As brothers growing up near Grand Rapids, Michigan, Steve and Tim Mattson had a lot of adventures together. They never imagined, though, that one day they would both be balloon artists, creating fantastic figures and décor from that familiar staple of kids’ birthday parties, balloons. The Mattson brothers are co-owners of Creative Distinctions, LLC, located in Columbus, Ohio. The business specializes in balloon décor for events and parties, as well as balloon sculptures, gift baskets and singing telegrams. Although Steve lives in Columbus and Tim resides near Augusta, Georgia, they work together (thanks to modern technology) to plan, organize and execute décor for all kinds of events, including corporate functions, birthdays, bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings, retirements, school dances, sporting events and other festive occasions.
There is a lot more to balloons than just inflating them and tying them to string. Symmetry, precision, creativity, an eye for balance, color and design all go into a successful project, and Steve’s background as a graphic designer and an elementary school teacher, and Tim’s experience as a chemical engineer have been invaluable as they have honed their balloon art skills. Steve, who puts in 50-60 hours of work each week, meets with clients, comes up with the ideas and builds out the designs.
“Both of us are very artistic, very three-dimensional, so balloons are great for us,” Steve commented. “Tim is very technical, too. I am more of a people and idea person. When I have an elaborate idea, Tim is good at helping execute it. We really do complement each other’s skills.”
Steve and Tim participate in conventions, classes, conferences and competitions to learn new balloon techniques and improve their skills. The reason for developing the Build-a-Bouquet was to give our customers a shopping experience from the comforts of their home or office and to increase our revenues with our balloon deliveries. We have partnered with our balloon vendors to insure we can re-create any bouquet that a customer creates without stocking every balloon available. Since the publishing of the Build-a-Bouquet in early February, 2013, we have already noticed efficiency in gathering customer information, production cost, and inventory. We can offer every balloon available from our vendors, organize and gather information from our customers, and increase profits with our delivery service. Our customers like using the Build-a-Bouquet because it is user-friendly, they know exactly what is being delivered, and more importantly, the program is fun to use.