Bury St Edmunds Princess Parties are proving a dream for Vicki Bye
An entrepreneur found her way out of her business lockdown lows - by turning herself into a princess.
Vicki Bye, 31, from Bury St Edmunds, was hit hard by the pandemic last year when work dried up both for the entertainment agency she runs and as a freelance circus performer and dancer.
So after wondering what she could do to make ends meet,Vicki turned herself into a Princess.
“I had never even heard of Zoom before the pandemic but quickly realised the world was connecting by video calls,” said Vicki, who lives in Bury St Edmunds.
“I’d always loved the magic of Disney and had the idea to hold online princess parties for children if they had something to celebrate.
“I’d host princess parties and we would sing happy birthday, tell stories and play games.
“It grew to a level of having 40 screens on Zoom at one time.”
In between lockdowns, Vicki, who runs Bury St Edmunds-based Royle Entertainment agency, took her parties to people’s doorsteps.
“For Halloween we delivered pumpkins and gave out sweets, read stories had a Halloween quiz, and posed for photos. We also did the same at Christmas, and Easter.”
Vicki is now holding Princess Parties for up to 30 people in people's gardens, with the easing of lockdown restrictions.
She has been holding two a week since restrictions eased and is now booked up to mid-July.
Families can choose a bespoke party and select the number of princesses they would like as well as the theme.
Vicki has eleven Princesses on her books. Parties can have themes such as unicorns, the movie Frozen, or dinosaurs.
They can also include face-painting, a glitter-artists and all include singing and dancing.
“We have Cinderella, Rapunzel, Alice in Wonderland and our own creations inspired by movies such as Frozen and Moana,” said Vicki.
"It’s such fun.”
Work is slowly beginning to pick up at Royle Entertainment, too, where Vicki has between 15 and 20 core performers as well as a network of 250 others she can call on.
These include everything from singers, dancers, stilt-walkers, mermaids and sword-swallowers.
“Although Covid turned my world upside down, it has also brought me some light,” said Vicki.
“I’m feeling very thankful for the time I would have never had if it wasn’t for Covid.
“We held a Princess Party last weekend and I had quite a ‘moment’ thinking: this really is the best job in the world.
"To do this full time would be a dream.”
To find out more about Princess Parties, click here