My Brand Story: Balloonista Ltd.
#4 in a series of brand story interviews with established businesses, to inspire you, and help you create and grow your own brand.
Aurelija is a Balloon Architect, creating “Modern balloon displays for the most memorable events in the world” – want to know more? Read on for Balloonista’s brand story!
Please introduce yourself; what is your business, and is there a story behind its name?
Hello, I am Aurelija Meakin and I am the owner of the modern balloon styling company Balloonista. I create elaborate, bespoke balloon decorations for elite clients who command the highest quality and most impressive and memorable celebrations in the world.
My team and I have worked at the most iconic London venues such as The Savoy, Hotel Cafe Royal, The Mandarin Oriental and The Sheraton Grand, to name but a few.
My work has featured in numerous national media publications such as Hello!, The Daily Mail, BBC and ITV and I have featured personally a couple of times too! Balloonista has also had the pleasure of working with various influencers and celebrities, as well as multiple blue-chip companies such as TPRG, Deloitte and Eurostar.
The name came about when my friend and I were in the middle of brainstorming ideas and her husband called us “Balloonistas” which just seemed like the most appropriate place to start and soon I became a Balloonista! This was definitely the right choice and I have since received hundreds of compliments on it!
What’s your business story? Why did you start your business?
From a very young age I knew I was set to run my own business! I have always been very ambitious and even as a child, I would seek ways to earn my own money. At the age of 9 I used to pick herbs in the fields near my grandparent’s village and then sell them to the pharmacies for herbal medicine making. Later in life I helped my mum sew tracksuits and sell candles amongst other things; honestly, I had so many business ventures growing up!
Ironically as a child I hated balloons, which always makes me laugh as I practically eat, sleep and breathe them now that I run Balloonista.
My inspiration was my friend in Dubai who runs an event styling business called Happy Bubble: her team creates the most amazing balloon displays!
What are your super-powers? How do you stand out?
My superpower is that I don’t give up. The best encouragement anyone can give me is tell me that something can’t be done. I will then move mountains to prove them wrong.
Having had a tough upbringing in Lithuania, I had to learn to be resilient and grow a thick skin which now helps me run my business.
What’s your big story? What’s your mission? Why are you an entrepreneur?
I always knew I wanted to be my own boss, I just needed to wait for the right idea to spring to mind and set me on the right path to start being creative and never work a day in my life again! It has always been my mission to create a successful business / brand which would make my nearest and dearest proud of me.
I also want to create a sustainable and eco-friendly business. Whilst there is a long way to go, I am very passionate about this and am in the process of spreading the word and educating people about what is and what is not eco-friendly in the Balloon and party industry.
What’s your niche? What do you want to be known for?
My niche is producing creative, bespoke balloon decorations for fashion, style and environment savvy clients and their celebrations.
What I do differently to many of my peers is that I spend time getting to know my clients, understanding their vision and their ideas and working really closely with them to achieve a result that they can feel they have been instrumental in. I like to listen to what their design ideas are and their inspiration, sometimes even challenging their choices to ensure they get the best out of me and my team for their money.
What are yours and your brand’s values?
Happy clients! I only work with people who like and trust me. It is important for me to have my clients trust me and have faith in my creative abilities. I take them on a journey where I enable them to visualise the concept, and then I advise and direct them to the best possible solution.
Client service. Unlike some large companies I’d like to think my business is boutique, where the relationship with my client is the most important thing. I am here to make their party / event planning process easier, not more difficult and time consuming.
Transparency – I provide a bespoke service which means there are no price lists displayed on www.balloonista.com website. My clients trust me with their ideas and money. They know that I will provide the best value possible and create the most impressive display.
Education – I mentioned the eco friendliness of our balloons earlier. There is still a lot of work to be done to inform people that balloons only end up in oceans when people behave irresponsibly. At balloonista we never support balloon releases and always advise clients to keep helium balloons indoors and securely tied to a weight. We largely use air only to fill our balloons, thus eliminating the possibility of any strays!
Eco conscious – where possible we only use 100% biodegradable balloons in our air filled structures. As a matter of fact these structures are only 5% biodegradable latex and 95% air!
What’s your customers’ story? Who are your ideal clients?
I have several different types of clients but I suppose the ones I love most are those who challenge my creativity and give me carte blanche and complete creative licence. However, I also love those who buy my styling services, but have a good eye for detail, knowing exactly what they want and have a clear vision before coming to me. They are very particular, which I love because it feeds the perfectionist in me!
My clients include celebrities, influencers, successful entrepreneurs and those at the peak of their careers. They work hard but play even harder, they let their hair down in the most trendy places and private clubs in London and around the world.
What’s the story behind your logo?
The logo is quite simple but creative at the same time. My designer and I had a coffee meeting where we discussed my business vision, ideal client etc and then she went away to create 3 possible options. I wanted something really elegant and I wasn’t disappointed with what she came back with!
What’s the story behind your brand colours and your visual style?
The colours were discussed at the initial meeting with the designer too. I felt that pastel colours were very important in telling the brand story to my clients hence various shades of pink in the logo. Pastel pink brings the feeling of weightlessness and air and light to mind when I think of it; it reminds me of spring flowers and blossom trees.
The pastel painting style texture within the balloon stands for creativeness, drawing, display planning. The light grey was the contrast needed to give the logo weight without making it look too heavy.
What’s your brand’s personality?
Definitely creative, light and fun. After all we provide decorations for the most memorable celebrations! Whilst I did not like the balloons I remember as a child, I now live and breathe them every day, therefore it truly reflects my creativity and social butterfly tendencies!
Is there a story behind your brand photography?
My brand photographer took time to understand who my ideal client was and the story behind my brand which then led us to happily combing the streets of Belgravia and West London to get the best shots possible, using the backdrop of some of the most beautiful architecture London has to offer, whilst I adapted my outfits accordingly to the balloons and weather!
I chose London because it’s where my business is based and the majority of our work is centred around this great city, which in my personal opinion, is second to none when it comes to venues for any occasion. I honestly had so much fun and was thrilled with the outcome.
[Aurelija’s brand photos used in this blog are by Amanda at AKP Branding Stories www.akpbrandingstories.co.uk].
Finally, where can we find out more about you and your business?
You can find us on most mainstream social media channels by searching for @balloonistaCo
I hope this blog post about Balloonista’s brand story has inspired you to get to know your own brand a little more, and helps you to create your own brand stories. Knowing your own brand, and using it cohesively everywhere, will really help to build and grow your business. You’ll be more recognisable, more memorable, and you’ll attract more of your ideal clients/customers.
See the ‘Brand Stories’ blog category for more of these interviews as I add them – mine is in there already 🙂 And let me know if you’d like to answer the same questions!
If you need some more help with your brand, then have a look at my workbook Create Your Brand – it walks you through my twenty essential steps to creating a strong, stand out brand. Fifty pages of looking at your niche, ideal client, values, brand personality, and visual style as mentioned above, plus a whole lot more! Then when you’re ready to book some branding photography, you’ll know exactly how to make sure that it aligns with the rest of your brand.
PS If you’re not in my free facebook group yet, do come and join us at Your Brand Story for more tips, chat, trainings and challenges to help you to create and grow your brand, visibility, and your business, along with getting better brand photos!