July 5, 2014 | By Nadine White |
From birthday parties to bar mitzvahs and anniversaries, we all look forward to the next big celebration. Whilst there are an abundance of shops which cater to these events, it is not often that one functions through the sale of party items, balloon displays plus an added service of events decoration. South London based ‘B’s Balloons’ offers all of the above and it was interesting to literally ‘talk business’ with the owner Beverley Walters.
‘B’s Balloons’ was established in 2003 and is the brain child of a hard-working stay-at-home mother who dared to pursue her dream. “I was always employed and balancing my responsibilities as a mother. But when my husband’s work required him to travel overseas sometimes, I made the decision to stay at home full-time with my children”.
The decision to start this business came about after a string of somewhat enlightening outings: “There were certain functions which I’d attend where I’d look at the decorations thinking ‘I can do better’. Sometimes I ended up fixing their table arrangements, just so I felt better about how it looked (laughs). One day it occurred to me that I should turn this attitude and passion into a business”
Generating custom via the ‘Yellow Pages’ directory and word of mouth at first, Beverley nurtured a small service on an ad-hoc basis. As her children grew older, opportunities came whereby she could expand her knowledge about the science of balloon-making and gain formal accreditation for making events look divine. Those impressive displays are no coincidence; her CV is a long as one’s arm!
In 2010, ‘B’s Balloons’ took its place on the high street as an independent store and has fast become a firm favourite amongst the local community. Stars such as Stella McCartney have shopped here, politicians such as Tessa Jowell have endorsed the brand and, for the last two years ‘B’s Balloons’ have also catered for the London Marathon!
When playing a word association game centered around the concept of balloons, Beverley muses with an absent-minded smile: “When I think of balloons, I think ‘transformation’; that’s what staging an event is about, in a way it’s a make-over. I love what I do.” It’s certainly important to be enthusiastic about one’s venture because as the ultimate success in life is fulfillment and not just finances. By offering a unique service and being satisfied with her work, Beverley and ‘B’s Balloons’ are part of a resilient minority within the UK; statistics show that only one quarter of London’s black-owned businesses are owned by women!
Do drop by the store which is situated at 388 Norwood High Street, SE27 9AA and/or call: 020 8761 7229 for more info