When the pandemic put the kibosh on parties, Kendra Freed’s balloon business really took flight. She’d started Hip + Hooray just a year earlier, supplying balloons for weddings, baby showers and other gatherings. While those all went poof! during the shutdown, customers still clamored for her over-the-top outdoor balloon installations to celebrate birthdays and other special occasions. If they couldn’t gather with friends, the thinking went, at least they could make people smile while driving by the house.
Freed’s balloon creations run the gamut from simple 3-foot-long garlands to massive displays that span a front door, porch or entry. She uses professional-grade balloons made of thick, biodegradable latex in sizes from 5 to 36 inches. To create custom colors and stunning matte effects, she stuffs one balloon inside another. Working from her East Sac home, she blows them up with an air compressor, then assembles the display on-site. “It’s an organic process,” she explained. “I use different sizes of balloons, from really big to very small, to create depth and interest.”
Starting at $15 per foot, prices range from $45 for a grab-and-go garland to $2,000-plus for a large, complex piece. Many of her designs are just begging to be Instagrammed: For a Disney-obsessed toddler’s second birthday, Freed used more than 200 pink balloons to sculpt a front door arch resembling Minnie Mouse ears, then topped it off with a fuchsia balloon bow. “It felt like Disneyland,” she said. hiphooraycompany.com