Sydnie Myers has always had an eye for creativity. For years, she dabbled in building balloon arches and arrangements for friends and family events. About a decade ago, she was working a job with a rigid schedule and wanted to find more work-life balance. She noticed the Springfield area didn’t have a decor balloon artist and saw an opportunity to turn her hobby into a career.
Myers founded Dreamy & Darling Creations LLC in 2013 as a home-based business and last year opened an office and showroom in Nixa. By appointment only, customers can come and have one-on-one sessions with Myers and begin to see their visions come to life.
“I decided to go for it,” Myers says. “I felt like Springfield needed something like this.”
Weddings, birthdays, life milestones and company parties are a few of the 190 events DDC has created decor for in 2022. She declined to disclose revenue.
Myers says her attention to detail is what sets DDC apart. No longer the only balloon art business in town, she says adding florals and mixing textures with colors is now her specialty.
Cheri Marsh says she has used DDC for two years, and through every family party and event, Myers brings “that extra touch of special.”
Even after moving to Columbia, Marsh continues to hire DDC for parties she hosts.
“I just tell her the space, and she comes up with great things. The colors she puts together are beautiful,” she says.
As a mom of two, Myers says her mission has always been to provide a work-life balance for herself and her employees. Myers employs two people to help with constructing and creating arrangements. Each piece takes between two and four hours of work to construct.
Trial and error is how Myers says she learned when developing her business. Starting out, there was no education in balloon art, she says, so last year, DDC hosted its first balloon workshop to teach people what she learned the hard way.
When it comes to the do-it-yourself trend, Myers says she understands. She says the biggest mistake people make with DIY balloon art is thinking balloons purchased online or at big-box stores will have the same result as a professional design. With this in mind, she created and sells pop boxes, which are DIY balloon kits that appeal to different budgets and people and are available to purchase on the company’s website. Pop boxes range from $39-$79 apiece.
“A high-quality balloon makes such a difference, so with those kits, someone can truly make it themselves and be happy with the outcome,” says Myers.
With every small business there are challenges, and for Myers she says developing a social media presence for DDC was something that took a lot of time. Currently, DDC has 5,400 followers on Facebook and Instagram combined.
“This is the time we live in where people go to Instagram and Facebook to find who they are going to use,” says Myers.
Alia Lee, a freelance event coordinator with 417 Magazine, says she met Myers after the company hired her to decorate at several events. Being an event producer that contracts with local businesses, Lee says she helped connect Myers to other customers.
Myers says she is passionate about reusing and recycling her creations. She sources balloons that are biodegradable. If a customer pays for DDC to tear down, she says the balloons are donated to a charity, recycled or reused in the company’s staging room.
Having previously worked in the nonprofit industry, Myers donates what she can. In 2022, DDC donated decor to 34 nonprofits and small businesses.
“We find ways to reuse them,” she says of the balloon art, “because they can last weeks, sometimes a couple of months.”
DDC offers three levels of decor: DIY balloon kits, grab-and-go-garlands and full-service set up. The garlands are fully assembled, smaller structures that are 5-7 feet and come with a hanging kit for self-setup.
Prices vary based on materials and additional add-ons but the base price on most structures is $28 per square foot.
DDC also offers balloons of custom colors, unique shapes and floral pieces to incorporate in the structures.
Rental options also are available and last year DDC added over 20 new pieces to its inventory, including stands and neon signs.
If a customer wants full-service installation, Myers says that’s available for an additional fee – usually 20% of the product total for local jobs.
Looking ahead, Myers says she has plans to expand into other aspects of party decor and update her e-commerce site to make purchasing easier.
Springfield Business Journal’s 2023 Trusted Advisers event honors 20 businesspeople.