Despite the company’s recent start, its owner, Jesús Lamazon, has nearly a decade of experience decorating events.
Lamazon was employed at Zoon as head of sales and marketing and every year during the Black Friday sale he set the scene. Scotiabank has hired Lamazon every year for the past nine years to decorate for Christmas at all of its locations.
From now on, Ludic Balloon Events welcomes birthdays, baby showers, anniversaries, bachelor parties and professional events. It features themed event decorations, floating centerpieces, balloon arches and columns. Among its biggest clients are Zoon Online Shopping, Scotiabank and First Lady Arya Ali, who commissioned the company to decorate for an Easter weekend occasion on the lawns of State House.
Lamazon runs the company in partnership with Daniela Burges-Pinto, whom it has employed full-time as a public relations manager.
Lamazon, who was born in Venezuela, moved with his family to Guyana when he was nine years old in 1997. The entrepreneur said they were only able to take with them their suitcases of clothes on which they slept during the night, because they had no beds, put them back in the suitcases early every morning. He was determined to leave his life of misery behind and for him, having an education was key. “For me, education was paramount and I felt that if I got smart, I would get out of poverty…” Lamazon said.
He returned to Venezuela where he attended school, but later returned to Guyana and was enrolled in Christ Church High School where he took the CSEC exams. Lamazon then attended the accounting training center after which he enrolled in the University of Guyana, but later dropped out to better focus on his career. For the past ten years he has worked in sales and marketing and social media management.
Theamazon also spent time working in Barbados and Trinidad before returning to Guyana in 2013 and has remained here ever since.
According to the entrepreneur, while working in sales and marketing, he also did balloon decorating for companies as a side job. Due to the pandemic last year, he lost his job and started thinking about what he could do to earn some money. After watching numerous YouTube tutorials on custom balloon marquees, in November last year he started creating his own and posting the results to his Facebook page. In February, he started getting orders for custom balloon marquees and that same month landed a six-figure earning job. However, after the first week of work, Lamazon decided to leave. That same week, he said, he was unable to fulfill $120,000 worth of orders and realized that Ludic would be paying far more than the job and he couldn’t afford. to lose more business. He apologized to the company for having to leave, and the day he quit his job, he got a company registration. He never regretted his decision to do so.
Although the company was established in February, the bulk of its orders started arriving from Mother’s Day. Lamazon said it had gone from weekly orders to no less than three per weekday and six to eight on Saturdays and Sundays.
Ludic Balloon Events held small gatherings at restaurants such as Bistro Café, Hard Rock Café, RS53 Resto Bar and Lounge and Kosmos, or at customers’ homes. All of the balls he uses are of the highest quality and are imported from the USA and/or China. “We are still very limited when it comes to obtaining these colors in Guyana. You will find red, blue, pink, black, etc., but you will never find certain colors,” Lamazon said.
Customers can choose the colors they want and Lamazon will import them. Customers, he pointed out, do not always have to wait for it to import from overseas as it has a variety of decors in stock in many colors. He also has special equipment for putting calligraphy designs on balloons. Most of the investment in Ludic came from savings from Lamazon. He also had help from two friends, both of whom he was able to repay.
He noted that while he can say he is making a profit now, he reinvests it back into the business.
Between November and February, Ludic Balloon Events resold the balloons to decoration event companies and was trying to market the balloons to supermarkets when the business started in February. It no longer tries to market in supermarkets, but offers the balloons at retail prices for decoration companies and customers.
When asked if he had more customers buying the balloons than requesting his custom balloon marquee service, Lamazon explained that often when customers who ordered balloons show up for pickup and delivery. see him working on one of his custom balloon marquees, they tell him they might never do what he does and sometimes end up requiring the decorating service of Ludic Balloon Events.
Due to demand, customers are required to place orders for decorating services at least four days in advance for weekdays and at least seven days in advance for weekends.
Ludic Balloon Events provides both pickup and delivery. The decorations are created in the office and while some customers agree to pick up their own, Lamazon sometimes chooses to deliver them for them, especially when they consider the job to be a bit tricky as the balloons can burst. For bigger sets like the one he did at State House, he creates on the spot.
Lamazon shared one thing he has become better at in his business and as a person he is efficient, adding that he is now a much better coordinator.
“I invest in getting different colors of balloons, I invest in software apps that create the designs better, I buy helium and any little thing that has a new decorating edge. It all adds up to what we do as a business because I truly believe that once you stay diverse as a business in Guyana, you keep [attracting] new customers, so we always try to be on top of our [game] and try to be completely different,” he said.
Lamazon envisions Ludic Balloon Events becoming one of the leading companies in Guyana in its field. He hopes to have ten to fifteen employees in the next five years and for the company to be sustainable so that he is not the only one creating the balloon tents. With the increase in work, Lamazon plans to hire two more employees next month.
The two new employees will be people who have participated in two of Ludic’s recent workshops. Lamazon shared that he held balloon decorating workshops at Ptolemy Reid Rehab Center and Open Doors Center. “We try to be a very inclusive company, so the first group of people we reach are high-level people with disabilities. The two workshops we ran saw 40 people with disabilities attend, and from that number we try to find the best of the best that we can bring to work with us on a part-time basis…” he said .
Ludic Balloon Events is present on Facebook and Instagram under its trade name. The company is located at Marudi Street, Lamaha Gardens, Georgetown. Prices for custom balloon marquees start at $3,500. For orders, the company can be contacted at 688-1021.