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Spotlight Artist: Sean & Edelgard O’Kelly, CBA’s

“We’re both very hands-on and are fussy about the final appearance of our work” said Sean. “I can not imagine doing half the jobs we have done if we were still using the single air blower method we started out with twenty-one years ago. If I didn’t have my Conwin I know I would have been working three times as hard as I already have and that’s a scary thought.”

Although they originally come from opposite sides of the world and their backgrounds are just as diverse the partnership of Edelgard and Sean O’Kelly was a match made in balloon heaven.

Edelgard worked in the fashion industry in Germany and Sean (among other things) worked as a journalist for several daily and weekly publications. After they met and married in 1983 they began working in Sean’s family business O’K Party Supplies (noted as the 1st Party Shop in Australia in 1976) at a time when the fledgling Aussie balloon industry was just being born.

In 1994, after realizing their forte was in décor design, they closed their shop and began working from their home office/workshop. Specializing in large events, sculptures and centre-pieces much of their work (back then) required them to hire skilled and unskilled work crews. Without the aid of automatic inflating equipment their precision décor had to be sized using the slow and tiresome method of a ‘holy box’

“It was all a costly and laborious effort that sometimes left us with very little profit.” says Sean. “It wasn’t until we invested in our Conwin equipment that we could more confidently predict our money hungry labor costs.

After 27 years of working beside each other Edelgard & Sean built BALLOON DÉCOR a long list of professional credits. Experienced in Props, Backdrops. Balloon Drops & Releases, Sculptures, Centre-pieces and Theme Décor they often found themselves inflating thousands of balloons at a time.

Apart form their varied collection of function decorations and specialty sculptures both Edelgard and Sean are noted presenters and have many of their designs featured in catalogues and information sheets that are distributed in Australia and around the word.
In recent years their creative pieces have been featured in the five catalogues for Premier Balloons in Australia as well as the catalogues and website of both Betallic and Sempertex. They have also had many articles published in party trade magazines as well as computer magazines highlighting the use of graphics programs in a balloon business.

Unfortunately, Edelgard passed away in March 2009 after a five year battle with leukemia leaving behind her an impressive legacy of designs and innovative time-saving techniques.

Since Edelgard’s passing Sean has concentrated on restructuring his business to specialise in services more suited to his experience as a Newspaper reporter, part-time graphic designer, balloon recipe writer, and function/display decorator.

Sean and Edelgard’s Portfolio