Business Spotlight | SI Balloon Co. is more than balloons

SI Balloon Co.’s Kyle Brooks recently put the finishing touches on decorations for a special event. His company provides furniture and decorations for all kinds of gatherings.

Courtesy of Esther Bloom Photography

Kyle Brooks is all about the “wow factor”.

You know the feeling. This is what happens when a wedding, party, reception or other gathering is more than just an event; it’s the “Oh, my” that gets people to remember and talk about the event.

This past weekend, Brooks brought this wow factor to ten separate Southern Illinois locations through his company, SI Balloon Co. Don’t let the name distract you, though, Brooks’ business is well more than balloons.

“We do just about anything that involves any type of party or event, from decorating to coordinating everything,” he explained. “We make the tables, tablecloths, ceiling curtains, chandelier rentals and more. We’re not just balloons anymore, we’re a full service event rental company.

Of course, there are also the balloons. In fact, that’s how Brooks started the business during COVID-19.

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The pandemic caused him to shut down his old business, a costume business, and forced Brooks to turn to the proverbial kingpin.

“We had to find a way to make money and started doing the yard greetings where you put the big ‘Happy Birthday’ signs in the yard because everyone was doing birthday drives,” said explained Brooks. “Then we added balloons to it and it turned into people wanting arches and garlands and everything else with balloons to decorate.”

Brooks, who had learned the art of ballooning years before, quickly added balloon sets, but customers always wanted more.

“People started asking us if we knew where they could find slicks, so we added them, and then it just kept going,” he said.

Balloons and backdrops led to tables, chairs, more decorative items, and coordination with other vendors, even catering and disc jockey services. The company also deals with linen napkins, table runners, accessories and everything you need to host a party, reception, banquet or special event. Coordinating and planning events, too. All the growth in offerings has led to a storefront in Herrin where everything is stocked – for now.

“We’re trying to find a bigger building because we don’t have enough space for everything we have,” Brooks said.

In fact, the building looks a lot like the company’s timeline. Ten events last weekend are a perfect example.

“There have been people who have called at the last minute and they don’t understand that you can do things at the last minute. We are booking several weeks minimum and we already have many events planned until the end of the year and some things for 2023 are starting to book up as well,” he said.

A new building isn’t the only change on the horizon for SI Balloon Co. Brooks said the company will soon be offering special effects, including pyrotechnics for events. Additionally, a trade name change is likely next year.

“The hardest thing,” he said, “is that I want to rebrand so people understand that we don’t just make balls; that’s so much more, but I don’t want to lose our current audience. I want them to know it’s still us.

Brooks said its goal is to be the region’s premier party and event company.

“We try to bring the high-end, classy, ​​high-profile events that you see in major cities in southern Illinois at a fraction of the cost,” he explained. “We can save the consumer money, while making a splash at an event. We want the wow factor for every event. I want to see the reaction on a person’s face and say, “Damn, that’s awesome.” It’s nice. I can’t believe you did this! People come to us because they want that wow factor.

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