Those of you who joined us at the Halloween party will already be aware of Katie's fantastic business 'Sensory Sensations Parties and Events' and those of you who have tickets for our Christmas Party are in for a treat as she is joining us again! I caught up with Katie to ask her all about her business and plans for the future.
1. Please introduce yourself and your business.
My name is Katie, I'm 32, married with two girls (Daisy, 5 and Indie, 3) and I run Sensory Sensations which provides sensory & messy play classes, parties and events. As well as sensory and messy play I also offer craft activities and soft play for parties and private bookings. I have been running Sensory Sensations for nearly 4 years alongside primary teaching part time.
2. Have you always lived here?
No, we moved from Kent to Oakham in June so still fairly new to the area! We're loving it here though and have really settled in I had been running Sensory Sensations in Kent for 3 years and so I was really nervous about bringing it to Oakham, almost like starting all over again! Luckily I've had a great response and have been busy each week, so I'm very grateful! Everyone has been very welcoming and I've met some lovely families
3. What made you start your business?
My eldest daughter Daisy. I started doing sensory and messy play activities with her from when she was 4 months old, as she grew older I made up sensory baskets for her, then themed tuff spot trays (Easter, Christmas, that kind of thing). I started to sell themed sensory baskets as a hobby on Facebook alongside teaching. For Daisy's 2nd birthday I did her a sensory and messy play party and I absolutely loved organising it, so I soon started my weekly classes (back in Kent) and then moved on to parties and organising annual summer and Christmas fun days. Now I run a weekly class at Catmose Sports Centre and as well as birthday parties, I also provide my services for Weddings, Christenings, nurseries and preschools and hold themed events throughout the year.
4. What's the best thing about running your own business?
The best thing about running Sensory Sensations is the thrill of getting a booking or receiving good feedback and I don't think that will ever change, even after 30 more years! From a parent trusting me to provide entertainment for their child's party, the birthday girl or boy coming into a venue seeing my activities and saying 'Wow', a grandparent telling me they really admire what I do, receiving a positive Facebook review, to a child finally dipping their toe in some paint after not wanting to touch any mess for weeks at a class...it feels absolutely amazing! There is a lot of hard work involved behind the scenes here - buying resources, prepping, cleaning, coming up with new ideas, admin all whilst juggling family life, which can be tough, but I wouldn't change it for the world, I have the best job and it's so good being your own boss
5. What are your plans for the future?
My ultimate goal for Sensory Sensations would be to get my own premises so I can hold my own timetable of different classes and have my own party room, that would be very exciting!
6. If you could get a message to yourself in the past before you became a parent, what would you say?
It's definitely a cliche, but enjoy every moment! Also, do what is right for you and your baby, whether that be breastfeeding or bottle feeding, controlled crying or co-sleeping, pushing a pram or baby wearing... there will always be people telling you what you should do, but do whatever makes you and your family happy.
7. What other local businesses do you use?
As we're still quite new to the area, I'm still getting to know other local businesses, but here are two I've had the pleasure of meeting the people behind:
Heaven's Homebaked Cakes - Delicious sweets and treats!
Cheeki Monkeys Grantham, Melton and Oakham - Local events with preloved stalls and family fun!
100% recommend them :-)
8. What have you got planned for us at the Christmas Party?
I'm going to be providing two activities - making snowy, wintery pictures and decorating Christmas biscuits. I can't wait, I really enjoyed the Halloween party
9. Where can we find out more about your business?
My website www.sensorysensations.co.uk has all our packages and prices for party and private bookings as well as my blog which I use to give ideas and sensory and messy play. I use Facebook www.facebook.com/sensorysensationsuk regularly and have Instagram too www.instagram.com/sensorysensationsuk. I can also be reached via email at email@example.com.
Thanks for your time, Katie. I can't wait to get stuck in with the activities at the Christmas Party. See you there!