We had the good fortune of connecting with Breyona Dunlap and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Breyona, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
One thing about the bounce house and party rental industry that outsiders should know is that the field is oversaturated. We have a lot of competitors doing bounce houses illegally for insanely low prices. We also have to compete with big companies with warehouses full of bounce houses that charge a flat rate for the whole weekend. It is nearly impossible for small mobile businesses like myself to make a decent profit. We can’t charge too little because we have too much overhead ( business license, phone bill, websites, etc.) and we can’t charge too much because our competitors are too cheap. Not to mention, we also have to compete with indoor play facilities. If you are looking to start a bounce house company, please make sure you have other rentals available. Having other rentals besides bounce houses on hand is how you will make your money back. Sista, Sista’s Bounce Houses & Party Rentals, LLC has over 250 rentals and counting.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We are a small black-owned mobile party rental business company located in Decatur, Georgia. We are mostly known for our inflatables. We offer all types of inflatables from standard bouncers to 18-foot water slides. We are a one-stop-shop. We offer tents, tables, chairs, projectors, screens and more. We also offer electric riding animals ( the ones seen in the malls). The bounce house and party rentals industry is a male dominant field. If women own the companies, most not all do not handle the bounce houses; they just do the office work. My sister and I can handle most of our bounce houses ourselves. My fastest record is to fold two standard bouncers (ranges from 175-200 pounds each) in five minutes. What sets us apart from other companies that we are not tied down to just inflatables. We offer our clients everything they will need for their event. If we can’t get it, we have vendors that we use to make our client search a little easier. We are also right now the only mobile company in Atlanta that offers electric animal scooter rides. Sista, Sista’s Bounce Houses & Party Rentals, LLC is all you will ever need. I took on the responsibility of being a landlord at the age of 19. So, I had the stress of becoming an adult very early. I dropped out of Georgia State in 2015 at the age of 23 due to depression. I was not happy with my life; I was stuck at a job for 7.5 years. I felt like I was getting further and further away from my dream of being an entrepreneur. In January 2016, I didn’t have anything but $1000 in my savings account. I went to the bank for a loan, and they gave me complete hell to get a line of credit for $5,000. I wanted to hurry up and get my business started, so I did very little research on my business. I ended up making mistakes like paying people hundreds of dollars to do my legal work for my business when the average cost was only $150. At the end of 2016, I was $13,000 in debt and only pulled in $6,000 from my business. My market was so saturated. In 2016, I was a teacher and a professional babysitter but still had little support from my clients and job. It was very depressing that most, not all of my family and friends were not supporting me. In June 2018, my Honda, Accord, became flooded with water, which ended up totaling my car. My mother’s 1999 ford truck that I was using broke down, so I had to close my business down for a couple of months. In October 2018, I was blessed with a brand new truck, trailer, and new rental equipment. I give all the respect to God. This road has not been smooth, but it is well worth it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
A must-see in Georgia for a family outing is the Wild Animal Safari Inc. They are located in Pine Mountain, GA. It is a drive-thru safari park with 65 types of exotic animals, plus bus tours and walking paths. If you want to go to a bar, I would recommend the Edgewood bars. It’s a whole strip with different bars located in downtown Atlanta. My favorite restaurant to eat at is Juicy Crab. They are located all over Georgia. If you want something cater or deliver, I would recommend Amanda’s BarBeeQue and Catering Services located in Lawrenceville, GA. Their food is really good (thank me later). Downtown Atlanta has a lot to offer, a lot of bars, clubs, and restaurants are there. Piedmont Park is a pretty place to have a picnic. We also have the Georgia Aquarium, Coca-Cola factory, and the MLK museum located in downtown Atlanta. There is a lot to do in Georgia.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The first person (being) I would like to thank is GOD. I would not have made it this far without GOD being behind me 100%. The second person I would like to thank is my great grandmother, Susie. She passed away in 2011 at the age of 91. She is my biggest inspiration and supporter. Everything I do is for her. The greatest feeling is to know that she is smiling down on me. I love and miss you so much, Susie Mae Dunlap. Also, I would like to give a big shoutout to my family and friends for supporting me thus far. You guys are the driving force behind Sista, Sista’s Bounce Houses & Party Rentals, LLC! Thank You!
Anthony Lloyd Dwanye Jackson