Mace Playce Soft Play

My Name is Kennady Mace. I am 24 years old and am currently 29 weeks pregnant with my first child. I own a busy children’s soft play centre and have to work very long and unsociable hours to ensure my business is a success.

What’s your business called?

Mace Playce Soft Play Chelmsford

Can you describe it in one sentence?

Fun, loud, busy, welcoming and enjoyable!

When did you start it and what inspired you?

After having worked in children’s play centres, becoming a professional face painter and after graduating with a BA Hons in Early Years, we decided as a family that children and families within Chelmsford needed a fun, enjoyable and clean family friendly play centre. We opened in November 2013, so just coming up to 2 years.

How did you find your start up?

As it is a family business we all had a part to play. With my childcare background, I was able to put together a fun and educational timetable for the children to enjoy. I used my party entertaining experience and special needs knowledge to incorporate a centre with many different aspects. It seemed to be the right time and there was definitely a gap in the market for those living in Chelmsford with children under 12 years.

How do you manage working around the children?

My baby is due in 11weeks and I plan to continue to work until possible to do so. As my job is very active, it will become slightly harder when our child arrives, however I feel I am very highly motivated and will continue to organise and do as much of the ‘background’ work that needs doing. (I will keep you updated on my progress after a few months of our baby’s arrival).

Can you describe a typical day?

Busy, interactive, fun, energetic, tidying and keeping on top of household duties, socialising with a variety of lovely people and just ensuring everyone enjoys their visit with us.

What have you found hardest?

If I’m completely honest, working all day every day with my family has been the hardest. Although we all want the same goals and for the business to ba a success, we can sometimes have very different ideas (which of course is good thing). It’s about learning about each other’s strengths and weaknesses and, most importantly, working as a team! It can also be hard dividing my time with work, and time with my partner and social life (It’s not easy, but it comes in time).

What’s the best thing about being self-employed?

The best part is being flexible, making decisions for yourself, being your own boss and motivating yourself. For me personally looking around a business that you have created from scratch and seeing families enjoying the facilities is the most amazing feeling!
What are your plans for the future? I plan to expand the business. I am currently looking at opening a crèche/after school club within the play centre. My brother and I have also discussed opening a new centre for older children in the near future.
What would you give for someone just starting out? Work for what you believe! It’s not easy and its hard work, but it’s worth every minute. Do your research beforehand to make sure you are going into something you love as it will become your life and then give it 110%. In order to succeed you have to take risks and push yourself to the limit. Good luck!

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Some people believe that by having children it will impact on how successful you are. I do not believe this is true. You are your own person and you can get anywhere in life if you try. Through being dyslexic and struggling through school/university, I have proven to myself that I although it may take me slightly longer on some things, I can be successful.. I can’t wait to welcome my little one into the family business and teach them everything they need to know about achieving their dreams.

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