Feb 4, 2016
Cindy Hayden, The Ballooney Bin
The Ballooney Bin
Cindy Hayden’s creativity goes well beyond her balloon business. In addition to running the Ballooney Bin in Jackson, Michigan, Hayden is a longtime blues musician and organizer of a 15-year-old music festival. Whether it’s coming up with a cute cluster, dealing with a helium shortage or jamming with the band, Hayden knows how to adapt on the fly. Just don’t ask her to play some Skynyrd.
1. How did you get started in retail?
We started our business in our home and branched out little by little. We moved into a 300-square-foot space in a market that already had retail traffic. That went pretty well and we decided we have to believe in ourselves before anyone else can, so we took the plunge and moved into a 3,000-square-foot retail space. Since we moved in nine years ago, business has increased ever year.
2. What has been the biggest change in the business since you started?
The biggest change would be the challenges we have had with the helium shortage. Necessity is the mother of invention so we were forced to come up with creative ideas that did not include helium, like table centerpieces, columns and creations hanging from the ceiling, just to name a few.
3. What is the best retail advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I have received is to be the best balloon store you can be and eventually the word will get out. Don’t give up too quickly. It is a journey for sure. Always make sure you let your customer know that you appreciate their business. They could have gone anywhere else, but they chose to spend their money with you. That’s what keeps your doors open.
4. What do you like to do outside of work?
I am a musician. Our band, Mojo Phoenix Blues Band, has been together for 19 years. We have played festivals and parties in many states across the U.S. I am the lead singer, harmonica player and keyboardist, and my husband is a singer and bass player. We play about 90 percent original tunes and have fun at every show – you may even see a balloon on stage now and then. I am also the founder of the Jackson Blues Festival, and 2016 will be the 15th year of this great event. We have great bands from all over the U.S. perform. I raise the funds and hire the performers. I love every second of it.