Ruth Spradley and Maria Serafine are a mother-daughter duo who spread cheer all across the Houston area with their yard balloon greetings, balloon arches, and custom balloon garlands! Literally one of the coolest companies we’ve seen and these mamas will be a part of our Mom’s Night Out event in November! We are thrilled.
We sat down with Ruth and Maria to learn more about their business, their inspiration for starting their company, and their best mom hacks!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the Katy/Houston area?
Ruth: I am originally from Guatemala City in Central America. I have been in the Houston/Surrounding area for over 45 years and in the Katy area specifically now 4 years.
Maria: I grew up in Houston area but then moved to Austin in 1998 for college. I came back to Houston for my Master’s degree but now live in Austin, TX. I run the business remotely.
Do you have kids? What are their ages?
Ruth: Yes I have 3 children, their ages are 40, 37 and 28.
Maria: Yes, I have a 9 year old boy in 4th grade and 7 year old boy / girl twins in 2nd grade.
What did you do before becoming a business owner?
Ruth: Prior to starting boballoons, I was a Spanish Instructor. I worked for UH Continuing Education for 16 years and also worked for Lone Star College for 6 years. On occasion I still teach Spanish from home.
Maria: I work in Healthcare Administration as the Director of Operations for a local healthcare organization and I also work part time as a health coach.
When did you start boballoons, and what was the inspiration behind it?
Ruth: My daughter and I started boballoons almost 3 years ago.
My inspiration came from the fact that I love to create colorful paintings on canvas and porcelain pieces and also been very good with my hands …very crafty I believe. So, with a little research we found that balloons were a big hit in birthday and other special occasion celebrations. We had found other companies making the yard balloons in Dallas, Northeast US and in Austin and we knew we had to bring the yard balloons to Houston.
Maria: My mom had the idea of wanting to start her own business so during a brainstorming night my husband thought it would be a fantastic idea to help. So after much discussion I jumped onboard to help with the business operations and market strategy of the company.
Tell us all about the service boballoons360 provides and the set ups you offer!
We provide our 7ft tall numbers and letters but also offer a variety of forms like hearts, a flag, a football, Easter egg, ghost, a snowflake and many other designs for the holidays. Our balloon numbers are a perfect and a unique addition to any birthday party! We also offer columns, arches and are creating organic garland designs. We are also starting to create smaller inside mosaic style numbers and letters. We have been extremely creative and have even made some custom designs for our clients including a paw, palm tree and even a shark!
What other events would it be great for?
Balloons are fantastic for any and all occasions. We can create designs for weddings, corporate parties, themed parties so just about any celebration.
What’s your favorite thing about being a business owner in the Katy/Houston area?
Ruth: My favorite has been having the ability to bring smiles to the Houston families, the ability to be more independent and have the ability to flex my schedule.
Maria: My favorite thing has been to be able to help my mom start a business. I have also learned so much including how to work Instagram!
Have you always had an entrepreneurial spirit?
Ruth: Not that I remember but I did start my own private Spanish lessons so I guess that counts!
Maria: Yes! I just never thought it would be in balloons. I love innovation, technology and all health and fitness so everyday I have tons of ideas that float through my head.
Advice for anyone wanting to start their own business?
Ruth: To open a business that they really love and have the ability to do it
Maria: To just start! It will never be a good time and we will always be busy. So if you have a dream just jump all in and make it happen. Take the risk and the rewards will come.
You are a mother and daughter team! What has that been like? What makes that rewarding and what makes that challenging?
Ruth: It makes it rewarding that I’m able to spend quality time with my daughter while developing a business. The challenging part has been over-coming our differences!
Maria: It has been challenging, rewarding and fun. Its rewarding to see your moms dream come to fruition and to know that I helped her start this company. Starting a business with family is difficult especially when you have different opinions on what is important or what you should spend money on but one thing we have learned is to communicate. Sometime that is still difficult but we are growing and learning each day.
Future plans and dreams for your business?
To explore the opportunities to develop and create better designs and artistic use of balloons. We would love to offer our services nationwide and while that may not be realistic we can dream up ways to potentially partner with other companies to make that happen. Also, look forward to continue to grow in the Katy/Houston market. We have more families to bring smiles to!!!
Any special, sales, or deals our Katy Moms can look out for?
Yes! We would love to offer you guys 10% off an order! And sign up for our newsletter, we like to send out specials for our returning clients.
Look for future coupon’s in your e-mail box!!!!!