The Dialogue with Dianna Glandon
This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So here we go with our 35th installment visiting with Dianna Glandon, president and founder of Above the Rest Balloon & Event Designs
who strives to create fun & excitement for her clients while at the same time reducing their stress level when they are planning special events! They LOVE to help people party!
You're not a normal party planner. What sets you apart? Above the Rest Event Designs brings powerful color energy to special events of all types. How? Through the art mediums of balloons and fabric. Yes, balloons, but not what your mind is thinking of as "balloons." We are professional experts in creating customized full room or event decor that make people exclaim, "WOW!" when they enter a room or event. Our balloon designs often become the focal point at an event causing people to have their photos taken with the designs. We create FUN and... We make it easy for event planners to look great, their event to draw attention, or to impress people. Because our designs raise the energy at any event, it becomes easier for our clients who are hosting fundraisers to raise more money because the atmosphere has become a very positive one.
This sounds fun. How did you get started? Ten years ago I was teaching school and also student council advisor. We often did things with balloons, but when we planned a statewide student council convention for 900 students, we planned a giant tailgate party as our final night celebration. To decorate, we hired a balloon artist. At the end of event I said, "Tim, your job has to be so fun!" He said, "Well, then why don't you buy my business?'' "Seriously?" I said. "I don't think so." But couldn't get the idea out of my mind. Long story short, after researching, I found a balloon industry training site in Georgia and attended it. There I discovered the new and exciting world of event decorating and people who are now dear friends! I continued to teach and also did balloon decor part-time. The business began to grow until I had to make a choice. After much prayer and receiving some obvious guidance, I took a leap of faith and retired from teaching to begin Above the Rest Balloon & Event Designs--and have loved it ever since!
You've obviously learned a lot. What else have you done? Over the past 10 years I have attended numerous training workshops and conventions specific to the balloon industry as well as fabric draping (because we are also fabric draping experts). In that time I have traveled across the country learning from industry experts from around the world; learning from masters from over 15 countries. We have competed in international industry competitions, placed in several and have learned much about design from those competitions. Additionally, I study constantly about running a business through a wide variety of educational sources, including having a business coach.
Who are your typical customers? My customers are BUSY! They are typically in charge of planning several events at one time since most of our clients are corpora-tions, schools or colleges. They know that it's best to trust quality vendors to take care of details like decorating so they can attend to other details of planning an event. My customers want to look good and make their events look fantastic. In the private sector, my clients are BUSY! They either don't have time to plan and create decor or they don't feel confident in their ability to make their event look its best. They want relief from the stress so they can party!
What are some things you wish you knew when you started?
I wish I knew the absolute essential value of having a business coach. I wish I knew the importance of have a great graphic de-signer working with me behind the scenes instead of trying to do so much by myself. I wish I knew that even though I own a bal-loon and fabric draping company that my real job is being a marketer.
What do you enjoy about running your business? I love that with every event we decorate, that we get to make people smile, that we save them time, and that their guests get to smile more!