We had the good fortune of connecting with Jasmine Franklin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jasmine, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Growing up I always felt that God has something special and unique for me to do on this earth, I’ve always felt that niche as you can say that there was something more for me. In my mind I figured I was going to touch people’s lives from working in the healthcare industry, but never in a million years did I predict I would have my own business. In 2019 I said I’m going to take a leap of faith and try something different. I was comfortable being a mother, working in the healthcare industry and the niche just never went away, if anything it kept growing stronger. So now I’m like “OK God I’m ready”. This feeling has only progressed and I know this has to be from you if this is growing stronger after all these years. Scared to death of failure, I had to push myself and decided to venture out into a whole new phase. I actually had the idea of starting a fashion jewelry line, and lets just say that didn’t go so well! So off to the idea to create a kids clothing line. I guess you can say I was trying out different ventures hoping that one would click, and each and every one of them just didn’t seem fitting to me. I went through all the training, buying materials until one day a little birdie aka my mother brought the idea of personalizing balloons. Im thinking who would want a balloon? People can go to Party City for that, but its when my Dad mentioned I should look into portrait balloons that begin to spark my interest. A little complexed I still thought they’ve got to be crazy! But here I am 10 months later The Balloon Chic. I started Balloon Chic in May 2020 and surprisingly found my passion in the mist living an everyday ordinary life and I couldn’t think of any other way to spread love and joy throughout my community with. There was and still is sometimes a little fear of joining a high operating industry with 1000s if more Balloon companies filed with beautiful artist. I had to make sure if I’m going all in on this my business has to stand out and is unique from the rest. And, that indeed it is. That little birdie who whispered in my hear was God leading me into my calling and this has truly taken me for a ride! The reason all those other clever ideas just didn’t work. I am the only Black owned balloon company ran by an African American woman to personalize 3ft jumbo balloons and placing face portraits on them. Don’t ask me how I do it, because I myself never knew I had it in me let alone still to this day I have no idea how I can place a portrait on a balloon. I created my own lane within the balloon industry all self taught. I became and still is my own competition. I learned fear is a good thing, if your dreams don’t scare you they are too small. I decided to research and learn all I could about balloons, the materials, vendors and also profitability. Starting a business was a different ball game than what I initially expected. But it has truly been all worthwile.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I created The Balloon Chic which gives my clients the option to personalize jumbo balloons along with the technique of adding a vinyl portrait to their balloons. Majority of other companies specialize in doing beautiful balloon garlands and basic writings on jumbo balloons. I learned quickly that starting a business you have to find a way to stand out from the rest. What makes your products catch the potential clients eye? I’ve set myself apart by trying and daring to do the unthinkable. I don’t care if its 3D Ice cream cones, a portrait of your cat or even an ultrasound, I like to step out of the box and make nothing impossible to be placed on a balloon. Was it easy? Absolutely not! I self-taught myself how to convert an everyday image to a vinyl cutout and how to layer images by hand for a 3D affect. Now get this, I’m not that tech savvy but I figured this out honey! On top of having a full time career in the healthcare industry overnight, I had to find the time to learn and perfect my craft. If I’m going to stand out it better be good. I’ve spent hours on top of hours navigating and learning how to use photo altering programs, and have used up about 200 ft of vinyl but I eventually got it! Persistence is key. Using your fear of venturing out into a competitive field is what sparks the fire in you to just be you! Dare to do the unthinkable, give your clients options that no one else has while at the same time providing top quality products. Learn everything you can about the product you’re selling. Some may think its just a balloon but trust me, you have to learn what products work well with latex, how it responds different climates, what adheres to it, i mean the full works! Remember it always seems impossible until its done.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I LOVE TO EAT!! First stop would be Chuy’s to pick up a beef enchilada with the “boom boom sauce” yep that sauce will get you every time, then to Sonic to get a Raspberry Blue Coconut slush. Once were all full I’m picking up a cheese cake from the Cheesecake Factory for dessert then off to the Galleria waterfall park for some mommy and me time with my mini me.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
God I thank you for trusting me and placing your gift into my hands to create something so small as a balloon to spread love and joy throughout my community with. Many hugs and kisses to my daughter Blair who motivates, encourages and gives me life. May your little hands reach for the stars and accomplish all that God as destined you to be. And to my beautiful parents and family, there’s not enough thank you’s I can give for all of your support and love.
Other: Phone: 713-884-8479
Charity Kuykendall Photography charity_k_photography