Wedding entertainment with a candy cart for everything sweet on your special day!
Today Sunshine Weddings Spain talks all things sugar, chocolate and sweets with the fabulous Candy-Maker Natalie Birkett, popular children’s wedding entertainer in Spain.
Tell us more about yourself and how you ended up as a candy-making expert on sunny Costa del Sol?
I’m originally from East London, but I moved to Casares on the Costa del Sol about 6 years ago.
After working for more than 11 years in office related job roles, I was more than ready for a change, but ironically it wasn’t until lockdown of last year, when I found myself at home all the time with my own little boy and the daughter of a friend of mine who was a key worker in Gibraltar, that I was struck by the inspiration to pursue what I really love, entertaining children and Kidzcare Spain was born.
Tell us a bit more about Kidzcare Spain and how you were able to turn your dream job into a reality?
After spending lockdown caring for the daughter of a key worker in Gibraltar, I was given the opportunity to continue with other child minding jobs, but I decided that I wanted to do something a bit different. So I came up with the idea last August of doing creative childminding, introducing arts and crafts activities.
In September I bought a candyfloss machine from Jordanne, from Marbella Party Central, who at the same time kindly allowed me to advertise my service on her website and she would forward all email enquiries to me.
After receiving several requests and organising a number of parties, I decided to invest in more equipment, including lazer guns, a karaoke, special face painting makeup and an extra large size tent. This last item I actually co-own with Jordanne, from Marbella Party Central, and it’s ideal for outdoor pajama parties. And pretty much from there the childminding business became an entertainment company.
Did you have any previous experience working with children?
I’m a mum to a very active young boy and I’d done some childminding before, but my main experience was actually in entertainment. Before moving out to Spain, 11 years ago, I had set up a party company with a friend of mine in the UK.
I consider myself someone who is very creative and this new business venture combines my love for art and my energetic personality to help create crafting parties for children. On a personal level, this job is much more fulfilling for me than working behind a desk.
Who has been your main source of inspiration in embarking on such a creative career?
Indirectly, I would say my father, he’s a musician and was also a wildlife photographer when he was younger. So though I can’t sing, I do think my creativeness comes from him. I’m also very fortunate that both my parents were supportive of my decision to change careers and were happy for me to embrace a new career that I love and break out of, what was for me, a monotonous 9-5 office job.
Of all the fun activities you offer, which is the most popular at weddings?
I’ve actually got my first wedding this September in Gibraltar, but going on my experience over the last ten months organising parties and other celebrations, I can envision that the popular attraction at weddings will be the candyfloss cart.
A candyfloss party usually lasts about an hour from the moment I’ve set everything up, but for the wedding, I’ll most likely have the candyfloss cart running between two and four hours.
The candyfloss includes all flavours to suit everyone’s tastes including classic strawberry, blueberry and piña colada and is a great way to entertain children and adults alike!
I’m hoping that this upcoming wedding will lead to more weddings, which is basically what has happened with the birthday parties, one party will lead to another through word of mouth, so luckily, I haven’t had to do any paid advertising yet.
What age-group do you cover?
The youngest age-group I’ve worked with—or rather entertained—was a group of 2-year-olds for a birthday party and if I’m honest, I’m still in awe that I was able to keep 8 toddlers entertained and sitting nicely at a table doing arts and crafts for over 40 minutes.
My preferred age group is 4 +, that’s when they start being a bit more interactive and you can do more things with them, though my main age-group in 5+.
The oldest group I’ve worked with was for a 13-year-old birthday party. I organised a pamper party which consists of nail painting, face masks, hand massages and depending on age I can also do mini makeovers with eyeshadows and lipsticks, followed by party games and party dances.
This teen pamper party was a huge success, the girls really loved the girly nail painting and make-over session. I also had the candyfloss cart running which kept the boy at the party just as entertained.
Where would you like to see yourself and business in 5 years time?
I’d be happy with a full time salary and to be able to hire an assistant to deal with some of the admin work and the setting up of some of the equipment I use, like the huge tent. I don’t plan or aspire for this business to go viral, but an assistant to help would be great and cover other parties so I can take on more bookings, but always leaving the candyfloss parties and pamper parties to me, I think these are super fun to do.
Thank you for sharing your sugary sweet story with us today Natalie. We wish you all the best with your entertaining business and hope to see you very soon in the upcoming wedding season.