• Judith Pinder

Starting up a Party business during lock down!!!

Covid-19 and the social restrictions in place have been hard for most people and extremely challenging for some. In terms of businesses in the hospitality industry it has been devastating with still no end in sight.

Prior to the lock down my friend and I had been working for a long time on turning our hobbies into a business. For some time we have been making for friends and selling our wares on Facebook. However having found each other and a strong desire to do more with our passions we had finally registered as a limited company on 13th March 2020. We were filled with all of the usual anxieties that entrepreneurs face when they take the big leap of turning their dreams into a reality. Are we good enough? Will people like it? Do we have a clue what we are doing? We thought we had prepared as best we could - we'd spoken to other friends who had started their own businesses, researched the market, made sure we had all the relevant qualifications and training - we'd even sought specialist support in starting up your own business. With a big deep breath and holding each others hands we had decided to go for it. The feeling was so exciting and I was so glad to have Emily with me every step of the way and our husbands supporting and encouraging us when our confidence faltered. We were scared but excited. We were prepared but also ready to learn. We thought we had considered every eventuality and were certain now was the right time.

We registered on 13th March 2020. 10 days before the Government announced the strictest social lock down measures we have seen in generations. We had not seen it coming. A party business!!!!!!! Suddenly the rug was pulled from under us -the time we had been spending on the business was suddenly filled with home schooling and working from home (I have a part time job as well as setting up the business). Looking after parents, relatives and neighbours. Coping with the barrage of new instructions and the anxieties of a serious and deadly pandemic. There was no thought of parties for anyone - including us. In the early days I really thought that that was the end of our dreams. All the hard work would not see the result we had wanted. We wouldn't get to open our shop we had been so excited for. I was devastated.

However. As time has passed on we have come to realise that our dreams are not over. We have re-framed the pandemic into a business challenge we must learn to tackle. We knew this was what we would face if we set up our own business - granted we hadn't quite fancied the scale of this one! - and we knew that if we were going to make a success of our dreams we had to face it head on. So what did we do? We've had to delay our shop opening - but only for now - it is still very much on the table but the time frames have changed. We've studied all the government guidelines and looked at how we can deliver some parts of our business from home safely and effectively. We've altered our business model and we've changed some of our key products. We can't get in all of the stock we wanted to yet - but we will in time.

We've wanted to become part of a movement looking at the future with as much positivity as possible. This is a moment in time. People are desperate to spend time with loved ones again and celebrate bigger and better than they have done previously - and during this time when this isn't possible we will be here to give them inspiration, talk about their plans and dream about the happy times to come. The lock down has also provided us with some benefits. We've been able to pause and check whether this is something we really want to do -we do!. I've spent precious time with my children and family which will have been such an investment if our business takes off and my time with them is reduced. I've learnt more skills to help with the business and grow my confidence. Despite not being able to physically work together I've grown closer to and more confident in my business partner every day - if we can get through this together I know we can get through whatever the future holds for us. Starting this business was supposed to be fun for me. A hobby turned into a dream. And despite the past few months and all the scariness it has brought, Party Queens is still my fun. And we can't wait to share the fun, love and laughter with everyone...........when the time is right! Keep safe everyone and don't give up on your dreams! Come and find us on Facebook or Instagram (@partyqueenssw) and

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