Bubble Crafts and Balloon shop Reflects Township Evolution

There are certain businesses you find in the township today, that you could not spot two decades ago. These are businesses that offered services which many black people in the township could not afford or had no need for it then.

In 2002 there weren’t township based DSTV installers as there are today, because most people in the township couldn’t afford cable television at the time and the few who could afford it, needed to ring Multichoice directly.

There are multiple reasons for this, one of them being that black people can now afford products and services they previously couldn’t. One such business which is reflective of this, is the Bubble Crafts and Balloon shop in Mamelodi. The gift shop is the first of its kind in the Pretoria township. According to business owner Sifiso Sithole, they offer helium balloons, balloon garlands, themed balloons, and balloon arrangements among other things.

Bubble Crafts and Balloon shop. Photo supplied

“Well, it being the first of its kind people don’t understand yet what we are about. They are interested but still unsure about our services,” Sithole shares with Spot-On. “Most of them [customers] are from in and around Pretoria,” Sithole says.
The Bubble Crafts and Balloon shop was established March last year but officially opened April 2022.

The last few days have been a dark one for the country, figuratively and literally. Things are made worse by the latter, given Eskom’s load shedding that costs the country millions and badly affects several small businesses who don’t have back-up energy. But Sithole and his two employees fortunately aren’t affected by the rampant blackouts. [“It] doesn’t affect us that much. We don’t make use of electricity a lot just a lot of helium.”

READY: Balloons prepared for customers at The Bubble Crafts and Balloon shop . Photo supplied

Sithole says security is his biggest challenge after thugs attempted to enter his rented premises once last month and then eventually broke into the Bubble Crafts and Balloon shop in their second attempt. “They stole the helium tank. Because I’m renting the landlord had to reinforce security.”

All In One: product from Bubble Crafts and Balloon shop . Photo supplied

Despite these challenges Sithole remains optimistic about where he sees his business in the future. “Having a smooth and easy functioning business, whether I’m in or not, the business continues to run. Having it [the business] grow to a capacity where we have more than one branch in Mamelodi because Mamelodi is a very big place. So possibly having two if not three branches of the shop in Mamelodi…and to grow it to a level where it resembles a Netflorist,” says Sithole.