Brooklyn Park Balloon Business Takes Off Thanks to Hennepin County Program
A Brooklyn Park woman’s balloon business has really taken off thanks in part to a Hennepin County program.
Erin Aarestad is a benefactor of the program called Elevate Hennepin, which connects local entrepreneurs to resources and advisors for free.
The advice Aarestad’s received has helped turn her dream and hobby into a full-fledged business.
Known as “The Balloon Lady,” Aarestad spends her week preparing balloons for her creations that grace graduation parties, baby showers, large group events and everything in between.
“It’s a pretty good bang for your buck, in the sense that balloons take up a lot of space and add a lot of color to a space,” said Aarestad.
Aarestad got into the balloon business after realizing there was a niche that needed to be filled.
“It was my daughter’s 7th birthday at the time,” said Aarestad, “And I saw a balloon arrangement on Pinterest and loved it. And I called, and I couldn’t find anyone locally to make it, so I said okay, let me give it a try.”
Soon she was getting lots of calls for her creations.
“It just has snowballed,” said Aarestad.
When she realized that her side-hustle was blowing up, she was ready for a career-change, but not sure about all the logistics to starting a business.
“I was a mortgage lender, so that’s quite the jump,” said Aarestad.
That’s where Elevate Hennepin came in to help.
“People come to Elevate, and I help them as a WomenVenture business consultant,” said Tammy Dahlvang, “And they typically come with a really good idea. And they may or may not have a business plan, but they have the passion, or they have something that they want to do. So, I help them design a business plan.”
Along with getting help building a business plan, Aarestad also worked with other advisors that provided tax and legal know-how.
With the help, Aarestad has been able to soar to new heights faster.
She went full-time this year with her business, Balloon Fancy, thanks to the support.
“All of framework they are providing me with is putting me way ahead of where I would be without them,” said Aarestad.
Aarestad would like to open up a warehouse to store the balloons and space where people can pick up here arrangements.
She is looking forward to continuing her relationship with Elevate Hennepin as Balloon Fancy grows.