I guess it's time to meet me up close and personal, but before I
begin, I would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy
schedule to visit our web site. I can sympathize with having a busy
schedule! So here goes....
and raised in Los Alamitos, a small town in Southern California.
I grew up very creative and interested in any challenge. I've
always loved wood-working, carpentry (power tools are always a
perfect gift) and welding. Underneath the tool belt and broken
nails there has always been a seamstress. At age three I was introduced
to sewing by my grandmother. At the time our family was going
through some very hard times. My brother Dave, who is ten years
my senior, became very ill and was not expected to live. Consequently,
I spent a lot of time at my grandparents while my parents were
at the hospital. Of course, this was just fine by me because Gram
and Gramps had cable and two sewing machines.
by the time I was five my brother was a medical miracle on his
way to recovery. I had already outfitted every stuffed animal
I owned. At this point I had moved on to making myself new clothes
for kindergarten. This was a whole new ball game. Until then I
had been creating all my patterns from scratch and I was not too
thrilled with having to use pre-printed ones with no imagination
or flare. So, as usual, I improvised. My time alone with my machines
has always been my release. I stitched everything -- my wedding
dress, baby quilts for friends (notice I said friends) or Halloween
costumes for anyone who asked. So it was no big surprise to my
decorating staff that I began to make uniforms for all of them
to match our company shirts. Notice I said decorating staff. That's
right. That's how this whole thing started.
1993, on my one year wedding anniversary, I quit my full time
job of 6 years and started decorating for parties. (Well it didn't
happen quite like that but you're busy and that's another story.
You'll have to ask me in person sometime.) The uniforms started
about two years later; some aprons, pants, and baseball caps.
Our business doubled instantly. My drivers were now passing out
business cards left and right on every delivery.
started wearing our gear off the job as well: in the mall, at
the supermarket and on the beach. Inevitably, people were drawn
to us like magnets. We then started getting the attention of other
balloon companies in our area, "Where did you get that hat?",
" Do you guys sell those aprons?" With my love of sewing I couldn't
suddenly, it occurred to me that if I'm a decorating company,
why am I spending 18 hours a day in front of that same sewing
machine I got on my fifth birthday? I was no longer training my
staff to tie bows and inflate microfoils, I was teaching them
how to put in button holes and stitch up zippers.
we decided to do a test. We stitched for two months straight in-between
weddings and bar mitzvahs and took all that we had made to IBAC11.
problem," I thought...Yeah right.
never being out of sunny southern California, three friends of
mine, who also have local balloon businesses, and I reluctantly
hopped on that plane to Chicago to indulge in IBAC and peddle
set up the booth for opening night and waited for the doors to
open. We didn't have to wait long and once they did, we were bombarded.
We pretty much sold out of every thing we had worked so hard on
for two months in about 30 min. Those people were animals, and
if you were there, you know exactly what I'm talking about. When
I wasn't busy shoving money in my bra, because my friend sold
the apron right off my waist, I was hiding in my own dressing
room trying to catch my breath.
I guess that's about it.
came home. I had a pow-wow with my tribe and the decision was
unanimous. I brought on board a whole production team with a great
manager to crank out my designs full time. I'm now shipping to
places and countries I've never heard of. So, my husband, who
thought I was the only one who was ever going to wear this "stuff,"
has purchased me a globe to stick map pins in so we can see just
how much "stuff" is being worn around the world. By the way, through
all the chaos my balloon decorating company is going full force.
IBAC in 1997, my husband pleaded with me to take a new job in
Santa Barbara which would relocate us three hours north of comfortable
Los Alamitos, mom and dad and the clientele of my business that
I had worked so hard to create. Terms of the move included our
first house and a wonderful salary for Patrick that enabled me
to take a year off and adjust to my new country lifestyle. The
first year was still crazy, I was homesick and consistently on
the road commuting back and forth for jobs I already had on the
my year has come and gone and Iíve settled in quite nicely to
country life. The decorating business is slow but I still commute
down South to accomodate my clients that just canít live without
me. My new friends call me Bob Stewart. Yep, you guessed it --
a cross between Bob Vila and Martha Stewart.
put my collection of power tools to work on our charming ranch
style home. My motto is "I own a sledge hammer and Iím not
afraid to use it!" My husband Patrick can vouch for that.
second goes unwasted. When Iím not shipping out your orders, Iím
eating breakfast 3-5 times a week at our local cafe, Mother Hubbards
(I have my own stool at the counter with all the other retirees.),
mowing the lawn on my riding mower (Iíve wanted one since I was
a little girl. A gift from Gram and Gramps. Maybe next year Iíll
paint flames on the side and make the dream complete!) or taking
belly dancing lessons. Iíve even joined a quilting guild to compare
notes with the experts. All-in-all, country life isnít so laid-back
leads me back to the second line of this bio: "I can sympathize
with having a busy schedule!"
J. Farrier CBA
The Creation Station!