Samantha Sousa, a finance important, was getting into her junior calendar year at Rhode Island School, working element time as a financial institution teller and using courses full time when she resolved to begin a small business.

In 2021 she partnered with Katie Massarone and Trinity Greene to open up Up & Away Balloons R.I., LLC. Sousa was 20 years previous.

The 3 girls experienced usually bounced close to the idea of commencing a balloon company of their own when they worked with each other at a retail retail store. Their position there was inflating balloons.

When they left retail, they began planning their small business in earnest. They crafted some take a look at styles, tried using them out at household functions and then launched their organization to the world.

To make it obvious, Up & Away Balloons R.I. is not your usual twist-it-into-animal-styles balloon organization. These installations are generally substantial, sculpturesque will work of art produced on web page.

To build this design, Sousa experienced to dive into the pool and location bricks at the base to keep each and every balloon string in location.
Balloons circling the entrance to a building
Up & Absent R.I.’s most in-need occasions are baby showers, bridal showers and milestones, these kinds of as very first birthdays, turning 16, 21 and 50. Most installations consider fewer than two hours.

From a RIC advertising course, Sousa understood that social media was the ideal way to advertise. So, she opened an Instagram and Facebook webpage for the business, which she continues to oversee, even though all three associates declared the opening on their personal social media sites. Family and buddies explained to other family members and friends and the news spread like wildfire. By 2022 their business enterprise had taken off and was turning a gain. Clicking that “Share” button on social media is effective, Sousa says.

Nonetheless Up & Absent Balloons R.I. is nevertheless what she phone calls “a aspect hustle.” Sousa is effective as a teller at the BankRI and intends to changeover to the mortgage-and-lending aspect of banking when she graduates in May well. Sousa says she loves functioning with people and with cash.

Becoming a finance major, Sousa retains a operating log of the company’s costs. “My doing the job at a lender is also beneficial to the small business,” she states, “because I know what has to be finished on the banking side and what we as a lender appear for in our enterprise consumers.”

When requested what she enjoys about finance, she hedges at 1st right before admitting, “I like funds. I like the idea of it. I like figuring it out. In our organization, I’m always imagining of methods we can do additional and be far more productive. I’m never settled. I’m always seeking far more.”

“I’m super very pleased of our business,” she provides. “We’re previously booking into Oct.” Of her company companions, she states, “I wouldn’t want to own or run a company with everyone else.”

The three owners of Up & Away R.I.
From still left, Samantha Sousa, Trinity Greene and Katie Massarone

For some, possessing a enterprise would leading their checklist of achievements, but for Sousa, graduating from college is an even even larger accomplishment.

“My dad is an immigrant from Portugal,” says Sousa. “He was born in the Azores and is a person of 7 children. He did not complete higher university and never ever had the option to go to school. My mother concluded large school but also did not go to faculty. I assume that is why I’m driven to retain going. I’m an only kid. I’ll be in the first in the family to graduate college or university.”

Sousa’s long-expression desire is to run the enterprise total time. “If this small business could assistance me and a family members, I would leave the planet of finance,” she states. “I would enjoy to choose treatment of my parents. I would enjoy to acquire my dad his aspiration Corvette. In the extended operate, I just want to be joyful and to say all the tricky get the job done paid off.”