Starkidz in Southport has provided Christmas Elf visits across our region for the past 10 years.
Their cheeky elves have switched on Christmas lights up and down the country, including at London’s famous Oxford Street.
They have performed at Glastonbury, featured on This Morning and visited hundreds of homes over the Christmas period.
This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they had to think outside the box a little to keep their business afloat!
Owner Jan Hayes said: “Lockdown and Covid has been hard on the whole entertainment industry this year.
“I knew I was sitting on an amazing idea for my elves. I constantly get enquiries from all over the country. I also knew many performers would be out of work and looking for something fun to do and get to perform in a safe way.
“We had also finished writing a book to coincide with the elf visits, and knew getting it out there would bring some much needed magic to families after a hard year.”
After some help from business guru Phil Gee, who advised, helped and gave encouragement, Jan opened up two teams, in Manchester and Essex, who between them have over 400 visits booked in.
Jan said: “‘I have to admit I was very emotional last weekend, seeing elves in our costumes making kiddies down south laugh and scream in excitement!
“It’s so surreal knowing that this dream of mine has come true.
“I am also thanking Jan from 10 years ago for coming up with the most Covid safe visit you will ever find! Who knew all those years ago we would be in a pandemic!”
With the lack of grottos and Christmas events this year requests have been coming in steadily and Jan now has over 1,000 bookings.
She said: “It’s a crazy number! Last year we had around 700, but with us not doing parties and events etc it’s totally doable. And giving lots of out-of-work performers some much-needed help this Christmas is a bonus!
“We are now looking forward to our book which has been released today, making visits more magical and explaining why the elves actually come visit you!
“The idea is that the children read it before the visit and get excited wondering if elves will come to their garden.”
Jan wrote the book with her husband Ant who illustrated the story and brought the magic to life. Jan said: “We tried to do a Kickstarter Crowdfunding project last year but we didn’t quite reach our target. Not deterred, we self-published ourselves this year. It’s so exciting for us and for the kiddies watching the book come to life.”
To book in the elves check out www.facebook.com/starkidzelves
To buy the book check out https://elftasticwish.co.uk/