Gann Grateful For Her Opportunities, Business
By CASEY MURPHY
Three years ago Susy Gann was a victim of domestic violence going through a divorce, becoming a single mother and feeling the pressures of running her own business.
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301 E. Elm St.
Contact: 903-595-5705 or on Facebook
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Wedding and event planning by appointment.
Some people thought she was too young to have her own company. It was a time when Ms. Gann was just trying to make it through, she said. But none of the obstacles she faced stopped her from moving forward. Ms. Gann believes there are opportunities everywhere and anything can be done if the person wants it bad enough.
"We're in the land of opportunity," she said. "If you don't take it; somebody else will."
Ms. Gann was born in Mexico and at 12, moved to Tyler along with her parents, brother and sister. Eight years ago, Ms. Gann and her brother Israel Lopez opened Cindy's Balloons with the idea to serve the Hispanic community, she said. Now, it has a new name -- Events by Cindy -- to reflect the services they've added.
At 31 years old, Ms. Gann said, "I have grown with my business." What once was a big challenge, she considers a "piece of cake right now."
Ms. Gann and her brother started with an inventory of about $2,000 in balloons, piatas and party supplies. Customers began asking for rented chairs and tables and they added those, along with renting out bounce houses. They soon realized there was a market for weddings and Quinceaneras -- traditional Hispanic birthday parties for girls turning 15.
"It's one big business; just the Quinceanera alone," Ms. Gann said.
She named the business after her 8-year-old daughter Cindy and recently changed the name because they don't just do birthday parties anymore. The business has "grown tremendously" over the last eight years, she said.
"We just kept adding more stuff," Ms. Gann said, adding that they now offer wedding, prom and Quinceaneras dresses, tux rentals, flowers, linens, columns and just about anything needed to put on a party, whether it is a corporate event, bridal or baby shower, wedding, birthday or graduation party or a simple get together.
Ms. Gann started the bridal part of her business less than two months ago and will soon offer more dresses for brides, bridesmaids and mothers of the bride. She has plans to add more stores and maybe add catering and/or limousine services to her line up, she said.
"We just have big plans," she said.
Ms. Gann coordinates events while her brother deals more with the party supplies and rentals. They have three employees and average about four events a month.
She said her brother had the idea for the business because their family was having a party for something -- a baby shower, baptism or birthday party -- nearly every weekend. "Everything we do in the Hispanic community, we celebrate with a party," she said.
Ms. Gann said she has a lot of customers who have been coming to her since she started the business. "We're so blessed with our customers," she said. "They still come back. I think that loyalty has made a big impact on our business."
When she was going through a tough personal in her life, Ms. Gann was thinking about leaving the business until she learned she was selected to be recognized with the Women in Tyler 2011 accolade. She took it as a sign to go on, she said. Ms. Gann was also named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006 by the Hispanic Business Alliance.