How lockdown has inspired mum to launch new play centre business in Tuxford
Setting up a business is daunting at the best of times but during a global pandemic the risks are even greater.
But lockdown actually provided the catalyst social worker Tara Davies needed to launch her new imaginative play centre business.
In spite of the challenges the coronavirus pandemic created for Tara’s new venture My Playful World in Tuxford she actually credits lockdown with giving her the time to sit back and think about her future career.
The mum of three who worked as a social worker for 14 years is now preparing to open the doors of her new play centre for the first time on May 17.
She said: “It’s something I’d thought about on and off for a while and I can be quite impulsive so in October after thinking about it during lockdown I decided to go for it.
"At that time things appeared to be getting back to normal and I was perhaps overly optimistic as things did seem to be going in the right direction so I handed my notice in at work and then within a few weeks of signing a lease on my new business premises we were headed for another lockdown.
“It was stressful and it has been difficult, like it has for a lot of small businesses but it did mean I could spend a lot of time getting the design right and testing the play area out on my three children.”
Determined to push ahead with her vision Tara set about transforming the former office building in Ollerton Road, Tuxford into an immersive space that children can let their imaginations run wild.
Inside My Playful World you will find a miniature town with interactive areas including a grocery store, theatre, home area, vets, construction area and indoor park area.
Tara has used her 14 years experience working with children and parents along with parenting her 16, five and three-year-old children to help create a space that families across the region can enjoy.
She said: “My Playful World indulges parents as well as children with the relaxing design aesthetic, the comfortable café area, great coffee and tasty home-made bakes, all to be enjoyed with friends.
“I hope that parents will choose to visit time and time again, and not just because their children are insisting on coming.”
Sustainability was also an important consideration for Tara when creating the play area.
She said: “Sustainability is important to me. My family and I work hard at home to reduce, reuse and recycle so I wanted to carry this ethos over into my business.”
As part of her sustainability ethos Tara has focused on wooden toys, some of which are available to buy in the play centre, sourced from small companies, with very few plastic ones.
Tara also focuses on using local produce from Nottinghamshire in the cafe in a bid to reduce food miles for her menu that includes home comfort food, healthy choices as well as vegan options, dairy free options and a no nut policy.
Tara is now looking ahead to the opening on May 17 and urging residents to support her new venture.
She added: “There has been a really good response so far from the people in Tuxford and we also hope with it being just off the A1 we will get people visiting from other areas too.
“I am really excited to open but nervous too. I just hope people show support for small businesses during this time so they can keep going for years to come.”