A Decade In The Making with Steven Jones

Well, it’s finally here….the very first edition of “Balloon Professionals Magazine”, and I for one cannot thank you enough for being part of our BPM community. 
Man, has this been a long time coming. I know for many of you it just began with the Kickstarter campaign last year. But the truth is this has been one of those projects that’s been stuck in my head for nearly a decade now.
The idea actually came about back in 2007 while I was part of a multi-brand team of balloon artists working in Shanghai, China. Since there wasn’t really a publication out there that catered to the industry as a whole, several of us began to speculate what a publication like that could be like. Of course, life tends to get in the way and BPM fell to the wayside as other projects and events of my life began to take the lead. 
Of course, this isn’t the first magazine of this kind our industry has seen, for those of you who remember the old “Balloons and Parties” publication. I had only seen a few editions of that magazine before it went by the wayside, so I can’t honestly say how we’re going to measure up to that particular print. But I do recall a sense of individual spirit within it’s pages, and I hope to capture that same sense of industry freedom here as well. 
Here’s a little known tidbit for you. The FLOAT Convention, which officially held it’s first event in 2008, was originally supposed to be this magazine.
It was my plan all along to launch the magazine first and then spin the convention off of that a few years into publication. But some of you may remember the old Balloon Town USA projects back in Ohio from 2004 to 2007, and with that effort’s conclusion it just made sense to rework it as the convention. So once again, the magazine went on the back burner until the time was right.
So you might be asking yourself, “Why now then?” Was there some motivating factor behind BPM being removed from the mothballs now? Well of course there is…it’s just probably not the reason you think.
With social media completely dominating the internet nowadays, our industry has the potential to grow in leaps and bounds. More people than ever before are being exposed to the beauty and amazement of balloon decorating, entertainment and sculpting. Whether it’s Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or what have you, balloon artists really don’t have to spend too much time explaining to people what we do anymore; chances are they’ve seen a meme somewhere that stuck in their head and they’re connected.
But in this world where everyone is now scrambling for content, one thing remains true. While recipes, plot sheets, sketches, how to videos and more literally litter the internet highway, the vast majority of us are so focused on being “artists” and not on being businesspeople. 
For over a decade, I thought the same way. I thought if I was a really good balloon artist, then the work would find me. But after ten years of pursuing skills, I realized one very important fact; I had very little to show my decade long investment except a bunch of great from photos and numerous awards that no one knew about.
I had to do more. I had to do better. I had to stop griping about not having business and BECOME a business.
This is our first edition of BPM. It’s by no means perfect. Honestly, it’s not even close to what I want it to be yet. But my commitment to you is to continue to bring you this publication with one focus in mind; to help offer information to you that will hopefully improve your business, meaning you’ll see far more results than I did ten years from now.   

Copyright © 2017 by Balloon Professionals Magazine. All rights reserved. Written permission required for duplication in whole or part.

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