Did you know you can make $150+ per hour as a children’s party entertainer?
Each week we bring you a new side hustle (you can check them all out here). This week we have Natalie Faulkner of Strawberry Fundaes Kids Parties. She is an amazing children’s entertainer and a party blogger. You can find Strawberry Fundaes here, check out her blog, Confessions of a Costume Character here or follow on Instagram and Facebook.
What do you do?
During the week I am a professional marketing manager but my side hustle is – I am a children’s entertainer. This means I dress up as a character and generally bring excitement and fun to little ones birthday parties and special events. I also blog about kids parties and share party tips and advice.
How much do you make?
Depending on how many children are to be entertained I make anywhere between $150 per hour – $300 per hour ( corporate events pay the best) Most of the work is weekends or seasonal though so it’s not an everyday income.
How and why did you get into it?
After working for five years as an entertainer at Movieworld on the Gold Coast and then three years as Captain Starlight for the Starlight Children’s Foundation, I decided to get a ‘grown up job’ in the journalism and marketing industry. It was in my blood to continue the life of a children’s entertainer in some capacity.
I just love to make kids laugh and smile. I just missed that part of my life once I started working in the corporate scene and thought how can I still light up those little ones lives? I know, kids parties!’ So I created the company as a casual idea just to do parties here and there when I felt like it. But it just became super popular and before I knew it I was working 5 days a week as a marketing manager and doing 6 parties a weekend!!
What did you need to start? (As in equipment, website, start-up costs etc.)
To start I needed a blue card approval. This is needed to work with children. I then chose my business name, got myself an ABN and public liability insurance. Insurance is a must in the freelance entertainment industry. I then had to gather materials for the job. eg costumes and wigs (my costumes are good quality, handmade and around $200 – $300 each including wigs). Makeup, face paints which are approx $100 for a basic kit, balloons for balloon twisting but this is optional depending on your skills and a $100 starter kit will last a few parties.
Children’s books for storytelling sessions, party props for games, a good portable speaker system for music (mine was about $250), a selection of music appropriate for kids which needs to be updated to stay on trend then party prizes and floor mats etc. to be used at the parties or events.
Once I had my materials, keeping in mind prizes need to be replenished weekly and face paints and props need to be maintained and was ready to actually be equipped for a party, I needed images of me as the characters in costume. I then started out with a simple logo, a party email address and a Facebook page. Facebook is huge for the kids entertainment industry. For a long time I didn’t even have a website but got loads of bookings from Facebook. Mums are very good at word of mouth too.
I now have a website, Instagram and a blog page. Websites don’t necessarily have to be complicated or expensive. I created mine on Wix.
What are the best ways you have marketed and promoted your side hustle?
Cross promotion is huge. In the beginning, I offered my services to school fetes in return for free advertising to parents. I also sent my party info to all the children and family magazines in my area as well as local shopping centres, play centres and child care venues.
Facebook and word of mouth have always been my biggest promotion. Instagram has been great in the past few years as well.
My blog has also been a great way to share my skills and advice with parents planning parties. Because I have been to sooooo many parties! I know everything you need to run one!
What are the pros of what you do?
The pros are it is super fun! And I get to be a part of such fun and happy events. I get to bring smiles to little ones faces and make money while I do it! I also get to be a part of some fantastic wish granting with Make A Wish Australia and Camp Quality. It is so magical and special to be involved with that.
What are the cons of what you do?
The cons are it can be very exhausting entertaining a whole group of kids and you have to put on your best face and party vibe. Also be prepared to give up your weekends because that is where the most work is!
What do you wish you had done differently?
I probably wish I had of started the business years before I did! Like when I was a young spring chicken and could have really built it to be huge! Because I am not getting any younger so I can’t be a party fairy forever (that’s how I feel personally). Although my business can still continue to run when I retire. I just have to train other girls to do the parties.
What tips would you give others?
The entertainment industry is so much fun. Working in it can be so rewarding and it can actually pay really well. But my advice is to always present yourself in the best quality. Always take good quality photos and make sure your content copy in your emails to parents and on social media is fun because that is a positive reflection on the fun that will be brought along with you to an event or party.
Anything else you would like to add?
Just that find something you love and make that your hustle. It is so much fun and will bring you great joy!!!
Strawberry Fundaes owner and party lover, Natalie Faulkner has been to more than her fair share of children’s birthday parties, hundreds in fact!
After working for five years as an entertainer at Movieworld and then three years as Captain Starlight for the Starlight Children’s Foundation, it was in her blood to continue the life of a children’s entertainer.
Natalie says ‘I just love to make kids laugh and smile. When I left the Starlight Foundation to pursue a career in journalism I just missed that part of my life and thought how can I still light up those little ones lives? I know, kids parties!’
These days Natalie and her team work most weekends and holidays bringing magic to events and parties across the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Northern NSW.
Strawberry Fundaes Kids Parties takes the stress out of your child’s party.
Natalie and her team provide professional party hosts who not only look fantastic but are highly skilled in the art of working with children.
They bring music, glitter, prizes, bubbles, face painting, dancing, singing, storytelling and fun to your little ones special day. Some of the talented staff are even skilled in balloon sculpture!
One of the greatest things about booking with Strawberry Fundaes is never having to wrap pass the parcel again! and on the day you can actually sit back and enjoy your child’s party.
There are also corporate and special event options and packages available.
Strawberry Fundaes Kids Parties is a reputable company based on the Gold Coast and has a loyal client list including corporate clients such as – Event Cinemas, Hot Tomato Radio Station, Westfield Shopping Centres, QT Gold Coast Hotel, The Arts Centre Gold Coast, Camp Quality, Make A Wish Australia, The Starlight Children’s Foundation.
Please note – All our characters are inspired by children fairytale stories. They are not affiliated with or associated with any licensed or trademark companies. Should you require a copyrighted character for your event, we encourage you to contact the company/copyright holders direct. Thank you!