Totally Tubular

Dan Staples of Dan’s Balloons in Nashua has a whole lot of awesome going on. From his business motto (Balloons. Imagination. Awesomeness.) to his everyday outlook on life, he’s just trying to make the world a better place. What started out as a request from a friend has morphed into a full-time passion that allowed him to trade 70- to 80-hour weeks working in retail for more quality time with his wife and daughters. Now, with clients like the Patriots and Adult Swim, Staples is able to pursue his passion for larger-than-life balloon art, and he’s even aiming for a Guinness World Record.

Photo by Kendal J. Bush

In His Own Words

  • At first, it was a lot of birthdays, stuff you’ve got to do to pay the bills — then came the life-size stuff.
  • I made a 10-foot Hulk and a 9-foot Iron Man. I had lights in the Iron Man — those were really cool.
  • There was a giant, 10-foot squid that I made for a someone down in Patriot Place.
  • Balloons are such an unstable medium. The second you start inflating one, it’s already starting to go. I mean, they’re porous and biodegradable — it’s like they just fall apart. It’s a time crunch.
  • There’s so much that goes into it — and not just the time of actually constructing it. You have to learn how to construct it. How do you manipulate the different sizes and the different shapes? How is it going to hang? How do you make it stand?
  • I try to think of myself as more of a purist. I won’t use glue or chicken wire or anything like that.
  • I can’t believe I’m making balloons and I can support my family. It’s a very, very weird thing, but it’s cool.
  • The artwork just kind of came. I’m not very spiritual but it came to me, so I appreciate it. However it came, whatever aliens deposited the skills, thanks.
  • I’m attempting the world record for the largest balloon sculpture by an individual.
  • It’s going to be a Patriots logo, 110 feet by 80 feet.
  • At the stadium, if you ask for anything that’s not Patriots, I make a poop emoji balloon and that’s what you get.
  • Especially now, people need things to be awesome. I say it a lot. It’s a fun word. I say it all time, “awesome” — and thumbs up.
  • Most people are awesome. If you’re not awesome, I have no problem telling you.
  • I think everyone needs to be awesome to each other and appreciate it.

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