A fun filled year
2018 was a fun filled year with tons of celebrations! A year filled with old friends, new friends and new adventures. It's always such a joyful time for me write newsletters and look back at all the fun I've been able to have throughout the year. There were so many exciting adventures, I'll do my best to recall them all. :o)
Twist & Shout 2018-Las Vegas, NV
For YEARS I have wanted to attend the Twist & Shout balloon convention, and 2018 was my year! This is a HUGE, five day event, that takes place in a different location each year, drawing HUNDREDS of balloon artist, entertainers, decorators and twisters. Top professionals in the industry are brought in to teach all kinds of classes. Whether you are brand new in the industry or a seasoned professional there are tips and tricks for everyone to add to their repertoire.
T&S kicks off in January every year and just happened to be in my hometown, the fabulous Las Vegas, NV for 2018. So I packed my bags, hopped a flight and dove deep into one fun filled week FULL of continuing education, meeting new friends while having the opportunity to reconnect with family and life long friends. The trip brought me home with tons of inspiration for new creations, new tips and just new ideas to incorporate into my business. It was the perfect start to 2018.
BB's One Year Anniversary Celebration!
On February 3rd, I got to party with all of Central City to celebrate BB's first year of success in a brick and mortar business!! It was a fantastic day! I had tons of balloons in store (to show off all the cool new stuff I learned at Twist & Shout of course!), snacks & coffee for all. So many people stopped out and made the day truly special. People reminded me of all kinds of events and deliveries we'd done together throughout the year. It was such an honor to recall all the special memories I'd had the opportunity to be a part of all year long. It reminded me how awesome my job is because of all the JOY and HAPPINESS it brings to others. It was a day that really made my heart happy. Thank you so much to the community of Central City for opening your hearts to me and my business. I'm lucky and blessed I had the opportunity to be in a community that really supports entrepreneurship as well as supporting our small, local businesses.
Valentine's Day is my busiest holiday of the year. I stay up for hours on end (for a few days) creating all kinds of creations so on the big day, I'm ready to deliver your heartfelt affection and appreciation to the most special people in your lives. Valentine's Day creations are great for everyone! This year I had the pleasure of making creations for spouses, parents, Grandparents, teachers and of course all the kiddos!
My very favorite part of any creation is the delivery. To see someone's face light up with excitement because of your thoughtfulness just makes my heart melt. I just live for those moments. :)
The coolest thing I heard that day was from the office ladies (bless their hearts!) at our elementary school as we brought in another load of deliveries for them to disburse to the kiddos: "This is THE MOST Valentine's Day deliveries we've ever had!"
I should have snapped a picture of the school's office that day. It was a SIGHT to see! They were just PACKED with heartfelt deliveries in there! There were flowers, balloons, candy, stuffed animals, you name it, it was in there! It was just marvelous to get to be part of such a special event.
A NEW (ad)Venture...
Valentine's Day was BB's last big celebration in Merrick Foundations incubator space. I simply canNOT THANK each of you enough because BB's more than doubled in size while having the pleasure of being in there! It was such an amazing opportunity and I just loved every minute. I think of the opportunity Merrick Foundation gave me every day and cannot express my gratitude enough. I think back to that little store all the time and the memories always bring a smile to my face. I learned so much about myself, owning a business and community in that little store on the corner. I will be forever grateful for that opportunity and wish every future business in there as much fun, joy and success that BB's had in the incubator space.
That being said, as wonderful of a space as it was, I was (thankfully!) bursting at the seams and it was time to give the next entrepreneur the opportunity to give their dream a chance. I had a fitness business that was just as booming as the balloon side of life and we needed more space so we could continue to grow and get our sweat on. To me, fitness is about empowering everyone around me as well as myself. It's about being healthier and happier. It's about self love and self care. It's about encouraging positivity, motivation and gathering with like-minded people. It's also about having FUN while getting sweaty!
