Laser engraver brings new projects to the forefront
Balloons and More, LLC in Pratt has plenty to offer in party supplies and personalized gifts that are hard to find anywhere else. With the recent addition of a laser engraver, commissions for customized cutting boards and any wood-based project have skyrocketed.
“Our laser engraver is hardly turned off. For about three years, we have had people asking us to get one. Since getting it this summer, it has been crazy busy and I am loving it!” Tonja Harrison, the owner of the business, said.
The laser engraver comes with a set of challenges, but Harrison said she is enjoying the process of discovering the different settings and effects. There are very few materials that cannot be engraved because of the fumes and the power of the engraver.
“Right now, the hardest and most time consuming (and product wasting) is laser engraving pictures. One setting might work on one picture, but not the other so I have to play around with several settings in the laser to get the pictures to look right,” Harrison said.
The bed size of the engraver is 20” x 14”, but it can be adjusted to suit the product’s needs.
She also owns a variety of other machinery to create and put designs on shirts, cups, hats, and other personalized items. At all times there are at least two of the three circuts working on customized gifts. The heat press and hat press has recently been upgraded to increase efficiency as ponytail hats become more popular.
Balloons and More also sells a variety of products that can be bought in-store or ordered.
Jerky bouquets, candy bouquets, fantasy flower arrangements, and personalized items such as engraved gifts or epoxy tumbler cups are a few.
“We have party supplies, balloons, gifts, stuffed animals, gourmet sunflower seeds, and so much more. One of our most popular items is our line of Shit seasonings. It's a great gift. People buy it the first time because of the name, but always come back for more because it is so good! We also offer a line of sugar free jerky for those watching their sugar intake,” Harrison said.
Special orders take longer to create. It takes approximately two weeks for most requests. However, it depends on the order and how many orders have been placed. There is a rush fee for if orders come in late or require time outside of the business hours to cover the employees’ overtime.
In most other cases, it can take anywhere from the same day that the order was placed to two-three weeks. Laser engravings, if needed as soon as possible, can be done the day of. The quality of the image can also impact the length of time it takes to engrave. Custom epoxy cups can take up to three weeks.
Harrison said she always orders one extra of any special order. This shortens the amount of time it takes to engrave the item if there is a mishap.
The balloons themselves have high quality helium that lengthens the lifespan of the balloon.
“There is a big helium storage that has been going on for a few years now, so our balloons are higher priced than anyone in town, but ours are always fresh and never pre-inflated, they are high quality balloons and we use high quality helium. Our latex balloons last a minimum of three days, but have had people say they lasted a week or even longer,” Harrison said.
Balloons and More offers products for all budgets and can make arrangements that suit any price range.
“We do and make so many things on so many levels, it would be really hard for someone to come in and not find something in their price range,” Harrison said.
“We cater to every single customer that comes in the door. It doesn't matter if they only have a few dollars to spend or hundreds," Harrison said. "We can customize any gift to fit a customer's budget, within reason. I believe the saying, "You get what you pay for."”
Harrison said she works very hard to make customer service the visible factor that sets her business apart from others.
“We offer so much variety and we are willing to go out and get what we don't have. We go above and beyond for our customers and are more than happy to stay really late or meet them really early if that's what they need," she said. "I offer items in my store, and do so much more in my store than any other business in town, I feel, especially with the personalized gifts. I am also the only FedEx shipping point in town.”
Open hours for Balloons and More are 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturdays. They are closed on Saturdays between June and September.
“We try to provide the best customer service possible,” Harrison said. “It is our number one goal.”