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Creative Lockdown Manual for Businesses in the Events Industry

April 16, 2020

With the events industry going into a downward spiral due to the notorious pandemic many business owners are freaking out. But what if you can use the time in lockdown to glow up your business? That’s what our member Buttercup Bus Vintage Campers has done: turned the creative mode on!

You only need to hop over to social media, to see how the current climate has allowed people to take on new hobbies – I’ve seen people going into a knitting frenzy… And keen gardeners adopting “The Good Life” with homegrown vegetable gardens.

Just like many events based small businesses, as the business owner at classic campervan photobooth hire company, Buttercup Bus, I suddenly have time to reflect and GET CREATIVE! Before jumping on the bandwagon, I had to figure out what I wanted to do.

Choosing a project that ticks the boxes

I’ve always enjoyed the manual and creative side of running a business – as you can see in this little blog post we did about women in the motor-trade for International Women’s Day (yes, that’s me in the photos). 

Pre COVID-19, I was learning to weld with a welding master, to build a new popup campervan bar. I had to put this project on hold, whilst on lockdown – but having welding skills will be a great string to my bow. Self development! (Did you know that our very own Queen Elizabeth learned how to deconstruct and rebuild engines back in the 1940s! Us women can take on crafts that require industrial skills too!)

Current times mean that I cannot get to the workshop (Protect the NHS – Stay at home folks!)… so I came up with a plan to keep myself busy at home… with power tools… And involve the kids too (ahem… they did not get access to the heavy tools!).

The aim was to continue to develop myself, the business and keep the children entertained whilst they also learn from the experience. Here are three of my most recent projects that tick those boxes:

Pretty, reclaimed wood moustaches – campervan photobooth props

Our campervans can be hired with photobooths installed inside. People have fabulous fun, as they pose for photos, wearing funky props – but my goodness, we get through those props pretty quickly.

© Desiree A North

I decided to use the time to make some more, rather than buying them. Digging out my electric jigsaw and finding some wood from an old campervan cupboard, I created templates and cut some pretty moustache shapes. The wood was thick enough to drill a hole in the side, fill with hot glue and accommodate a wooden rod (I had the rods already in my craft box).

To finish the wood, I used an electric sander, and then prepared a glitter, water and PVA glue mix. I then teamed up with the children to layer the glue with some pretty decoupage paper (super thin paper, in pretty patterns). The glue gave the moustaches a hardy surface, that was shiny and sparkled with the glitter. 

The kids and I then took a break, enjoying peeling dry PVA glue from our fingers. Anyone remember doing that, back in their school days? It’s strangely satisfying! Ha!

Bohemian sunglasses for campervan photobooth props

I happened to have a bag of John Lennon styled sunglasses in my photobooth props box – but they were pretty standard – there was definitely room to apply a personal touch, to make them unique to our business.

Using some reclaimed, broken jewellery and the trusty glue gun, the children and I got creative. The children selected the embellishments, lay them out as desired on the glasses – and I then glued them into position. The results were so good, that the children took a couple of them for personal use. (This is a huge compliment in our household, with two fashion-savvy daughters!)

A light-up sign for the business to use for new services

The most challenging new project was to design and make a new, light-up sign for our campervan glitter bar. This project was not for the kids.

I created a template for the word “Sparkle” and traced it onto a 1m length of wood.

Getting out the JigSaw, I carefully cut around the letters. I then drilled carefully measured holes in the letters to house LED lights – finishing off with an electric sander and some gold paint.

I had to teach myself online to solder, and connect 12V wiring in parallel. Sounds geeky – but the large “Sparkle” sign in gold will look super pretty! This project is work in progress – These normally cost c. £650 so I’m making a cost-saving at the same time. I can’t wait to get it finished!

Take on a project – get creative!

There are so many exciting projects to do our there. Yes, it is a little indulgent – and I should probably take on more mundane tasks that have been waiting for my attention around the home… But craft projects are a wonderful way to feel productive, spend time together with the children and create something unique and beautiful for your business! 

Nathalie Selvon-Bruce

Founder of Buttercup Bus Vintage Campers

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