Think outside the balloon!
by David Riordan
(Speedway, Indiana USA)
The seven lessons are a great resource - even if it is not a balloon business you are starting! The tips section is a great reference tool packed with, well, tips! I have never “decorated” with balloons but have twisted balloons for about 20 years. I am within two years of retiring from my job and really want to keep busy. Lessons from this course are great insight to what I will be doing in the years to come.
Once I gave a “balloon twisting” class at our local library. The Children’s Librarian called and asked if I had age requirements. I said I did not think anyone below school age would do very well. She said, “no, age requirements the other way!” I thought she meant High School age. I told her anyone school age or older would be welcome in class. The activity director from a retirement village brought 8 senior citizens to the class. They had a great time. The activity director said she was adding balloons as a regular activity! They use a pump to inflate the balloons. Because they are soft, they do not hurt older hands suffering with arthritis. It does not take a lot of strength to twist them. They can make things for their visitors. Children want to visit grand-parents in the rest home to get a balloon.
This class has given me insight and ideas to move my balloon twisting to a new level - to make it more profitable for me and for those I train to do balloons - and profitable does not necessarily mean more money. Don’t get me wrong, the money is nice - even necessary sometime...but nothing takes the place of the wide-eyed wonder of a child when they get a balloon from a grand-parent and the satisfied look on a grand-parents face when they have made something their grand-children want.
If you really want to see a satisfied proud group of older folks, go into a facility where they themselves have decorated with balloons for a Christmas, 4th of July, Valentines’s Day or a Birthday Party! Or go into a room and see a bouquet of balloon flowers that one resident has made for another. Or balloons they might give to a visitor or even a nurse!
Your classes teach much more than building a balloon business. It teaches a way to restore dignity and self-confidence in a group of people who just are not finished doing for others.
What a great class you have put together! Thank you,