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Meet Francine Kades of The Balloon People in Scottsdale

Today we’d like to introduce you to Francine Kades.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was a paralegal in Los Angeles, and there was an earthquake in 1994. My husband at the time decided we had to leave LA at once. I did not want to be a paralegal here in Phoenix and earn half of what I was earning in Los Angeles so we went to a franchise show. There was someone selling a balloon franchise (I had a boyfriend previously who used to send me balloons all the time and they always made me so happy!) I did not buy the franchise but did opt for an afternoon’s training. That was 23 years ago, I semi-retired from balloons while my children were small but then the big D – divorce happened and I had to become an instant breadwinner. I went back to balloons full time – this was 13 years ago – and this industry has been really good to me. I put my kids through school and halfway through college and bought a home – my big goal! I love what I do every day as my job is mostly to enhance happy occasions – except for the days when we have to provide balloons for a funeral of a child. That is the one time that I really do not like what I do.

Has it been a smooth road?
The balloon business has been good to me; the biggest problem I have had was that it took me away from my children nearly every weekend. I feel like I missed so much of their growing up but I had to provide. I felt it when my oldest went to college and I realized that I would never have the change to get that time back. I used to do a lot of social events but I have evolved more into the corporate decor work and this has given me more time at home some weekends. As I do also offer full-service event planning, there were many weekends when I was gone all weekend, except to come home to sleep. Doing mainly decor, and mainly corporate, I have had more time to be a mom for my high schooler. He will be gone soon and I don’t want to have the same regrets.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I am a small woman-owned business. I have been the sole owner since inception. I have a great group of team members and we work really well together. I pay my people well so they are happy to come to work anytime (yes, even the 4 a.m. jobs!). We are known for sophisticated cool decor and I always try to be right there on what’s new and happening. We have a great name in town and I am continually striving to get better, to learn more, to attend continuing education. Too many people who have been around in their fields for a long time feel that they know it all. I feel that I learn new things every day and that keeps me so excited!!!!

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
We live in a beautiful resort town with many great hotels – thus opportunities for many conventions. The city is growing by leaps and bounds. The people here do not spend as much as their counterparts in Los Angeles, New York, etc. and that does prevent us from doing some of the coolest stuff because it is expensive to execute. I would love to see an increase in spending. so often I hear “we are on a budget” and it’s become a joke because I reply to them that there are very few times that I have been told that there is no limit to the budget!

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Aneta Netabug

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