I have a fab business feature on the blog for you this morning! Toby & Zoe are with us from Dreambox Parties to answer a few questions and share their experience of running a business and are also offering one lucky ready a FAB prize! See end of post for competition details x
Who are you?
Zoe Barrett & Toby Langton (AKA Princess & Captain) owners of Dreambox Parties. Previously we both worked for Kerry Foods (the largest chilled food manufacturers in the UK) for many years, and this was where we both met. We both worked in the Marketing department, Toby was the Marketing Director & I Managed the Mattessons Brand. In 2009 we had our beautiful son Spike, after many years of working for a large company, it was at this point that we both decided to follow our dreams & start our own business.
What do you do?
Our Company is called Dreambox Parties, we created an Internet business, dedicated to making children’s parties easy. We know how time consuming it can be to come up with ideas, find all the right party supplies, costumes & entertain all the children at the party. This is how we came up with the idea, Dreambox Parties. We take out the hard work for parents who want to host a magical party, but have no time to source everything. It really is that easy, all the parents have to do is go onto our website, pick a theme from one of our Ultimate Party Boxes (Pirate, Princess, Fairy, etc), tell us how many children are attending and we carefully get together everything you need to transform any room into a magical world. Included is an Exclusive party guide, which is invaluable itself, with an adventure themed story, great food ideas, music CD & all the games & prizes. To capture & keep the attention of the children at the party, the parent becomes their chosen character & storyteller. The parent reads the story out to the children, imaginative games & prizes are incorporated in the story and so both parent & children have lots of fun. Not only do we do Ultimate themed Party Boxes, we have the best party bags, these are not your average party bags, that contain plastic & ends up in the bin. Our Eco-Friendly cotton draw string party bags contain, the most amazing themed costume accessories, imagine all the children at the party dressed up, as Fairy’s, Pirates etc. Not only does it look amazing, it is a chance for the children’s imagination to come alive. The best part is they also get to take them home, for lasting memories. And if this was not enough we have a beautiful & stunning selection of themed costumes for both boys & girls. The designs & ranges are perfect for your little stars.
Children’s parties made easy is what Dreambox Parties is all about.
When did you establish your business?
We started in 2010 but have been trading for around 6 months now, so very exciting.
What made you start your own business?
We enjoyed corporate life for many years and whilst working at Kerry foods, we came up with the children’s party idea. It took us a few years and the birth of our son to decide to change our lifestyle and start a business of our own. We were very excited and passionate about our Children’s Parties Made Easy, idea, as many times we had run friends, nieces & nephews parties and realised that finding all your party needs was very time consuming, stressful & you could never find it all in one place. With our idea, we felt we had the right solution for parents. After much deliberation, we decided it was time to move on, we had given a lot of hard work & time to other companies we had worked for, like many people do, so we decided to put all of our time & energy into something that we own & love, helping parents give their child a great party.
What do you love about working for yourself?
“For me it’s not having to sit through hundreds of PowerPoint presentations a week and having meetings. You can make decisions immediately which are so refreshing after corporate life.” Toby
“I love the freedom and flexibility it gives you” states Zoe “. Although it is 24/7 having a 2 year old son, it works best for me, as I can work late when he is in bed & weekends. It also feels very rewarding when you have created a great party for a child & the parent to host, all your hard work feels worthwhile.
Is there anything you do not like about working for yourself?
Not having the security that comes with a full time job. Not having any holidays, as you have to be available all the time. Zoe & Toby
Is there anything you would go back and do differently if you could?
The main thing would be to revise the times everything would take. We seriously underestimated how long various tasks would take us. We did a lot ourselves to manage our start up costs but this resulted in things we thought would take days taking us weeks. Writing, designing, proofing and printing our themed books that are key to our Parties In A Box took a lot longer than we’d allowed. So timings are very key.
What advice would you give to someone considering starting their own business?
Do not be afraid. If you have an idea, go for it! Do lots of planning, research, and get people’s views. Be acceptable to criticism, as this helps with the end product. If you’re already in a job, get as much done while someone else is paying you, and make sure you have a good network of family and friends around to help with looking after your children or for support. It’s definitely not for the faint hearted, especially if you have children. However, if we’d known now how enjoyable & satisfying it is , we would have done it years ago.
Toby & Zoe are giving away a child’s dressing up costume up to the value of £35 to one lucky winner!
How To Enter!
For extra entries you can do any of the actions below but please leave a separate comment for each entry and please leave a way of contacting you either email or twitter 🙂
- Follow my blog via GFC
- Follow me on twitter @SoniaThorpe
- Follow Dreambox Parties on twitter @Dreamboxparties
- Like Dreambox Parties on Facebook
- Tweet the following message “I want to win Fancy Dress from @Dreamboxparties & @SoniaThorpe blog giveaway http://thismummyloves.blogspot.com/”