Is the concept of “artisanal balloons” filled with hot air? 


The Wall Street Journal must really be trolling us now. In a recent article the publication highlights how far balloons have come. Yes, those simple rubber things you blow up, they’re artisanal now.

If there’s any doubt this is a thing, a quick search on Instagram or Pinterest will settle the debate. Metallic, marbled, fringed and even ones filled with confetti are all the rage. Not to mention those “basic” letter balloons that seem popular at every event this season.

“We went after that 20-something who was going to make a statement on their wall and leave it there,” explains one of the founders of Northstar Balloons, a company known for their 34-inch inflatable letters. They have indeed blown away the balloon market, most notably because most do not require helium, no sealing is required and they last for weeks.

People are increasingly asking for customized balloons, like elaborate animals or the ever-meta, a balloon inside a balloon.

“It elevates the traditional balloon and makes it look high-end,”one Los Angeles-based party store owner chirps.

“Like cupcakes, they just got reinvented. Because they’re big and they’re showy and they’re wonderful and they hadn’t been touched in a while,” explained Meredithe Stuart-Smith, the U.K.-based president of home goods and party supply company Meri Meri. “A staggering percentage of our business is balloons.”