The Dialogue with Christine Maentz
This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So, here we go with our 110th installment visiting with Christine Maentz, owner of Little Peeps Fun Place, which offers a full service party rental room and daily play area for children under the age of 6.
Tell me more about Little Peeps Fun Place. We have a range of party options from no services to full services. All of our parties include total clean up so the mom/dad has one less thing to worry about. Our play area is modern & safe for little children and a fun place for adults to socialize as their little ones play & interact! Before starting Little Peeps I casually "polled" the patrons of Foothills Mall. The reaction I received was very positive. Every family I spoke to said this service was much needed in Maryville. Our Facebook page reflects the same results. Hopefully care takers will use our services.
How did you get started? Several years ago I started a hobby business of professional face painting, added balloon twisting, then magic for kids and I'm now a Certified Balloon Artist building spectacular balloon decor for corporate & private events. However, my passion is bringing smiles to little peeps. It was brought to my attention that Maryville needed this kind of service & I just made it happen!
What is your background? I'm a grand mother of 12 (almost 13) little peeps ranging from 6 months to 13 years old. I've been entertaining kids professionally since 2011. My husband & I operated a very successful business in a totally unrelated field - this experience is what I needed to put Little Peeps together.
Who is your mentor? My mentors are professional children entertainers - Ken Kelly from the UK and Julian Mather from Australia. They've been encouraging me and have helped me believe in myself and my skills. Also, my husband has always encouraged me to follow my dreams.
Describe your customers. Either the parents or care takers of young children. Many young parents are very occupied with careers and daily life struggles. We also know that these parents want to provide the best experiences for their little ones and here at Little Peeps we aim to do that and create a stress free prep time for the parents. Many of our clients are uncomfortable inviting strangers in their homes for parties... bringing the event to Little Peeps removes all of those anxieties!
What impacts your business environment? We hope that Little Peeps will help increase traffic at Foothills Mall. There is no reason for such a low attendance here - The Foothills is a nice location with a variety of shops that cater to everyone. Folks need to start shopping locally more!
Name three things you wish you knew when you started. Total construction costs (they increased as the project took longer than promised). How many parents would actually use my services. If the community actually needed such a service.
What do you enjoy your business? Bringing joy to small children and relief to highly stressed parents! Employing local help and talent. Additional income!