History of UNAB - UPNAWAYBALLOONS

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We started researching the idea of balloon vending in April of 1981 and in July of 1981, Up ‘N Away Balloons was concieved. My name is Jeff Wilks and my wife, Jane and I thought that we could keep our daytime jobs and sell balloons at fairs and festivals on weekends. We also thought that if I dressed myself up as a clown, (btw....I chose a simple name...Mr. Clown) that would get us more attention and I would sell more balloons. That idea worked out pretty well. We went to lots of festivals all over NE Georgia that summer.  

Sometime in the fall of '81, at Jane’s place of employment, one of her co-workers’ husband was graduating from University of Georgia’s Law School and she wanted to send her hubby a "Congratulations" bouquet. So, the first bouquet of balloons was delivered for UNAB and it had to look pretty bad because we put it together inside a little ’74 Toyota Celica. We tied on a card, signed it and delivered it to the honoree and he was thrilled!

A few months later, someone called and wanted to send Mr. Clown to a birthday party. I went and had a really good time. We actually sent old Mr. Clown to lots of parties! A few months went by and  I got to thinking & thought that folks would get tired of seeing Mr. Clown all the time, so we then added several ‘singing telegram’ characters to our business. I decided the other characters I wanted to do were Stilla Gorilla and The Classic Chicken. We eventually added seasonal characters & belly dancers and male strippers to the crew. It seemed like there weren't enough hours in the day for us to do our thing!

We moved the business out of the house on Talmadge Drive and opened a retail store on the Atlanta Highway in 1983. The doors of  Up ‘N Away Balloons literally flew open and we have been flying high ever since! In addition to selling balloons, we also rented and sold costumes and  novelties. A Navy School customer came in one day and wanted to special order some 260E balloons & balloons  for twisting 'candy apples'. I ordered them and when they came in, I spent hours with this guy teaching me the fine art of twisting!!!

In the late 80′s and early 90′s our business had shifted a bit and we were now specializing in balloon decor. We had attended many balloon conventions & seminars through the years and even taught some classes for The National Association of Balloon Artists, for Flowers, Inc. Balloons (now called burton & BURTON) on Cleveland Road in Bogart, Georgia and for The International Balloon Association. The decorating-part of the business became more productive than deliveries. We do lots of color co-ordinated decorations for different types of events. If you’re looking for NE Georgia helium balloons for your wedding or special event, feel sure that Up ‘N Away Balloons has everything you will ever need!

We provide our helium balloons for events such as "Grand Openings" for new stores, company picnics, family reunions, high school reunions, decorations for parades and more!  We frequently work with lots of departments at UGA. They are always looking to use balloons in celebration of all the different activities they have year round....homecomings, graduations award banquets, etc. When high school prom season starts, we have many balloon decorating ideas for local and out-of-town high schools.  Usually when a school contacts us, they already have a theme...they just need decorative ideas for their prom & it’s up to us to execute their theme.

Now......36 years later, our staff has become NE Georgia’s Premiere Balloon Decoration Specialist!  We offer the highest quality and widest variety of balloon types and styles around! Our creative decorating services provide talented consultants who design tasteful, unique balloon decor to enhance any occasion! Give us a call for your next big event! We can make it happen!!!

Here they are! The original radio ads I've gotten many requests for over the years. enjoy!
UP 'N AWAY BALLOONS - P.O. Box 5183 - Athens, Ga. 30604 - (706) 543-8622
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