The pivot before the pivot
After being in the balloon and party industry for close to 10 years, Adrian and his wife felt the need to give back to the Singapore balloon community. They decided to pivot toward providing balloon workshops to impart their knowledge and insights from nearly a decade in business to those who share the same interest.
"Nothing is more rewarding than grooming and bringing new talents to join the balloon industry. And yes, we’re grooming more competitors to compete with our own business, in a way!
Adrian How, Give Fun
The journey of pivoting from retail to balloon workshops wasn’t an easy feat and not particularly financially rewarding, but they felt it was the right thing to do. They were in the process of launching their Balloon Academy start-up in Malaysia, when the pandemic hit. They soon found that the restrictions imposed on physical interactions were prohibitive to scheduling in-person events, so they decided to pause, and instead pivoted to online retail.
A strong case for technology
"Thankfully (or rather, a fortune out of the misfortune) our balloon business is built on top of the E-commerce platform, we’re still able to continue ‘giving fun’ to our customers," said Adrian. To meet the demand for ‘sending love’ during the pandemic, Give Fun refreshed their website to include a variety of gifts & rainbow balloons for people to easily choose from. They utilized many of the ideas for balloon centerpieces and bouquets from qualatex.com and watched several balloon workshops streamed on YouTube for additional inspiration.
They also optimized their website to make the check-out procedures faster and offer express delivery options.
A busy life
Between their balloon & party business and their Balloon Academy, as well as being parents of three, Adrian and his wife are keeping quite busy! "To be honest, there isn’t a clear line between ‘work’ and ‘life’ for us -- working is our life, and our life might not be as fulfilling if ‘work’ is taken away. We kinda like the current work-life integration we’re embracing," he shared.
As the world transitions to the endemic, Adrian plans to continue juggling his many ventures, and hopes for new opportunities. "As there’ll be more and more bigger celebrations and corporate occasions, we’ll be refocusing on coming up with creations/products that give a greater impact, such as larger balloon centerpieces and installations, and more!" he said.
Opportunity in crisis
‘Crisis’ in Chinese is termed ‘危机‘. And if you were to separate the characters, 危 means ‘crisis’ whereas 机 means ‘opportunity’, which literally means ‘opportunities in every crisis’.
I guess it sums it all -- This pandemic was a global crisis. But if we look beyond, there are opportunities and rooms for us to create and add value to. We’re proud of ourselves for not giving up during the pandemic.
Adrian How, Give Fun