Friday, December 19, 2014

District balloon design business taking off

Stay-at-home mom Crismarie Mason had wanted to start up a home-based business where she could use her skills, talents, and experiences, plus earn some extra cash, while continuing to spend quality time with her two young daughters.
Then last spring, she and her husband, Doug, launched DKM Balloon Artwist Design, which specializes in balloon decorations—everything from balloon columns and arches to bouquets, centerpieces, and balloon twisting.

“At first I had no idea what kind of business it would be,” the Emo resident admitted, though stressing she took certain considerations before beginning the business.
“It had to be something that only required a small amount of capital, would operate all throughout the year, clients would be from all walks of life, for all ages and genders, and that it would be something new—the first of its kind in the Rainy River District,” she explained.
Then one day while attending a birthday party, her eyes became fixated on the decorative balloons and her mind began reeling with ideas.
On the way home, Mason discussed her proposed business project with her husband and without any objection, they started to purchase supplies little by little so they could try out the operation on a part-time basis.
During the first week of April last year, Mason put the business name in their front window and decorated it with balloons so people who went past their home would know about their endeavour.
“Two days before Easter, my first customer came and knocked on our door and asked me to decorate their church with balloons for their Easter celebration,” she recalled.
“The church-goers liked the decorations and soon, by word of mouth, I started getting orders.”
Since then, Mason’s customers mostly have been from Emo. But now she’s ready to expand to other areas of the district and give it a “full blast” of her attention.
“It’s been going well part-time, but I’m going to take it more seriously now,” she remarked.
Mason has provided decorations for different celebrations in Emo, including several weddings, but she also can offer unique decorations and gifts for other occasions, such as baby showers, birthdays, anniversaries, bridal showers, corporate events, and all holiday festivities.
She’s currently working on designs for Valentine’s Day decorations and gifts.
Not only does Mason work with balloons in her designs, but also stuffed animals and chocolates arranged in baskets. She even can put gifts and other items inside a large balloon, which she stressed makes a “very unique” gift.
And she enjoys what she does.
“It allows me to be more creative, more artistic, and it’s very rewarding after I complete the challenge,” she explained.
The challenge is coming up with her own designs to fulfil the customer’s request. She has made all sorts of animals, such as owls, fish, butterflies, lions, horses, etc., as well as bouquets and arrangements all out of balloons.
“I just use trial and error and figure out how I’m going to make it,” she noted.
But working with balloons requires a lot of patience.
“I’ve been almost done and then it went ‘pop,’” she conceded. “So that part can be disappointing.
“But then you just keep at it.”
Mason, who acquired some graphic design experience when she lived in the Philippines, said she didn’t know she had a talent for balloon decorating until giving it a try.
“I have lots of ideas and I think people like what I’ve been doing,” she remarked, citing she’s received plenty of positive feedback.
The fees for her work varies depending on size, designs, and materials, but she believes the prices are reasonable.
“I don’t want to overcharge,” she stressed. “I just want to make a little bit of profit.”
“People might think that what I’m offering is just balloons like at the dollar store, but this is extraordinary,” she added.
For more information about DKM Balloon Artwist Design or to place an order, call Mason at 482-3973.

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