Niche Biz: Balloon Animals

Looking for a fun summer business your child can enjoy? Forget lemonade, balloon animals are taking over.

Amber Liggett is 15 years old, and she is already a savvy business woman. Wearing her favorite animal onesie Amber works her business selling balloon animals for $2, she is able to expand on a fun talent while making a little extra money.

Six years ago, she began to shape her fascination for making balloon sculptures into a venture she calls Amber’s Amazing Animal Creations.

Fast as her fingers could, she made the five animal shapes she had memorized for those who approached her table at festivals in Bridgewater and Beaver.

Amber now has a selection of more than 60 balloon designs and each year entertains at that many special events, which include birthday and company parties, picnics and fundraisers.

Her original $35 an hour fee is now $85 for the first hour and $35 for each hour thereafter. When sold separately, the balloons are $2 to $4. She’s added storytelling, face painting and balloon making workshops to her entertainment lineup and plans more.

She’s also made elaborate spring balloon arrangements that a landlord gave to business tenants at a Pittsburgh tower, and placed lady bug and turtle balloon bracelets in corporate gift boxes.

The sole proprietor said she pays income taxes for her business earnings, tithes to her church, has splurged on designer purses and shoes, but has saved almost enough money to buy a car.

She also pays her mom for the gallons of gas the family car uses driving her to events.

Photo by Peter Kaminski

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