Behind the scenes at Mess Around South Yorkshire

Mess Around UK The UK’s leading messy play provider!

Our parties and events, run by our wonderful, dedicated franchise leaders throughout the UK, are multi-sensory, larger-than-life, messy play experiences for under 5’s and older siblings.

Behind the scenes at Mess Around South Yorkshire

Today we hear from Alanna at Mess Around South Yorkshire who joined the Mess Around family in December 2018. We have a fantastic family of franchisees from a variety of backgrounds who all bring their unique experience to their messy play businesses.

Alanna shares a ‘behind the scenes’ perspective of her business below:

Name Alanna Lonigro

The area you mess in? South Yorkshire – Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley & Doncaster.  But Worksop and Chesterfield also have ‘S’ Postcodes, so are part of my messy area too.

How long have you been a Mess Around owner? I became the owner of Mess Around South Yorkshire in Dec 2018 with my launch event  in Jan 2019.

Do you have any messy children? I have a cute but crazy 3 year old called Elliott, And my husband Antonio is a big Kid…so will add him in this category too 😉

What did you do before you had a career in spaghetti? Until very recently I had still been working full time as a Team Manager in Children & Family Services alongside building my business and running messy events.  However things have been going so well that I have now reduced my hours in my ‘non-messy job’ (or as Elliott would call it…’The Boring Old Office!’) and can dedicate much more time to introducing messy family fun to new venues and areas across my area.

When you’re not messing around, what do you enjoy doing? When am not messing around, I love spending quality time with my little family having lovely days out visiting new places.  I also enjoy getting creative, doing anything from making funky bright clothes for Elliott, Painting/Drawing and even baking & cake decorating.  The lazy side of me loves a good Netflix binge and eating Ice-cream!

Why did you join Mess Around? Becoming a Mum at almost 40 changed me! I previously travelled a lot, partied a lot and was then very career focussed. So had always said I wasn’t going to have children!  But when Elliott came along I loved being a Mum SO much that my whole focus has changed – meaning I wanted to do something where I could be at home more, that would fit around family life, would be less stressful and more fun!   I had previously taken Elliott to Mess Around sessions and loved the whole concept, party atmosphere (as none of the Lonigro clan are quiet!) and enjoyed the fact it was something we could do as a whole family.  So when I saw that the franchise opportunity had become available for South Yorkshire I just knew that it was the right thing for me.

What’s been your messy highlight so far? Ooh how do I choose?….there are so many!!

This Summer has been amazing as have been out and about introducing Mess Around to the people of South Yorkshire, by delivering lots of messy activities at large outdoor events like ‘TotFest on the Moor’, ‘Peace in the Park’ and Whirlow Farm Fayre.

What’s your favourite messy material? These questions are tough….as love them all!  Hmmm…If pushed to decide I think I would say Chocolate Cloud Dough, as it feels and smells amazing.  It’s definitely Elliott’s favourite too!

What messy plans do you have for the future? World Domination Messy Style…. Ba Ha Ha (evil laugh!)…Maybe not quite, but I definitely plan to continue to expand the business over the South Yorkshire region…which is massive!  There are lots more places to adventure to in my mess-machine.  And I’d also like to focus some time on developing SEN events that are adapted for children with additional needs…so watch this space!

What’s the best thing about being a Mess Around franchisee? Although I am running my own small business, being part of the Mess Around Network means I have never felt like I am on my own.  There is a lovely group of other Franchisee’s available pretty much 24-7 to share ideas, ask questions and get support. I Love being part of this messy family and am thankful for all the support I have been given to get my business to the point it is today.

What’s your favourite event? I have a huge Marvel / DC fan at home, so think Elliott would never forgive me if I didn’t say SUPERMESS… these events were awesome and I loved seeing all the little ones dressed up!  I haven’t delivered our Messy Christmas events yet though, but love all things Christmassy … so think this may become my new favourite after December.

What tips would you pass onto anyone who is looking to join our Mess Around family? Marketing and Sales had not been something I had done much of before and my knowledge of social media was pretty limited too.  Saying that, on the whole I am pleased with what I’ve achieved so far and events are regularly selling out, so I must be doing something right!  Thinking about how I’ve done this…I would say my top tip would be to PLAN, PLAN, PLAN…..spend some time thinking carefully about your marketing strategy, plan ahead, budget enough for marketing costs / promotions, collaborate with others, review what you’re doing regularly and then re-plan if necessary.

Get in touch to discover the next steps to your owning your own business and discover more about how we can support you to succeed. Download our prospectus here.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch or join us on our Mess Around journey to discover more.

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