People draw inspiration from a variety of sources to find their lifelong creative passion. For Warren County resident Jaja Crews, a visit to a balloon decorating store sparked her interest in a creative pursuit that became her Warrenton-based business, Crews Balloons.
Crews has lived in Warren County since 1994, but his family ties to the area go back generations. Her grandfather, Wilbert Daniels, owned the barber shop next to the Warren County Community Center, and her mother, Adele Plummer, is from Warrenton.
Crews herself didn’t start her career imagining that she would one day become a balloon artist. She worked for 16 years as a courier.
However, she has always been interested in crafts. If a project involves glitter, all the better. It was this interest in crafts and creativity that piqued her curiosity when she saw the front of a balloon decorating store just a few years ago while on vacation.
“I was out sightseeing and the window display had balloon sculptures,” Crews said. “I had never seen balloon sculptures.”
Many people may be familiar with balloon animals which can be created by twisting one or two balloons. However, what Crews saw involved many balloons of different sizes, shapes and colors being used to form something spectacular.
This visit inspired her to research balloon sculpting and she discovered a world of balloon artists. Crews took his first hot air balloon lesson in 2018 and obtained the limited liability company title for his business the following year. She is now working towards becoming a certified balloon artist.
Crews described her training at this point as invaluable to her both as an artist and as an entrepreneur, from her focus on the fundamentals and techniques of balloon sculpting to networking and other related issues. to the operation of a business. Next month, she will be traveling to New York for another course as part of the process to earn her certification.
Meanwhile, Crews Balloons has provided everything from arches, columns, centerpieces and custom designs for all occasions including birthdays, weddings, baby showers, anniversaries and more. Crews can create everything from a small bouquet of balloons or a sculpture to send someone off with a birthday or receive wishes to a large-scale backdrop for an event.
“I strive to create anything a customer can imagine,” she said.
With access to multiple distributors, Crews offers a large inventory that includes the latest trends.
She explained that arches and columns are especially popular for special events. Columns, usually 6 feet high, enhance the entrance to the venue to set the tone for the event.
As a balloon artist, Crews also creates free-standing works, such as 3-foot-tall bunnies for Easter, an 8-9 foot ice cream cone, or spring flowers.
“My passion is to see what I can create to make someone else smile,” she said.
Crews asks customers to contact Crews at least two weeks before an event to allow plenty of time for design and preparation, as well as shipping of any products that need to be ordered. For custom designs, Crews asks customers to contact her three weeks in advance.
When a customer contacts Crews, they ask for the date, time and location of an event. She will also ask questions about a theme or what the customer likes. The teams will then send the client inspiration photographs for potential designs. When the customer selects a favorite photo, Crews discusses the sizes and quantities needed.
While she prepares her balloon creations, her husband, Joseph, helps her with the heavy lifting.
For a balloon artist like Crews, the range of balloon sizes, shapes and colors continues to inspire. Her favorite designs are Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and she particularly loves how festive and colorful designs for children’s parties can be. However, no matter the event, there are plenty of options to make it special.
“Since balloons are so varied, the possibilities are endless,” Crews said.
To contact Crews Balloons, call 252-425-0309, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit crewsballoons.com, or find the company on Instagram or Facebook @crewsballoons.