Designs By Essence: Balloons As An Art Form

By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

When Essence Nesbit’s daughter Patience was about six or seven years old, Essence was working to give Patience the perfect birthday party complete with balloon art, and just let’s say it did not go well. She was still trying to “get it together” while the guests were arriving, and this was not at all what she had imagined for her daughter’s special day. The worst part was that there were almost no pictures from that day, and it was not something that Essence ever wanted to repeat.

However, that moment of great discomfort actually served to birth what is now known as Designs By Essence, an accomplished balloon services resource for building arches, columns, balloon drops, and more. Essence told me, “I wanted to be the person who helped so that moms don’t lose the chance to take pictures. She added, “We set up and you have fun became our goal, and that’s how we got started.” Before we go any further, it needs to be understood that Essence is not going to come to your child’s party to make the kinds of balloon dogs and balloon crowns that are often thought of as being part of the routine of a kid’s party entertainer. Her creations are not what you would describe as being those of a “twister.” As you can see from the pictures, they are true works of art — balloon art.

Prior to what started as a “creative escape,” Essence spent 15 years working on Redstone Arsenal, mostly in the Emergency Services Directorate, and knew that there was not a great deal of upward mobility in her position. Deep inside she had an entrepreneurial spirit, and after she got her 15-year pin at Redstone, she went full-time with Designs By Essence.

To first learn and then hone her craft, Essence practiced, watched online demonstrations and trainings, and went to a week-long conference in Tennessee, and then one in Orlando. “At first, we inflated the balloons with a hand pump, which took too long. Then we got a machine that would fill them faster, which saved a lot of time. We don’t use helium because it’s too expensive, and we don’t want to pass that cost on to the client,” she said. Here is a bit more of what Essence says about her services:

Designs by Essence is located in Huntsville, Alabama. We offer full-event design services for weddings and social and corporate events. Additionally, we specialize in custom-made balloon decor. We offer a variety of balloon pieces that are guaranteed to add the “WOW” factor to your next event. Our goal is to take the burden of decorating off your plate so you can just show up and have a great time! Our balloon services range from columns to balloon drops, and everything in between.

Designs By Essence recently added floral design for weddings along with luxury picnics, which she discusses further below:

Our services include, but are not limited to, vendor coordination, balloon styling, floral design, draping, etc. Whether you need just one aspect or all of them, we are here to help!

Event services include weddings, receptions, and social events such as anniversaries, corporate celebrations, birthdays, engagements, showers and more.

During the later stages of Covid, outdoor events grew in popularity. As we are getting back to having events and being together indoors and out, Designs by Essence is proud to debut our Luxury Picnic Experience!

Clients have the option to book a 2-hour picnic for indoors or outdoors with as many add-ons as you would like. Options include a couple’s massage, outdoor tents, charcuterie boards, and other treats.

During the holidays, Essence had the chance to go to London to what is known as the Big Balloon Build, where about 60 people came from all over Europe and America to build a spectacular project for charity. They raised around 10,000 pounds sterling, which in American dollars converts to about $12,700. They worked for four days. In 2022, she participated in a similar event held in Vincennes, IN, and there they raised $130K as well as 14,000 lbs. of food for United Way.

Daughter Patience has now joined her mom in this lovely venture, and they make a terrific team. I asked Essence why I should pick her for my event, whether it is large or small, and she said, “We provide what I like to call ‘professional attentiveness.’ I understand what the customer wants, and I help guide them to it.”

If this kind of care and creative excellence is what you are desiring to experience for your next event, then give Essence Nesbit, of Designs By Essence a call at 256-542-1011. Or, you can go online at and book an appointment. Enjoy Essence’s artistry and the beauty she creates with balloons and much more!

By: Ali Elizabeth Turner