Steps Dance Academy has that same mission and offers fabulous dance classes to the youth of Central City. Becky Brandenburg (owner & director) was so kind and generous to share her space with us! In the mornings, the studio was open for the Queens (& Kings!) of our community to come let the sweaty magic happen, while the afternoons and evenings were our Princesses (& Princes!) time to shine. A very heartfelt thank you to Becky for sharing her space with me. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to continue spreading positivity, motivation and the gift of better health to more women (& men) within our community.
Children's Day Event
Children's Day is an annual event hosted by Grand Island's Community Youth Council. It's an event that focuses on celebrating children of all cultures in the Grand Island community. In addition to balloons, they had a mariachi band, a magician, bounce houses, food trucks, crafts, games and so much more! It was fun for the entire family and really focused on unifying the community by learning about and celebrating all of the different cultures within it. It was an honor to be part of such a uniquely inclusive event.
Rock This Town Dance Recital
Steps Dance Academy 2018 performance 'Rock This Town' was a smash hit! These amazing dancers practiced all year long and delighted the entire community with their skills at THREE sold out performances. From pre-schoolers to high school seniors, these kiddos really worked together all year to learn the choreography and put on phenomenal performances. For some it was their first time on stage while for others it was their final performance with SDA. It was so heartwarming to watch the big kids encourage and lead the littles who so clearly looked up to them. I feel so blessed I had the opportunity to be part of 3 magical days of celebrating the dancers, their hard work and their passions.
Central City Fly-in Breakfast
Every year the Central City Municipal Airport host a Fly-in Breakfast drawing planes and pilots from all over our state. Grosshans Inc and I had a fantastic time volunteering again this year. This event is so much fun for our community and we look forward to it every year!
We had the pleasure of guiding in all the planes/helicopters as well as having the opportunity to meet and greet every pilot. I love hearing where they flew in from, learning about their planes as well as their story of becoming a pilot.
Central City may be small but we sure know how to put on BIG events that showcase building community relationships. Every year this event gets bigger and bigger. People come to enjoy conversation, breakfast, airplane rides, parachute jumpers doing acrobatics, as well as see all the awesome planes and helicopters from all over the great state of Nebraska. Come check us out in 2019, you (& the kids!) will not be disappointed!
Sutton's Dug Out Days
Sutton, Nebraska's annual town celebration 'Dugout Days' is a four day town celebration with food galore, beer tasting, games, carnivals, live music and even a parade. I got to hang with my friends from The Sutton Legion twisting up all kinds of creations for the kid in all of us. I love making balloons for everyone but it is SO MUCH FUN when the adults get into too! I mean how can you not smile looking at those happy faces?!
The end of one chapter...
The beginning of the summer Elliot and I decided we wanted to grow as professionals in new ways that would require further education. In addition to his vast knowledge and love for tractors, Elliot is one talented machinist. He has an eye for beauty (obviously! haha!!) and extreme attention detail. So we packed our bags and moved to Seward so Elliot could pursue his machining degree at SCC Milford. He is ROCKING at the program and I am proud to report this guy made the Dean's List!! Way to go Elliot!!!
Grosshans Inc has been a family owned and operated business since 1877. Each generation has had their own accomplishments, achievements and contributions to the community. Elliot loves and honors the family tradition as well as looks forward to his opportunity to continue the family business while being able to bring his own personal touch to the legacy. We look forward to moving back to Central City after he finishes school.
To me, fitness is all about growing, changing, trying new things, and pushing yourself (both physically and mentally) to new places. Having completed 6 different certifications over the year I wanted to try something that I've always been really interested in but was a major challenge for me. I love bouncing around, lifting heavy and getting sweaty but I (like so many others) struggle with slowing down. I wanted to be able to offer the power of Yoga. Sin City Yoga's immersion teacher training program really resonated with me and had a starting date of August. That was the perfect time frame for us to move and get settled in Seward before I began my West bound adventure.
And the beginning of another!
