Former Park Hill Apartments resident finds success in unique balloon decor business

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Growing up at the Park Hill Apartments in Clifton was tough for Francesca Navarro. But things got even more difficult when her father, a superintendent for public housing, died when she was just 13.

“Because my father was the caretaker, we were allowed to live in Park Hill for free. He had to be there in an emergency. My home was a haven but growing up in the area was tough,” said the now West Brighton homeowner.

But Navarro’s life changed drastically when the family breadwinner died.

“I started working when I was 14 years old. There was a time when I got into this rush mentality. And for me at that point it wasn’t about following a dream. It was about getting out there,” she said, noting that she was getting interested in the party business, working for several years at the former Grasmere-based Bubbles Playhouse, a popular kids’ party spot.

Balloon N' Color

Francesca Navarro recently opened Balloon N’ Color.

The public housing exit began with Navarro putting himself through college.

“I was able to get out of this environment where I’m a homeowner now, but I know I want more for my kids. As I start learning about financial literacy and learning what leaving a legacy looks like, it pushed me to own my own business,” Navarro said of her family, which includes her husband Felix Reyes and hers Children Amaya consists. 3 and Lucas Reyes, 5.

Francesca Navarro

In addition to her own creations through her company Balloon N’ Color, Francesca Navarro assisted in this creation for the House of Color hosted by GardenPlace Balloons.

“After graduating from College of Staten Island, I began my career in retail management. When I was working as HR manager in 2017, I took my first step into the world of balloons when I built two columns to create a festive setting for an event in a store – and they were a hit,” she added.

But it wasn’t until the pandemic brought the globe to a halt that Navarro took time to develop her balloon decorating skills, which she first learned at Bubbles Playhouse.

Balloon N' Color

Francesca Navarro creates balloon decorations for a range of events from store openings to baby showers.

“In April of this year I decided to take a leap of faith in entrepreneurship and I am blessed to say that we are growing and thriving every day,” she said of her company, Balloon N’ Color.


Her large, colorful and intricate balloon decor designs come from her clients’ visions and the unique themes they dream up.

“When a customer isn’t sure what they want, I get inspiration from the balloon communities I follow on Instagram and Facebook. As I continue to learn and grow, I’ve been able to embrace my own style and design aesthetic, which you see in my work today,” said Navarro.

Balloon N' Color

Francesca Navarro creates large, colorful and intricate balloon decor designs.

And she creates balloon decorations for a range of events, from store openings to baby showers.

“I have designed balloon decorations for both private and corporate events. From celebrating a Dunkin Donuts grand opening or a new office party in town to a Sweet Sixteen, baby shower, bridal shower, engagement party and more. Big or small, I probably have something that a customer can order to make their day memorable.” said Navarro.

And each balloon piece can be delivered to customers.

“Although I have take out options for clients looking for decoration on a budget, all of my backdrop setups are supplied and installed by me. We also come for pick up after your event which makes the whole process so much easier for the customer. It’s really a hassle-free service,” said Navarro.

Balloon N' Color

Francesca Navarro creates balloon decorations for a range of events from store openings to baby showers.


Already achieving great success through word of mouth, Navarro says she is driven by passion.

“I am an extremely passionate and creative person who loves to provide excellent customer service. I really take on projects and execute them like I’m celebrating my own event. An event of any size is an investment in your happiness,” she said.

Balloon N' Color

Francesca Navarro recently opened Balloon N’ Color.

In the future, Navarro hopes to add more components to the store, including balloon styling, balloon structures, rental additions, centerpieces and balloon gifts.

“I want to continue to expand my rental options to keep up with design trends and offer full event styling. Stay tuned as I continue to expand my services,” she said.

Balloon N' Color

Francesca Navarro creates a variety of balloon decorations.




New Businesses in Focus is a weekly column that tells the stories of new business owners on Staten Island.

If you have a new business in Staten Island, send an email [email protected].


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