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Meet Jessica Robaina Janssens of Mommy Poppins Balloons

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Robaina Janssens.

Jessica, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
About three years ago I was Planning another one of my children’s birthday parties, I tell myself every year to keep it standard but I always find myself getting out of control. I wanted to do more for decorations and decided to perhaps find a balloon artist in my area after seeing this balloon sculpture on Instagram. I was able to locate a company that had quoted me over $1500 for a small birthday arch over the dessert table and I found myself puzzled at the cost for a kids party, I mean this isn’t a wedding. I thought it was extreme especially given the food truck was even a quarter of the cost. I’ve always loved to craft and had made countless decorations from card soldiers for an Alice in wonderland theme, to floating lanterns for an Arabian nights theme so I thought perhaps this is something I could do.

I began researching DIY blogs and other balloon artists worldwide who were beyond helpful in pointing me in the direction I needed to go. I found Qualatex, the most renowned brand of balloons. I learned through them I could become a certified balloon artist and had to become a distributor in pursuing this I located my local distributor in which they offered classes and I started doing it. I made an octopus, bubbles and a complete under the sea balloon extravaganza for my daughter’s birthday and everyone loved it.

So many guests at the party were asking me where I got my balloons and I thought to myself why not spread the joy and offer affordable balloons to all for a reasonable fee. I really never saw myself or my small business going where it has.

My next decision was to come up with a cute name, I had My dear friend Ane helped me decide. It was between Balloon Babes and Mommy Poppins Balloons, my cousin has been an animator with Disney since I can remember and I’ve always had a love for all things Disney, and of course who didn’t love Mary Poppins growing up? As soon as we decided on the name I found a local graphic designer on Instagram that I contacted with my vision, a silhouette of myself, a mother, holding a bouquet of balloons instead of an umbrella.

I took the logo, completed Instagram account and posted some photos on Instagram and then I delivered balloons for free for an Easter brunch to a local winery, Once I posted the photos it just took off. Immediately I had several inquiries one was from In The Loop Temecula for a pop-up shop in Oceanside, they wanted to know if I could do a bear sculpture and this was far beyond my comfort zone but I have a bad habit of not being able to say no. Miraculously I pulled it off and it was probably one of the best sculptures I’ve created with such little notice.

Having literally, just starting out and being as nervous as I was, it seemed no surprise every new inquiry was one challenge after the other. My following inquiry was Peltzer Winery. I was so thrilled to meet with them and again found myself extremely nervous when they wanted a gigantic oversized balloon garland over their 25 foot high doors to enter the winery. Again I found myself not able to say no. It took me three days to create the arch and I successfully did it, I was so proud of myself when I saw it up. I thought to myself, “wow! I did that!”

The Peltzer’s are wonderful and have been one of my repeat customers since, even through my hiccups starting out, and I have been able to create their arches in under an hours time now. Goes to show practice makes perfect. I always look forward to an order from them because they always having me challenge myself and somewhere in the fear, I believe is what has kept this even more exciting for me. Thankful I live in a wonderful community where many prefer to support small businesses and really helped my business grow. I then took to Facebook and began advertising there and in local groups, I did many giveaways before business became more consistent, however each giveaway another opportunity for me to grow my portfolio and experience.

I found myself shortly after being contacted by Donut Bar for a grand opening, I was ecstatic when I got the message, they said they saw me on Instagram two months prior and wrote my name down and knew I would do their balloons, I remember running outside my house after the phone call and screaming! I couldn’t believe this mom of three who has been losing her mind homeschooling, running a full farm and just playing with balloons was chosen for such an opportunity. I mean I’m up against some pretty big competitors out here. There are some amazing balloon artists in Southern California so to be brand new to this and recognized by such a big-name assured me I was doing something right.

From then on I had several designers and event coordinators contact me to do some styled shoots, of course, I was hesitant I had never heard of a styled shoot before and was nervous as this was going to take a lot of time and funds out of my own pocket but I decided to do it. I have done well over nine styled shoots and I have been published eight times. Honestly, this all feels like a dream. I’ve had so many tell me everyone knows who I am and everywhere they go they hear about me or see my balloons and I just sit down in complete aw and think I can’t believe I branded myself and have come this far, and just through social media and word of mouth.

It’s an exciting and thrilling career where I not only love every challenge and every new curveball and theme my customers ask for, but the best part is the joy my balloons bring to each and every event. Best part is seeing the photos and videos people love to take in front of my balloon art. The photos of customers smiling in front of our balloons is the biggest satisfaction for me.

