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Rising Stars: Meet Clarece Weinraub

Today we’d like to introduce you to Clarece Weinraub.

Hi Clarece, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I’ve been in school forever, getting one degree after another, mostly because in the world of education there are a number of hoops you have to jump through and credentials you have to have to move up. As I was approaching the end date of my reading credential program, I began to feel like I needed to work really hard to try and pay off my student loans as soon as possible.

I was decorating pretty elaborately for my first daughter’s birthday parties and thought I should look into what it takes to be an event planner. My husband is really good at lighting, photography, and videos because of his previous work experience so we began to look at starting a photo booth business.

We launched our business to family and friends at my younger daughter’s first birthday in October 2019. It was a big celebration and we were super excited! We also worked with local schools and offered our services for free to work out some kinks, and we started to get a buzz before the pandemic began.

Over time, we have pared down our focus from event planning to backdrop rentals, balloons, and photo booths, and we love it!

Surprisingly, the balloons did much better during the pandemic. We took advantage of the many offerings of industry experts over the pandemic, and our balloon services have improved dramatically as have our lighting and photo booth options.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Launching Jovial Events wasn’t as smooth a ride as we had hoped. When we started, we had a plan for childcare for our kids, and we also believed the balloons were going to be an add-on service for the photo booth services. During the pandemic, no one was having in-person events and although we tried to have virtual photo booth options, we could never sell it. The only thing people seemed to be interested in were balloons.

Unfortunately, the photo booth came with recurring bills so we needed to do something to pay for them. We had also JUST signed up for marketing services right before the pandemic, with a one year contract. Things were pretty brutal in the beginning (and for quite some time during the pandemic) and finding reliable child care also became a challenge since we were needing to do more and more jobs with multiple people. While we are still always looking for help, things have gotten much better.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
As a balloon artist, I practice a lot and I learn from some of the best. I think something that I have gotten better at and specialize in now is the organic balloon garland. Organic balloon garlands are custom, one-of-a-kind creations. I am proud of how they come together, how I am able to install them and also bring together all of the different elements of an event when creating them. I like trying different techniques or designs to keep the work exciting. We are always looking for ways to improve our work and the process for customers to make booking as easy as possible.

Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
I’ve always been introspective and observant. I’m an introvert and spend a lot of time watching people. I have one of those personalities where I like to be alone but also love being with people. I have also been interested in helping people, which may just be a side effect of being the oldest of four children. I think that this helps me with events to think of what to add that might help people feel included at a party.

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