Buy the children's' Christmas book written by Jolly Holly's late Mother by clicking the button to the left. Go to the "More Services" tab for some background information about the book and the authors family! The "about the book" was written by Jolly Holly! If you are local (Pittsburgh area) you can contact Jolly Holly via email or phone to buy a copy. There is an ebook version as well for those interested.
Jolly Holly BIO
After graduating college from Pennsylvania State University, I began working with children with special needs.
In 2003, a company I worked for was having a fundraiser to raise money for the organization Autism Speaks.
My best friend and I decided it would be fun for the kids at the fundraiser if we made balloon animals.
(Yes, that's me in a Yoda balloon costume!)
We bought a few books from Ollie's and began our journey into becoming Pittsburgh's best balloon twisters.
We were absolutely horrible. We didn't give up though, and from that point I never stopped.
I found that making balloon animals motivated the children I worked with more than most things I had tried before. It was a win win situation because I was able to practice and help the kids at the same time.
The irony is that my friend practically forced me to take that first job with kids. Previously I would say "I will never work with kids!"
She convinced me that I would love it, and she was right. The job was also the reason I got into balloon twisting at all! It really is funny how things work out. And I am sure my friend would love to remind anyone possible that she is "responsible" for both my day job and business.
Since that time I have received a master's degree in special and general education with teaching certificates in both. This is the job "I would never do" and now I cannot imagine doing anything else. Now I work with kids in my regular and balloon twister jobs!
Currently I attend the University of Pittsburgh to get my PhD in special education. Trust me, the work necessary for to get a masters degree and PhD is a personal achievement for me in itself. But I am the type that gets bored easily. That is why balloon art is perfect for me. There is ALWAYS something new.
Being one who bores easily, I wanted to expand my business. So that is exactly what I set out to do!
Initially I added more employees, then skills my fantastic employees and I could add to our repertoire. Most of us learned face-painting, games and magic. But I have been lucky enough through the years to meet puppeteers, caricatures artists, storytellers, comedians and other children & adult entertainers through the years. Now they sub-contract through me and I, them.
(The first picture in this slideshow taken by the new photographer on our team, Rachel. Contact us to book her for your next event!)
It's a lot of fun meeting new people. The different entertainers I have met have been both fun and interesting. If I am really lucky, they are able to teach me a new skill I can use in the future. To "meet" some of these characters, check out my "fab friends" page.
What is even better than meeting new people is knowing your are the one responsible for their happiness. Its great when you see a kid smile because you made them a balloon animal that to you feels simple.
It is hilarious when they name them funny names or develop a back story for their new friend! And kids NEVER disappoint with a request for something I have never made (or even heard of) before. DNA, Spaghetti Monster and a Narwhale of a few I have given my all to making! The Facebook picture below is an example of an accepted challenge!
My personal favorite expansion is balloon decorating. Throughout the years I have practiced every chance I got so I could get as good as my limits allowed.
As I learned more balloon twists I was able to make more intricate designs. All of the knowledge I've gained has made it possible for me to get really creative in my balloon decor designs. The decorations vary from a simple column to a design the client let me run wild with.
Pictured first (Horton) is one of my favorites that I have made along with the skeleton mom and baby (pictured above, made for a Halloween-loving pregnant woman in the hospital). The Horton is on a "Dr. Seuss" themed balloon arch for a "Dr. Seuss" themed baby shower. The client said "do what you think works, just 'roll with it'" and believe me, I did!
I really love adding LED lights to balloons. I like that I am addicted, but I am not completely sure I am joking. LED lights with balloons are just awesome. You can add LED's to any type of decoration from the elegant wedding decor to the goofy child's party decoration.
I have done a lot of balloon decorations for weddings, baby showers and bar/bat mitzvahs (pictured was a bar mitzvah), but not nearly enough kids parties.
I can get pretty creative with bar/bat mitzvahs and really creative with baby showers, but I want to get insane creative and I think elabortae children's party balloon decorations are the way to make it happen. So if you are looking for someone to make decorations for your kid's party, give me a call! 724-972-9196. And please let me incorporate LED's. Anywhere. Really. I swear it isn't much more money ;-)
Most importantly, I love a challenge. If I haven't made it, or even more fun, it hasn't been made, do not hesitate to ask. I had an order for a Katy Perry balloon character once and it was fantastic. I Googled until I couldn't Google anymore to find a Katy Perry balloon character so I could at least somewhat of an example for the client to visualize, to no avail. But it was fine with them and it was perfectly fine with me because I got to make it up! It turned out great (check the gallery). And of course, with my natural tendency for boredom, only a California Gurls Katy Perry wasn't enough, I had to make a Roar Katy Perry too.
For more of Holly of Jolly Holly Balloon Art's antics, check out her Wordpress blog by clicking the button to the right.
For more pictures of our work, check out our balloon art, balloon decor and face painting galleries!
To contact Holly click the pink button on the right to email, or click the blue link on the right to call 724-972-9196. Finally, you can fill out a form at the bottom of the page. You can also follow Jolly Holly Balloon Art on multiple social media platforms. We look forward to hearing from you!