Hey, I'm Nick. I own shittyballoons.com and yes my parents know. They find it hilarious.

Idea came about when I was at my sister's graduation and realized that people should have sarcastic balloons for the after parties.

Ask away!

Proof

https://twitter.com/shittyballoons/status/907681461301641216

Since a lot of people are pming for discounts, use code REDDIT for 20% off

Comments: 234 • Responses: 61  • Date: 

Snowbank_Lake341 karma

Have you considered making your balloons even shittier by filling them with glitter so that people can pop them over a friend's head and give them glitter herpes?

emno282 karma

I have not, but that's actually a great idea.

HiMyNameIsNerd76 karma

Quick /u/Snowbank_Lake, to the patent office!

Snowbank_Lake57 karma

Unless of course, /u/emno wants to bring me on as official Shitty Ideas consultant ;-)

emno38 karma

We'll talk...

Justmakeadecision184 karma

What's the largest order you've gotten?

Do people ever tell you what/why they're getting the balloons?

emno315 karma

Largest order was for 1,000 custom "Fuck You" balloons. I asked why out of curiosity and she stated it was for her cheating ex.

Generally, they don't.

Justmakeadecision149 karma

Lol, great order.

I suspect most of your balloons are not bought for happy occasions.

emno94 karma

Actually quite the opposite, most customers buy it for their best friends, families, coworkers. It create a sarcastic/funny/unique experience.

georgeflies17 karma

What's the current revenue? How did you zero in on balloons? I mean there are people sending stones, potatoes even dirt.

emno60 karma

Revenue is something I won't disclose, but I quit my job to pursue this :)

Balloons because of my sister's graduation

Bonovision61 karma

Curious how the process went for you in getting your products from design to production?

My girlfriend keeps writing down ridiculous things I say when I express my love for her and is convinced I should start making cards with them.

emno65 karma

Google is your best friend, but remember that entrepreneurship isn't an easy road.

Try selling on Etsy first to get the hang of it! There are a lot of companies doing what you're thinking of doing.

fearluck53 karma

Bro, half your shit is sold out! When can we expect more shitty inventory?

emno38 karma

I know! Not sure tbh, sign up to the email list and we'll send out a blast.

Razor183421 karma

How do you not know the answer to this question? You said you quit your job for this, so your livelihood depends primarily on the answer to this question.

emno39 karma

Correct, I'm in an interesting phase with my manufacturer. It'll be ready within 1-2 months.

Right now the 24 packs are the main sellers, which I have plenty of.

page8539 karma

How many hours a week do you typically put in to your business? What was the job you left to do this full time?

emno54 karma

Across all my projects? 100-120hr weeks.

I was a manager for a rental car company

CloudEnt49 karma

So... you're working fewer hours now!

emno38 karma

i just lol'd hard

Bonovision10 karma

It's true, I did the rental car job during school, slave labor.

Thrifty gang signs

emno8 karma

Clean this car, and pick this customer up, don't call n drive, also would you be interested in our insurance?

Bonovision3 karma

We also offer prepaid fuel at 3 cents less than the current market price.

emno3 karma

I'm getting some flash backs...

clemtiger20116 karma

It wasn't one with a motto claiming that they will come and get you and take you to the office, was it?

emno4 karma

Hhahahahahahahah

LawrenceShadow27 karma

Fun idea! Could be fun for bachelor or bachelorette parties too.

Any chance you'll do t shirts and stuff as well? Some shitty shirts with your shitty balloons?

emno16 karma

Haha thanks, surprisingly bachelors and bachelorettes don't want them...

Most likely not going to do shirts lol

newtonslogic19 karma

You should look into the Nashville, TN market...you'd be amazed at the bridal shower market they've got going in that town.

emno9 karma

Noted.

Lasse105024 karma

What is the weirdest order you've ever gotten?

emno73 karma

I had a weird request. Someone wanted me to fill balloons with dog poop and was willing to pay a lot of money to do so. I didn't want the company to be associated with that, so I had to decline.

hbtrockss19 karma

Was there any backlash from some people of this being a stupid idea(I find is hilariously awesome btw)?

If yes..whats the worst criticism/opposition /negative comments you have got?

emno34 karma

So many people thought this was dumb, I just stuck to my guns, I really had nothing to lose.

Thanks :)

The worst was- my ex leaving me, we left on good terms, but that really stung. She didn't leave me for this specific reason, we had a lot of other things going on, but I think she just gave up on my passion for being my own boss. I don't blame her.

