Fidel and Rosario P. started Pac Jim Party Rentals in 2007 as a weekend business. Pac Jim provides jumping balloons (moonwalks), tables, and chairs for outdoor functions. The jumping balloons are large inflatables that children can play inside, and they are often used at social gatherings. Fidel personalizes the jumping balloons by attaching an additional inflatable figure in the likeness of a superhero, movie or television character to the top of the main jumping balloon.
A former U.S. Marine, Fidel works full-time with a trucking company in border-crossing operations. Fidel started Pac Jim so that his teenage children could earn spending money without working during the week. It has grown faster than they ever thought it would and it has the added bonus of allowing them to spend time together as a family. Fidel says they stay busy every weekend from mid-February to November.
Fidel found ACCION Texas-Louisiana’s website through an internet search he conducted after being denied financing by a commercial bank. Fidel is using this loan to buy 6, 10’x30’ party canopies. He and Rosario have decided to add canopies to their inventory after receiving multiple requests from customers. In fact, they are Pac Jim’s most requested item after the jumping balloons. They previously bought canopies at a superstore locally, but the canopies were not commercial quality and quickly broke. Fidel will also buy new balloon prints representing characters from this year’s blockbuster movies.
While the inflatable industry is relatively new to El Paso, Fidel says it is very competitive. Competition is such that he must take reservations without deposits, allowing clients to wait until the last minute to cancel without penalty. Pac Jim Party Rentals is fully licensed with the Texas Bureau of Insurance, which is good, given the active environment the balloons encourage. Fidel claims to be one of only two inflatable rental businesses in the area that are covered by insurance, and he points out that should someone be injured, the insurance provides the injured party recourse for their injury.
Fidel wants to someday grow his business volume to the point that he can add a team of 3-4 employees. This would allow them to handle working more sites per weekend.
Accion Texas Inc. (www.acciontexas.org) is an award-winning nonprofit organization with a mission to provide credit and loans to small and start-up businesses that have limited or no access to credit from commercial sources. Established in 1994 in San Antonio, Accion has helped Texas and Louisiana entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses, stabilize and increase their incomes, create employment, and contribute to the economic revitalization of their communities. Learn more at www.acciontexas.org.