The Bethel Grapevine is proud to showcase Black woman owned business Ava Party Designs. Ava Sealey started the business five years ago after leaving a career in banking and it has blossomed into a successful business venture. She took the leap and said, “If I never give myself the option to fail, I won’t.” She fell in love with balloon art after planning a baby shower for her friend. Ava is a certified balloon artist, and she has worked with Harper’s Bazaar, Elle Magazine, Amazon, and several other organizations that have showcased her art. She creates balloon displays for a variety of events including weddings, corporate events, grand openings, holiday parties, graduation ceremonies, birthday parties, engagement/anniversary parties, religious celebrations, and more. Ava loves to give back to her community, so she has donated her artwork to local events including St. Mary School’s Father Daughter Dance in Ridgefield, and the non-profit organization, March of Dimes.

A child's birthday party display. Photo courtesy of Ava Party Designs.

As for many, the COVID-19 pandemic had a tremendous impact on her business. Since social gatherings and parties were not happening, Ava used her talents and equipment to help her community during such a difficult time. She used her laser cutting machine to produce over 3,000 face shields for frontline workers and volunteers. People from the community pitched in to help distribute the face shields to Danbury Hospital and other local healthcare organizations. Ava says, “It gave me a sense of hope – it was my way of holding onto my business while having the chance to give back to the community.” Ava enjoys her non-profit work and feels a sense of fulfillment from helping those in need.

A donated display at Danbury Hospital to honor healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo courtesy of Ava Party Designs.

While Ava is not currently taking on new clients, she says there is still a way the community can help support Ava Party Designs. One of the facets of Ava Party Designs’ mission is the protection of the environment. Ava Party Designs is a member of the Pro Environment Balloon Alliance which rejects the deliberate release of helium-filled balloons. Ava strongly discourages the release of balloons and calls upon the community to partake in what she calls “Faith Balloon Practices” to avoid littering. She says, “Connecticut does not currently have an environmental law about balloon use, so I would encourage California’s law that states any helium balloon must be individually weighted down. Some areas have completely banned the use of balloons because of their environmental impact.” Due to the risk of littering, or potential health problems for people who inhale helium, Ava Party Designs does not use helium balloons in their displays at all. Additionally, after an event, she brings every display back to her warehouse and pops every single balloon and sets it aside to be recycled. Ava likes to say, “Pop the balloons before the champagne!” She would like the community to know that if you are having a party using your own balloons, you are welcome to bring them to her warehouse and she will dispose of them safely. Ava encourages the community to, “Have fun safely and responsibly.”

A sporting event display.  Photo courtesy of Ava Party Designs.

Ava is also passionate about teaching. Soon, she will be traveling to Memphis, Tennessee to teach a class, and she would love to mentor someone who might be interested in learning the craft of balloon art. If you or someone you know might be interested in working with Ava, she encourages you to contact her. Ava Party Designs’ full portfolio and contact information can be found on her website, be sure to check out Ava’s beautiful work!

A 30th birthday display.  Photo courtesy of Ava Party Designs.

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