Sphelps6716 karma

Would you like a UK distributor?

emno13 karma

pm me more info

derekcanmexit16 karma

Is this your full time job? How have sales been recently?

emno28 karma

As an entrepreneur, I'm constantly looking for new cash flow. This isn't my only project. Sales are enough for me to quit my full time job

derekcanmexit7 karma

What other projects are you involved in?

emno14 karma

Nothing as fun as this. They're all in the hush hush stage :)

Sammoo11 karma

I understand college is not necessary to be an entrepreneur, but for someone who is studying business, what degrees or skills do you think will help out someone who wants to be one?

emno27 karma

Definitely not necessary. I graduated with a Criminal Justice major and wanted to become a police officer. yea, things changed.

The number 1 skill all entrepreneurs have is the ability to overcome difficult situations. When X problem occurs you do Y solution. Not only that, you need to have the drive. If you're not out there hustling, learning new skills relating to ecommerce but you have this BIG vision on being an entrepreneur, then you're a wantrepreneur.

Start flipping items from your local goodwill, learn how to sell things on ebay, start your lemonade stand, just have that drive to WANT to be your own boss.

Funkedav18 karma

Dog, you've inspired me to take my first steps into my ceviche and fish taco stand. I've had these dishes for years and everyone enjoys them.

I guess I'll start small and keep it simple

emno17 karma

I'm happy to have inspired you. Really am, I love it.

Here's the steps you need. Start with friends and family. Then start a small catering business. Create social media accounts, and be active and post engaging pictures. Reach out to local restaurants see if they want to wholesale them from you.

Reach out to local food bloggers and have them write about you in exchange for a days worth of tacos!

Funkedav9 karma

Great advise! I've done "taste tests" with different people I know outside of friends and family.

im taking advantage of being in Mexico and having an exchange rate that benefits me. The culture here is also more accepting of pop up stands. If I can keep it going it'll be a swanky restaurant in the states in the future.

emno16 karma

Do it, get started tomorrow.

Sammoo1 karma

Thank you! I defiantly have the drive that is needed. Sometimes I just feel uneducated to the steps I need to take to accomplish X.

emno6 karma

Start with yard sales. Buy and sell, learn the market on ebay, see what sells and what doesn't. Dip your feet in entrepreneurship.

If this isn't for you then find something else. Learn a skill, programming, design, web building. MAKE MOVES.

AardvarkWill10 karma

How did you get your name out? From when you started to what you're doing now. What did you do that made people come to your site in the first place?

emno16 karma

The name shitty balloons actually did all the marketing. Instagram is where the company is gaining the most traction.

catherder90009 karma

In all honesty, I don't give a shit about your AMA, but your advertising worked!

Just bought a 24 pack.

Dammit.

Do you feel good about yourself now?


repost: because the bot removed my original post

emno6 karma

Haaha :)

dark_space8 karma

Do you have any competitors? Are you worried someone with more money/resources will push you out of business or is there anything proprietary about your balloons that prevent others from copying you?

emno17 karma

I have some competitors, I'm really not that worried, in business competition is good. It all comes down to execution and marketing.

The company name itself, shitty balloons, is very memorable.

HiIAm6 karma

Do you worry that the name shitty balloons could turn off part of your market? i.e. Church parties or conservative folks who are sarcastic, but potentially against cursing?

I mean, "Big Ass Fans" has done pretty well, so I'm sure it's not a market killer. Just curious your thoughts on it.

emno18 karma

I'm not worried because they are not my target market, my whole point is to include cursing

banjoman537 karma

Are you hiring?

emno13 karma

Not really, but it all depends what value you can provide to the company.. Not opposed to the idea.

chrispar7 karma

Any chance you're going to offer a 12-pack of "You're a Slut" balloons? I have a friend who has a habit of getting drunk, calling people sluts, and shooting finger guns; I also play him in fantasy football in a few weeks

emno6 karma

we're getting them made as we speak, sign up to the email list and we'll send out a blast when we get them in

hatgirl26 karma

They available in the uk?

emno3 karma

Yes, we ship worldwide :)

Alan_Smithee_5 karma

How do you feel about the waste of helium? Are you aware there's a pending worldwide shortage, that will have a negative effect on science, medicine and technology?

Just asking. I know you're trying to run a business, but it's actually a concern.

emno7 karma

I actually had NO idea. Could you please give me the TL;DR version????

