We had the good fortune of connecting with Shannon Thomason and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shannon, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
At Hello Sunshine Creatives, our latex balloons are eco-friendly. We use high quality and biodegradable latex balloons. They decompose at the same rate as an oak leaf. With our helium balloons, as an extra precaution, we individually tie the balloons to the weight to prevent all of them from floating away if any mishaps should occur.
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’ve always struggled with the question, “what do I want to be when I grow up?” After earning a bachelor’s degree in economics, I started out in property management with a real estate development company. That career path was cut short when I met my husband, who is a Marine, and we received orders. We moved to California where I obtained my nail technician license. After working in a day spa, I realized that I was much more interested in the business side of the spa vs. the creative side of nails so I was hired as the Spa Manager. I soon realized that working a full time job while our 3 kids were growing up and maintaining a household while your husband is deployed is A LOT of work. I struggled with work/life balance and ultimately decided that staying home with the kids was the best option. While at home, I earned my Personal Trainer and Health Coach certifications. After a year in the fitness industry, we made the decision to move to Colorado Springs. I stayed home with the kids when we first moved to Colorado and then began working with a wedding planner in town. I had always assisted with weddings and events throughout my life but never looked at it as a career. When my husband was sent out on a 7 month deployment, I knew that I could no longer work the long hours every weekend that are required as a wedding planner. I decided to study and get my real estate license. After working in Real Estate for 2 years, I really missed using my creative side so I tossed around the idea of starting a staging company. In the midst of all of my research on what it would take to run a staging business, I stumbled upon an instagram post of the most gorgeous balloon display I had ever seen. I thought to myself, “I wonder if I could do that?!” A couple of days later, still thinking about balloons, I was sitting on my couch and had this overwhelming feeling that I needed to go and grab my stash of balloons and just try. It was like I had no control over my own hands and I just started creating. I began offering to do balloons for my friends and local businesses that I frequented. I was officially on a roll and then the world shut down due to Covid. I wasn’t sure how I was going to continue doing what I love but then it came to me! I started offering contact free “You’ve Been Ballooned” displays that I could install outside of people’s homes. The local news station Fox 21 did a story about Hello Sunshine Creatives and we quickly “blew up.” While ballooning clients all over town, I was asked to fill in at a wedding venue doing event management. I discovered that I absolutely loved helping clients secure the venue of their dreams for their special day and being onsite to ensure that everything went smoothly. For the first time in my “grown up life,” I finally feel professionally satisfied. I have the best work/life balance and both of my jobs are so flexible. I no longer seek to find a career that fits my life. Instead, I have created a life that includes my career. With the venue, I am able to satisfy my administrative and organized part of my brain. With balloons, I am able to use my hands to create gorgeous displays that bring so much joy to our clients and to us. There is nothing better than seeing the smiles on our clients’ faces when we pull up in our new balloon van and start carrying out all of their balloons. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I’m working because I truly love what I do and it never feels like “work!”
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend came to visit, we would certainly eat out at all of my favorite local restaurants. As a small business owner, I truly strive to support other local owners. We would definitely take a trip to Garden of the Gods and we would also go to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. If there was enough time, I love taking our visitors to Mt. Princeton where we are able to relax and enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery.
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?
We have grown so much since 2019 and we owe it to so many businesses and returning clients in the Colorado Springs community. The vendor community that we are a part of is like none other. We do monthly installations at various businesses in town and we’ve been able to celebrate year after year with the same clients. There’s nothing that brings us more joy than celebrating a bride that says “Yes” to her dress at Something New Boutique and takes a picture in front of one of our balloon displays and then reaches out to us later to help celebrate their bridal shower. Word of mouth and personal referrals are a huge part of our business and we are so thankful to all of our clients for telling others about Hello Sunshine Creatives.
Other: Pinterest: Hello Sunshine Creatives