If I had ever seen balloon decor, I hadn't paid attention until last winter. That's when I spent some time working with Steve Paynter of Balloons by Design, in Madison, Wisconsin.
We see balloons used at grand openings, marking the way to yard sales and receptions, and falling from the ceiling during political conventions. But I had never thought about how they're used to decorate.
Balloons can be a relatively inexpensive way to turn a bland and boring meeting room into something unusual and beautiful. For brides, they can replace most those expensive flowers and make an even bigger splash. The colors are unlimited, because balloon designers combine the colors to come up with something that's just what you want. I especially like the clear balloons with the gold ones inside... classy looking.
Something else I would never have guessed - To become a Certified Balloon Artist, you have to go to school and take a test! The test includes 5 different written modules and then a live demonstration of your skills. There is also a panel of 4 professionals who quiz you and decide if you'll get the certification. In Wisconsin, there are 7 Certified Balloon Artists. In the U.S. there are about 4,000 - with a large number of them working in California.
Steve is, of course, one of the 7 Certified Balloon Artists in Wisconsin.
Steve already had a website when we got acquainted, so I helped him with a series of postcards to send to brides-to-be. I'm glad I had that opportunity because I learned a lot while getting acquainted with a great guy.
If you live in Southwest Wisconsin and have an event coming up, consider balloons - and get in touch with Steve.
Meanwhile, visit his website and see what Balloons by Design has to offer. He's got dozens of photographs posted.