If you’ve never had the pleasure of talking with the owners of Rainbow Balloon Company, you are missing out. Jessica and Mary Lou have personality, creativity, and energy like you wouldn’t believe! Together, this female-owned company is one of Birmingham’s best balloon enterprises with over 35 years of combined experience in this field.
Born into the Balloon Business
Jessica was literally born into the balloon business. Her father (local legend Bob Sults) started his balloon business BOBalloons — formerly Balloon World — in 1979. Jessica was always front and center at the shop. In fact, she learned to count by helping out with balloon orders at her dad’s business.
Mary Lou has also worked in the balloon business for many years. Additionally, she’s worked in retail and owned her own clothing boutique.
A Chance Meeting
A few years ago, Mary Lou and Jessica ran two competing balloon companies but didn’t know one another personally. They ran into each other in a local Halloween store of all places and immediately hit it off! Even with competing businesses, there grew a mutual respect for one another as well as opportunities for collaboration.
Fast forward a few years, and Jessica and Mary Lou found themselves set up right next to each other at UAB’s Homecoming. Jessica later needed Mary Lou’s help with her Christmas Village booth. Both were struggling with busy schedules from constant balloon orders and both needed more help. They finally decided to collaborate and merge officially in January 2019. And the rest, as they say, is history!
Designers of the Year
In January of this year, 2020 looked especially bright for these two women. They entered and won Designer of the Year at the Float Convention (an international, multi-day balloon competition). In case you don’t realize it, this is a BIG deal! These Birmingham boss ladies blew away the competition with their balloon skills (not to mention their crazy story of cancelled flights, re-directed flights, rental cars, bad weather, and no sleep . . . and still won)!
In January, they were on cloud nine. But by March . . . the world shut down due to COVID-19, and their balloon burst (how’s that for a segue)?!
A Covid Pandemic Success Story
Everyone struggled in those early months because of the shut down, quarantines, and lost business. The Rainbow Balloon Company was down $100,000 in revenue. They realized they had to pivot, or they would lose everything.
Mary Lou and Jessica suddenly thought to add yard art to their repertoire. Yard art became the unsung hero of the pandemic. How many of us participated in drive-by birthday parties, graduation celebrations, and retirement parties in recent months? I’d be willing to bet the majority of us have. When in-person and indoor gatherings were suddenly no longer an option, yard art and balloon art came to the rescue.
While most people in the service and event industry have seen business dwindle, the Rainbow Balloon Company is soaring high. This year, they’ve helped celebrate births, engagements, schools welcoming back students in August . . . you name it, they’ve been there!
The Rainbow Balloon Company’s colorful happy art brings the *wow factor* to this otherwise gray time. Jessica and Mary Lou exude joy, and it’s evident in all their creations!
Want to get on their schedule? Contact them online, fill out the form, and be sure to let us know what creation you chose for your big event!