When Yuleisy Lanns decided to create a balloon garland decoration for her birthday party, she never imagined things would “pop off” the way they have. Now, two months after testing the waters with an exploratory Facebook post, Lanns’s love for decorating with balloons hasn’t deflated, and her one-time hobby has become a business called Patchogue Garlands.
“I started this business as a hobby. My birthday is at the end of May, and I did a balloon arch for it and got a lot of compliments from my guests,” said Lanns. “My two friends suggested I post about it on Facebook to see what happens. Since I don’t have much to do, as I was on my summer break from medical school, I thought there was no harm trying, and here we are.”
After only two months in business, Lanns tapped her sister for extra help with the venture and is carving out a niche for herself with local birthday parties, baptisms, bridal showers, graduations—and most other events. Her balloon arrangements are meant to accentuate the food or cake at events, and can be arranged with already-existing decorations, bringing a bit of colorful magic into the room. Her creations include arches, garland, centerpiece bouquets, balloon walls and balloon columns.
“We love creating any kind of arrangement with balloons because they brighten up any occasion,” she said.
When a customer decides to purchase one of Lanns’s balloon decorations, they’ll pick out the color scheme and design. With summer on everyone’s mind, pastel and bright colors are the trendiest right now. Clients also request specific designs; even the simplest design takes 100 balloons or more to create.
“One of the most requested designs right now are mermaid tails and the pastel candy cart,” she said.
In recent Facebook posts, Lanns shared photos of the mermaid tail and the pastel candy cart; she also shared a photo of a bubblegum wall, which consisted of a few hundred balloons of varying sizes and colors, mostly pastel, all affixed together creating a large balloon structure. There are also photos of classy-looking bridal arches, made with gold-and-cream-toned balloons, accented with a large balloon champagne bottle.
“Right now my favorite is what I call a mini garland ring cake backdrop, because it is a chic way of accentuating a dessert table,” she said.
Lanns lives in Patchogue and takes orders from as far out as Brooklyn, gaining much of her clientele through word-of-mouth and through the Facebook and Instagram posts she makes on local groups’ pages. Her plan is to expand to New York City as demand grows.
“Especially the Bronx, since we keep getting requests from that area,” she said.
Patchogue Garlands is not a mail-order business. Lanns brings her creations directly to the venue where the event is being held and assembles on the spot.
“Balloons are very malleable and any unwanted twisting can destroy a look. We prefer to install ourselves for the moment for that reason, but it’s also better for the client because balloons may pop while being handled. If we are the ones installing them, we can easily replace them,” she said.
While Patchogue Garlands continues to grow, Lanns continues to create with this simple method in mind: the joy a balloon can bring to its recipient.
“A simple balloon brings a lot of joy to children, and we make them look glamorous for the adults, so everybody is happy,” she said.
For more information on Patchogue Garlands, visit them on Facebook or Instagram @patchoguegarlands.