Balloons truly are a great way to elevate a party. They tend to be a centerpiece around which all the other décor is focused. According to Desiree Ontiveros, owner of Badass Balloon Co., you don't even have to worry about using helium to elevate them. “In fact, keeping these eye-catchers at guests' eye-levels helps them engage and move through a space, making magic moments happen organically,” she said.
When Badass Balloon Co. was invited to DragCon in 2017, Ontiveros was given one rule that ultimately changed the course of her business. Her balloons, known for their sassy sayings, could not be helium filled in the conference center. It was a bit of a shock at first for her, because of the way balloons and helium go together like peanut butter and jelly. But her company, like so many others, had been having trouble sourcing helium. “We started with a vision of a balloon wall and everything literally just blew up from there,” she said.
In the weeks following DragCon, Ontiveros began planning her birthday celebration and decided she’d like to center it around the helium-free display she had recently successfully attempted. With her big day came a big idea to cover her two-story townhouse with a cascade of balloons. She hoisted the massive garland over the balcony of her French Quarter home. "No matter what the scale, with the right color combination and the right placement, balloons can not only be creative but also add this important element of creativity and uniqueness," said Ontiveros. "If done right, they are an incredible form of attention disruption, which is harder and harder to achieve these days."
Ontiveros feels very strongly that Badass Balloons designs are icebreakers. “They are an easy connection point for people — they remember them from childhood. You can see the smiles and memories come flowing back and our signature sayings get the laughs we live for,” she said, adding that her company loves using balloon décor to bring spaces alive and causing a natural gravitational pull for guests. And inspiration can come from anywhere. Mainly, Ontiveros finds her inspiration from the space she is manipulating, and she said her creations are rarely about the balloons themselves, rather it’s about filling the void in space.
These days, it seems to be about the feel of Tuf-Tex and the color palette of Betallic that helps her fill these spaces. “We need more metallic, and I really love the moody colors that Betallic (Greige) and Tuf-Tex (Smokey Grey and Plum) have come out with recently,” she said of her current go-to choices.
Ontiveros’ first installation at DragCon was held together with chicken wire and a prayer. It instantly became an Instagram hit. Since then, she’s been busy designing and creating statement pieces for both her clients and herself. "Balloons are such a beautiful way in to a social situation," Ontiveros said. "You come to a party with strangers and by the end of the evening you're tagging them in pictures and dancing out the door."
Balloons in 2019
According to Pioneer’s Cam Woody
Pioneer has a team specifically designated to research market trends. Between this team and the creative team, it is able to come up with designs that are exactly what its customers are looking for.
Popular balloon bundle color themes:
“Chrome balloons are still on fire and in demand. These metallic colors are not like any other balloons in the market and customers recognize that difference and ask for it. We expect the bright pastel colors to continue to be popular in 2019. Also, the extremely muted colors that can only be achieved by double-stuffing a darker balloon inside a white or soft pearl color. Rainbow colors in general.”
Animal, TV or pop culture themes:
“The Unicorns are still on top! In fact, any creature that has a horn is in style. We've added the Narwhal and Caticorn to our offering. I've also been seeing lots of Pandas and Swans. The Pandas are appearing mostly in birthday parties, but I recently saw one that was wearing a tuxedo. The Swans have been more popular for weddings and baby showers.”
How often are these styles changing?
“Some of the current trends have been around for several years. Some trends last longer than others, so we focus on how we can mix and match icons for multiple celebration needs and offer customers more flexibility to use the design. For example, the mustache trend was popular for at least a year before we created balloons for that trend.”