We moved to Seward the beginning of July and were welcomed into the community with open arms. I stopped into The Seward Independent to learn more about the happenings around town and made my first friends. All of these girls (& Kevin!) are so sweet and I'm blessed for the warm welcome they gave. Patty is such a doll, showed me around town and was an immediate supporter of my business. Thank you so much to Patty and the rest of the staff at Seward Independent for the friendship and warm welcome to Seward!
But never too far from home
Even though we're in Seward (& truly LOVE the community) we are never too far from home. For the third year in a row I had the pleasure of creating some fabulous and fun balloons for the kiddos of Central City's Children's Theater.
For one crazy week every summer volunteers within our community along with the staff of Missoula Community Theater, work with our kiddos to hold tryouts, rehearsals AND put on their grand performance. It's AMAZING what they accomplish in only one week! Everyone works their tails off to give the kids an incredible experience, the kids LOVE it and put their whole hearts into which results in a truly spectacular performance.
The volunteer staff of CC's Children's Theater as well as the staff at MCT really go over and beyond to create an experience that fosters creativity, community and FUN for everyone. I'm so honored to be a part of that experience and look forward to helping with the fun to come in 2019!
Norfolk's 'Fork Fest
Every summer, Norfolk puts on 'Fork Fest which is a wonderful festival with sidewalk sales, food trucks, live music, an open air beer garden and so much more! If you haven't been, you should seriously add this event to your calendar for the summer.
The coolest part about the sidewalk sales is it's the local businesses teaming up to show their customers how much they appreciate them and thank them for choosing to #ShopLocal and #ShopSmall. Almost all of the businesses are small, local, family owned and operated. Supporting them directly supports the entrepreneurs of Norfolk and this event is their way of saying THANK YOU!
Have you ever met someone and just felt like you've been BFF's your whole life? That's exactly how I feel about the Webb Family at A to Z Vac N Sew. :) We met last summer when they had me out to create balloons for all of their customers, guest, family and friends. From the moment we met, we were fast friends. As much fun as I had at their event I enjoyed the friendship that has grown even more. This summer I couldn't wait to be back. Not only did I get the privilege of hanging with my friends but I also was able to help them give back and show appreciation to their community, friends and family. Be sure to stop out summer 2019 for some fun for the whole family, meet the Webb's and get a rad balloon!
Phelp's County Fair
Phelp's County Fair holds such a special place in my heart because this is the first community I ever had the pleasure of doing a County Fair with! Phelp's County has taught me so much about community, giving back and bringing the celebration to EVERY ONE!
You see Phelp's County Ag Society does something really unique for the members of their community and it's the first community that's ever had me do this. They have me come to the fair for 3 days so all the little 4H-er's, their families, as well as everyone at the fair gets a chance to get some beautiful balloon creations. BUT in addition to having me at the fair, they schedule extra time to have creations made at each of the senior homes within their community. It's a tradition that I've been able to pass on to other communities and has opened my eyes and heart about the importance of giving back to our seniors in general. They don't leave anyone out when it comes to their fair and it is a tradition that has just melted my heart every single year. Thank you so much Phelp's County Ag Society for that wonderful gift.
I cherish the memories made at Phelp's County Fair every year. I look forward to seeing how much all the kiddos have grown, seeing all my friends in the senior communities, as well as meeting all the new faces around town. I'm looking forward to celebrating the fair with Phelp's County for the fourth year in a row, this summer. If you're in the area, be sure to stop out to the Ag building to say HI! :)
Merrick County Fair
I love all the fairs I attend. I love learning about the traditions in each one. I love delighting everyone with beautiful balloons and I love seeing all the happy faces.
Merrick County Fair is special to me because it's my community. :) I've been to these kiddos birthday parties, I've created special balloons and memories for them and their families throughout the years, I've done kid's yoga with them, their Moms are my friends and #SwoleSisters that I have the pleasure of sweating with and I volunteer monthly at the senior homes with their Grandpeople! When I'm making balloons at Merrick County Fair, I feel like I'm at a big party with all of my extended family and friends. :)
I love hearing the stories from the kiddos about how their summer is going, vacations they went on, how training the animals went and what color ribbons the 4-H'ers got. I always get at least one kiddo who tries to get me to go on the zipper with them, (still a no, unless someone wants to get barfed on! haha!!!) tons of high 5's and the best hugs.