Has it been a smooth road?
Hah! Well if there’s one thing that should be known about me it’s that nothing ever goes smooth. As crazy as it sounds there’s always an obstacle. I started this adventure driving a Jetta. I quickly realized that was not going to work so I sold my brand new Jetta and purchased a Chrysler town and country. I always said I would never drive a minivan, well this is why they say, never say never. It was amazing and so helpful my business really picked up and I don’t know how I would’ve done it without making that decision.

Then at the end of January I was at a friends home who gave me a tour of her property in a Can-Am, One of those offered golf carts, and giving me a tour it was slippery and very rocky on her property as it had just rained so it flipped over and broke my ankle in three places. Of course, my business had really took off I was booked up the next few months and thinking how am I going to get this all done. My husband just looked at me and teared up as he saw me crying and told me not to worry, he was going to help me. The Biggest bummer was that we had to cancel with the house of blues, Which of course devastated me.

Once I got a cast on I decided I couldn’t cancel on everyone, my customers didn’t want their money back they wanted balloons. And they wanted Mommy Poppins Balloons, So I delivered balloons on crutches, with my husband until I was finally walking. It was not easy, especially with the rain we had this season, apparently, crutches are not non-slip, Learned that the hard way. Working with your husband is not easy either but also beyond thankful for him, I would not have been able to do it without him.

And of course, as if that wasn’t enough my van was stolen two days before Easter. So there I was again stuck between a rock and a hard spot, ended up having to rent a U-Haul every weekend until we were able to find a replacement. I strongly believe that every obstacle is just preparing you for what’s to come, and the universe has proved that to me time and time again. We just have to trust the journey and keep going and that belief is what has kept my business growing. This has been the busiest year for me and I am beyond thankful.

Helium has been another issue this year for all of us in the balloon industry. Many companies have announced they will no longer be doing helium, party city is also most of the time out of helium, in Canada it is even illegal to purchase helium right now. Yet for some reason, customers don’t like hearing this. We cannot guarantee helium as our distributors cannot even obtain it most of the time, medical gets priority so it doesn’t leave much. Helium costs have also gone up 130 %. So when we are wanting to exceed the affordable factor it makes it difficult when we cannot obtain helium at a good cost.

There are many articles out discussing helium shortage so it’s surprising how many are unaware. Also, there are enough air filled designs to compensate for helium, balloon art is fascinating, I’ve made a 20-foot dinosaur, a SpongeBob sculpture, beer mug sculpture, etc. The sky is the limit on air-filled creations, so there definitely isn’t a huge need for helium, I think the biggest challenge is just getting everyone on board and to understand. This is a new chapter but a very big one for those of us in the balloon industry.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I think the main thing that separates us from other companies is our name, our name tells the story. And most customers love knowing they are contributing to a family-owned business. When I say Family and I mean family-owned, I run this with my family. I l usually have my husband or my sister delivering balloons with me. And sometimes I bring my daughter as well.

I’m also known for my organic garlands I would have to say that’s what gets ordered the most, we are also known for our variety in balloon art, competitive prices and customer service.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
There are balloons for every occasion, whether it be birthdays, corporate events, Schools, baby showers, gender reveals, Photoshoots, weddings, Business sales, etc. everyone can benefit from balloons. Most people don’t even realize how or why they can benefit from balloons. From a decoration standpoint, balloons can make any event, sale, birthday, stand out. If you are trying to show your guests that this is a big celebration balloons will do just that.

Even more so for businesses. I always know where I’m going to find a good sale on a holiday weekend by observing, and this means I see balloons. Balloons catch the eyes of not just children but anyone, especially those who like to save. Balloons send a message and tell the story, whether it be a theme for a birthday party or whether it’s letting a customer know there’s a celebration going on whether it be a big sale or a holiday. With so many businesses in Los Angeles, there is plenty of balloon business to go around.

Pricing:

  • Organic Balloon Garlands – $79 4-6ft up to three colors (pricing goes up with size, qty of color and specialty balloons)
  • Arches on a stand- $139 (pricing goes up with size, qty of color and specialty balloons) for 7-8ft high, up to two colors
  • Columns- $55 up to two colors (pricing goes up with size, qty of color and specialty balloons)
  • We also offer bundle pricing. Most orders are quoted per order as each order is custom.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Paris Janssens

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