Haute couture of balloons

Changing careers can be daunting, but former engineer Bahaneh Green took that brave step to start her very own business in Dubai.

Happy Bubble Balloons

Elevating humble balloons to a whole new level of fabulousness, home-grown concept Happy Bubble Balloons has taken over Dubai events and birthday parties. From impressive multi-colour arches, to personalised giant spheres, it’s hard not smile at Bahaneh’s creations, and what is a world without a childish joy that comes from seeing pretty balloons?

Three years into her new adventure, she shares her inspiration and advice to those who want to enter the creative career space.

What did you study at university?

I studied Civil Engineering at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver Canada which has nothing related to what I do at the moment! However, studying engineering teaches you a very structured and logical way of processing your thoughts which definitely comes in hand in anything that you do.

What was your first job?

My first job was working during the summer university breaks at the city’s engineering office in Canada.

Happy Bubble Balloons

What inspired you to launch Happy Bubble Balloons?

At first, Happy Bubble started when I was helping organise my own engagement party to celebrate with my family and wanted to incorporate balloons, but after lots of research trying to look for what I wanted, I felt that the UAE market didn’t offer the creativity, personalisation or range of colours that I was looking for. This was in 2015 and where the Happy Bubble journey began.

What we are trying to do now is to change the balloon retail experience and transform the way people perceive balloons as there are many ways to use balloons to enhance spaces. Also we want to offer only the best quality balloons with aesthetic designs that capture anyone’s attention.

What are the key elements of your role?

As a small business, you realise quite quickly that you are head of HR, IT, Marketing, Finance, Operations etc. However, the most important part of my role is to constantly create and come up with new ideas to push the boundaries of balloon décor and to keep ahead of the market.

Happy Bubble Balloons

Talk us through your daily routine.

I wake up in the morning about 7am with my coffee in hand and first thing I do is sit and have breakfast. Breakfast has been very important to me my whole life and I make sure I dedicate time to sit down and enjoy it properly in the morning. Once that is done, I quickly scan through my emails and look at my schedule for the day to prep myself before I head out to the studio. By 8:30am I am out the door and straight into the Happy Bubble studio where my day is spent managing the team, meeting with clients and constantly playing with new materials and coming up with new ideas for what we could offer next. Once we are done work around 6pm, I head over to the gym to finish the day.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in the same footsteps?

Research, research, research! it is so important to know the market and also know your products inside out. Insight into both of these will give you a great head start and help you make decisions within your business or even to start your business.

Also, the first few years of running a business is intense and gets lonely at times. I know most business owners go through this and it is expected. It takes time to establish a routine and allow yourself some time to balance your work and life. However, always keep your eyes on the ball even if the business starts running itself, it is crucial that you still stay involved and develop your business to keep it up to date and current.

Happy Bubble Balloons

Which fashion brands can we find in your work wardrobe?

I like simple yet stylish clothes that make a statement but are comfortable. I love discovering local designers everywhere I go when I travel. I currently have a lot of clothes from Aritzia, a simple go-to brand from Canada that you can wear every day. I am currently loving bags from Longchamp and casual sneakers that you can dress up or down.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

Invest in a good team that understands your work and that you can trust. Also spend time with them to make sure the team understand the business concept and are all aligned to the same vision. Having a good strong team will make your life easier and allow you to focus on the important bigger picture work obligations of running a company.

Happy Bubble Balloons

And what is the worst?

Invest a bigger percentage in your company upfront to get it started. While running a startup the best thing to do is keep everything lean until your brand becomes strong and demands more products, a bigger team, and eventually more marketing. If you deliver a good quality product with great customer service, the brand will speak for itself and in-turn you can then grow your business. Our growth has always been organic from the start and we believe that is the best way to start.

hat has been the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

Leaving my full-time job to start Happy Bubble! My background is Civil Engineering and I had worked in this industry for 8 years at a great company on some exciting projects. However, I always knew I wanted to start my own business and did lots of research and finally ended up with an idea that I actually enjoyed. The difficult part was leaving a full-time job which I was good at and moving into the unknown, especially the thought of losing a regular salary gave me some sleepless nights. I did make sure however to test the waters before I fully quit my job and know the full potential of Happy Bubble before I left and have never looked back.

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Images: Supplied