Interview and Photo by Jason Setnyk
Cornwall, Ontario – Meet Katie Hope, the talented and certified balloon artist behind Balloon Babes, a business soaring to new heights in Cornwall and the surrounding areas. Katie’s journey in balloon art began during the Covid pandemic when she discovered her passion for this mesmerizing craft and decided to turn it into a thriving business.
Katie’s entrepreneurial journey started after graduating with a general business diploma from Fleming College in 2010. In 2020, she seized an opportunity when a previous balloon company sold its stock. However, rather than building on an existing foundation, Katie started fresh and created her own unique vision for Balloon Babes. She crafted a solid business plan focusing on helium bouquets but quickly adapted due to a helium shortage, leading her to pivot in an innovative direction.
Since its inception, Balloon Babes has transformed the balloon industry in Cornwall. What initially began as helium bouquets evolved into a diverse range of breathtaking creations, including arches, garlands, sculptures, and even scenes. Katie’s artistry has delighted countless clients, and her imagination knows no bounds. Her creations bring joy to all, from gifts concealed within balloons to Santa’s little helpers arriving safely encased in bubbles.
The remarkable success of Balloon Babes caught the attention of the Cornwall Enterprise Centre, which awarded Katie a grant to expand her offerings. Thanks to this support, she has now introduced light-up marquee numbers and other rental services, adding a touch of brilliance and style to special events and occasions.
Five Questions with The Seeker
1 – What made you choose to start a company in this industry?
“I decided to start a balloon business when I saw an ad for a company closing and selling their stock. After some research and consideration, I quickly decided that starting with fresh stock would be better. I always loved creating fun things for my babes birthdays and my first balloon garland for my daughter’s third birthday.”
2 – How did you come up with the name for your company?
“I always call my husband and three kids “babe,” so when I was playing around with names, Balloon Babes seemed so right. It flows nicely, and I love it! I thought I was so original, which is hilarious now that I’ve met someone from Montreal with the same business name (or very close to it).”
3 – How would you describe your company’s success so far?
“Oh my, well, I never for a second thought it would turn out like this. I went in thinking I would do Balloon Babes and my other job on a part-time basis- and within three months of starting Balloon Babes, I ended up leaving my office job to go full-time with balloons! I couldn’t believe the support I received from everyone and the excitement I was able to bring to Cornwall.”
4 – What’s unique about your company?
“I am a certified balloon artist who invests heavily in education to always bring something new to the table. An important part of my training involves monthly consultations with an international balloon coach, which has introduced me to a wonderful and talented group of business owners throughout Canada and the United States. Together we share our experiences and successes-meeting once a year for a summit in Orlando, Florida.”
5 – What are your company goals?
“I want to do something big! Starting with the Ingleside and Cornwall parade, I brought some amazing costumes and sculptures to show off in Cornwall. I was also invited to Indiana to help seven fellow balloon artists build an amazing garden experience and would love to be able to bring something just as incredible to Cornwall.”
Would you like to learn more about Balloon Babes creative services? You can reach Katie at 613-662-7949, or email her at [email protected] for personalized inquiries and orders. The Balloon Babes website, Balloonbabes.biz, also offers a convenient platform to explore her delightful creations and services. For the latest updates, event highlights, and engaging content, follow Balloon Babes on Facebook at Balloonbabescornwall and on Instagram at balloon_babes_cornwall. Katie Hope ensures that every client’s celebration is infused with the enchanting artistry of Balloon Babes.