This year was extra special for me because it was my last event in Merrick County. The fair ended on Wednesday and directly from there I headed straight to Vegas for Yoga Teacher Training. I'd be gone the rest of the summer and I knew upon returning, it would be to our new home in Seward. It was bittersweet to say 'see you later' to the community I have grown to love so much as well as embark on all the exciting adventures to come. I can't thank Merrick County Ag Society enough for having me there and I can't thank everyone enough for all the congratulations and well wishes I was sent off with. I wish I had the words to express how much that event truly meant to me. I can't wait to celebrate with everyone again at Merrick County's 2019 fair. :)
Yoga Teacher Training-Las Vegas, NV
Put the balloons away because it's time to namaste! After the fair ended I hopped in my car and began my journey across the country. I took some extra time so I could sight-see as well as make some stops along the way to visit family and friends. After about a week of travel I finally arrived in Las Vegas to begin my yogi journey.
I am an athlete. I love anything that involves pushing my physical limits, training hard, eating clean and getting sweaty. I honestly live for it. I hold multiple certifications, have seriously tried pretty much every kind of fitness out there and have been in the industry for years. I think self-care is the best gift you can give to YOU and empowering others to do the same is the best gift you can give to everyone around you.
If you've ever met me, you know I am a ball of pure energy and a true fire cracker! I get excited about being excited! haha!! I am loud, bouncy and the kind of girl who wakes up ready to hit the ground running. That being said, I am not a natural yogi. haha!! I chose to do this because I knew it would be an extreme challenge for me. The goal was to learn how to slow down, connect with my breath, get out of my physical (& mental!) comfort zones as well as submerge myself in a culture I pretty much didn't know anything about. Why?! Because I believe the biggest growth and most inspirational changes happen in our lives when we are uncomfortable. Life is about GROWTH and life is constantly changing.
Fitness IS empowering. It makes us feel better inside and out which makes us better to everyone in our lives, including ourselves. BUT learning to relax instead of react to everything around us is a gift that Yoga offers in a different way than any other realm of fitness. Yoga is a true mind/body connection. I wanted to be able to give that to myself and be able to teach it everyone around me.
So...I dove head first into an immersion course at Sin City Yoga with 9 other wonderful women. We went to school 5 days a week for 12 hour days to absorb as much as humanly possible from our instructors. We explored every kind of yoga you can imagine! In addition to learning the history of Yoga, we learned proper form, cuing, modifications, advancements, breath work and even some Thai body work. After 3 weeks of 12 hour days we all successfully took turns leading a 1 hour class to each other, passed our written practicums AND each lead a live class open to the public. It was an incredible experience! I hold the practice and it's teachings very near to my heart and enjoy every opportunity to share it with others. <3
After a summer full of growth, changes and new beginnings it was time to head on back to The Good Life! I got home August 31st, dropped my yoga mat, grabbed my balloon bag and headed out to Grand Island for an all day event on September 1st! (I did mention I'm the kind of girl who wakes up ready to hit the ground running, right?! haha!!)
HyVee Grand Island, NE
September 1st, I celebrated a SUPER Saturday at Hy-Vee in Grand Island. We celebrated Labor Day and the first Husker game of the season with balloons galore, a tailgate, a visit from Paw Patrol, samples and sales throughout the entire store.
It was so busy the balloon line started at the front door, went all the way through produce and wrapped its way around the entire bakery! It was one busy and fun day that's for sure! It was so busy I only had time to snap this one picture of my very last little guy in line but he was thrilled with his Herbie. :)
Action Plumbing, Heating and Air
a BIG congratulations to Action Plumbing, Heating and A/C for celebrating 50 years in business! The party planners wanted to surprise everyone with decor that was fun and unique. We decided to create centerpieces to resemble each of their staff members as well as some extra large columns, in their company colors, for a sophisticated and festive celebration.
