Denison balloon designer heading to the UK
DENISON, Texas (KTEN) — Sharon Sweeney started Balloonatics in 1985. Before the Party City chain was established, Sweeney had her own party shop... but a tragedy brought about a new idea.
"My next-door neighbor had a fire, destroyed my store, and out of that I just took the balloons," Sweeney said.
Now, she's taking her talents across the Atlantic to a December event in London.
The Big Balloon Build partners with charities to help children in need. Sweeney will travel to England to join a team of five people; over the course of four days, they'll construct a Christmas wonderland out of 150,000 balloons.
"They'll be humored by the Texas accent," she said.
To Sweeney, designing balloons is similar to cooking.
"Basically, a recipe for what we're working on and how it's supposed to look... but until you actually put it together, you won't know if the recipe is working," she said.
Sweeney isn't nervous about the display she'll build; she's concerned about the nine-hour flight to London.
"Having to navigate from an airport to a train or a bus and then go to some place that I don't know where it is... so that's the most nerve-wracking part of it," she said.
Out of hundreds of applicants for the Big Balloon Build, only 75 were selected from across the globe to show off their party skills.
"There's a lot of experience there. Then how they work in London and how we work here, they use different equipment, so it'll all be good and then you bring that back home and you can do stuff here," Sweeney said.
After her London experience, Sweeney plans on applying to design in Rome.
"It's entertaining... everybody loves balloons," she said.