We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelsie Carlson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kelsie, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
When I was pregnant with my son the company I was working for threw me a virtual baby shower and ordered a balloon garland for the Zoom backdrop. I thought it was beautiful and was so curious about how it was created and what went into it!
In January 2021 we made the move from Monterey, California to Louisville here in Colorado to be closer to family, and I unfortunately had to quit my job. Having a young son, I wanted to be able to do something that allowed me to be at home with him as much as possible. A lightbulb went off in my head as I remembered the beautiful garland from my baby shower, and the idea was born! I spent weeks doing research, talking to people in the business, coming up with a name that felt right to me, and creating a website, logo and social media platforms.
I have always been a super creative person and have loved a good DIY project, so from the beginning this has been beyond fun for me. It’s a lot of hard work, but balloons make everyone happy and seeing people smile from my creations is the best part.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I haven’t always worked in balloon artistry, or any art industry for that matter! I graduated from the University of Iowa with a marketing degree, and worked in the golf industry for over 7 years. I absolutely loved what I did and thoroughly enjoyed working in marketing and social media – something that has been very useful for my business today.
It was an extremely hard decision to leave the golf industry and a 9-5 job to embark on something I’m passionate about, but I am so glad I did. I have fallen in love with what I do and put my entire heart into every single install, no matter how big or small. I always put my clients first and want it to be perfect for them. Providing amazing customer service is what I pride myself on!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live up in Louisville and I absolutely love it here. There’s so much good food, the cutest little shops and tons to do! The community feeling here is second to none.
My perfect day would start at Bittersweet Cafe for breakfast and coffee. Next we would shop around a bit downtown and stop in at all the shops and boutiques (and the Farmer’s Market on Saturday!). We would then head over to the Flatirons for a short hike, and get back to Por Wine House for their incredible happy hour, or Crystal Springs for a cold IPA. Dessert would be at Sweet Cow for ice cream or Punch Buggy for shaved ice… YUM.
I would also want to take them into Denver to hang out at Union Station, Snooze for bottomless mimosas and Coors Field for a baseball game. Heading out to the Red Rocks for a concert would be the icing on the cake!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband Rob has always been my biggest supporter. When we moved here it would have been much easier on us financially if I worked a 9-5 job, but he never wavered in his support when this idea came to life. I think he saw my passion behind it and in return helped me every step of the way. I would not be able to do this without him!
I would also like to recognize someone who I consider a mentor – Sarah Laflan with Poptopia Balloons ( based in Monterey, CA). She is the one who created my baby shower garland, and the first one I called when I had the business idea. She has spent hours coaching me along the way and has answered at least 300 questions I’ve had with patience and kindness. Not only has she become a mentor, but a friend of mine as well! I am inspired by her work and hope to expand my business to her level one day.