We had the good fortune of connecting with Vicki Phan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vicki, why did you pursue a creative career?
I’ve always been pretty crafty and artsy since I was a kid. I loved painting, drawing, and making things out of anything I could find around the house. Anything I saw online I would try to make it myself, and I still do this to this day.
I also had family who loved crafting. My sister and her husband created DnHWorkshop on Facebook and Etsy (currently closed) where they did paper banners. My cousin created CraftXTee on Instagram (currently closed) and she also made banners, graduation leis, anything you could think of. They are the few people who really sparked my interest in being able to create art and be able to make someone’s event even more special.
How I got into balloons:
I originally saw these pictures of ballon circle arches on Pinterest and I asked my sister if I could make one for my niece’s 1 year birthday party. I’ve never seen anyone have a balloon circle arch for their party, so I wanted to try something new and different. I had no experience, I didn’t watch any YouTube videos on how to go about making the circle arch. I kind of just imagined it in my head and it ultimately came together.
Honestly, in my head I was like, “I’m gonna need 3 hula hoops and I’m gonna need to attach it together somehow and then I’m gonna need different color balloons and twist it on there.”
It took me and my boyfriend, Noah, three days to set it up and make sure it was secure and on the first day, we even tried blowing up the balloons with our mouths and that quickly didn’t work out. Then we whipped out an air compressor that was not made for balloons, but we made it work.
Here is the link to the picture below:
After that, I had a few inquiries from friends and family to do their balloon arches and garlands for their parties and that was when I started becoming a little more invested and really fell in love with the art you can create with balloons. I created my balloon instagram back in March of 2020 and since then, I’ve had a lot of referrals from my friends and family and have met a lot of people who have just come across my Instagram.
I am always trying to learn new and creative ways to improve and create beautiful work for my client’s events. I am also constantly adding more items to my small business on Instagram because I like to try out new things. Currently I am going to SDSU full time and work part time as a social media assistant for @hair.by_fiona but anyone can send me a message through Instagram DMs if they ever need balloons! 🙂
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I specialize in making balloon garlands, circle arches, and mosaics, but I do offer various items as well.
I am most proud of how far I’ve come from my first circle arch and my first garland. I really enjoy being able to visually see how much I’ve improved in just a few months. I am constantly learning from every installation or mosaic that I do. For example one lesson I learned was how important using good quality balloons is. It’s just the little things that you’d probably wouldn’t think about but will have a big change in the work you put out. Also, the balloon industry is very supportive. Every time I am on Instagram I see other balloon artists hyping each other up with the work that they create.
Personally, I felt like it was easy for me to get to where I am today because I had applied to an internship for Amanda (Design Your Life Planner), and little did I know I was able to receive the amount of exposure that I currently have with her help. I am also fortunate to have my friends and family to share my business on social media and book with me.
I want people to know that I would love to be a part of their event and create something that will be memorable and beautiful for their event.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Visit the zoos, SeaWorld, beaches, Belmont park.
Go to Sab-e-lee in Linda Vista for delicious Thai food.
Go to Vallarta’s for burritos (their sauce is amazing)
Go to Taegukgi in Clairemont for kbbq
Go to Tacos El Gordos for Tacos
Go to Main Chick Hot Chicken for spicy chicken sandwhiches
Go to Ding Tea in Balboa and Tastea in Mira Mesa for Boba drinks
Whenever my family visits they always make it a must to go to the beach. I’m not 21 yet (in two months I will be) so I am not familiar with any bars haha. I think the restaurants listed above are worth visiting for. Also visiting the parks that San Diego has are very exciting places for people to check out!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to give a huge shoutout to my boyfriend, Noah, because he helps me with blowing up the balloons, transportation, set-ups and tear downs, and also has supported me so much. Thank you to Lianne, IG: @PaperAndLuxe, for teaching me and mentoring me into this industry. Thank you to my friends and family to book with me and share my business on social media. And last but not least, a huge thank you to Amanda, IG: @designyourlifeplanner, for helping my business grow and considering me to make balloon garlands for her picnics.