The balloons were a HIT! They were so surprised and truly loved the creations. I had such a great time creating these for them and was so delighted they chose me to help celebrate such a monumental milestone for their business. Again, many congratulations to you Action Plumbing, Heating and A/C on 50 years in business and cheers to many more.
649 Seward Street
After the dust of the summer travels, getting home and back in the groove of life had settled, I decided I missed having a store so I began my hunt around Seward of finding the perfect spot for BB's. I looked at a dozen different locations but one in paticular just kept calling to me. You know when you know, you know. :)
The BIG building on the corner, with the black railing all the way around it, just off the square. It had a front and a back entrance appearing to have the ability to have 2 separate businesses within it but yet connect with each other. It was like the building was MADE for my business model and I knew, this was the spot for me.
I reached out to Alyssa Hendrix of Kach Investments to find out more about this space. When I met Alyssa, I felt like I was meeting my sister! haha! I met a true entrepreneur, who is about the growth of community, believing in others, full of life, motivation and positivity. I could feel it, we were meant to be friends! :) She let me know the space had just become available. I mean between Alyssa and the timing of the space, I felt like this couldn't possibly be any more meant to be! I pitched her my ideas for the space and she was totally on board. I was elated!! We met once more with Carey and Elliot so we could fill the boys in on the details, then set to work on transforming the 1400 square feet of space.
With the help of The Hendrix's crew, Elliot, family and friends, we worked diligently on cleaning, painting, flooring, lighting and so much more. Within 6 short weeks, BB's was cleaned, freshened up and ready to open. I couldn't be more grateful to Carey & Alyssa Hendrix for believing in my dream, letting me run with my ideas and providing any help I could have possibly needed to get BB's ready for business.
I'm just in love with the way the store turned out and I couldn't have done it without all of their help. I am so grateful to The Hendrix's, along with all who helped make the space what it is today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Halloween Grand Opening
With the renovation done, it was time to have some FUN...and what a fun day, Halloween was! I seriously could not have asked for a better day. I felt like just about every one in town stopped out to say hello, introduce themselves and welcome me to Seward. Family and friends from all over the state surprised me with visits, hugs and congratulations. The Seward Chamber did a special ribbon cutting for me and the Seward Independent even came out to do a write up about my business. Everyone was so supportive, I sincerely felt so welcomed to Seward, loved by many and all around blessed.
I founded my business in 2013 and I started it because I genuinely love seeing other people happy. I love the wonderment in peoples eyes when I create something for them live, I adore the excitement on someone's face when I get to deliver a handmade creation just for them and I positively melt seeing all the joyful smiles. To be the recipient of the love and support for my vision that I received at my Grand Opening was absolutely humbling. Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by. Your presence made my day more amazing than I could ever say.
This was my second year in a row doing 'Tagged Turkeys" and is my very favorite giveback program of the year!! It's a group effort that honestly spreads SO much JOY! Here's how Tagged Turkeys work:
I reach out to the senior living and care facilities in our area to find out how many Grandpeople are at each of them. This year, Seward had 210 patriarchs and matriarchs within Greene Place, Ridgewood and Brookdale. We lovingly create, cut out, hole punch and thread with twine or ribbon enough "Happy Thanksgiving" tags (& a few extras of course!) for every senior. Members of the community along with local businesses sponsor the tags at $2.50 each to help with the cost of creating a tiny turkey balloon for each and every resident. About a week before the big day, I go to each of the care homes to create BB's donated GIANT turkey for all to enjoy. On Thanksgiving morning I return to each of the facilities to delivery the mini tagged balloon turkeys lovingly donated by all of you.
