Monday, December 30, 2013

Our final 2013 review - 2013 was it a good year for the balloon industry?

Wow another year almost over, and 2014 is ready to spring into action! A time to reflect on what has been and to prepare ourselves for the new year ahead!

So it gives me great pleasure to introduce our final reviewers David Mahoney, Balloons Everyday, Dallas, Texas  & Rachel Porter CBA, Balloon Splendor, Seattle.

I specifically asked David and Rachel to review their balloon businesses over the past year because they have both been huge contributors to Qualatex Facebook groups throughout 2013, offering stellar advice, support and help to fellow members and felt it appropriate that they should conclude this blog ...and I can assure you that both reviews make fantastic reading, filled with great information and advice!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Part 2 of our review - 2013 was it a good year for the Balloon Industry?

As we know many parts of the world are still struggling with recession, so I asked two balloon companies from Europe to talk about their 2013 and whether or not the current economic climate had effected their businesses?

Elegant Shopping Mall Decor by Party Land Spain

Firstly we visit Spain and Laura Lozano CBA, of Party Land Spain.

Laura opened Party Land as the first "one stop" party supplies and balloon decor store in Madrid in February 2005 and today already has almost 20 franchised shops across Spain, where you can find everthing in order to make a party festive, whatever the theme. In its own, separate world inside Party Land, you can find all sorts of balloon bouquets for any occasion, from the simplest forms to the most elaborate designs. Only one month after opening her first shop, Laura learned the importance of training in balloon decor to set her business apart and has attended numerous industry events such as WBC, Oxford and BACI, where she became CBA in March 2009.  
Laura with Luc Bertrand at BACI 2011.

Friday, December 13, 2013

2013 was it a good year for the balloon industry?

It is when the year is coming to a close we look back and consider how it was for us and our business's?

With many countries in recession and others in the very early stages of recovery, it is always hard to feel optimistic during these periods, however, it has also been proven that in recession people party harder, birthdays and celebrations are still extremely important and although they may not always be on a grand scale they certainly are still looking for balloons and decor to brighten up their events!

Superstition has also played a big role this year with many wedding couples opting not to get married in 2013, some business's have seen their wedding sales drop by more than 30%! 

Helium shortages has also been very challenging, but I believe that many balloon business's have adapted really well, dug deep and found great air-filled solutions, a trend that I believe will grow and grow.

To get a better overview of how 2013 has been for balloon business's around the world, I asked a few of our Qualatex Facebook Group members to help me, I will be posting their responses over the next few days.

I would like to start with Joette's Giardina of Party People Celebration Company.

Party People Celebration Company is a family run business based in Lakeland Florida. Joette  started creating balloon decor for friends, church groups and family in 2000. In December 2003, she expanded her business and became the new owner of Party People Celebration Co., a Special Event and Balloon Decorating Company.
In August 2008 Joette became a Certified Balloon Artist, an internationally recognized certification through Qualatex.

Joette Giardina, Owner Party People Celebration Company
Lakeland, Florida
Joette & Brian Giardina

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Christmas Snowman - Step By Step by Sue Bowler - updated

Balloon Snowmen by BalloonArtbySueBowler -
Colourful Snowmen by Sue Bowler, CBA.

A few winters ago during one very snowy day, when snowed into our home, I decided to make a collection of snowmen for my garden (picture below). I expect many of you will remember the picture! They were amazing. They lasted for two weeks — long after the snow had melted. These little guys were made from 5" balloons, and with their brightly coloured hats and scarves, they looked fabulous! 

Balloon Snowmen by Sue Bowler

I have since gone on to create many different sizes and variations and have now created an easy to follow step-by-step recipe.

Material List:  All Qualatex balloons, of course!

8 x 5" White (double stuffed for the water weight base)
1 x 16" White
1 x 12" White QuickLink™ Balloon
1 x 11" Printed balloon for the hat
1 x 260Q or 350Q for the hat
1 x 260Q for the scarf 
1 x 5" Orange for the nose - or you can draw the nose.
1 x 5" for the pompom if you want to add a pompom to the hat!


1. To give this design stability, I use four water-weights at the base. You could use sand weights if you prefer. I size the balloons to measure approximately 3" or 7cm's.
2. I recommend that you use a White 16" balloon for the body and use an Apple Twist to give it a more donut-like shape. Add 260Qs at each end of the donut-twisted balloon to allow you to connect the body to the base and the head to the body. 
3. Inflate the 12" White QuickLink balloon for the head. Make sure that it is in proportion to the body! Connect the head to the body.
4. For the nose, you can either under-inflated a 5" orange balloon and connect this to the face using a r
Raisin Twist, glue dot, or draw on a carrot-style nose.
5. The eyes, mouth, and cheeks have been added using a pen (see below for detail). If you have a die-cutter, such as a Silhouette Cameo, you could cut out the eyes and mouth.
6. To make the hat, use an 11" balloon. I like using polka dots as they look really fun. Create an Apple Twist in the hat balloon and secure this to the head using the link.
7. Inflate either a 260Q or a 350Q to wrap around the hat to create the brim. Connect using a pinch twist and remove any excess balloon.
8. Use a 260Q to create a scarf to wrap around the snowman's neck.

Pens for face - the Pink pen that I use for the cheeks is a ZIG Art & Graphic Twin. It has a double end with one end almost like a paintbrush.
The other pens are Sharpies and edding markers, for the eyes and mouth.

Snowmen faces, hand-drawn by Sue Bowler

If you have never made a snowman before, you will love making this design! 

Happy Ballooning!