Do you need an eye-popping display for your front door or event? To add flair and attract customers, many companies turn to Balloon Girl Napa. Owner Cameron Roblee said she sources the finest materials to create arches, cascades and other attention-grabbing balloon creations.
“I use only quality material,” said Roblee, age 32.
“With experience, I’ve learned what is long-lasting and stands up to the elements. They have to stand up to temperature fluctuations and not puncture easily.”
Her designs can last up to a week and a half outdoors and a month indoors, said the small business owner.
“The wind is not a big problem outside because I can anchor for that. It’s the heat that can affect them. Holding up in the summer is the biggest concern.”
She sources from a wholesaler in San Francisco.
“They say they have a heat resistant material and I told them we’ll see how they handle a Napa summer.”
Roblee said she uses only high caliber latex and rarely utilizes helium.
“Helium is not renewable, is expensive and can be difficult to find. I’m able to build the structures so I don’t need it. Over 90% of my garlands are inflated with compressed air.”
A California native, Roblee has lived in Napa for eight years. She moved here first as an intern for a winery where she met and eventually married her husband. Due to the pandemic, her job subsequently ended.
“This business is a happy accident,” she said. “After I lost my job because of COVID, I happened to make an arch for a friend’s baby shower. Other friends began asking me to make them and it just expanded.”
Urged by other women who owned businesses, she decided to shift her focus from a hobby to a company three months ago.
“Brittany Carducci, the owner of Cycle Society, convinced me that this could be a business and had faith in me to start it. I didn’t have a business background, but the women — my friends — who had opened their own businesses on First Street, encouraged me.”
Cycle Society was one of the first businesses to open in the First Street mall area. “Other businesses didn’t exist, and I needed something to draw attention,” said proprietor Carducci. “The balloon designs give visibility and a fun, party atmosphere.”
Other First Street stores liked what they saw and as more of them opened, hired Roblee to style the frontages of their companies.
Carducci isn’t surprised at Balloon Girl Napa’s success.
“Cameron is a smart businesswoman,” she said. “She saw a niche in Napa that no one was doing and took charge to capitalize on it. Cameron is fun to work with and I’m super proud of her and proud to be the business that started her.”
Roblee’s initial amateur efforts started with kits. She then progressed to watching YouTube tutorials.
“I guess that sounds like a Millennial thing,” she said with a laugh. “But it’s a great resource. Since I love being creative, I enjoy customizing balloon art for customers.”
Why wouldn’t a customer just order a kit and do it themselves?
“What I make is professional. You pay for an expert in any field and this is no exception. My clients’ time is valuable. A kit balloon arch may look easy and turn out okay, but I take it to the next level and use high quality materials. I know what will last and take the time to get it right.”
Small arches start at $150; from there she charges by the foot depending on the complexity the client wants.
Some customers, such as Monday Bakery, needed the balloon creation to match a particular color of mint. Roblee likes those challenges.
“Sometimes we have to put a color balloon into another color and inflate to get the exact color needed. It can be tricky to get it right.”
Balloon Girl Napa specializes in decorating businesses to draw in customers but still does occasional baby showers and engagement parties.
“Right now, we’re doing mostly drive-by baby showers and birthdays to make the events special. Even with COVID closing some stores, Balloon Girl Napa was successful helping businesses during the holiday season.”
She’s hoping to do more as shops open after the COVID crisis passes and is especially interested in helping wineries celebrate grand re-openings. For right now, she’s being selective since she still has a remote 9-5 position working for a tech firm and works part-time at Cycle Society as a desk clerk.
“I want to do a good job for every one of my customers, but I’m open to all opportunities.” Her fantasy balloon installation would be at BottleRock.
Style, quality and sophistication are what sets Roblee’s designs apart from other balloon arrangements. “We are unique in that we keep things dressy, classy. I go for an elevated look that is beautiful and elegant. That’s what adds value and marks the occasion.”
Roblee relies on word of mouth and Instagram to promote her company. Info: balloongirlnapa.com.
Photos: Check out the fantastical arches and inflatable fun made by Balloon Girl Napa.
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