South Milwaukee woman opens custom balloon decorating business for events

Nilsa Arce-Masso loves balls.

She keeps balloons at her home in South Milwaukee for months until they are completely deflated. “I’m rightfully obsessed with balloons,” she said. “Just give me all the balloons.”

Arce-Masso said she had been designing balloons for her four-year-old daughter and her nephews for birthdays for about six or seven years.

“It was a much simpler decoration,” she said.

It was her brother who showed her that she could turn her passion into a business when he exposed her to the larger balloon decorating community.

“It was my little paradise,” Arce-Masso said.

Scouring social media, she found many unique displays consisting only of balloons in different colors, sizes, shapes, and quantities. Arce-Masso also took a few classes to help with her projects which she described as motivational trial and error.

“Honestly, I love it, it keeps me going,” she said.

In April 2022 Masso Balloons Décor was born – and the business had to grow rapidly.

That month, her brother asked her to have a baby shower and “do it big.” Soon after, once word of the company spread, Arce-Masso began receiving calls for graduations and birthday arrangements.

“It’s been pretty busy,” she said. “I thought I would have more time to see where it would lead, but within two weeks I book. It was definitely a faster pace than I expected.

Arce-Masso joked his fiancée and the kids are “sick and tired of my balloons”.

“I do things and pop them if they’re not how I want them to be,” she laughed.

Nilsa Arce-Masso launched Masso Balloons Decor in April 2022 to bring her love of balloons to the masses.  It organizes many events, including birthdays.

Arce-Masso is often inspired by Pinterest

Inspiration for Arce-Masso comes from what the customer wants, which often starts with ideas from Pinterest. She won’t duplicate another person’s work, but gives a concept its “own spin and style”.

She makes models with an application and once it is confirmed by the client, she gets to work. Displays can be set up quickly or, for example, if she is designing pieces for seven rooms in a house, it can take upwards of 18 hours.

Using different colors and styles of balloons, Arce-Masso has created everything from classic wedding arches to a tree made up of 300 balloons of five different types that took over three hours to build. Some projects can take up to 600 balloons, she said.

Whether you have a birthday, gender reveal, retirement, wedding, quinceañera or other event, Masso Balloons Decor can inflate it into something more.

Nilsa Arce-Masso launched Masso Balloons Decor in April 2022 to bring her love of balloons to the masses.  One of her favorite exhibits was about space because she loved colors.

Eventually Arce-Masso wants to expand and “make the balloons and add more to the balloons” like other decorating mediums with its goal to “grow until there is no room to grow.” .

“Hopefully it takes off and (I can) make it a real full-time job,” said Arce-Masso, a stay-at-home mom for a year and a half. “I can do something that I’ve always loved.”

The best way to contact Arce-Masso is via its Facebook page, Masso Ballons Décor, and on Instagram @massoballonsdecor.

Contact Erik S. Hanley at erik.hanley@jrn.com. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter at @ES_Hanley.