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Sacramento balloon stylist gets creative amid stay-at-home celebrations

For Kendra Freed, owner of Hip + Hooray, the party goes on with outdoor balloon installations.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Parties and celebrations have had to completely change amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. From car parades to Zoom weddings, people have somewhat adapted. 

For Sacramento owner of Hip + Hooray Kendra Freed, the ban on large gatherings meant that her business of balloon installations would need to get innovative to move forward.

"Previously, when I'm helping somebody with a party or doing balloons for them, it will actually be, in most cases, inside the party…it was more incorporated into the party," Freed said. "Now, everything has to be done on the outside." 

Quarantine is still necessary heading into summer as Sacramentans continue to flatten the curve. However, it can create feelings of isolation, especially when we have something we want to celebrate with our loved ones.

As such, Freed started creating large, outdoor balloon installations that she could attach contact-free to the front door. Upbeat and striking, the balloon sculptures were an instant hit. 

Credit: Kendra Freed

Balloons are not only festive, they are absolutely cheerful. Freed says her clients reactions are always her favorite thing.

"Most of the time they're surprises…I always wait and make sure they get the bag of balloons, and instantly you just feel like a kid again."

Her grab-and-go garland balloon sculptures, a miniature version of the outdoor balloon installations, have also been popular. 

"Somebody picked that up for, I believe it was their 90-year-old grandma for Mother's Day and they were gonna hang it on her door and all the great-grandkids, the grandkids, everybody was gonna come by to wish the grandmother Happy Mother's Day," Freed said. 

For older people celebrating life events, balloon installations and Bag of Balloons deliveries have meant more than just a party favor as they stay home for their health.

Credit: Kendra Freed
One of Freed's recent installations for a 70th birthday celebration.

"In some ways, it's kind of great because not only do the people that live in that home feel special and are letting everybody know that there is something to celebrate in that house, anybody walking by or driving instantly gets a smile to their face," Freed said.

Freed is continuing to find new ways to spread festivity during a time when more and more events turn to celebrating at home.

"It's definitely been different, but I've really enjoyed being creative," Freed said. 

She is now offering graduation-themed balloon bags as the school year comes to a close and seniors celebrate this milestone from home. 

The grad bags have 2020, grad cap, and large and small balloons, all of which can be customized by school colors. A confetti popper is also included.

"There's something that they can do and something that makes them feel special, even though everything else is completely abnormal right now," Freed said. 



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