Bal­loon man brings colour and laugh­ter

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

John Martin is an artist, set de­signer and bal­loon en­ter­tainer ex­traor­di­naire. His com­pany Bal­loons Fun­tas­tic aims to colour the world and peo­ple’s lives through bal­loons, al­though he said many peo­ple had pre­con­ceived ideas about his role.

Af­ter cre­at­ing a ‘‘ night­mare’’ magic show for his son 18 years ago, where all the bal­loons burst re­sult­ing in near-com­plete dis­as­ter, a friend took pity on him and Mr Martin was booked again for a child’s party.

From such hum­ble be­gin­nings, the suc­cess­ful Ti­rau-based com­pany now spans cor­po­rate set de­sign­ing, a Bal­loon Skool for chil­dren (and big­ger kids), spe­cial ef­fects, crazy char­ac­ter bal­loons and Mr Martin also of­fers him­self as Cap­tain Jelly for stage shows and hol­i­day pro­grammes.

‘‘Re­al­is­ti­cally, to run a busi­ness, it was not fea­si­ble to keep to one op­tion, you have to grow and de­velop and broaden the skill base.

‘‘I’ve been in­spired by the next job. It’s all about the peo­ple and mak­ing a dif­fer­ence to peo­ple in their lives and the spon­tane­ity.

‘‘I en­joy us­ing cre­ativ­ity to de­sign some­thing to fit a theme.’’

Orig­i­nally from Devon, Mr Martin ar­rived in New Zealand 22 years ago as a ‘‘tro­phy hus­band’’ to his Kiwi wife Brie, who works on the ad­min­is­tra­tion side of the com­pany.

This year, Mr Martin gained a cer­ti­fied bal­loon artist rank­ing from Amer­i­can bal­loon com­pany Quala­tex, which has led to off-shore op­por­tu­ni­ties.

The com­pany de­vel­oped its range of prod­ucts and ser­vices to even out de­mand through the year.

Com­ing into sum­mer, Mr Martin is busy with kids’ par­ties and com­pleted the spe­cial bal­loon ef­fects for Christ­mas in the Park in Novem­ber.

‘‘It’s all about the chal­lenge, we thrive on it.

‘‘Our key point of dif­fer­ence is we never say never. In­stead of say­ing ‘we can’t do this’, we say ‘how can we’.’’

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