In five words explain your business

Vibrant, Friendly, Messy Family and Fun


What’s your favourite messy theme and why?

I absolutely adore all of our themes – so much that I buy a fancy dress outfit to wear at each one of them (even though I don’t have to)!  But Spooktacular and Messy Christmas are my favourite, 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 a whole month!

Why did you want to become a card partner?

I am always looking at different ways to engage with like-minded business and spreading the messy word across Nottinghamshire!  I have a few partnerships with some companies that offer loyalty / membership cards and gift voucher providers too, so as soon as I saw Derby Mums had something similar to offer and that their scheme covered Notts too I enquired straightaway.  Rewarding Customer Loyalty is something we cherish at Mess Around Nottingham, which is why we also offer our own scheme.  Our customers get a stamp for each visit – 4 stamps get you a free Born to Mess Around t-shirt and 8 stamps entitle you to a free session!

What is the biggest trend of 2019 for you?

2019 has been all about establishing our business further –  Focusing on our customers and aiming to continue delivering a wonderful sensory experience for all our messy little guests and learning from what we have achieved so far in order to plan our next steps.  We will be 2 years old on December and great things are coming our way!  I love making things happen, so hopefully before the end of the year our plans for expansion will be put in motion.  We will be looking at new locations, expanding our team and perhaps even introducing other fabulous type of events to our already exciting catalogue!  It will all involve a lot of hard work, but that’s we are all about.  At Mess Around Nottingham we work tirelessly to provide a space for children and families to bond and present them with exciting opportunities to get messy and explore fun new sensory activities.  We bring our super fun and very messy party atmosphere to our customers across Nottinghamshire and we are ever so passionate about mess!

When did you get your lightbulb moment in business?

I get a lightbulb moment every day!  Perhaps not reinventing-the-wheel, game-changing ideas, but I always note everything down as these little moments soon become posts, videos, photos, a sensory tray, a comment to a customer, a word of encouragement to someone who needs it, etc.  However, if we are talking about getting the mess started then my journey with Mess Around commenced as an attendee to one of their sessions in Derbyshire in 2017 and my son was about 8 months old.  I immediately related to the concept and found it fascinating; I had never seen so much mess and fun to be had at the same time!  My little boy certainly threw the biggest tantrum I have ever seen the first time we attended and the session came to an end, as he was having lots of fun and did not want to go home!  I enquired with Mess Around Ltd soon after attending our first session and found out a franchise for the NG postcode area was available, so I registered my interest straightaway and here we are almost 2 years in, living the messy dream!  It was not easy though – Being a single mum with no money for the initial investment was a challenge, so I had to find the funding to get things started, but I never give up!  There’s always a way to make things happen!

If you could give your 13 year old self a few wise words what would it be…. ?

I certainly wouldn’t give myself any advice – I haven’t had the easiest of lives but every single experience, good and bad, has shaped me into the person that I am today and I am very proud of myself and what I have achieved so far!  So, little 13 year old Mara will have to go through it all, just as I did, so she can become that person one day.  My mum did an amazing job raising both my brother and I pretty much on her own, so I can’t think of anything to tell my young-self that she didn’t know by then already: Work hard, be kind to others, be honest, loyal and noble, take good care of your health (and your teeth!), make the most of every moment, always do your best, never, ever give up – The sky is your limit.  Great things are coming your way, but it is your job to make them happen.

Come and get messy with us at Mess Around Notthingham

Best, Mara x