Sometimes the best things just evolve...
In the mid 90's, Fly Me to the Moon's owner, Melanie Edman-Osmer opened a balloon bouquet business in California's Central Valley. "I had just gone through a divorce", says Edman-Osmer, "and was at a crossroads as to what to do to support myself and my two small boys". As she was running birthday parties for kids at a local gym, she decided to purchase some close-out balloons at a store's going-out-of-business sale. When she approached the counter, she was informed that there was a helium tank and thousands of balloons and supplies in the back room and they were all available for sale, as well.
"Something clicked", says Edman-Osmer, "and a few hours later I was driving away from that store with my friend's van filled to the gills with helium tanks and bags and bags of balloons! I was not even sure I knew what to do with them!" But she organized her garage and set to work letting people know she was in business. It was not lost on her that her Granddad used to tease her as a child and say she was "full of balloon juice".
It was an interesting start. "I broke so many balloons in the beginning, that my infant son's first word was bock - his word for balloons because I would say broke so often when filling them up!"
But the breakage minimized and after a year the balloon business (then known as Sky's the Limit*) outgrew the garage. As fate would have it, Edman-Osmer received a phone call from someone trying to sell a neon balloon sign. While affixing a neon sign to the side of her house seemed ill-advised, she soon discovered while asking the caller questions that the caller was going out of business, but had been renting the exact location where those tanks and balloons were first purchased! A few phone calls and a couple of weeks later and Edman-Osmer had secured the location and now had a storefront!
"I had been carrying Beanie Babies after reading about them in People magazine and was doing a Beanie Baby Jelly Belly Balloon Bouquet that was actually a hard sell back then", she laughs, adding "but that was soon to change. It was the fall of '97 and the Beanies were just bursting on the national scene". The business thrived. Still, in early 2001, she decided that her boys (both by then in elementary school) really needed her at home more. "I had already launched a website that featured gift items I was selling in the store and decided to once again take the balloons back home and run the website as well."
Then, in early 2002, Edman-Osmer discovered Italian Charms and began selling them on her site. Frustrated with charm distributors not having what clients wanted, she soon began designing her own line of charms and jewelry (www.monioriginals.com). I was so incredibly busy painting and designing jewelry that when a friend asked to purchase the balloon supplies, I let them go...though reluctantly".
In 2003, she married Craig "Oz" Osmer, a sales manager in the car business.
In 2007, the Osmers moved to El Dorado county. It was actually "coming home" for Craig, as he had been visiting the Placerville area since he was a teenager and had lived here before and had always wanted to come back after moving to the valley.
But the balloons were never forgotten by Edman-Osmer. "My father passed away in 2001 and I had been sending balloons up every year (latex balloons are bio-degradable) on the anniversary of his death in December. I was so frustrated since selling my business that I could not find balloons that would stay up from mid-afternoon when I picked them up until 11pm at night when I set them off." After trying different locations from year to year since moving to El Dorado county, it was clear that a balloon business was a niche that could be filled. When the timing was right in early 2011, the Osmers decided to take the plunge and opened Fly Me to the Moon Balloons.
"We specialize in balloon bouquets and use only the best balloons. It is typical for our balloons to last a few days and I am a self-admitted balloon snob." Edman-Osmer smiles, adding "Only the best will do".