During the fall of 2019, partners Ashley and Jackie Schultz-Barkley unintentionally got into the balloon business.
The pair had just gotten married and they posted a picture of their homemade ballon garlands from their ceremony on Facebook.
“We made a few garlands and then we kind of we didn’t want anything to go to waste, so we put them on Facebook,” she said. “And people started asking for different colors and we’re like, ‘okay, I guess we could make that.’ And it just kind of grew from there.”
Rocky Mountain Balloons was born. The couple operated the business out of their living room for several months before moving into a shared storefront with Happy Hour Homemaker and Coffee Plant Repeat in Downtown Meridian. Now, after a successful year, Rocky Mountain Balloons will move into its very own space across the street at 133 E. Idaho Ave.
“Recently we saw the space across the street and we always loved it, we never went inside and once we did we just kind of fell in love with it,” she said. ”(We thought) that will be a perfect place to start our own kind of ordeal.”
The idea behind Rocky Mountain
Schultz-Barkley decided on the name Rocky Mountain because of the area, the garlands and the biodegradable products they sell.
“All of our florals and greenery are real, we don’t use faux anything. All of our balloons are biodegradable, except for the foil balloons that people ask for,” Ashley said. “But we do try to reuse those to kind of be conservative… or environmentally friendly.”
The company aims to make balloons “gorgeous” and make them something that could truly be displayed at a wedding or special event.
“I don’t think of balloons at a reception or wedding, that’s not something you think of,” she said. “You think of birthdays and gifts. But it was pretty for what it was, but we didn’t know that it would grow to what we have now. Not to just speak of our own work, it’s really gorgeous work… But we really tried to convey like a modern aesthetic with it something that you wouldn’t mind having in your ceremony.”
After finding success in the balloon business, the couple recently launched Ash + Jack Party Supply, which offers party supplies, gifts and stationery. You can shop here or at the Rocky Mountain Balloon shop.
“So all the items are women-owned, women-made, or made by people of color. It’s been fun, it really has,” Ashley said. “You know we don’t have kids yet or anything like that so it’s like, okay, we could help everyone else in the Treasure Valley with their special occasions and celebratory reasons. A way for us to be a part of everyone’s party.”
When COVID-19 hit, Ashley was working at Urban Outfitters. But when her team was furloughed, the couple thought about what they could do while “waiting for the world to start back up again.”
“So we kind of transitioned from just doing events to gifts as well; something that you could have dropped off at your door contactless so people really took onto that really well,” Ashley said. “Especially since they couldn’t really celebrate the way they used to with large parties and groups. They would try to make those moments a bit more spectacular.”
On June 4 and 5, Rocky Mountain Balloon will host a grand opening at their new location.
“I’m a veteran,” Ashley said. “So to support our veterans, we offer a veteran discount, as well as a community discount towards nonprofits.”