Gloria Brown’s new career is on the rise with the launch of her new business, Bella Balloons and Creations, at 122 Jones Road in Wellongate Shopping Plaza.
Brown retired last year from the cable industry.
“I got bored and needed to figure out something to do,” she said, adding that she thought taking a balloon class in Wilson might be fun.
“I was amazed to find out all the things you could do with balloons,” Brown said, and she decided to name her business after her 7-year-old granddaughter, Bella.
Brown said she offers different balloon creations such as yard signs, arches, garlands and columns, which are built on a pole and base. Balloon arches take about two hours to make.
Birthdays, weddings, graduations and proms are all occasions that Brown said are enhanced with balloons, which she can have made with photographs on them.
“I can order custom backdrops or decorate ones that people have,” Brown said, who can also create balloon centerpieces to brighten up tables.
Brown said she can get balloons in any color and keeps the basic colors in stock. Orders should be made at least two weeks in advance, but if a custom color is required, Brown said she can match it — but more than two weeks would be needed.
She said customers need to show her, not tell her, what colors they want.
“I’ve had people tell me they want ‘blue,’” Brown said. “Do you know how many shades of blue there are?”
Her most challenging color request, she said, was a particular neon green, which was needed to match a monster display. It took Brown five tries to find the perfect match.
Brown works with both air and helium balloons but said air is used in the sculptures and is more popular. Keeping the environment in mind, Brown said she advises customers to pop their helium balloons after use and put them in the trash, rather than release them.
Brown also has a 360 photo booth, which she says is popular to rent at parties because it takes moving videos of participants.
“People are just fascinated with balloons,” Brown said, “and I think they just make people happy.”
Bella Balloons and Creations is on Facebook under Bellaballoonsandcreationsllc. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday and by appointment only on Monday.