Behind the scenes at Mess Around Nottingham
We are so lucky to have a great family of franchisees here at Mess Around. Our franchisees are from a variety of backgrounds and each run fantastic sessions in their region. We will be sharing regular ‘behind the scenes’ perspectives from our team- today we hear from award winning franchisee Mess Around Nottingham.
Name: Mara Hernandez Diaz.
The area you mess in? Nottinghamshire (all NG postcodes to be precise!).
How long have you been a Mess Around owner? 2 years coming up imminently!
Do you have any messy children? Just the one – No more, thank you! He will be 3 in November.
What did you do before you had a career in spaghetti? I still do! I love my spaghetti so much that I was not willing to give it up when I went back to work. I am a Business Analyst Monday to Friday and a “Fancy Dress Messy Player” over the weekends.
When you’re not messing around, what do you enjoy doing? i never get time off between my full time job, my messy play parties and my son… Every evening even if I am not prepping for my upcoming event I am always cleaning toys, washing mats, posting on Facebook, replying to emails, etc. My messy play sessions are my greatest hobby, admin included – Believe it or not! I don’t see messy play as work, but as a part of who I am now.
Whenever I get the rare chance to do something different though I normally run off to London to spend a weekend there, see my friends and enjoy the sights. I absolutely love London and I miss it every day of my life – I will always be a little Londoner deep inside!
Why did you join Mess Around? I attended a session with my son when he was 6 months old and I was completely fascinated with the concept. I had an absolute blast and I thought it had to be one of the coolest, rewarding and most satisfying jobs in the world to have – I was right! I started looking into it straight after that session and realised there were franchise opportunities available near me, so I made it happen! Having a job that you love is hard to come across, but I found it!
What’s been your messy highlight so far? Every day is a messy highlight for me. I was very touched by the “Against the Odds” award I was given last year at our Annual Conference. Totally appropriate at the time and still is! To this day I still don’t understand how I manage to carry on, but here I am – Living the messy dream!
At my sessions it could be anything, from getting a compliment from our messy guests, seeing someone turning up wearing a “Born to Mess Around” t-shirt, someone calling me by my name… I have had a few hugs, a kiss blown at me and I have even been fed a biscuit by a lovely little girl. All awesome and definitely highlights that are worth all the hard work I do!
What’s your favourite messy material? To play with? Cloud dough, but I hate cleaning it! To clean, cereal. One of the easiest materials to clear up after a session! To watch kids play with: Shaving foam and Rice. Shaving foam is super messy! Kids seem to have some fascination with rice and some of them can easily stay by that tray for the whole hour.
What messy plans do you have for the future? Taking over the world! I always have plenty of plans, but my time constraints hold me back on a regular basis. Expansion is definitely on the cards – I need to spread the messy word across more venues. Getting someone onboard to do that is also on the pipeline, most likely along with the introduction of Messberaver! Oh, and getting a new messy-mobile as mine is on its last legs now!
What’s the best thing about being a Mess Around franchisee? I feel like whatever I say will sound like I was paid to advertise Mess Around, but I will give it a go. At Mess Around we are treated as individuals and always recognised for our efforts. Constant communication is in place and our feedback is always taken onboard – I feel heard, supported and valued. We are not just a number or a name – We are a big messy family and we care about each other. I often communicate with fellow Messarounders more than I speak to my family! We are there for each other and when things went very wrong in my life Mess Around was there for me – It still is. They have my back as much as I have theirs. We are a quality brand committed to grow and deliver amazing events to our customers. We are always looking at new ways to engage our customers and reward them for their loyalty as much as we are also looking to grow, expand, remain fresh and exciting. I wear my messy t-shirt proudly – Happy and many more messy times ahead!
What’s your favourite event? I love them all! But Spooktacular and Messy Christmas, hands down! I love it when our messy guests join into the fancy dress spirit (or simply wear a Xmas jumper) and those 2 themes are perfect for it! I love Super Mess though as I get the chance to become Wonder Mara for one whole month! August 2019 was a hard month to shake off as I didn’t want to take the Wonder Woman outfit off!
What tips would you pass onto anyone who is looking to join our Mess Around family? Plan, plan and then plan more – Always stay ahead and on top of the game! Learn how to use Facebook as a business owner should… To this day I still struggle with that at times! Be prepared to work hard – I promise it pays off! Get someone to help you if you can as it will make your life a lot easier… I do it all on my own and it can be hard at times! We are an amazing supportive family so if you decide to join us, you are definitely making the right choice!
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