If we can just get two bookings a month........
And that's how it all started. After being made redundant from my work, I was left pondering where my future lay. I had to find something to fill my time in between searching for a new job. Clare, my partner had signed up to an online competition portal which listed competitions you could enter each day to win some fabulous prizes but had never gotten around to actually using it. So, being at a loose end I decided one morning to look into it. I soon found myself being sucked in to the heady world of competition entries, sitting down for hours on end typing in my details, frantically hoping that this entry might be the winning one. A few months passed and I had won diddly squat, nada, not even a sausage and to be perfectly honest was about to give up altogether! That is until the postman came a few days later with a mysterious package.
After asking Clare if she had ordered anything to which she replied- no. I excitedly tore open the brown paper. Inside was a postman pat toy set which I had won from an online competition entry. I was over the moon and it spurred me on to enter more to see what else I could win. After winning some lovely prizes, I started to enter the more skilled and creative competitions. I have always been somewhat of a creative sort; mainly due to my upbringing by my wonderful Mum Jeannette. I have very fond memories of my mum encouraging us as kids to use our imaginations, play let’s pretend, and above all not to take life to seriously. Soon Clare found herself being roped in to my next crazy competition entry (rather reluctantly at times!). We picked up costumes and props from carboot sales and created weird and wacky photos and videos in the hope we might win something big, It worked!!! And, after a while we had won some amazing stuff such as holidays, tablet computers, cash and more... it was great. But before too long we soon realised that we needed something bigger to get our creative teeth into.
We live in the village of Winkleigh in Mid Devon. It's a beautiful little place with a great community. Clare was born and raised here. The village has a long standing and fabulous fair that takes place once a year in July. The fair is a whole week full of different types of events, to suit all manner of people, and is generally well attended and looked forward to! In 2014 a new fair committee was needed and this gave us the perfect opportunity to do our bit for the community and to put our creativity to good use. We signed up, and along with the other fabulous committee members were soon busy thinking up events and activities for the village to take part in. We held cinema evenings with interactive characters, record breaker challenges for the kids to take part in, Dragon hunt street theatre, quizzes, bingos, Santa's grotto, ghost walks and lots more. All of which was met with great success and positive comments from the parishioners; all thanks to the hard work of the fair committee team. We loved being part of the fair and felt privileged to be involved in such an important tradition.
Never wanting to rest on our laurels, and after seeing people enjoying the entertainment, we had organised for them at the fair, we had the crazy notion that it might be a good idea for a business.
By this time, I had returned to work, running my own courier business and Clare had her own cleaning company. Not wanting to rush into things and having no real experience of being entertainers, we decided to start off small. I had recently taken up costume making as a hobby and had created an Iron man costume, a Lego costume for my daughter Hope for World Book Day and various creations for our local carnivals, all of which went down very well with the public. This also spurred us on to take our little venture further. We purchased two minion mascot characters on a whim one rainy afternoon and started to contact companies and offer to attend their events with our characters. At the time, and as we were new to the industry, the first events we attended were free of charge. Sometimes we were lucky and were offered things such as free cinema tickets or other perks, which was lovely but sadly would not pay the bills. We had to expand further if we were to make a success of the business. We needed a wider range of characters. Having had a little experience of making some costumes for events during Winkleigh fair and thanks to the help from mine and Clare’s mums, we decided to buy a sewing machine with which to make our own creations with. It was slow going to start with - I couldn’t thread up the machine for love nor money and Clare couldn’t read a sewing pattern, but with some time and a lot of patience we started to get the hang of it. Our first set of completed costumes were Alice in Wonderland characters which were an instant hit with clients and event organisers. Bookings started to roll in slowly and this time most of them were paid gigs (hooray!) The public were starting to get to know us and really enjoyed our entertainment and we enjoyed entertaining them. We put our all into it and worked hard to earn a good reputation with our clients. I've lost count of the amount of times both myself, Clare and our family worked through the day and night to get costumes ready, sit for hours emailing potential clients and making sure we put on the best entertainment we possibly could, and so Marvellous Event-ures was born. The 2 bookings a month theory was a target if you like, a little extra something that we could use to treat ourselves without feeling guilty. Fast forward to 3 years later and here we are :) Our little business has grown beyond our wildest dreams and still manages to amaze us with where our next Event-ure takes us. It's been a long, hard (but enjoyable) slog but thanks to the never-ending help from our family, friends and team, the support from our clients who have hired us and the general public for taking part in the fun. We have turned our crazy little idea into reality and we very much look forward to entertaining you all in the future. Love Paul and Clare