Floating to the top

by Abdul Al-Nakhli

BRIDGEWATER, Pa.—Fourteen-year-old Amber Liggett continually redefines the term, “young entrepreneur.” As the owner/operator of, “Amber’s Amazing Animal Balloons,” she has brought countless smiles to children’s faces throughout the Valley since the age of nine.

TEACHING HER CRAFT—Amber enjoys taking time from her schedule to teach a balloon making class for young children (ages 3-5) at the Community College of Beaver County campus. (Photos by Abdul Al-Nakhli)

Currently attending the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School in Midland, Amber’s journey began when her family purchased a balloon making kit for her as a present. As Amber mastered creating her own animals and shapes, her mother and partner, Marcia Liggett, made a proposition to her talented daughter.

“Once I saw how good she was becoming, I told her if she started to become more confident, I would help her turn this into a business,” said Mrs. Liggett.

Not long after, Amber was a young business owner, and during her inaugural event at the Bridgewater River Regatta, her mother witnessed her gifts.

“She had her own booth, and had memorized five shapes to create for people,” said Liggett, “It was amazing to see her dedication and confidence in her work at such a young age!”

Over the next five years, Amber’s clientele quickly grew, even having her services personally selected by Senator Vogel for his event he held last April at the Community College of Beaver County Golden Dome.

“It was amazing to see how excited people were about them (the balloons),” Amber said. “I felt good seeing all of them I made floating around everywhere and how appreciative the people were.”

Through her gifts and determination, Amber is consistently recognized for her accolades. In 2009, Amber was the only 12-year-old but was one of 15 students in the nation, from a pool of 5,000 applicants, chosen as a finalist for the Guardian Life, “Girls Going Places,” award, and this April, she will be acknowledged with the Entrepreneuring Youth, “Global Young Entrepreneur Award,” during a two day visit in New York City, which will be presented to her by Kathy Blanchard.

Along with her achievements, Amber feels a responsibility to be a role model for children. This past February, Amber served as guest speaker for the Entrepreneuring Youths’, “I Own My Business…My Future,” program, in partnership with the Manchester Academic Charter Schools, where she gave guidance to 6th and 7th graders in forming a business and career. She will also be teaching a balloon-making class for children between 3-5 years old at CCBC for three weekends in February, March and April, and while doing so, hopes to continue to give words of wisdom throughout.

“I always feel it’s important that children know not to give up on their dreams and know to never give up and keep working at accomplishing what they want out of life,” Amber said.

For Amber Liggett, the sky is the limit. Looking towards the future, she wants to continue expanding her business by creating charter locations throughout the nation. She hopes to attend the University of Pittsburgh to earn her business degree, and one day wants her own TV show to entertain and educate families across the world.

Just like her balloons bring a child happiness, her drive also brings joy, knowing the future is secure in ample hands.

(For more information on Amber’s Amazing Balloon Animals, or to book her services, visit her website at ambersballoons.weebly.com)

(Abdul Al-Nakhli can be reached by calling 412-320-6008, email at abdulspadez@gmail.com, or by following him on Twitter at twitter.com/mrspadez).

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