Sky's the limit for Cleethorpes teen's new balloon business with a difference

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 17 Jul 2017

An aspiring entrepreneur from Cleethorpes is pumped after launching his own balloon business with a difference - and insists it will go down with a bang.

At the age of just 17, business student Oliver Freeston has set up his very own company selling 18-inch balloons stuffed with gifts.

Oliver, of Sandringham Road, Cleethorpes, believes he has found a niche gap in the market for such a product to be sold locally, having got wind of the idea after seeing the same being done on the streets of Thailand, last October.

The plucky Tollbar Sixth Form student, who is running the Grimsby Gifts In A Balloon business from his home with his girlfriend, Ria Royall, had to borrow £300 from his dad to put towards £200 of his own savings, in order to buy a special 'super stuffer' machine.

By using this nifty bit of kit, Oliver can stuff gifts like teddy bears, small parcels and even wedding or engagement rings inside the balloons, and says the eye-catching party-pieces can be used for any occasion.

The business has only be up and running a matter of days, but Oliver is anticipating the business ballooning in popularity, and even has hopes of applying to appear on the BBC's Dragon's Den show in a bid to bag funding from a selection of popular and wealthy business man.

Oliver, who also works part-time in McDonald's, says the balloons could be used for occasions like Christmas, birthdays, Valentine's Day, at baby showers and can be stuffed with confetti.

Oliver has always had an eye for business, having had the nous to sell discounted eggs to neighbours at the age of just 9, before launching his own guttering maintenance venture, with the help of brother, Tom, aged 15.

Oliver Freeston and his partner Ria Royall are ready to embark on their new business venture together(Image: Duncan Young)

Now with a bank of business knowledge picked up from the classroom, Oliver says he's "passionate" about ensure his business takes off.

He said: "I have never seen anything like it over here before, I've done market research and nowhere else does it locally.

"It's amazing really. I'm really excited by it and think people will take to it quickly.

"I have transferred the skills I have learned at college to real life. I've got a passion for business.

"I would like to give Dragon's Den a shot, it would be a great source of funding but I need to build up a customer base first.

A balloon stuffed with a teddy bear costs £10, but if a customer wants to supply their own gift, the price is £7. Oliver's business doesn't have a website just yet, but information on how to order and a selection of limited special offers are available on the company's Facebook page, 'Grimsby Gifts In A Balloon'.

"It will boom and could cause a craze", added Oliver.

He said: "I'm confident and hope that people want to get involved.

"It's just something a bit different which can be a special gift. I made sure that it would be a worthwhile thing to do and I definitely think it is."



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