From a Birthday Party to Business Owner

Meet Rye (pronounced like the bread), a balloon artist specializing in creating realistic large-scale balloon installations, and the owner and creative genius behind Art Haus Balloon Company, Indianapolis’ top-rated black-owned balloon company. 

What began as a hobby to celebrate her daughter’s 8th birthday in 2017, has allowed Rye to tap into her talents.  Encouraged by the party guests, she started looking into operating an event planning business. What she quickly learned, however, is that she did not like the process of event planning but loved the balloon art aspect. From there, she decided to learn everything possible about the party balloon industry and has been in that space ever since.  

A prime example of working your side hustle until your side hustle can become your work, Rye wanted to learn everything there was to know about balloon artistry and began practicing and investing more and more. At one point, she did not have enough clients to pay the bills, so she had to work a full-time corporate job. Rye used to work 100-120 hours a week so I would be able to buy materials to create decor and showcase my talent. It was tough, but “it taught me that I could survive anything, and my success is completely up to me.  If I am consistently trying, then everything would work out.”

Two years later, she decided to turn her hobby into a registered business and filed for her LLC. One year after that, she took the leap and decided to quit her government job to pursue balloon decor full-time. In 2021, she was able to open a workspace inside the downtown Circle Center mall in Indianapolis, Indiana. As of today, Art Haus Balloon Company is one of the top-rated balloon decor providers in the Indianapolis area. Art Haus Balloon Company specializes in luxury, corporate, and celebrity balloon decor.  One of their specialty areas is realism, which is the art of converting regular items into balloon structures, such as cars, people or food inspired displays.  They love being able to spread joy with balloons.

Continuously seeking innovative ways to give back, Rye is delighted to announce that Art Haus Balloon Company will host its inaugural Indianapolis balloon fundraiser during the 2024 All-Star Weekend. With a goal to raise funds for mental health services in the local community, Rye is personally inviting our SITIGirl readers to join her February 16th-18th as we wander through a rainforest Paradise comprised entirely of balloons.  

If that is too far into the future for you all, please visit us this November for our annual Black Owned Holiday Bazaar on December 2nd, 2023. This festive event features captivating balloon backdrops, allowing families to capture memorable photos without incurring high photography costs. 

It hasn’t all been balloons and rainbows though.  Rye shares that at the beginning of her journey, she found herself homeless shortly after creating her business. “To add insult to injury I found myself without transportation as well. Despite it being difficult to see the road, I continued to put one foot in front of the other and continued to step onto my life path. I can distinctly recall having to ride the public bus with my supplies to make it to my client’s events.”

If you are looking for a reason to start that business and follow your dream, let Rye be an example of encouragement to you.  “When I first embarked on this journey, I was without a home, a car, or employment. However, with the support of a friend who purchased the necessary equipment and balloons, I began my business. I traveled to event venues on city buses, carrying my balloons, inflators, and tools. The anticipation of bringing joy to others through the power of balloons fills me with excitement every morning. Witnessing my clients’ smiles and knowing that I have transformed their visions into reality allows me to experience and give joy in return.”

Initially an introverted individual, this business has given her the opportunity to break free from her shell and take pride in the art she creates using balloons as her medium. What began as birthday party for her daughter has resulted in a new career, earning a stellar reputation as a 5-star-rated balloon decoration company, serving numerous corporate clients, and assisting with 500 events nationwide. She is still in awe when she receives job offers from various locations across Indiana, allowing her to travel and provide decor services in different cities. In August 2022, my lifelong dream of appearing on television came true when she appeared on the local TV show “Indy Now.”  

Above all, what fills her with immense pride is when she asks her children about their aspirations, and they respond with “an entrepreneur.” “Knowing that I have inspired them to dream of a future as entrepreneurs is the ultimate reward for me.”

Although Rye’s business is profit-based, Philanthropy is one of her core values. In 2020, during the Covid-19 lockdown, she initiated a giveback campaign to support high school graduates whose ceremonies had been canceled. Through a nomination campaign, 35 graduating seniors received free balloon arrangements, ensuring their hard work was recognized and celebrated. 

Over the past year, she has traveled across the country as part of the Big Balloon Build USA Team, raising over $445K for charities in Florida, Missouri, and Wisconsin. These funds have benefited critically ill children, impoverished minority youth, and young adults with developmental disabilities. This December, Rye will get to lead a team of international balloon artists in London, UK. They are aiming to raise funds for 30 different charities, and she is excited to contribute to this meaningful cause. 

Looking ahead, she is thrilled to commence an apprentice partnership with a local charter school in the fall of 2023. Through this mentorship program, Rye will guide a select group of students through business management and ownership, sharing her knowledge and experiences to inspire them to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. 

Want to learn more or work with Rye and her amazing team?  

Contact them! 

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