Tuesday, September 22, 2020

"I never thought my profession would be a balloon artist" - Featured Artist Keren Fridman Braha, CBA

It gives me great pleasure to share Keren Fridman Braha's ballooning journey as part of my International Balloon Month - featuring Balloon Artists from around the World.

Keren Fridman Braha

Here is Keren's incredible story...

Hi, my name is Keren Fridman Braha, CBA from ISRAEL, a 37-year-old balloon artist. I have been the owner of the business called “Balloons” since 2004.

I never thought my profession would be a balloon artist. I knew that art was a part of me: from a young age I loved painting, drawing, sculpting, building models in different materials, and even designing and calculating the works I created. 

I studied architecture and art in high school and college. This was my direction, to combine my design vision in the field of real practice. In order to finance my architecture studies in college, I continued to perform with children at various events. Another hobby I always pursued was working with children: I was a summer camp instructor, organizing children's birthdays.

From the age of 17, I started working with the balloon artist Ori Livney, and through him I was introduced to the world of balloons. I fell in love with the latex material and the possibility of creating almost anything you want.

Balloon Hats by Keren Fridman Braha
Fabulous Balloon Hats by Keren Fridman Braha

From that moment on, I incorporated balloons into every friend's and family members birthday and experimented with more techniques. 

In 2004, at the age of 21, I started my own independent business.

In 2007, I decided to leave my architecture studies in favor of the balloons. I flew to the Qualatex Balloon Convention in Thailand and there I passed the CBA test.

I continued to make sure to go to all the conventions that were in Israel and even conventions abroad like at Millennium Jam in Belgium, WBC in the US, and more.  When I gave up studying architecture in favor of working with balloons, everyone looked at me with a look of 'Why?' It's unconventional, an unstable professional, can I make enough money and live like this? Even when I have a family of my own? I knew that when I want something, I go with it to the end. I decided to invest my whole being in my balloon business. Now, when classmates and friends meet me, they are proud of me as the decision to stop studying architecture, to take risks and not go the normal route of a young person. They see how successful I am and that it is definitely possible to earn very nicely, progress, persevere and be happy when going with the heart and talent.

Balloon Arch by Keren Fridman Braha
Fabulous Balloon Arch by Keren Fridman Braha
The ability to know what you are good at and capitalise on it can be a useful advantage in our lives. For me it is one of the important things, and my most important tip for everyone is - "it is to walk with the heart and not to be afraid."
I was attracted to running my own balloon business because I loved the amazing responses I received from event to event; it made me happy and I felt that creating a business of my own is exactly integrating who I am.
The art, the design, the architecture I learned, all of these combined with the patience, the desire to be happy, the desire to help others created my business: "Balloons". From year to year, I made sure to innovate, upgrade, and be better, compete in Israel and abroad in balloon competitions.

I officially opened my business in October 2004, having worked with balloons before. However, October 2004 is also the month my mother died of cancer. I decided that I would not allow myself to sink into the pain, and that my mother would want me to be strong and to keep moving forward and succeed.
I remember traveling 30 days after her death to a birthday show I organized for a 5-year-old girl. I cried the entire drive to the vent, but when I got to the parking lot, I erased the tears, put on makeup again and went inside with a smile. Why? Because that is how life is. I decided to go back to work and smile, just like my mother was, strong and happy. I decided to continue to make others happy as I know how to.

Keren Fridman Braha
Keren Fridman Braha

Since then, I have been volunteering at the Oncology Department for Children with Cancer. Making them balloons and with all the difficulty of seeing these kids, it's the greatest sense of satisfaction to know that I was able to make them smile and enjoy.

My balloon business grew and developed, and I was exposed to other areas besides working with children.
I started performing at weddings. Each time, I set myself a new destination to reach. The business grew and supported 8 employees, which now included my husband and brother.

Balloon Tree by Keren Fridman Braha
Balloon Tree by Keren Fridman Braha


The art, the precision, the perfectionism in every project, the color combinations are all reflected in both and that is why my business provides services to a wide range of clients. The combination of twisting and decor is who I am. The business grew from year to year, the revenue grew, the amount of events increased until one day my life changed. In December 2016 I contracted breast cancer. During this difficult time of my life (4 physically and mentally difficult surgeries, 16 chemotherapy treatments, participation in a research of biological medicine for a whole year) the world of balloons gave me the strength to cope, to win, to keep smiling, to keep dreaming and to march forward.

Keren and her love of balloons sees her through the treatment in hospital

Even though the business has been hit in recent years due to my illness I had, I was able to lift it back up.

This is what I do today, smiling, happy, choosing what I love most to do in my business. I have chosen to evolve and grow again at my own pace, experimenting in different directions in the art of balloons.

My biggest personal challenge I have faced since starting the business was in 2018, when I had to bring back and lead lead the business to success and re-prosperity.
The determination and desire to not give up the business despite the experience I went through made me win and succeed in reaching this goal.

In the last two years, I have led several big balloon projects while collaborating with the best balloon artists from Israel, some of whom have become like family to me.

