Disclaimer: I have previously worked with Carters Steam Fair as I was gifted a Dodgem Experience.
Here is my interview with A Berkshire Mumpreneur // Georgina Carter, co-owner of Carters Steam Fair based in Maidenhead. Carter’s Steam Fair is a traditional English travelling fun fair which began in 1977.
Tell me about Carters Steam Fair and how are you involved?
Carters Steam Fair is my home and life / lifestyle. It is a beautifully restored vintage fun fair with authentic rides and attractions for the whole family to enjoy. It travels each year (not this year – thanks for that Covid!) from Easter through to Bonfire night delivering all the fun of the fair to your doorsteps around London, the Home Counties and even as fair as Essex, Lichfield and Bath. I am co-owner of the fair alongside my husband and we are the custodians of this exquisite collection of British Fairground history/heritage.
Tell me briefly about yourself and your family?
I am Georgina, I am heading towards the big 30 soon, I have two children, a girl and a boy, 8 and 6 years old, a step-son of 14, a husband, a dog and 7 chickens! I grew up in the countryside between Bristol and Bath in the Chew Valley area with my younger brother and my parents.
What do you see as the benefits of running a family business?
You are your own boss although the business does tend to own you a little, actually quite a lot but you can make time and carve out time to be mum and do school runs and before covid, parents evenings and school plays and sports days…etc.
What are your top tips to other parents considering setting up and running their own business?
It’s hard work, you have to be 110% committed, you have to eat, sleep, breath business and family life simultaneously but if you can get the work / life balance and if you’re not work shy then go for it.
How has the Steam Fair had to adapt during the Global Pandemic?
Truth is the pandemic has killed our Steam Fair, we are no longer a Steam Fair, we are waiting to return to being a Steam Fair. In the early days of lockdown we turned our hands to becoming green grocers and set up fruit and veg delivery services. We stocked our online shop to the brim with posters, books, tote bags and literally everything and anything we could. We looked around our yard in search of anything we could sell or make a living out of. I cut every possible bill and outgoing that I could. Luckily Joby, Georgina’s husband and business co-owner is a highly skilled signwriter, but he had to overcome his tech-phobia pretty quickly in order to launch his online via Zoom signwriting courses, this has saved us. Post the first lockdown we managed to open our Dodgem Experience at our HQ; giving families and bubbles the chance to ride the dodgem exclusively without mixing with others.
Are you working on any exciting projects at the moment?
Always, we are always looking for the next thing we can do but even more so now since we have lost our main income. I have written a children’s book and Joby has just launched his signwriting book. Take a read of Carters Steam Fair Christmas Gift Guide featuring Joby’s book which is avaliable for pre-order.
What’s next for the Steam Fair?
Well, we are trying to get back on the road, this is our main goal in life now and we hope that we will return to a green near you in 2021!
Click here to find out more about Carter’s Steam Fair. If you have enjoyed reading this blog post; A Berkshire Mumpreneur // Georgina Carter then why not read the other Berkshire Mumpreneur blog posts interviews.
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