Andrea's Beyond Balloons
About this pro
Experience: We've been pioneering the Industry (continually stretching the envelope of what is possible thru new creations/approaches/innovation). Creativity: We Co-Create with the Client (specifically designing for each and every event) what we eventually end up with which truly reflects and is symbolic of what the Client's Theme...and is Magical & Memorable. Innovation: We are willing to try things which have never been done before...and we have successfully Experimented for numerous events doing just that. Our being allowed to be involved with our Client's most personal and intimate moments of importance (personal or business) and being able to create ambviances/entertainment/effects which truly are memorable for generations. I personally love the challenges involved in the Co-Creation (with the Client) process. Committed to raising people's consciousness as to what is truly possible with the balloon medium which most still think of as just a "bunch of balloons". WE CREATE MEMORIES!
36 years in business
- What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?Of course. I like bringing in other mediums (like Lighting/LEDs/Tulle for adding Pizzaz to Decor or Special Effects...Costumes for dressing Balloon Mannequins...always researching various Themes to come up with new ways of being creative...and certainly keeping
- How did you get started doing this type of work?While I was a Psychology Major @ the University of Maryland I designed an experiment were-in we decided to use animal balloons for it (my first time experience with them) and I love to work with my hands and use to sing and swim...so I had no trouble inflating them by mouth. Well I had opportunities to make things with them during the course of the experiment run & was given all of the left over balloons afterwards. It became a hobby/art form since then. A # of years later I was told by world class magicians/clowns that they hadn't seen anything like the level of artistry that I was creating with balloons and that I should make it a business. I had been a Broker for 4 years...then went into counciling teen age boys on probation in a group home (to experience my love for psychology and what I had gotten a degree in) & finally was in a program @ Office of Personal Management (jumping 2 grades a year). During those years I also had participated in LifeSpring (TC-12) & later Actualizations ("Self Developement/Transformational" Workshops that I even participated in building those communities over a # of years). I found myself desiring being a "Workshop Conductor" who could contribute to people's transformation & benefit their lives...and what I had observed was that those whom I respected the most had gotten to the tops of their respective fields and then were able to transfer over their living experiences into those whom they were contributing towards their developement in a deeper more profound way. So I asked myself: "What could I become the very best in the world in?"...and I was immediately given a insight/vision/ah ha moment of Balloons...and at that time I saw it only as a "stepping stone" to my developing myself into eventually becoming a Workshop Conductor. So, I committed to doing Balloons every day for an entire year (mostly for free...on the subway, at church(s), etc.) developing my craft...and then I had 2 major offers...1 being the Ramada Renaissance La Martene Lounge (Wash., DC) where I was to decorate differently every day during the work week for Happy Hour & Entertain at the Night Club as well (lasted for 2 1/2 years) & 2 working weekends & holidays mostly entertaining (& decorating) for Rosenthal Datsun (later Nissan) in Tyson's Corner, VA...so I left the Gov't/OPM just before jumping from GS 11 to GS 13 (a lot of $ & a very secure job with benefits...please know that I know I would have made far more $ having stayed with the Gov't. & still am thankful that I have chosen the path I have)...to begin "Beyond Balloons"...which shortly thereafter became "Andrea's Beyond Balloons". Basically...it was a hobby that got out of hand and became a Profession ;-). This was at a time where there wasn't even a term "Balloon Artist/Entertainer". I felt like and envisioned myself as being the "Johnny Appleseed" of the Balloon Industry (which also was in it's infant stages) & had the following as my Inspiration/Foundation: My purpose was to raise people's consciousness to what was possible with this medium...and I would do so by being "cutting edge" & creating at least 3 new things every year that would push the evolution of the industry...& that if I ever got a request for something I didn't know how to make ... that I would be able to do so the next time I was asked. I really didn't make nearly what I had been making @ OPM...however...whenever one is "Pioneering"...one is Driven by a Vision/Dream...fueled by Inspiration/Passion...Committed to Integrity,Service, Quality & Excellence...Developed/Matured by Experience/Innovation/Creativity...and Sourced by Spirit/Love/Joy" These have been and still are "Values" which I am Grateful for.
- What types of customers have you worked with?As I started with focusing on Adults...developing what would be sophisticated and interesting enough to move, touch or inspire their attention/appreciation for sustained times (which also leads to children who find that they can be in Awe when they experience "Wonderland" & yet can be quite happy with simpler presentations/offerings...I would offer the following in Priority: Corporate/Formal Events/Galas...Teen Events (Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Quinceaneras, Graduations)...Family/Children's Events/Birthdays...Weddings, Grand Openings/Picniks...Community/Malls/Public/Political/Arena Events...Charity/Fundraisers/Non-Profit/Church/Religious Institutions (and a very few Funerals where the only way I will be in service to one is if I am pre-designated by the deceased either directly or in their will) ... basically Celebrations of all kinds...since I have been one of a very few who have developed all 3 arenas of Balloon Entertainment, Decor & Special Effects to a very high level (one of the best Internationally in all 3 arenas)...I find that I can apply creatively between the various domains I have mastered. One reason why my clients love to have me involved in both their business/family/personal lives over years. While I do a higher percentage of Decor than Entertainment (& occasionally Special Effects which can actually be done as a part of my Entertainment...simply done in a Group/Collective Format vs. Individual Give away) this is due to my having trained and developed those who can assist me or independantly complete whatever I plan out for them multiple events simultaneously ... while there is truly only one of "me" & once people experience me they usually don't want to go for those who even charge less and can't do what I do (I have entertainers who are wonderful and whom I book for events as well...including excellent Balloon Artists)...however, I am the "show stealer" whenever their are multiple entertainment acts...and always have the longest lines. I have had adults stand 4 hours in line @ black tie events.