I wish I could express to you the amount of joy and gratitude this program brings to the Grandpeople. They are just blown away by the thoughtfulness and at times are even moved to tears. These are people that have lived their whole lives within our town. They've done their part working, volunteering and donating to the community throughout the years. I see this as our way of giving back to them, saying THANK YOU for all they have done and to let them know, they are not forgotten. To remind them they are very much loved, valued and remembered. Thank you so much to everyone who helped me deliver that message to them this Thanksgiving.
Small Business Saturday
Small Business Saturday is a national holiday that falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The #ShopSmall movement was created to support the local shops and businesses that make our communities strong. It helps bring awareness to shopping local instead only focusing on big box retailers over the holiday season. It's an event that unites small businesses with each other as well as those in our community. Choosing to #ShopLocal keeps your money right here at home which directly supports your community as well as the entrepreneurs within it.
Countless people have supported my business, shared my work, referred me to friends and believed in my vision. I wouldn't be who or where I am today without all of the love and support I have received from all of YOU! That being said, this holiday season I wanted to focus on giving back. I wanted to give other entrepreneurs the same belief and encouragement so many others have given to me. So, this Small Business Saturday I had the pleasure of being able to host two other small businesses in store with me.
Ann Herbig of Positively You Boutique in Central City is a long time friend, customer and supporter of my businesses. She worked tirelessly last year on CC's Small Business Saturday project to make it a spectacular experience for the community and the local businesses. This year I couldn't think of a better person to have in store with me than Ann. Her beautiful boutique has fabulous goodies and gifts that I knew the community of Seward would love to see.
Heirlooms & Paper Blooms of Lincoln is owned and operated by Alisha Mills, a life long friend of mine. Alisha is a stay at home Momma of twins who somehow finds the time to create the most absolutely gorgeous paper flowers I've ever seen. Small Business Saturday was Alisha's debut of her flowers and she created the most beautiful display in my store. She was so gracious to leave them in Seward so please feel free to stop in any time to check them out! Don't see exactly what you're looking for? Reach out to Alisha because she can create custom orders to match any color or style you need.
It was such an honor for me to part of the marvelous Small Business Saturday event of Seward and a true privilege for me to be able to share my space with other amazing business owners.
Have you been wondering what this $3 Thursdays! you've been hearing all about is?! Here's the scoop: In addition to Small Business Saturday I wanted to find a way to continue to keep our local businesses unified as well as create a fun experience around town. I wanted to give customers the opportunity to score some great deals as well as learn more about the people who run the small businesses within our community so I came up with $3 Thursdays!
For only $3, you can visit all kinds of retailers in Seward! You can eat, grab a drink, a sweet treat as well as find all kinds of cute little gifts and goodies every Thursday. My hope with this program is you enjoy visiting all of your favorite places while encouraging you to visit a few new ones, catch some great deals and delight in getting to know your community's entrepreneurs. Please visit my $3 Thursdays! page to see participating business. :) Thank you so much for choosing to support our small businesses, we can't thank you enough!
If you have a business in Seward and would like to join in the fun, just drop me an email so I can add you to the list of participants.
Cheers to another New Year!
Even though 2018 has come and gone, the memories it leaves behind are priceless. This was a year full of celebrations, growth, changes and new beginnings.
I was able to take all of the skills, knowledge, trials, errors and successes I learned for my experience in Merrick Foundations Incubator Space as I grew into my first 'Big Girl' store. Because of that opportunity I felt better prepared as an entrepreneur and store owner. Because of that opportunity I was able to keep the gift of giving back in my heart and business practices. Thank you Merrick Foundation for those gifts.
Thank you to the Hendrix Family for your belief in my ideas and giving me the opportunity to run with them. Thank you to all of my family and friends for the love, encouragement and continual support of my businesses.
Thank you to each and every one of YOU! Thank you for following my journey. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to celebrate with you and thank you for choosing me to help make the milestones in your lives a little extra special. I simply cannot express my gratitude enough.
I sincerely look forward to a fabulously fun filled, heartwarming, and exciting 2019 with all of you!
Bringing smiles for miles!