Anum Atiq has literally changed the standards of birthday parties, fancy dinners, baby showers, brunches, lunches, and events in general! The List goes on and on. Her balloon installations are beyond beautiful and dreamy and almost everyone wants to have one at their party just for the ‘Gram – after all, it didn’t happen if it hasn’t been instagramed right?
We sat down with Anum to see what inspired this idea which has swept Karachi like a storm since she begun – from clients who love her, those who she hasn’t been able to deliver to, and of course, the copycat culture of any creative mind!
You’ve certainly changed the game when it comes to birthday parties! How did you come up with the idea of a business comprising of just balloons?
I just kind of fell into it, I had no plans of actually starting a business and was working a 9-5 at that time. I had always loved hosting and doing up friends birthdays and events! I did balloons for my best friend’s birthday, and it just kind of snowballed from there! After a great deal of persuasion from a friend, I took on the decor of a dinner party and it just naturally evolved from there: completely through word of mouth. We didn’t even have an Instagram account till Balloon & Co was in its 4th month!
Were you worried when you launched this venture? It’s certainly a different route but you took a risk and it’s worked!
In the beginning I wasn’t worried at all because I was doing it on the side, even after I went full-time I never saw it as a risk; I started on a small capital investment and worked my way up to investing more and more every month into my inventory. I had complete trust in the business and it not working out never crossed my mind! I also had the most amazing support system of family and friends that encouraged me throughout it all!
Are clients easy to deal with it?
We have honestly had the best and most loyal client base, and they mostly leave me with complete creative control and are easy to collaborate with!
You’re favourite installation?
They change all the time, But if I had to pick my favourite one as of now it has to be a valima reception we did! I never thought I would ever do balloons for a wedding and that too on a 4 day notice but it surpassed my own expectations! It was an adventure, and it was just a reaffirmation of my team’s ability to work so cohesively under such pressing circumstances.
How do you deal with people who copy your work?
Copy culture comes with the territory of the business and every veteran in the field has experienced it. I’ve always been aware of the possibility that they can all copy my concepts, colour schemes and placements, but it’s all things I’ve done before and they can never take away all the things I have coming, so in a weird sense it pushes me to keep 3 steps ahead!
Your favourite colour scheme?
I make sure we use the best of the best in terms of balloons due to colour and the gradient it can create. I love mixing slate grey and a beige nude with almost any install – they are my favourite neutrals to use!
What do you personally prefer – children’s birthdays or adult dinners/parties?
Children’s birthdays but with the right planners! I’ve worked with planners whose vision didn’t match mine, and that’s when I don’t like doing children’s birthdays. I’ve found the right people to collaborate with now, so they have become my favourite because you can do so much with colour and concepts!
Where do you get inspiration from?
Anywhere and everywhere! I love going through Pantone or even just Instagram, but the space and theme inspire me the most because that’s where it all stems from for me creatively!
You’ve definitely got an eye for all things fancy! Are you going to venture further out into event planning?
Not at the moment, it’s something I’ve always thought about doing, and I’ve worked closely with people within the field, but I have my hands so full right now that I don’t think I can handle it; but definitely in the future!
Finally, it’s so inspiring to see young female entrepreneurs taking a risk and starting their own ventures! Any words of wisdom for budding entrepreneurs?
Trust your gut and do not compromise your vision or quality of products you use!