Should I Add Fabric Decor to My Balloon Business?

Picture of Joette Giardina

Joette Giardina

Mentor. Motivator. Speaker.

Taper Chandelier

Should I add fabric decor to my balloon business? A question I get asked often…

I started offering fabric decor early into my balloon business, as I was working with brides with balloon decor at their wedding receptions and they would ask me (back then) if I could give them a Tulle Canopy over the dance floor to accent the balloon columns on the corner of the dance floor.

I did offer tulle a few times, but then I found out about organza, and that became my fabric for canopies to give a little extra special glimmer to the event. A bit more elegance.

Then clients started asking for fabric backdrops. They wanted something elegant and all the rental companies in my county only offered the standard Banjo cloth 8 ft tall backdrops (you know, the ones you see when you go to a business expo)

I then added in expandable pipe and drape that could go from 7 ft to 12 ft tall.

I started with white, then ivory, and over time added in other colors to my inventory that clients requested to go along with the balloon decor they were purchasing.How do you know if You should add Fabric Decor to your business?

There are several things that need to be considered before you jump in and buy a ton of Fabric Decor.

#1 Is there a need for it in your area or is your area over run with companies that offer fabric decor.

#2 Do you have space to store the panels of fabric and support equipment.

#3 Do you have a vehicle to transport the poles in..they are 7 ft long, minimum height!

#4 Do you have a staff person to work with you or a team that can install the decor without you?

#5 Will this enhance your business and offer you a second income stream, or will it just take you away from building a strong balloon business?

#6 Do you have a way to wash and dry the panels when they get dirty?

Fabric decor and event planning by Joette Giardina, Lakeland Chamber Annual Dinner One thing I want to note about the photo above from the Lakeland Chamber annual dinner for 1,000 people. This is an annual event that we typically do not do balloon decor for they prefer the clean lines of fabric decor and lighting. I subcontracted the linen company to take care of the Table clothes, Chair covers and Sashes. They do an amazing job of washing and pressing their linens and have a large selection. I have no desire to EVER own a full on rental company with all that upkeep and man power needed. However I did still make money from those items due to the discount I get from the linen company and the Coordination Fees associated with the event.

In some areas it might be wise to become the rental source in your town if you have the finances available to purchase all the equipment, and hire the staff that goes along to running a rental company. This is not a decision I would make over night, I’d suggest you consulting with other rental companies to understand the large investment you would be making.

When I asked earlier is Fabric Decor for YOU? You need to consider can you make money in your area with this product. Will it enhance what you have going on, or will it take you away from doing the balloons that you love. We do not have the stock to fully drape the walls for a large convention center. We leave that to the HUGE drape companies that are in Tampa and Orlando. I purchased the fabric that would accent what I was already doing and that my clients were asking for.

There are a lot of hands on fabric classes available, if you just want to dip your toe a little first to see if this is a good fit for you, I have a 3 DVD series you can purchase. They show you how I store the fabric, and tips and tricks on installation.

Click here to purchase $30 each or set of 3 for just $75

Vendors to Purchase Fabric Decor Supplies:

My pipe and drape system / fabric was purchase from Exclusively Expo. I like their product quality and customer service. They carry fire retardant products, which in some venues is a requirement to use. I use them for my bases, uprights and crossbars.

Poly Sateen panels for pipe and drape has a shine too it too and is what I invested in for my base colors. Another nice fabric they carry is called Premium. It is a step up from Banjo cloth, but not as shiny and “liquid” as Poly Sateen.

You can request a color card from them to see the colors and fabrics in person. They will custom cut the panels to the length you want and put in the pole pockets etc.

For ceiling draping I use Liba Fabrics. I love their 118 inch wide Voille it is beautiful for sheer panels and wide ceiling decor. (NOTE: when using fabric that wide it can get heavy quick!)

Crystal Organza that is 58 to 60 inch comes in a wide variety of colors. Liba also offers a large array of other fabrics

There are a lot of other places you can order bolts of fabric to pipe and drape from. These were the 2 suppliers that I found worked well for me!

Here is a blog on Multimedia decor you may enjoy

/multimedia-decor-creates-endless-possibilities/

If you have other questions email Joette@ballooncoach.com

For more support and ongoing training go to BalloonCoach.com

Your Partner in Success,

Joette Giardina, CBA

Mentor. Motivator. Speaker.

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