Sam Noble from Pontllanfraith was haunted by her past and felt she would never amount to anything, but with the on hands support of her husband Stuart & friends Kate, Donna and personal trainer Claire Morgan as being ‘her rocks’ & the finance support from Purple Shoots, she has set up her own business Air we go Balloons.
Sam had always wanted to run her own business but was held back with very low confidence. Sam said that – “My childhood was horrible. I was told by my parents that I couldn’t do anything and because I am dyslexic, I was made to feel like I was stupid.
“At the age of 13, I was raped, and my parents never took it any further with the police and made it seem like it was my fault.”
All of this had a profound effect on Mrs Noble but has also spurred her on. In 2018, she spoke out about what happened to her and went back to the police with the support of husband Stuart. Unfortunately, it didn’t have the outcome that she wanted, but it started Mrs Noble on a positive path.
“The police investigated, and it was due to go to court last year. But it never did as my parents wouldn’t testify,” she said.
With support from New Pathways, who provided counselling as well as general support, she then began to create her business with the help of Business Wales.
Sam’s husband Stuart, encouraged her in lockdown to restart her greetings cards in February & then following requests added gift sets, which were a cheaper way to help people with less and who couldn’t afford lots of individual cards.
The next requests she had were for balloon arches for birthdays & celebrations. She kept putting that off because of her low confidence, but eventually did some, put them on Facebook and found that people loved them!
So in June Sam formed Air We Go Balloons. She lacked finance to be able to launch this herself so approached Purple Shoots. Sam was so pleased that Purple Shoots were able to help her with a loan to start the business. She is so thankful for this financial support as that enabled her to start straight away.
She now has the support of a number of local businesses who have already got her to create her balloon arches & columns. These include The Otter in Newbridge –where her first balloon arch was so successful, they asked her back and The Bumblebee and House of Cake who also regularly have her balloon decorations.
Sam completed her first wedding in August & now has a number of weddings booked to provide balloons at for 2022, & she has also done the balloons at a children’s funeral. In November Sam provided the balloon arch for the opening of the Purple Shoots premises in Pontypridd.
SAM said – “I still have confidence issues, but I now know that I can do this. I have been on benefits for 19 years and just knew that I wanted to do something. Coming off benefits and going to being a full-time business owner is scary but the Job Centre has given me loads of advice on things they can help with.”
Whilst Sam is still receiving some benefits through Universal Credit which tops up her income, she is expecting as the business continues to grow to be off benefits soon.
Sam remembers the hard times so wants the business to also help others. She says – “I lower my prices to make it fairer for those parents and families. I make a couple pound profit from each item but also work with the families to see what they want and what they can afford.”
“Seeing the faces of the children when they open their balloon gift boxes really makes my day.”
“I appreciate all of the support from every single customer and I’m extremely grateful because without the customers and businesses I wouldn’t be doing this.”
She is so pleased at how well the business is going & its success has helped to transform her life. She says – “I want people to read my story and say, ‘if she can do it, then I can do what I want to do too!”
“I am so proud of myself as I have come so far & I can’t wait to see what i can do in the next 12 months. I love being back in work, It’s the best thing I ever did!”
Air We Go Balloons is on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Air-we-go-balloons-106675011891158 Or Contact – email – firstname.lastname@example.org Phone – 07394 89054