the Mag Pole and larger items, and hanging bags of balloons down. 1st picture...Storage of balloons. OLD Sweet tubs...cost FREE!
I have colour coded them into standard, fashion etc using vinyl, and then they have a label identifying them in large print, as well as the colour of balloon glued to the outside.... I find identification so much easier....PLUS it looks really good for the customer.
I also put the Qualatex Order numbers on each of the tubs, so I only have to lift the tub to see whats in it, and I can also see the order number, saves going in the catalogue!
The space I wanted for display really dictated my creation space, therefor the 2 long thin black counters are actually above thin air! or the landing area looking down to the shop of the ground floor. The Precision Air is at the bottom, Duplicator 2 in the centre and the Dual Sizer is on the big counter..... we can have three people working on any mixture of balloons at one time, and it has worked.
The actual width of these work areas is just 12", but we have the markings for bouquets on them, and have used curtain rails for holding the ribbons, from.... you guessed it...IKEA! I have also used the same rails for the Vinyl and Tulle, underneath the counter.
Behind the two counters is a drop of about 16 or 17 feet to the ground floor.... We have screwed the Qualatex Peg Weights to the top edge of the counter, and suspend the large Decor Balloon Bags from it. We recently had over 200 balloons inflated to 10" hanging down the void!! not getting in anyones way!
Wow, what awesome ideas, information and tips! A huge thank you to Jenny, Yvonne, Ruti, Ina and Stuart for their great input!
Happy Ballooning everyone!