A Ripley balloon artist is seeing her designs blow up around the world after releasing a series of online instruction videos.
Melanie Howard, whose Balloon Artworks company creates high-end feature art and décor for parties, weddings and corporate events, launched the how-to videos online last month.
She now has customers from as far afield as Vancouver and Australia purchasing her online tutorials and learning how to make her original designs of popular storybook characters inspired by the works of Beatrix Potter.
Melanie said: “There are a lot of readily-available training videos of balloon designs. However, there’s a gap in the market for well-produced videos of more engaging designs that tell a story and draw people in.
“I seem to have tapped into that niche and I’m offering something unique that my fellow-balloon artists can see will appeal to their own customers.”
She added: “I’d been planning the tutorials for some months and I scheduled filming for January, which is typically one of our quieter months in the balloon industry.
“I’d also had surgery at the beginning of the year, so this was a good project to work on during my recovery period.”
Marketing began in March and Melanie quickly realized she had a hit on her hands with hundreds of copies sold across the world already.
Buoyed by her success, Melanie is already planning her next series of balloon sculpting tutorials.
She said: “My next series will be based on the characters in another popular storybook classic.
“I love the challenge of creating my own balloon sculpture designs from scratch and, for me, the ultimate compliment is that other professional balloon artists want to purchase my ‘how-to’ videos so they can make them for their own customers.”
She added: “It’s an unexpected, but very welcome, development of my business.”
For more information about Melanie’s business, see www.balloonartworks.co.uk.