Welcome to Bob’s Balloon Bouquets, blown by me, Bob. Available for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, baby showers, retirements, and more, nothing says “I have too much time to kill” than a balloon bouquet arrangement side hustle. So that’s why I made it my entire profession!

I can tell you right now that no one in the balloon bouquet space is doing what Bob’s Balloon Bouquets is doing right now. The thing that makes B3 different from other balloon bouquet businesses, is that we blow every single balloon in your balloon bouquet by mouth. All mouth-blown, no helium balloon pumps allowed!

And when I say “we,” I really mean just me. If you’ve got a Bouquet from Bob’s Balloon Bouquets, then you’ve got some balloons that have been sucked on by Bob!

When I decided to open my small business, it was important to me that every single balloon was personalized to each client. Personalized not just for your event, but personalized by me, too. My own blood, sweat, and tears go into these balloon arrangements. Literally, I’m shedding so many different bodily fluids when I’m blowing those suckers up that there’s a little bit of “Bob” in every balloon.

The out-of-place crimson mark on Kaitlyn’s giant champagne balloon used in her bachelorette balloon bouquet? That was when my mouth got so dry from blowing that my lips got chapped and bled. That discoloration on one of the pink balloons for Sydney’s 16th birthday bouquet? That’s my dried sweat from when I couldn’t pay my electric bill that month and didn’t have AC. Maeve’s balloon arrangement for her retirement smells a bit salty? That bouquet was close to my heart and I had a bit of a happy cry over it, since Maeve is my aunt and her retirement’s been a long time coming.

Now that I think of it, all of my clients are family or friends that I bully into ordering a bouquet from me! And those are just all the orders I’ve done in total from this past quarter.

Being a small business owner, my work day is a bit different from your typical 9-5. I get to wear many balloon hats. I’m the one managing inventory, the one crunching the sales numbers, and the one pushing my own Life Alert after losing vision and nearly passing out after blowing too many balloons. I’m usually working long into the nighttime, because I’ve lost so many hours passed out in my living room, since a few times I wasn’t able to hit my Life Alert in time. I’m my own boss, so when the paramedics ask me if they can “speak to my manager” about Bob’s Balloon Bouquets working conditions, or why I’m abusing my Life Alert privileges, or why I even have a Life Alert at age 42 when the only reason I would push it would be because of excess-balloon blowing⁠—I have to be the one to talk them down, no matter how blue in the face and exhausted I am. Because when you’re a small business, that’s what you do.

When you make the decision to shop mouth-blown, it means I can pay my rent that month. It means I can continue to afford my kids’ piano lessons. It means that I can pay my divorce lawyer bills, because my wife didn’t support me turning what she called “an obnoxious hobby” into a side hustle into a full-blown career that made us lose our house. The money you put towards a Bob’s Balloon Bouquet is money that goes towards my inhaler for the asthma I’ve developed from blowing so many balloons. That dollar goes towards my over-the-counter dry mouth medication, because all of the saliva I produce organically is sacrificed to my balloons. Your financial support is supporting a real person, with real dreams of pursuing an unsustainable career path.

When I think about my small business journey, I think about everything I’ve sacrificed for it along the way: My sense of touch, due to cutting off the circulation in my fingers one too many times when trying to tie the end of a balloon; The lead solo in my local choir, because I accidentally inhaled a few too many balloons and had to unpreparedly audition as a soprano even though I’m really an alto; Custody of my kids.

But I would do it all over again, because I love what I do, and I know that I have the best clients in the world. If I can make one person smile with my charming, yet somehow tacky balloon arrangement that’s just a little too wet to the touch, then I know that I’ve done my job.