It is important to realize that balloon collaborations are a very important part of the personal success of each balloon artist individually and of course together. The secret is to be able to choose with whom to collaborate that will complete you.


My Covid-19 challenge - As with everywhere in the world, my business was hit and many events were canceled due to Covid-19. It only took me 10 days to realize that I must change direction and adapt the business to the existing situation which no one knows when and how it will end.
I realized that balloon deliveries are a service that will go best during this period.


Custom "Stay Home" balloon by Keren Fridman Braha

People are afraid to leave, or people who can not leave their homes, big celebrations and even small ones that have been canceled. All of these situations  necessitate finding another creative solution.

"Happy Birthday" balloon delivery design by Keren Fridman Braha

I decided to invent my own design line for balloon deliveries. Balloon deliveries that will be unique to my business with a personal touch in each design.
The transition from a business that provides invested designs for large events, to a business that provides invested designs for small events has been challenging.

You need to adapt the business to a situation where the whole market is facing it and know how to make immediate changes.
Some of the changes my business went through included:

- Marketing and advertising every day.
- The target audience of the business is changing and becoming mostly private individuals near my place of residence.
- Quick and good response to every customer who contacted all media, (even when sometimes the children are at home because there is a closure).
- Getting organized in front of a new schedule of preparing each design. Know how to produce in minimum time, maximum result.
- The desire to invent new designs in order to create a wide and varied catalog of balloon deliveries.
- Our personal transportation to the entire customer's home.
- Understand that in order to earn a lot during this period, you need to create a lot of small designs instead of a few large designs.  Try to run the business similar to a delivery store and not as an event designer business (something I have not experienced before)
- Create new quality designs that will make the customer want to order again. Designs that will last a long time and without helium.
- The ability to adjust each design according to the customer's request and add a personal dedication to each design.
- And the final and most important change of all - do not give in to lowering the prices of all the competitors around you. Know how to value yourself and believe that the changes are for the better. Customers will be paid for those who value themselves.

"Happy Birthday" balloon delivery design by Keren Fridman Braha

 All of the changes my business has gone through in the last six months have allowed the business to hold steady.

On the contrary, I have had great success selling ​​over 160 new designs in 5 months!
In addition to all the balloon deliveries, the nature of the events has completely changed. Also in Israel, little-by-little, small scale private events and business events are starting to take place. I call them boutique events of only a few dozen people. At these events, my clients, who want to celebrate, pay for an invested, creative and quality design. I love these boutique events. They have a personal charm that will last forever.

 Balloon delivery design by Keren Fridman Braha

My tip to any balloon artist is to know how to adapt himself and his business to the challenging period we all experience together in a creative and appropriate way for the environment in which he lives.
The art of balloons is an integral part of our DNA.

My advice to someone new to the balloon industry would be go after your dream and make it come true. Constantly learn new techniques, experiment, understand and learn what their strengths are in the field of balloons and turning it into an advantage in your business.

Wedding Bouquet made from balloons by 
 Keren Fridman Braha

For someone to be successful in the balloon industry they will need - Talent, determination, perseverance, creativity, patience, spatial vision and high planning ability and ability to cope with changes.

What is your favourite ever design that you have made? 

It is very difficult to decide on one preferred design, there are several:
- The dress I made in the Millennium Jam competition in 2008, which consisted of 3000 uninflated balloons.
- Design, planning and execution of the circus project in collaboration with 12 balloon artists who came to volunteer with me for children with cancer.

Circus Theme Decor by Keren Fridman Braha

Circus Theme Decor by Keren Fridman Braha

- Huge colored wall

Coloured Balloon Wall by Keren Fridman Braha

- Large space wall

Space Wall by Keren Fridman Braha

Space Wall by Keren Fridman Braha

- Huge bride and groom figures in the twisting technique.

Bride & Groom by Keren Fridman Braha

- Creation of a life-size tractor with entry to small details.
- Huge organic design within different spaces of a hotel that is all an ancient and beautifully restored stone structure.
- Big entry arch with pencils design for “back to school” theme

Back to School theme Arch by Keren Fridman Braha

My favourite Qualatex balloon is the Qualatex Chrome balloon.
Balloons in these colors changed the perception towards the word “balloon” in general.

Gold Chrome Butterfly by Keren Fridman Braha

They have made the world of event design more prestigious, elegant and special, and suitable for all types of events and not just children's events.
Thanks to these colors, lots of customers add balloons to their events because it just looks like a real piece of jewelry that transmits a huge "wow"

Elegant Chrome Balloon Decor by Keren Fridman Braha


Keren Fridman Braha, CBA.



A huge thank you to Keren for sharing her incredible story. Through all the adversity in her ballooning career, Keren has always found the strength and determination to continue her journey and to grow her business, even during this COVID pandemic! 

Happy Ballooning and I hope that you are also able to ride the storms during these difficult times! 

Follow me on Instagram @suebowler





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Unknown said...

"Keren" in Hebrew means light
What "Keren" spreads around is a lot of love light and especially the miraculous wonder of living and creating, an example of life and positive energy.