A pair of Woodbridge magicians have pulled a rabbit out the hat by launching a brand new business after they lost all their work overnight.
Party entertainers Steff Evans and Olly Graham had a full diary of events booked before the coronavirus pandemic wiped out their schedule, leaving them struggling to pay their mortgage and household bills.
But the pair refused to be deflated for long and have now launched balloon-decor company Don’t Pop Me Now, catering for corporate and family events by creating ornate sculptures and embellishments for homes and businesses across East Anglia.
Olly said: “We were well-established and successful but absolutely nothing could have prepared us for what happened with coronavirus. As soon as lockdown was announced, all of our work died instantly.
“Phones were going crazy cancelling everything and almost overnight we went from having a jam-packed diary to nothing on the horizon at all. As full time professionals in the entertainment business neither of us had anything to fall back on.”
Olly, better known on the party circuit as Magic Olly, has decades of experience making balloon animals while Steff, also known as Steff and Nonsense, is a bubbleologist, creating unique party experiences with bubbles and with visits from her puppet Nonsense.
Steff said: “We were asked to provide a few balloons to jazz up the living room of a friend for her birthday and that’s when we had the idea.
“Just because people cannot have big parties or events doesn’t mean they don’t want to mark special occasions, decorate venues or create a magical or memorable experience for someone and balloons are a great way to add colour and beauty and to get a wow factor.”
The pair have taken out one of the government’s business loans to pay for a new van and equipment to get the business started – with the investment already paying off.
Steff said: “We now have a whole load of bookings for balloon arches for weddings, gender reveal balloons for baby showers, balloon bouquets and huge numbers to mark special birthdays.”
Steff is also providing bubble equipment to households so they can learn to create their own bubble shows in back gardens and her son Noah has also been called upon to provide musical entertainment for some socially-distanced garden gatherings.
The 16-year-old, who has a place at Access Creative College to study Music Performance, has followed in the footsteps of his mother into the world of entertainment and has racked up more than five million views on his YouTube channel @NoahEvansMusic where he sings and plays guitar.
For more information on the company visit http://dontpopmenow.co.uk/