Pretend, Inc. is a small, family-run children’s entertainment company based in San Diego, CA.

We specialize in bringing the imagination to life through award-winning balloon twisting, fantastical face painting, clever caricatures, marvelous magic shows, and charming pastry creations. Our designs suit the tiniest of tea parties through the most extensive of corporate events. No matter the size of the soiree, our focus is to dazzle and delight the individual imagination. We celebrate the daydreamer, the doodler, and the storyteller in all of us.

Pretend Inc Team

  • Tyler Sterling
    Tyler Sterling

    Tyler has been delighting young and old alike with his amazing air-filled artwork for over 14 years.  Tyler’s work has appeared in Balloon Magic magazine and has won a People’s Choice award. Tyler loves seeing the surprise on people’s faces as he twists up creations and enjoys making others laugh. In his spare time, Tyler races motorcycles, surfs, and eats a lot of candy while watching cartoons. Tyler has a hilarious son named Julian, age 16 and a dog named Zelda, who is almost 2 years old.

  • Jennifer Sterling
    Jennifer Sterling

    Jennifer always enjoyed drawing and coloring as a little girl and has recently made the transition from therapist to face painter. Jennifer has worked with children for many years and loves to help kids step into the world of fantasy and pretend through face painting. Jennifer enjoys collecting records, planting flowers, and playing hide and seek with her dog Zelda (who always wins.) Jennifer has a brilliant son named Julian who is 16.

  • Nina Marie Smith
    Nina Marie Smith

    Nina is a self-taught face painter and balloon artist who has always been captivated by anything creative since she was a little girl. As a child, Nina loved to bake with her mom, who encouraged her to pursue her culinary degree in which she achieved highest honors. Nina is now also a pastry chef who enjoys sleeping and going to the beach when not twisting balloons, painting, or baking. Nina has two children, a daughter named Taylor who is 8 and a son named Zack who is 11.

  • Aaron Stinson
    Aaron Stinson

    Aaron is a Minnesota native who has been twisting balloons for 4 years. Aaron loves captivating others through his twisting and delights in seeing awe on children’s faces as he hands them their balloon creatures. Aaron is a dive coach at Mesa College as well as a full-time San Diego State student majoring in criminal justice. In his spare time, Aaron enjoys racing motorcycles, surfing, snowboarding and hanging out in Tyler’s garage.

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