We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicole Freeman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nicole, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Balloon decor for me started as a hobby. I wanted to do something really cool for my daughters birthday. In my research, I found balloon columns to be something cool and different to do. I also found joy in the create of the column. After a few tries free hand, I had two cute columns that my family and guest loved. The thought to move into a business came from a good friend of mine and a favor. I went back to YouTube to sharpen my skills (lol) and went to work on some nice balloon decor for her milestone birthday. After my set up was complete, the owner of the home asked me “how long I had been in business?” My response was that this was my first actual set up. With his encouragement, and a few referrals later, i realized i could make money from something that i had grown to enjoy.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I work with my clients. I don’t deal necessarily in “packaging”. I like to make all of my projects personalized. I talk to them about what i can do for them within a price range that they can afford. What i enjoy are the looks on the client and their guest faces when they see the end results of their vision coming to life. I was honored to do the balloon decor for MiMi Faust from “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta who was hosting a safari themed birthday party. The look on her face was priceless. No balloon decor is the same. I design each order based off the personal preference and needs of the client. Getting here happened fast but was not easy. YouTube is a start, but you have to invest in yourself. I take as many seminars and training sessions as I can. The information is out there. But I had to add in physical work and creativity to make my balloons stand out from others. Balloon decor has to be something that you want to AND enjoy doing. Your work shows your love for what you’ve built. It can be challenging because the average consumer doesn’t see the value in balloon decor. When you think of parties, balloons seem to be easy. That anyone can do it. This craft takes creativity and a LOT of preparation and most importantly patience. I could use inexpensive balloons, but it wouldn’t give the same look, the depth or the luster and beauty that using quality products does. It takes more than a bag of discount store balloons and 20 minutes to get beautiful decor. Along the way, I’ve found that in the era of social media, everyone does everything. You can find 100 people that works with balloon decor. The trick is to be able to do something that no one else can do. To be creative and different. I don’t want to be the rule, i want to be the exception. Because of my personal touch, my clients come back time and time again. I feel like if i continue to express my joy with balloons, clients will continue to be happy as well. I want the world to know that balloons are beautiful and can be used to express so many happy and beautiful things. They can be almost anything you want them to be. I aspire to be the “Balloon Lady”. The chick that everyone wants to go to for parties, weddings or just because they just want a balloon.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks would be our first stop. The salmon eggs rolls are the BOMB. Of course we would take our days and visit Historical Atlanta and see all of the monuments, museums and the beautiful black culture that Atlanta brings. We would also visit where I live in Dallas, Ga. Its a very homely city. Good shopping and homes with LOTS is land and green space. It’s beautiful there in the spring.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a shout-out to my village. My husband, who has been there to support my move from working in corporate America to being an entrepreneur. My sister friend, Sharell whose birthday party started the ball rolling in going into business. And to my sister and consistent supporter, Eva. She has been my rock in my business and a source of encouragement. I’m forever thankful to her for being a dependable friend.