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Inspiring Conversations with Bonnie Bernal

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bonnie Bernal.

Hi Bonnie, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Bonnie’s Balloonery was created from my passion for celebrations and holidays. I have loved parties and celebrations for as long as I can remember! My fondest memories are of my childhood birthday parties my mom would throw me every year. Although we come from humble beginnings, my mom always made sure my birthdays were magical. So of course, when time came, I continued the tradition with my son Lex.

I signed up for a beginner balloon class just wanting to learn the basics of balloon décor. I was hooked! I quickly became enamored with the world of balloons. That one class turned to many. I would practice making balloon arrangements for friends and family and would quickly be the first to offer my assistance for every celebration. Come January 2020, I attended my first balloon industry convention (Yes! There’s conventions!) in St. Louis. I learned many new skills and met amazing industry professionals with the same passion as me. I knew then and there Bonnie’s Balloonery was meant to be! Sure enough, what started off as a fun hobby quickly turned into my full time business.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Definitely not! It’s been a bumpy ride to say the least. I come from a family of small business owners, so I started helping out in our family restaurant from a very young age. I’m proud to say that has helped me build a very strong work ethic but nothing prepares you for the mental and physical strain of running your own business, specially after having a normal 9-5. You go from working 40 hours a week to 80, on top of being a mom to a middle schooler.

I’m actually a one-woman show, so I that means I wear a million hats. That can definitely be overwhelming at times, but I am blessed to have an amazing support system as well as wonderful clients who always refer me and encourage my growth. At the end of the day, I wouldn’t be where I am today without my clients. Seeing client’s (Specially kids!) reactions when I deliver a custom balloon bouquet or help decorate their venue for a special occasion makes it all worth it. Whether it’s birthdays, graduations or anniversaries, I love being a part of their special milestones.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Bonnie’s Balloonery offers all types of balloon décor from garlands and arches to centerpieces. I have grown my business and social media following thanks to my specialty – balloon bouquets! Specifically what is known as a marquee bouquet. Marquee bouquets are free-standing deliverable arrangements that can be customized to fit any theme or occasion. I have created a marquee bouquet for a wide variety of milestones such as welcoming a new baby to 100th birthday celebrations. I can say I am most proud of my attention to detail. From custom colors to curls and tiny flowers made of balloons, I make sure every bouquet or balloon install is unique. I believe the attention to detail along with personalization are what take my creations up a level and add the wow factor that sets us apart from the typical big box party stores.

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
I know we’ve heard it a million times before, but I say it would be to trust the process and have fun along the way. I have learned to appreciate both the great and not so great moments of running my own business. I often tend to overthink certain situations or can’t help but compare my growth to others. But I have to remind myself growth takes time, everyone’s timeline is different.

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