In 1982, Marjorie Burchette opened a small balloon delivery shop in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A. She quickly noticed a large number of complaints from customers who were unhappy because their balloons floated for less than a day. Her husband, Don, is a chemical engineer who was employed at the time in the research-and-development department of a large chemical company. Marjorie asked him if there was a way to increase the floating life of latex balloons.
Don went to work on the problem at night in his basement shop, and after about a year, he had developed HI-FLOAT. The rest is history; HI-FLOAT has become a phenomenal success.
In 1992, we introduced an improved formula, SUPER HI-FLOAT, which worked twice as well. In 2002, the next generation of balloon treatment was born – ULTRA HI-FLOAT. This concentrated formula works twice as well as SUPER HI-FLOAT, and it can increase the floating life of a latex balloon by up to 25 times, on average.
The HI-FLOAT company strives to support the balloon industry. In 1990, HI-FLOAT became a charter member of the International Balloon Association (IBA). Marjorie is a tremendous advocate of industry education, and has traveled the world educating balloon professionals. HI-FLOAT regularly sponsors important educational events such as Ballooniversity and Summer Balloon Camp.
At the 2005 Summer Balloon Camp, Marjorie was presented with the Dottie Blanchard Spirit Award. This award is given annually to a person who has a genuine love of the balloon industry and embraces the spirit of Dottie Blanchard, giving unselfishly to better the industry and help individuals grow and prosper.
Since inventing HI-FLOAT, Don has also has put his technical expertise to work on the environmental issues surrounding latex balloons. Don conducted a study to educate people on the biodegradability of latex balloons. At the International Balloon Arts Convention (IBAC) in 1990, Don was awarded the prestigious Crystal Award, presented to individuals or companies that actively advance the industry through innovation, skill and dedication. Don currently is semiretired and is enjoying a second career as an artist.