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Jackson News

Posted on: February 9, 2017

February Business Highlight: A Balloon Basket and Gift Florist Downtown

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        A Balloon Basket and Gift Florist Downtown is the City of Jackson’s Business Highlight for February, 2017. The business was founded in 1989 by Nita Welch as a home based business. The Alabama native, who came to Jackson to attend college, received her degree in elementary education. Upon beginning her teaching career, it wasn’t long before a loved hobby came into creation. Having been introduced to crafts in her home economics class in high school, she rekindled the joy and passion she had then for decorative display and turned it into a profession. She began using only balloons, which was a hard sell in 1989 to the overall market because people only affiliated balloons with youth-related events. The initial opportunity came when a large organization, needing decorations for an all top hat New Year’s eve party at the Trade Center, gave the business the job, in which their displays elicited rave reviews. The business’ staff had a good feeling the balloon decorations were a “hit” when they broke down the decorations that night and found that the attendees had taken table pieces and some other designs as souvenirs. From there, the business took off. Having observed the decorative skills, customers started to inquire about producing gift baskets. The business started that phase of the business by promoting the state with products produced in Mississippi and placed in Mississippi-shaped baskets that were designed for individuals attending events in the state from elsewhere. Soon, the business was preparing baskets for all occasions; birthdays, holidays, (especially Valentines), get well, religious activities, conventions, etc. From there, due to numerous requests, the business added the floral segment.  

        In 1994, the business was moved to the Standard Life Building in downtown Jackson, located at 206 West Pearl Street, where they are still housed. They have used friends or employed 7 to 8 flexible people, retirees and college students, who are thoroughly vetted for honesty, dependability and integrity, which qualifies the business as a  quality total service provider, including delivery and ordering service from 7:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, the business also offers delivery service with an added fee. The business services Hinds, Rankin, and Madison counties, but has provided service statewide. Another major way the business reaches its customer is through their website (www.aballoonbasket.com), in which they are able to send flowers nationwide. They attribute business success to paying attention to detail and making sure they understand what the customer wants. They are meticulous in designing all products to customer satisfaction, ensuring quality by inspecting the product before it leaves the shop. The extended objective is not only to satisfy the customer, but also the gift recipient. They make sure the company stays abreast of current trends by participating in continuing education activities, such as local and national conventions and seminars, and on-line participation through webinars. The business is also a member of local and national business associations pertaining to the business services.        

        A Balloon Basket and Gift Florist Downtown has a passion for developing quality youth. They have had discussions with local educational leaders about promoting trade school in addition to the standard education, with Ms Welch being a prime example of how it can work. They believe that even the students that do well academically should be required to take a trade because nobody knows what the future entails and thus you should always have options. Ms Welch believes the Career Development Center in Jackson is an underutilized jewel that could provide the answer for a lot of societal issues and instill pride in youth, and thus put them in a position to be successful. In addition to consultations with educational leaders, the business contributes to the community by donating to various customer-based organizations by speaking to youth to emphasize preparedness for the service industry that America is quickly embracing. Once retired, Ms Welch plans to still lend a hand to community development by teaching swing dancing and crafts to retirement homes.    

        Mayor, Tony T. Yarber and the City of Jackson administration are pleased to honor A Balloon Basket and Gift Florist Downtown as the Business Highlight for February 2017, a business with a simplistic name that is doing extraordinary things in the capital city and beyond and providing quality products and professional service to all customers.               

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