AskAboutMyDumbSite4 karma

Could you make balloons that look like turds, not just a picture of a turd, but an actual textured lump of shit? Also, I love dumb ideas, keep up the stupid work.

emno9 karma

hahah, it's an idea in the works for sure. thanks for your shitty idea <3

Just_like_my_wife4 karma

Do you really think making a shitty AMA to plug your shitty website will help your shitty business?

emno37 karma

I have shitty answers.

voxamps22904 karma

How many employees do you guys have?

Also, your "About Us" section has a typo in the first sentence.

emno8 karma

FIXED.

Right now it's me myself and I, I use a fulfillment center ran by my friends to handle all the shipping and stuff.

lfxahab3 karma

After looking at your site, I'm curious...is the cat included with purchase?

emno24 karma

Only1Goose3 karma

Is your baloon buisness better paying than your former job?

emno5 karma

yes

Only1Goose3 karma

Do you plan to do it the rest of your life?

emno4 karma

no

Jabbatrios3 karma

Have you ever used these balloons at a party you attended?

emno3 karma

Yes :) It was awesome.

illexa3 karma

Was it your plan to use Reddit as a shitty marketing platform or did you just decide to do this and it turned out well? Kudos though, Just all of it.

emno11 karma

I just decided to do it and it turned out well.

I'm doing fine regardless of if I did this or not, but it definitely doesn't hurt.

CptnAwsm8172 karma

Ever thought about making shitty fortune cookies?

emno4 karma

I have, but I don't see it being a big business.

thirsty_wisconsinite2 karma

What resources do you utilize to advertise your product? I.E. Facebook ads, Google search, etc.

emno5 karma

Instagram is by far the best source for me, but other avenues will be worked on.

HiIAm2 karma

Did you have to borrow money to start the company or use your own funds?

emno5 karma

I had full time job for 2 years so I had my own money.

JackyDawg2 karma

Were you inspired by some other shitty thing?

emno4 karma

Haha nope, but products that are silly and make me laugh inspired me :)

corgonin2 karma

What kind of lunches do you eat?

emno8 karma

I prefer something light, a sandwhich. I've been eating chicken/turkey sandwiches for a month now..

DarkandTwistyMissy2 karma

I really enjoy this concept! Do you make Mylar balloons for those with latex allergies? I'd love to get some.

emno4 karma

Hmm, good point. I'm thinking of going into Mylar, it's very expensive, but something I have to start transitioning into.

SoUpInYa2 karma

If you're working 100-120 hours per week, after expenses, are you making more than min. wage, hourly?

emno3 karma

I don't factor my hours as an expense, again it's spread out for multiple projects, but for the balloons itself, the work is pretty much automated, maybe 20-30hrs/week now. In the beginning it was closer to the 60-80hr/week.

toaurdethtdes2 karma

Well I had to order for a friend's party.

Any ideas that you want to put on balloons but you think are to vulgar?

emno1 karma

Nothing is off limits, except racism etc.

MrC02022 karma

When you started your business, how did you explain it to your family and friends and what was their initial reaction?

emno2 karma

I just told them. They all found it hilarious lol

AethericDoom1 karma

Ever considered branchinginto water balloons?

emno1 karma

I haven't but that's another great idea.

420frank1 karma

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emno1 karma

I see it :)

redditron19681 karma

Are you expanding to other types of party supplies like hats and kazoos?

emno2 karma

Yes, but it'll be a while.

[deleted]1 karma

[deleted]

emno5 karma

Because it's meant for people who can take a hint of sarcasm and take life less seriously.

I wasn't, I was the quiet kid.

Yes lol :)

THE_RAPE_SANSA1 karma

Haha, funny idea.

Are you thinking about printing meme images on your balloons?

emno3 karma

but then it wouldn't be shitty :(

[deleted]1 karma

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emno1 karma

you and many others!

[deleted]1 karma

[removed]

emno3 karma

I'm against unnecessary violence, so none, unless they take the last pizza roll. Then I'm gonna hurt someone.

ZKRC1 karma

I've thought about doing something similar myself. How did you go about the initial obstacle of potentially crossing on some other companies toes? Do you hire legal help for that or just go for it?

emno1 karma

Just start, unless it's copyright infringement, then don't start because jail or huge fine.

orangepeko0 karma

What makes you think reddiors care about your overpriced, unoriginal balloons that we could easily buy from china?

emno4 karma

Nothing, I made an impact with couple people who wanted to become entrepreneurs and that's good enough for me.

Charlottean49ers5 karma

I think you have been nice to everyone and that's worth something.

emno3 karma

I try to be, life's too short to be a grumpy frog.