Spotlight On: Balloons and Cream
Balloons and Cream is the go-to company for all things parties, events and celebration!
Founded by Lorraine and Tawa, two Black Women with big dreams and a penchant for party-throwing, it is a business born out of love for a good celebration.
Having grown up in a family that loved a good event, Lorraine and Tawa possess a natural passion for a well-thrown party. And they know exactly how to execute one; prior to founding their business, they were often asked how their parties got to be so great!
Their natural flair for hosting led them to found Balloons and Cream - a bouncing board from which to provide an amazing experience to many others through styling events, and making everybody’s special day magical.
When reflecting on starting up their business, Lorraine and Tawa share that it was something that came very naturally to them - they were good at it and they loved it! They knew what people liked, they knew how to do more than just decorate a venue - they knew how to make a party into an experience worth having.
"If you've had a really bad day and you walk into a really great party; your surroundings are beautiful and the atmosphere is amazing...all your troubles melt away and you can have the time of your life"
"When we’re styling an event, we do so as if it were ours. We think, ‘If this was my 16th birthday party, what would I want? A nice backdrop to take photos with my friends? Décor in my favourite colour?' We meet with our clients and deliver what they want and more – we know how to throw a good party! It’s all about executing an experience!"
How Did You Turn Your Business Vision Into A Reality?
At hearing our question, Lorraine warmly props up to praise Tawa for her innovation and vision - she tells us that her co-founder is amazing, clever and learnt everything she knows all by herself.
Side by side, they learnt to style and craft balloons through You-Tube tutorials - they are both filled with laughter when they reminisce on the days when it would take hours on end and all types of glue to form balloon designs that now take them 25 minutes!
"It's all about mastering your craft...I pick things apart, look at the step-by-step, recreate...but most importantly make things personal and unique to our brand" - Tawa
Lorraine curiously tells us that when Balloons and Cream started up, balloons as décor wasn't a popular thing - now it's all over social media, it's a style that has blown up and people love! It's also become a competitive market, which is why Balloons and Cream pride themselves on being a high quality, bespoke brand all about the client's needs. Lorraine humorously says the Kardashians are to blame for!
Their vision for the future is all about growth - they want to be a household name all over the world. Balloons and Cream is a brand that has the potential to be at the top of their industry and Lorraine and Tawa know it.
Establishing their brand hasn't been without difficulty - the COVID-19 pandemic caused them to take a financial hit. With a lack of parties and events, came a fall in clients. Lorraine and Tawa, however, do not see it as a loss...
They feel refreshed about moving forward, and providing people with beautiful, bespoke events to enjoy after such a difficult period. They've also taken time to plan forward and adapt; they now have a contactless balloon-drop service which provides an alternative way to celebrate a milestone.
They love the fact that people are now finding new, beautiful ways to have a good time - garden parties have been a huge hit!
Advice For Aspiring Entrepreneurs
A lot of people get hung up on the idea that they're not good enough or that what they want to do just won't work - but the most important thing with anything is just to take the leap and start! Don't spend time thinking you're not smart or good enough.
Things might not always go to plan...Lorraine and Tawa share a story with us of when they learnt an important business lesson. On a day in which they had two events with similar balloon colourings, they underestimated how many balloons they actually need for a venue and when their client asked for more they provided! They soon realised that they did not have enough for their next event with only 30 minutes to get there. They luckily managed to get the correct balloons delivered by Tawa's father-in-law (who brought them every colour, shape and style of balloon he could find!) and they worked hard to make sure that the event was done perfectly for their client despite the hiccups. So...
Be prepared to work hard.
Some people just give up because they don't make a profit or 'blow' straight away - it's so easy to get caught up on negative comments or issues within your own team but you must learn to differentiate your business from your personal life.
There's always a beautiful journey ahead when you believe in your dream...