2018 was a big year for Mess Around
After many months of brain storming, trial and error and sleepless nights, we finally launched the Slime Lab UK in Teesside with our Mess Around Leader Emily Wilson. Our messy play events traditionally catered for children aged 6 months to 5 years old but for many years, parents across the UK had been asking if we could run something for their older children. A market had been emerging in slime making across the world and Emily had felt that there was a gap in the market and that Mess Around could create a fantastic programme.
We set to work creating a format that would be fast paced, fun and engaging. We developed a 90 minute workshop, which consisted of slime making, slime tricks and competitions, slime games, snacks plus lots more, including flossing to music.
Our leaders would also take on an additional role by becoming Slime Masters! Their brief being to engage, teach, lead and interact with the children and parents attending the workshop.
We then needed a name for our programme which was the easy part. We had slime, in a workshop, and hey presto, we came up with Slime Lab UK and our strapline was to be:
‘The biggest and the best slime making parties, workshops and events suitable for children from 5 years, through to teens, and even adults!”
We had the concept, the format and the name but now we needed the branding. We set to work with our graphic designer and our logo was born and trademarked.
We had no photographs, no website, no workshop photos as with any new business venture everything had to be done from scratch. The domain was brought and we were ready to get everything else in place.
Working in partnership with Emily we organised an official Slime Lab UK launch workshop in Teesside. We set up the workshop on our Mess Around website and sold out in no time. Emily set about ordering all her slime materials, paints, glitters, pots, bags, table coverings etc and at head quarters we had the Slime Lab Leader, Kids t-shirts, Awesomeness Certificates, Pop up banners, Stickers, Social media frame and instructions designed.
The big day had arrived! We drove up from Coventry to join Emily for the launch. It was so exciting to be launching a brand new programme. Emily was ready for action, donning her mermaid leggings, glitter and hair in buns, she looked amazing and ready to be the ultimate Slime Master!
The workshop tables were set up, the branding was out on display, the bowls, paint, glitter were on the table and we were eagerly waiting for our 30 children who had booked in to arrive. Queen was playing, the camera’s were set up and the video crew were ready to make the promotional video. We couldn’t wait to get started.
As the children arrived, Emily sprung into action! Emily is such a fantastic host and she was off. Throughout the workshop the children were engaged in We will rock you slime dancing, slime making, blowing bubbles, stretching competitions and there were smiles all round.
The workshop finale is a presentation with their Slimes and their certificates of Awesomeness! And of course some posing in the social media frame.
We were absolutely delighted with the format and how the workshop run and set about developing Birthday Party format and all the documentation, training required so we could roll the programme out nationally across the UK.
In 2019 the Slime Lab UK was launched, themed workshops were developed with supporting graphics and we were ready to roll out national programme in 2019. We launched a brand new franchise opportunity, which was based on workshops, birthday parties, private events and Express Slime at markets, fetes and outdoor events.
During the National lock down we granted a licence to the whole team to sell Slime Lab Kits within their territory, which were a huge success. Leaders hit the ground delivering kits across their area.
As lock-down eased in July we looked at how we could re-open our Slime Lab workshop programme. Being easier to manage in terms of social distancing, sharing of equipment and materials we developed a new Slime Lab programme and set about organising a COVID-19 secure trial. Rachelle from Slime Lab East Anglia volunteered for the trial. We had to reduce our numbers to 14 children, 14 adults and 1 leader to fulfill the government guidelines, shorten the workshop from 90 minutes to 1 hours, ensure tables were 2m apart and that each child/ bubble were provided with their own materials and equipment. All adults attending had to wear a face covering and our leaders had to visor up and adapt their workshop plans.
The Covid secure format worked really well and we were pleased that we were still able to engage, entertain and bring smiles to children’s faces in a time when they so needed activities.
Head office set to work on writing a new operations manual, developing new training videos so everything was in place to roll out across the network. Slime Lab UK is such a fantastic programme that we wanted to take this opportunity to include it in our brand new franchise programme, so our new business owners joining us in the future could entertain children from the ages of 6 months to 5 years at our Tuff Tray Clubs, but they could become Slime Lab Masters and entertain children aged 5 years and above. Accompanied with the opportunity to sell our Mess and Slime Kits this is a perfect business opportunity for someone who loves working with children.
We are very excited here at Mess Around as we have some fantastic ideas for Slime Lab UK from creating a brand new online Slime shop, Slime Boxes for home delivery and innovative new workshops.
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