Balloons are a way of life for Robert Moy. Robert, who founded Brooklyn Balloon Company, creates larger-than-life balloon creations for kids and cool clients combined. We spoke with the Brooklyn-based dad about ballooning, who the most notorious customers are (hint: they’re not kids!), and why he laughs every time he has to fill out school forms.
How did you become a balloon artist?
A few years ago, my wife’s company had a party and there was a balloonist there. My son wanted a candy cane. We loved the idea of balloon art, so we hired someone for his birthday party. While the guy was good, I thought of what I would want to do if I could do balloon art and saw all the possibilities.. So there was a niche in that area. Balloonists are good at what they do, but I felt there was room for improvement.
How did you make the segue?
I was doing jewelry design, working at various companies. My wife took a job that was very demanding, so I was home taking care of my son, and working part-time. I wanted to do something that I could use all of my abilities, using my background in design to develop something amazing in terms of presentation.
I like working with my hands; I like working with kids. I like putting on a show, so I do magic as well as ballooning. I had to learn the magic, and it was hard. I try to make the magic good looking too, so the props are great. I incorporate as many balloon tricks as possible and make the show funny.
But it was something that took time. I kept thinking about it and then I did a couple of parties for friends. It was scary at first, but I got used to it. Now I can handle anything. Kids will show me a picture and ask me to do it. Grandparents are notorious for their requests; they want balloons for themselves, too!
I could never be a balloonist. For me, it scares me when the balloons pop. I don’t like the sound of it.
I am so used to it now. But I put lotion on my hands to prevent the sound of the squeaking balloons.
What are your plans for the future?
We are thinking about doing a product line and package some of the more popular balloons.
Your son must think you’re a rock star.
No, now he’s become a balloon snob. [laughs] It takes a lot to impress him at this point. But I never would have guessed I would be doing this. When I fill out the school forms and I write “Balloon Man,” we all laugh! It’s so much fun and I’m really lucky to do something that I love.