It's been 33 years now. We started doing balloons before there were cell phones and computers. And there wasn't Pinterest for new ideas or YouTube videos to learn the trade. Back then, we had three other competitors, and we all worked together in the Sacramento CA area. We never bid against each other. We stayed in our own playpens. When a city of government job would call for a quote because they had to get three quotes and take the lowest bid, we would call each other to make sure we quoted higher so the person the job always belonged to got that job again that year. There was so much trust with one of our competitors in particular that we would give each other "paid vacations." We would forward our phones to that person, and they would take the calls answering without our company name, take the order, deliver it, and only charge us for the cost of goods. We would return the favor and never dream of taking each other's client. Even if someone was shopping around and they called our number first and their number second, we worked off the price sheet they gave us and kept it honest. COVID changed business. After COVID, we went from a handful of competitors to over 45 of what we call "Covid Mommies". Moms who were trapped in their houses learning how to do balloons on YouTube. Oh, how I wish I had cashed in on teaching my skills because someone else did, and they created a huge pain in the butt for our family business. Now we have 45 COVID mommies working out of their homes with no overhead, not paying taxes, with no employees, no workers comp, no insurance, utilities, nothing, while we paid rent and all the other regular expenses on an empty building for two years. So the building owner got to come out of COVID with all our savings and retirement, and we get to compete with a bunch of COVID Moms with no overhead and no debt. I want to stomp my feet like a little baby and scream, "That's not fair!" Why wasn't the building forced closed? His "business" is leasing to a "Closed Business". We can't break our lease, or we get sued. How is that fair?! How is any of this fair?
On the very bright side, we are very fortunate that our family did not lose anyone to COVID.
From the bottom of our hearts, I want to thank all our loyal clients. You mean the world to our family. To literally put a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. Here's a fun picture of our loving goofy family. We love you all!