Party Line: A Ballooning Beginning

When I first discovered balloons as a child, I was simultaneously learning how to fill them with water and find the most inconspicuous hiding place to launch my artillery.

But did you know the first balloon was discovered by way of a hydrogen experiment in 1824? While a much wiser Professor Michael Faraday at the Royal Institute of London discovered balloons, he noted the elasticity of the unvulcanized rubber he was working with had “considerable ascending power,” reported Patrick Robertson in “Robertson’s Book of Firsts.” The following year, toy balloons hit the market in DIY kits.

Almost 200 years later, balloons are filling the sky as part of the famous Macy’s Parade each Thanksgiving, they’re being released in symbolic homage to loved ones, dropped around the world at New Year’s Eve parties — they’re being used for countless occasions worldwide.

Balloon art has even become the décor du jour of contemporary event decorating and design; a great opportunity for party store sales, marketing and merchandising; and a viable art form that people live their lives by.

With so many reasons to celebrate balloons, this annual Balloon Issue of Party & Paper Retailer is one of my favorites.

We’ve packed this issue with new Balloon Recipes, a chronicling of Maple City Rubber, which is celebrating its 100th year in the balloon industry (happy birthday!), and a special article from Pioneer Balloon Company’s Amanda Dolechek which details ways to add value and profits using balloons in your store.

In this issue, we also provide a brief preview of the World Balloon Convention (WBC). The WBC provides attendees the chance to become Certified Balloon Artists (CBA), network with other artists worldwide and learn how to make balloons more profitable in your store.

Balloons are great for having fun — but let these articles be your guide to using them in store, and the sales won’t float away.

Until next time,

Leigh Jajuga
Assistant Editor

Originally posted Tuesday, Jul. 28, 2015