This fairly new WiRE group is always top of my list for relaxed networking with a lovely group of friendly and inspirational ladies prepared to help each other and share our thoughts, tips (and fears).
Our guest speaker on this cold and frosty January morning was Careena Fenton of Picklelily Circus who introduced herself as a children’s entertainer. But as Careena began to share her story we realised there was much much more to this engaging, entertaining and fascinating lady.
Careena has the distinction of being one of only 100 female members of the illustrious Magic Circle being accepted as a member in 2009 after a rigorous examination, interview and presentation.
Trained as an actor, she first came across magic working for Disney special events and got the bug. After performing in numerous paces she eventually set herself up as an entertainer in London which grew into a busy agency of magicians specialising in high end clients and corporate events working with people like Stella McCartney, Nigella Lawson and Selfridges.
But come the recession, the bottom dropped out of the corporate events market and Careena went to work at Warwick Castle writing, performing and running a wide range of events gaining new skills which came in handy when she was made redundant a few years later!
After meeting a new partner, she moved to Bridgnorth 4 years ago and set her business up again from scratch offering themed Miss Picklelily children’s parties which she does five times a week and gaining two nominations for categories in the Shropshire based Businesses for Children Awards.
This year she is testing and developing an adult cabaret magic act and has also been invited to compete with 6 other acts for Children’s Entertainer of the Year being held at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre.
Careena’s top tips for promoting her business included Google Ad words, free shows for charities and for children in hospital, her blog, word of mouth and basically being nice to people! As a group we suggested she targeted the wealthy areas of Cheshire as opposed to travelling to London.
We were then very lucky them to witness some of her fantastic close up magic and illusions which had us all enthralled.
Our meeting carried on with our 60 second ‘highlights of 2015’ round the table introductions and then some mind-mapping of a randomly drawn issue that a member wanted help with. This proved to be right up my street with ‘what content should I put on my website?’
Everyone contributed and we came up with a great list of things which was useful for those with websites and those just starting out.
Thanks Lena and Sandra for organising another great meeting.
If you want to find out more about Careena see http://www.picklelilycircus.co.uk or find her on Facebook.
Written by Kim Gilmour www.connect-consultancy.co.uk