Stephanie Wallis Interview with First Voice
With a background in childcare and running crèches, Stephanie Wallis couldn’t resist the lure of buying specialist ﬁrm Safe and Sound Event Childcare. Read the full article here.
Tell us about your business…
The business started originally in January 2006 and had been running for about ﬁve years before I bought it in March 2011, when the previous owner decided to move back into full-time childcare. The opportunity was too good to miss. It came with four bookings. After rebranding with a new website, logo and other collateral, it has grown to the point where we now have more than 150 bookings per year.
What’s been the highlight for your business so far?
Winning the entertainment award in the Four Counties Wedding Awards, for local suppliers in the Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Cambridgeshire areas in 2015. This was recognition of the hard work and dedication, long hours and patience.
What’s the strangest request you’ve had from a customer?
The parents and family of the children can be the ‘strange’ part of the job. We have had inebriated grooms come back from the reception for a nap and never return to the wedding. We’ve also walked 20 children up the aisle waving gerberas (ﬂowers) and sent two little boys dressed as Spiderman up to their parents at the wedding breakfast to give them special presents.
What was the most unusual booking you’ve had?
In 2014, the Belgian artist Carsten Höller transformed the Gagosian Gallery’s stand at Frieze, Regents Park, London, into a playground, including a giant dice, a toy octopus and a squishy mushroom that rocked. We were hired to look after the children. He even designed our uniform to match the set.
What one thing couldn’t your business function without?
My awesome team. We have a total of 30 staﬀ, several of whom have been with me since day one. And the gorgeous children.
What do you do outside work?
Whenever I have any free time it has to be spending time with my husband and twin boys.