Entries for the Test Valley Business Awards continue to flock in.

Here is one entrant of the Innovation and Technology Award category to tell us her story.

"My name is Melonie Hall and I own and run Celebration Cube, an Andover based company which provides balloons for celebrations, party items and gifts.

“I am excited to be entering the Test Valley Business Awards this year in the category of Innovation & Technology Award.

“The idea for Celebration Cube was seeded about a year and a half ago. However, it was during lockdown when my previous business (which provided training to the health and social care sector) all but disappeared that this seed really began to grow and take form.

“Since starting in early 2021 our business model has been in transition in line with our customers’ needs and requirements, from initially offering individual pre boxed sets for online parties, to accommodating larger family groups as lifting of restrictions allowed. We are also now offering balloon party décor alongside this.

“With our innovative online option to design and purchase your own celebration balloon by choosing from a range of options, we have improved not only our presence in the marketplace but also our conversions to sales.

“We continue to adapt and change, and we are planning to adopt a new ‘return your balloon’ policy, as we have noticed that after the event a lot of Foil balloons are either being offered for on platforms such as Facebook or are being discarded into landfill as these have a high plastic content. Taking these into account, we came up with this innovative idea to have a ‘return your balloon’ policy, with a system of reward points for balloons received (in good order). Not only does this allow for less waste and therefore better for the environment, but also allows us to pass any cost reduction on to our customers. If individuals choose to use recycled balloons in their designs, they also gain reward points for this. We aim to have this up and running by the end of September.

“In order to manage this new reward system, we have needed to enhance our technology and have turned to website applications to try and achieve this.”

The Test Valley Business Awards provides a great platform for small to medium sized businesses in the Test Valley area to gain recognition for their achievements.

Entries for the TVBAs close on Friday September 3.